National Gallery, London

National Gallery, London (must see)

The National Gallery is a popular attraction visited annually by up to six million people. It houses one of the greatest collections of Western European art in the world spanning from 1250 until 1900, comprising the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Renoir, Picasso, Van Gogh, and many other greats.

Established by British government in 1824, The National Gallery started off with just slightly over 30 paintings or so. Today, it boasts a collection of more than 2500 pieces, two-thirds of which are private donations, and the rest have been acquired with donated funds including £50 million from Sir Paul Getty. Some of this cash has been used to expand the building, such as the Sainsbury Wing constructed in 1985.

Apart from viewing famous artworks, there are many other off-the-beaten-track things you can do at the gallery. One such thing is discovering the hidden Leonardo. For example, “The Virgin of The Rocks” piece. There, underneath the famous upper layer hides another layer painted also, quite possibly, by Da Vinci himself. If you go to room 66, you may then pride yourself on the knowledge that you have seen actually two pictures for the price of one:)

Also, you can try your hand at life drawing in a class with a real life naked model! Speaking of nudity, you might as well do some maths at the National Gallery counting nipples on display, just to keep yourself busy until the closing time. While at it, please note that between 11.30am and 2.30pm each day the gallery offers free 1-hour tours. These tours are a sort of “crash courses” in fine arts and British art history. Additionally, at 1pm the gallery runs specially-scheduled lunchtime art talks. Also, every couple of months the National Gallery holds late night Friday events on a variety of topics, such as Renaissance art, sugar crafting, calligraphy workshops, etc.

If you fancy a bite in the arty setting, why not do so in style, right here at the National Gallery. The local restaurant is quite unique in terms of serving Colchester native oysters alongside a regular choice of cakes, sandwiches, teas, coffee and more. The National Gallery has its own afternoon tea, the menu and the theme of which vary depending on the exhibition currently in place. Regardless of the menu, the scones are always present. The afternoon tea is served daily and no prior booking is required.

Why You Should Visit:
Free admission, and rooms upon rooms of gorgeous art from various artists (including some very well known ones). You can take pictures or you can take an audio guide.

Tip:
Aside from the main Gallery, there is also the Sainsbury Wing which is where large exhibitions and talks are normally held. There is also a shop where you can buy books on the artists and exhibitions, a refreshment area and plenty of seating.

Opening Hours:
Fri: 10am-9pm; Sat-Thu 10am–6pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of London, England within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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National Gallery on Map

Sight Name: National Gallery
Sight Location: London, England
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

Create Your Own Walk in London

Create Your Own Walk in London

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Covent Garden Walk

Covent Garden Walk

During this self guided walking tour around Covent Garden areas you will have a chance to visit such famous and interesting London attractions, as National Gallery, London Coliseum, London Transport Museum and many others. Don't miss your chance to explore the best of the Holborn and Covent Garden areas.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Bridges of London

Bridges of London

Thirty-three bridges span the Thames river in London. Each one has its own history and is worth seeing. This self-guided walk takes you to see ten historical bridges in central London.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 Km or 3.9 Miles
Charles Dickens Tour

Charles Dickens Tour

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Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles
Bloomsbury Museums

Bloomsbury Museums

There are over 240 museums in London and each year they welcome about 42 million visitors from all over the world. The Bloomsbury area features some of the world-famous and unique exhibitions the city has to offer, so whether you are a history buff or into arts, photography or cartoons, you will find something to suit your taste on this self-guided walk of London museums.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 Km or 3.6 Miles
Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Shakespeare's London Walking Tour

Just as his father John previously, who made way from his tiny home village of Snitterfield, Warwickshire to Stratford upon Avon to become a “gentleman”, William Shakespeare made his own way to London to become the greatest playwright this world has ever seen. The years spent in the capital largely shaped Shakespeare's writing and influenced his legacy. This walk covers the most prominent...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 Km or 3.2 Miles
Beatles London Walking Tour

Beatles London Walking Tour

Though all four members of the Beatles heralded from Liverpool, it's pretty fair to say that they were based in London – the centre of the UK’s recording and entertainment industry. Since early in their career, it had become obvious that they had to be as close as possible to their manager's NEMS Enterprises office, Abbey Road, as well as to the BBC and the beckoning world of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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