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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 30 April, 2023
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

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.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
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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The National Gallery of London - Exclusive Guided Museum Tour


The National Gallery of London - Exclusive Guided Museum Tour
Explore a world-class art collection with our energetic guides during this 2.5-hour exclusive guided museum tour of the National Gallery. We will discuss the museum’s most prominent paintings so that even first-time visitors can appreciate these iconic works

Price: €105

Min age: 0

Rating 5 / 5 [51 ratings]

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Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

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