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London has a great variety of world class museums and galleries. Many of the major galleries have free admission though you are heavily leant on for voluntary donations.
There are often special exhibitions at these venues which do have admission charges. The big, free galleries are the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern that attract the generalist tourist who would not usually enter an art gallery.
If you are really into art, then Time Out in London website will have the latest listings of what's going on in a long list of venues you could not hope to cover on a site like this. We also announce major exhibitions on our Facebook page.
The National Gallery, London, houses one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. The National Gallery houses more than 2000 European paintings from the 13th century to 1900.
The National Gallery itself is a landmark building occupying the north side of Trafalgar Square.
Next door to the National Gallery, The Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect portraits of famous British men and women. Explore 120,000 portraits from the 16th Century to the present day.
Portrait of William Shakespeare (left) is one of the first paintings in the National Portrait Gallery.
Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day. Tate Britain holds the greatest collection of British art in the world, including works by Blake, Constable, Epstein, Gainsborough, Gilbert and George, Hatoum, Hirst, Hockney, Hodgkin, Hogarth, Moore, Rossetti, Sickert, Spencer, Stubbs and Turner.
The gallery faces the River Thames, about 10 minutes' walk from Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
The Tate Modern is the UK's premier museum of Modern Art. Tate Modern displays the Tate collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol as well as contemporary work by artists such as Dorothy Cross, Gilbert & George and Susan Hiller.
The gallery is beside the River Thames housed in an old power station, besides Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and opposite St Paul's Cathedral which is connected by a footbridge across the River Thames.
T25 galleries of unsurpassed displays of French 18th century painting, furniture and porcelain with superb Old Master paintings and a world class armoury. Displays the works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace.
The gallery is situated away from most of the cultural art galleries and museums just off Oxford Street, the main shopping street in London.
Galleries for modern and contemporary art showcases work by the finest contemporary artists working across a huge variety of media. In the grounds of the Gallery is a permanent work by artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay, dedicated to the Serpentine's former Patron Diana, Princess of Wales.
The gallery is relatively unknown compared to others mentioned above and is housed in the southern part of Kensington Gardens / Hyde Park.
Bit of everything. Remit reads “to promote the arts of design”, that is: to "present a broad range of visual art to the widest possible audience; to stimulate debate, understanding and creation through education; and to provide a focus for the interests of artists and art-lovers."
The Dali Universe is a permanent collection of Dali's works in the former County Hall building, next to Westminster Bridge and the London Eye.
The permanent exhibition houses the largest collection of Dalí sculptures in the world as well as rare graphics, jewellery, furniture and watercolours.
The sometimes 'naughty boy' of the galleries. Conceived in 1947 by a group of artists and patrons i as a "laboratory" or "playground" for contemporary arts. It continues to challenge traditional notions and boundaries of art forms.
Housed at the north eastern corner of St James Park, just around the corner from the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
Modern gallery of contemporary art, privately managed by the Saatchi brothers, who made millions out of advertising. Presents work by largely unseen young artists or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK.
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For the vast majority of visitors to London, the way you get about town on a day to day basis is by the London Underground, perhaps supplemented by the occasional red London bus using an Oyster or Travelcard.
But, especially for the first time visitor to London, the popular hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are a great orientation to the city of London getting you up to speed on the layout and spotting new places of interest you were not aware of.
You will have invested a lot of time and money in getting to London so you will want to use your time as efficiently as possible.
The hop on, hop off sightseeing buses are perhaps unrivalled in their ability to give you a speedy informed orientation to the layout of London. They also help you identify new locations that appeal to you, perhaps pointed out by the on-board guide and also give the once over those attractions you had always planned on visiting.
These buses offer comprehensive coverage covering nearly all the main sights in London. The popularity of the buses means there is one along every few minutes and you get a grandstand view perched up on the top deck of the bus.
In addition to the bus tour you can enjoy a great Thames River Cruise on selected tours.
Tootbus (Original London Tour)
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