Top 10 Art Galleries in London

By John Downes

National Gallery London
The National Gallery of London features works by European painters from the Renaissance to the Impressionist era. You will marvel at the beauty of work by Da Vinci, Botticelli, Renoir, Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh. At the Gallery there are plenty of exhibitions, lecture programmes, audiovisual productions and guided tours for adults and children alike!

Entrance is free to the National Gallery and the Gallery is open from 10am to 6pm daily, and Friday until 9pm.

Somerset House
Located in the fashionable West End alongside Waterloo Bridge, the wonderful architecture and art at Somerset House will give you a warm welcome - and the year long programme of live arts and visual performances will definitely add to your visit! The art gallery here features work from Rubens, Manet, Cezanne and Van Gogh. The brand new Embankment Gallery offers over 700m of exhibition space with a focus on modern and contemporary art.
Safra Fountain Court is a venue for open-air film screenings and summer concerts, and an impressive ice rink in the winter!

The Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768. It is the oldest art collection establishment in Britain. It is located in the West End area on Piccadilly. Some of the best exhibitions in London are held here. The Summer Exhibition that is held annually features work by emerging artists. Some of the wonderful works of art on display here include paintings by Gainsborough, a sculpture by Michelangelo, and a copy of the "Last Supper" by Da Vinci.

The Royal Academy of Arts is open from 10am to 6pm daily and 10pm on Fridays.
Tate Modern
No trip to London is fulfilled without taking a trip to Tate Modern. It is one of the best-known buildings in London, and located along the banks of the Thames in the place where the Bankside Power Station once was. Check out the Turbine Hall, which extends the length of the whole building, and enjoy the art gallery for free which features work by art legends ranging from Cézanne to Jackson Pollock to Andy Warhol.

Tate Britain
Tate Britain is home to the largest collection of fine art from Britain in the world. The Gallery displays work from the last 500 years - including work from Gainsborough, Constable, Hepworth and Bacon. The Clore Gallery in particular is well worth a visit. Tate Britain is open daily from 10am to 17.50pm.

National Gallery and Portrait Gallery
This Gallery is located to the north of Trafalgar Square, and is home to some of the finest modern art in Europe, featuring esteemed artists from Rembrandt to Van Gogh. If you are visiting with the family, the kids will love the National Portrait Gallery next door, and you will have fun as you all put names to the portraits of famous British people from the Tudor Kings era to the present.

The Hayward Gallery
This Gallery is the focal point of the visual arts at Southbank Centre. There are regular art exhibitions here featuring work by Gormley, Flavin and Lichtenstein. The Brutalist style of architecture in this gallery will lead to a conflict of emotions for you - you will either love it or loathe it!

The Wallace Collection
Enjoy some pre 20th century art at the Wallace Collection, in the Manchester Square area which is located off Oxford Street. The Wallace Family once owned this wonderful building. If you want a break from shopping at Oxford Street then this is the place to go! It features a brilliant collection of 18th century French paintings and furniture. The most famous artist on display here is Franz Hals. The gallery is open from 10am to 5pm.

Guildhall Art Gallery
This gallery is located in the Guildhall Building, located off Gresham Street. It has a huge collection of art, but around 250 paintings are only displayed at a time. The Gallery was opened in 1999 to the public. The building is of historical importance as it was nearly destroyed by a Nazi air raid in 1941. There are plenty of exhibitions here, with varying themes explored.

Whitechapel Gallery
If you are visiting the East End areas of London such as Petticoat Lane Market and Brick Lane, then Whitechapel Gallery is well worth a visit. It is located at 80-82 Whitechapel High Street, and features some great modern art and paintings from emerging artists.

Hope you enjoyed our guide to the Top 10 Art Galleries of London. The best way to travel around the UK and explore wonderful cities like London is to hire a car.

John writes for Novacarhire.com - an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5,000 locations worldwide.

Heading to the UK on holidays? Visit Novacarhire.com's Car hire UK page and get an instant quote which will offer you the best deals from top car rental providers.
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