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National Gallery

Last updated: 10 March, 2024

The hallowed galleries of the National are home to one of the greatest collections of Western European paintings in the world. There are more than 2,300 works on display here.

Step out of the bustle of Trafalgar Square into the palatial building to take a tour of the classics, from the Italian Renaissance to the French Impressionists.

Don’t miss

The star paintings not to be missed including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and one of Monet’s water lily paintings.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The National Gallery dominates Trafalgar Square, and is an easy walk from Charing Cross station (District/Circle lines) and Leicester Square (Piccadilly).

Entry is free, however, check if you need to book ahead before you go. Book ahead for special temporary exhibitions – they require separate tickets and often are booked out.

You can’t hope to see the gallery’s grand collection all in one. One of the free audio or guided tours will make the best of your time if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

When to do it

The gallery is open all year, seven days a week, with late opening on Fridays.

Aim to arrive just after the gallery opens or later in the afternoon, as it does get crowded in the middle of the day.

Who to go with: organised tours

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