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Trafalgar Square (Trafalgar Square)
(44) 020-7747-2885 | www.nationalgallery.org.uk
HOURS/TIMESMon.-Thurs.: 10:00am-6:00pm; Fri.: 10:00am-9:00pm; Sat.-Sun.: 10:00am-6:00pm
PRICE (GENERAL ADMISSION)Free; Tours and Audio Tours: Adults: GBP 3.50, Concessions: GBP 3; Special exhibit prices vary
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; school holidays
RESERVE IN ADVANCEYes - for special exhibitions
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
HIGHLIGHTSFree Friday concerts; special exhibitions
TUBECharing Cross; Piccadilly Circus; Leicester Square
With collections on par with the Louvre and Uffizi (the gallery houses works by Botticelli, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Turner, and Van Gogh), the National Gallery is unquestionably a heavy-hitter on the classic European art scene. Taking in their mammoth collection of paintings from the 13th-19th centuries can seem daunting, but they have a fantastic range of tours, from easy audio do-it-yourself tours to kid-friendly, tailor-made, and "highlights" options, making it much more manageable. They also run special exhibitions, weekly film screenings, a lunchtime lecture series, and free concerts on Friday evenings.
GO HERE WITH
Art buffs; family; kids; friends; a date
WHY WE LIKE IT
Free, fantastic art–can’t get much better than that, though they seem to be trying with their excellent tour selection and event offerings. Since you can come in and out as you please, we recommend popping in for a quick look around or tour whenever you’re in the neighborhood rather than trying to tackle it all in one go.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The special exhibitions are super crowded and the number of school groups touring on weekday mornings is downright overwhelming.
GOOD TO KNOW
Besides the art, the café and restaurant selection on site is worthwhile, and the gift shop is one of the best in town–all well worth checking out. If you’re traveling with kids, look into their weekend family events and their kid-friendly tour options. Also, if you’re planning to attend one of their special exhibitions, definitely book tickets in advance– they sell out fast. No cameras are permitted in the museum.
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