Best Art Galleries in London

A quick guide to London's art galleries, including Tate Modern, the National Gallery, the Saatchi Gallery and more.

Whether you love Old Masters or modern art, contemporary sculpture or Impressionist paintings, London has an art gallery to suit you.

London's smaller art galleries are full of hidden treasures. Whether you're into fine art, sculpture, photography, contemporary works or arty events, you will find hidden gems to satisfy your artistic interests in one of London's more intimate art spaces.

Barbican Art Gallery

From acclaimed architects to Turner prize-winning artists, as well as stars of design and photography, the Barbican Art Gallery presents major exhibitions by leading international figures. You should also check out the Barbican's Curve, home to an exciting series of new art commissions created for the space.

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National Gallery

Free

The crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, London's National Gallery is a vast space filled with Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Find works by masters such as Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir, Titian and Stubbs. Some exhibitions require tickets.

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National Portrait Gallery

Free

The National Portrait Gallery near Trafalgar Square is home to the world's largest collection of faces and personalities, from Tudor times to the present. From Shakespeare to kings and queens, and icons of our time, it also has a photographic collection and one of the best roof-top restaurants in London.

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Royal Academy of Arts

Walk through the gates off Piccadilly to the Annenberg Courtyard and into the Royal Academy of Arts. Founded in 1768, it's home to an ever-changing programme of exciting, blockbuster exhibitions. Highlights include Queen Victoria's paintbox and the only Michelangelo sculpture in the UK.

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Saatchi Gallery

Free

Chelsea's Saatchi Gallery is all about contemporary art, with work by young artists or international artists rarely exhibited in the UK. It will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London upon the retirement of owner Charles Saatchi, who has donated the gallery's collection to the nation.

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Serpentine Gallery

Free

Small but perfectly formed, the Serpentine Gallery sits in the middle of Hyde Park. The gallery's free exhibitions showcase international modern and contemporary art by world-famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Chris Ofili. In summer, don't miss the annual architectural pavilion commission.

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Somerset House

Free

Somerset House is home to London's Courtauld Gallery with its collection of Old Masters, Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings, and The Embankment Galleries with a rotating programme of exhibitions dedicated to art, design, fashion and photography. Some exhibitions require tickets.

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Tate Britain

Free

From Pre-Raphaelite paintings to landscapes by Turner and Francis Bacon's distorted nudes, there's lots to look at in Tate Britain. The gallery is home to the largest collection of British art in the world. Eat at the gallery's restaurant and you can study the famous Rex Whistler mural between mouthfuls!

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Tate Modern

Free

Sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames is Tate Modern, Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art. Its unique shape is due to it previously being a power station. The gallery's restaurants offer fabulous views across the city. Some exhibitions require tickets.

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Whitechapel Gallery

Free

The Whitechapel Gallery champions contemporary art. Founded in 1901 to bring art to the people of East London, it is now internationally acclaimed for its exhibitions, education and events programmes. In the past, the gallery premiered artists such as Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

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