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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 25 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

With uncounted masterpieces created by the artist-filled centuries since the Renaissance, alongside priceless works plundered from across the former British Empire, London’s art collections are both staggering and unrivalled. These, plus a thriving art scene today that continues to add modern pieces to the classics, make London an art-lover’s paradise.

The capital’s art galleries range from vast, palatial buildings filled with classical paintings, to edgy white-cube galleries where up-and-coming artists show their work.

Huge riverside museums might take up half a day as you explore dozens of themed galleries, ticking off bucket list works and learning about the evolution of painting and sculpture.

Look out for smaller specialist venues, too, and a vibrant street art scene, especially around East London.

Recommendations

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Courtauld Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Courtauld Gallery

Located in the elegant surroundings of Somerset House, the Courtauld combines temporary exhibitions with a permanent collection including works by Manet and Van Gogh.

Adult price: £13

Best for ages 18+

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National Portrait Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
People enjoying the art exhibits in the hall

A pictorial ‘who’s who’ of British culture past and present, from royals to pop icons, showcasing hundreds of years of history.

Best for ages 13+

National Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior view of the front of the gallery during the daytime with queue pf people outside

One of the world’s greatest collections of Western European paintings, with more than 2,300 works on display from Da Vinci to Monet.

Best for ages 18+

Photographers’ Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

exterior building of the Photographer's Gallery in london

This intriguing, under-the-radar gallery is close to Oxford Circus, its rooms devoted to the best in contemporary photography.

Adult price: £5

Best for ages 18+

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Queen’s Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

A bright red exhibition room with statues and furniture with gold accents

The main public art gallery of Buckingham Palace, the Queens Gallery exhibits works of art from the Royal collection on a rotating basis – there are usually around 450 works on show.

Adult price: £8.50

Best for ages 18+

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Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Exterior view of the building during the museum during the daytime

Founded by sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate, Tate Britain remains a treasure trove of classical and modern British art that’s second only to the National Gallery.

Best for ages 18+

Tate Modern

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
External view of the art gallery - a big oblong brick building with glass roof and a single large square chimney

This iconic, renovated power station on London’s South Bank showcases headline-grabbing Modern and contemporary art.

Best for ages 18+

Wallace Collection

London, United Kingdom (UK)

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Bucket List Experience
Main display gallery in the Wallace Collection Museum displaying fine art paintings on the walls

The art collection brought together by the first four marquesses of Hertford, the Wallace includes works by Titian, Velasquez, Rubens and Van Dyck.

Best for ages 18+

White Cube

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior front view, showing a single storey, square brown, modern-design brick building

Provocative and pricey works by modern British artists, displayed in one of London’s best commercial galleries.

Best for ages 18+

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Whitechapel Gallery

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior facade of the building, a former theatre

Elegant gallery that’s premiered world-class artists for over a century – from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, to British artists Lucian Freud and Gilbert & George.

Best for ages 18+

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More details >

Logistics

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

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Shoreditch Street Art Tour London

London

Shoreditch Street Art Tour London
Street artists from all over the World leave an ever changing kaleidoscope of energy and creativity on the walls of Shoreditch. Shoreditch Street Art Tours provides the best tours of London's street art. Explore the culture, the artists, the locations, the methods and the stories that have made Shoreditch being the greatest epicentre for street art in the world. Shoreditch Street Art Tours' principal guide Dave ran his first street art tours in 2008, no street art tours have been running that long. We are the top rated street art tour on Tripadvisor in London. Shoreditch Street Art Tour’s guide is a pure street art specialist who has spent nearly 20 years exploring, photographing, writing about and critiquing this exciting art scene. Shoreditch Street Art Tours will deliver an articulate and enthralling revelation of the best street art, whether it is huge murals, stencils, paste ups or small stickers.

Price: £20

Min age: 0

Rating 4.96 / 5 [302 ratings]

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The Original London Street Art Tour

London

The Original London Street Art Tour
Join this walking group tour to discover the London you won't find in the guidebooks. Travel to the heart of the vibrant East End with a local street artist or guide who is immersed in the local creative scene. On this 2-hour experience you'll discover some of the best street art in the world and understand the context of the art in in the capital's cultural and creative hub. Choose from one of two departure times when you book. We also offer a street art workshop after the tour if you like to try it yourself. Just check our profile to see our combined Street Art Tour & Workshop

Price: £20

Min age: 0

Rating 4.93 / 5 [154 ratings]

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Street Art Tour and Spray Painting Workshop in London

London

Street Art Tour and Spray Painting Workshop in London
You'll be taken off the-beaten-track to discover London's best street art, murals and hidden gems you won't find in the guide books! We'll walk the vibrant streets of Shoreditch and Hoxton, taking you into side streets and hidden alleyways to get under the skin of London's incredible street art scene. From huge murals and intricate stencils to finely crafted bronze sculptures and miniature masterpieces painted on discarded gum, you'll hear the stories behind dozens of works. The tour will finish at our creative warehouse space where your expert guide will teach you spray can techniques: How to spray paint free-hand, use stencils, and build up a final piece to take away with you.

Price: £38

Min age: 0

Rating 4.98 / 5 [72 ratings]

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Street Art Walking Tour and Workshop in London

London

Street Art Walking Tour and Workshop in London
Enjoy a 1.5-hour street art walking tour of some of the best street art in London, followed by a 2 hour street art workshop in which everyone is encouraged to make their own stencil and use spray paint to create their own street art masterpiece. The tour is led by a talented local street artist who will offer you a unique insight into this practice of art.

Price: £45

Min age: 12

Rating 4.97 / 5 [47 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

London

Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

view of houses of parliament at night

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination. 

Round-ups

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Round-ups that include this experience