It’s been estimated that London has over 1500 permanent art galleries. If you’re looking to explore the creative world, you’re heading to the right place.
Some galleries, however, stand head and shoulders above all the rest. These are not only the best in the city but some of the very best in the world, and showcase thousands of the finest works of art ever made, from Picasso to Turner, Rembrandt to Warhol. They’re truly the creme de la creme.
To experience some of the most beautiful, challenging, creative, and masterful works ever made, you simply have to visit these six galleries.
The National Gallery is famously small in size. Yet its collection spans centuries of artistic heritage and captures some of the world’s most important works. Couple that with one of the most astonishing locations in the city – right on Trafalgar Square – and you have a gallery experience you simply cannot miss out on. Standing in front of Turner’s blissful Margate(?) from the Sea is something you’re unlikely to forget for many, many years.
Victoria and Albert
Going beyond only paintings, the Victoria and Albert museum helps us to realize the profound beauty in the design of anything, from chairs and cutlery to movie posters and church spires. London’s premier museum of design will blow you away with exceptional artistry found in some of the most unexpected places. You’ll find everything from medieval armor to Da Vinci’s notebooks here. It’s a fascinating exploration of beauty and craftsmanship.
If you’re looking for fresh, innovative new art, then Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery should be your first stop. Housing some fantastic contemporary works by up-and-coming and international artists, the gallery will move and inspire you in equal measure.
Worth a visit for its location alone, this tiny gallery for modern and contemporary art sits right in the center of Kensington Gardens. It’s a delightful and surprising space offering a broad range of free attractions, from performance art by Marina Abramović to digital projects, photography, and even art walks. The Serpentine Gallery is perfect for a light and refreshing art adventure.
No art tour of London would be complete without a visit to the Tate Modern. Picasso, Dali, Monet, Warhol, Rothko – the list of famous names that have been housed here would humble even the most high-brow of art connoisseurs. Some exhibits here will baffle you, others will enthrall you, and a few will make you question the very nature of art itself. You can rest assured, however, that it’ll be an unforgettable day of appreciation.
The Queen’s Gallery
I expect any art critic would give their right foot for the chance to rummage through the Royal Collection. In the Queen’s Gallery, you can explore over 450 of its best works straight from the Royal Collection itself, including works by Canaletto, Bellini, Rubens and Van Dyke. The fact that the gallery is situated inside Buckingham Palace adds to the sophistication of your visit.
If you have even the slightest interest in art, you simply must visit one of these spectacular galleries before you leave the city. It’s the perfect way to get up close and personal with the UK’s creative heritage.
For an exciting way to explore London, check out our range of city tours. If you need somewhere to stay, the Rubens Hotel is right next to Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Gallery. It’s the perfect spot.