We have started our two piece post with the best science and history museums in London. But there are a lot more in the UK capital. Today we continue with some of the best places to see some of the most famous paintings in the world.
Art & Design
National Gallery & National Portrait Gallery
The National Gallery is one of the most visited art museums in London. It holds nearly 2000 masterpieces. Once inside you can see famous artists from the early and late renaissance, baroque, impressionism and post impressionism periods. Some of the highlighted artists are Giotto, Piero della Francesca, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Monet and Van Gogh. You can also visit the rooms of Dutch and Flemish old masters.
The National Portrait Gallery can be a very interesting place, as it holds the world’s largest collection of portraits of royals, scientists, politicians, celebrities. From all centuries to present days, portraits completed with all kinds of materials, you will find paintings, sculptures and drawings. In the permanent collection are shown portraits of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare and Steven Hawking.
Admission & Prices
National Gallery is opened every day from 10 AM to 6 PM and on Friday works late until 9 PM.
The National Portrait Gallery works every day from 10 AM to 6 PM and on Thursdays and Fridays until 9 PM.
Admission to both is free. Temporary exhibitions are charged separately.
The two galleries are side by side, so you see them all together. The following travel options are for The National Gallery, but you reach The Portrait Gallery in just 2 minutes walk.
By Tube or Train – The nearest stations are Charing Cross and Leicester Square. Also, Piccadilly Circus and Embankment are close.
By Bus- Routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 24, 87, 91, 139, and 176 stop at Trafalgar Square
By Car – if you’re a visitor of the city, you can use the public parking near Leicester Square or Trafalgar Square or hire a local minicab service.
The Design Museum doesn’t have a permanent collection, but it is very interesting place to visit. Depending on the time you are in London, you can see 2 or three running exhibitions in the museum. In the next six months the museum will change its residence into a new building in the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington. Right now there are three exhibitions to be seen:
The Cycle Revolution – overview of the history and future of the bicycle, newest models of bicycles and modern ways of production of eco-friendly and economic cycles.
The “Designer of the year 2015” – great, extraordinary examples of design and science working together. The display shows the essence of the newest design creations from all over the world.
The last one is “Designers in Residence” – designers working over the theme of migration. The Design Museum is worth to be seen, although it is a bit different from other London museums.
Admission & Prices
The Museum is opened daily from 10 AM to 5:45 PM. This museum has entrance fee – for adults £13.65, £10.25 students, £6.85 6-15s, under-6s free
You can reach the museum:
By The Tube – the nearest Underground station is Tower Hill or London Bridge
By Bus – You can take some of the following routes: 42, 47, 78, 188, 381 to Tooley Street 100 to Tower Gateway 225 to Jamaica Road RV1 to Tower Bridge
By Car- You can find parking at Gainsford Street, called Q-park.
Victoria & Albert museum is one of its kind. It is a huge space of seven floors of galleries filled with art from all over the world. From ancient Greece, Egypt, China, Japan to modern and contemporary curator displays, you will fill your eyes and hearts with beautiful objects and pieces of art. Inside the museum, you can see sculptures, jewels, crafted materials, interesting hand crafted clothes, textiles and even examples of the worlds fashion tendencies throughout the centuries.
Also works from glass, metal, wood and many more conventional and unconventional materials are exhibited. You can see Islamic and Buddhist art, mosaics, carpets. Important highlights are the Ardabil Carpet, the Iznik Ceramics, the Bed of Ware, Japanese Prints, The Three Graces, stunning toys exhibits, Furniture galleries, Gilbert Collection if precious materials and more.
Admission & Prices
V&A is opened every day from 10 AM to 5:45 PM and Friday from 10 AM to 10 PM.
Here the entrance is free, except for some temporary displays.
V&A is in Brompton, and you have a lot of options to reach it.
By Tube- The nearest stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road
By Bus: You can choose between a lot of bus routes. Some of the most used are: 14, 47, 414, C1, N74
By car- There is available car parking near to the museum – Union Cars at Harrington Road.
For every admirer of contemporary art, Tate Modern will be an extraordinary experience. The building has tremendous size, but still, is filled with more than 5 million visits per year, so a new wing was opened in 2012. Now Tate Modern is constructing another extension, which will start working in 2016. In Tate visitor can see contemporary art from the 20th century to present days and big names such as Marcel Duchamp, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst.
Aside from that, temporary exhibitions and installations take place in the Turbine Room in Tate. It is five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floor space hall for specially commissioned works. Some of the artists commissioned to exhibit there are Ai Weiwei, Tino Sehgal, Olafur Eliasson, Bruce Neuman.
Admission & Prices
Tate Modern is opened daily from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday from 10 am to 10 pm. Again in Tate will be free for you to enter. Charges are applied for major temporary exhibitions.
By The Tube- The closest stations are Blackfriars, Southwark and St. Pauls
By Bus- Buses that stop near to Tate Modern are: 45, 63, 100, RV1, 381 and 344
Saatchi Gallery is not actually a museum but is one of the most interesting places for art lovers. Saatchi Gallery has always been famous for its taste for contemporary art. Whether it is work of young unknown artists or established world famous names, you can find in there. Saatchi Gallery was opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi with the idea to present collected art to the public. In the beginning, it displayed mainly the US and minimalistic art. Today Saatchi Gallery supports contemporary art from USA Today and Royal Academy in London.
During the years of existence, the Gallery has featured artists like Donald Judd, Andy Warhol, Sol LeWitt, Lucian Freud, John Currin, Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Andreas Gursky, Ron Mueck, Cecily Brown, Tracey Emin and more. The gallery moved to its current location in Chelsea in 2008 and 2006 Saatchi opened online section and now it has more than 100 000 artist profiles. Saatchi gallery changes its current exhibitions in every 2 or 3 months, but they all can be seen free of charge. There is always something interesting ongoing.
Admission & Prices
Opening hours: every day from 10 AM to 6 PM, entrance is free
By the Tube – the gallery is in 5 minutes walk from Sloane Square station
By Bus- routes 11,19,22,49,211,319 go to King’s Road and 11,137,211 to Lower Sloane Street
Last week we published the first part of this excellent guide to London museums and art galleries which you can find here. Needless to say, we from Mobbo Taxi want to remind you that you can always book your Soho minicab service with us, 24/7!