NATIONAL GALLERY ULTIMATE GUIDE
Everyday: 10:00AM to 6:00PM
Time Needed: 4 hours
Fridays: 10:00AM to 9:00PM
With the likes of Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Monet, and Van Gogh lining its walls, it’s no wonder why millions of art lovers flock to the National Gallery in London each year.
Not only is the National Gallery one of the most famous art museums in the world, it also contains some of the biggest and most diverse painting collections on the planet, with artwork from the French Impressionists, the Italian Renaissance, the late medieval period and much more.
Located in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery’s location was chosen specifically because the historic square is considered by many to be the “heart” of central London. Originally, however, the National Gallery was located in a small Pall Mall townhouse which was owned by John Julius Angerstein (whose 38 paintings were the first to be added to the gallery), but due to the collections’ massive expansion, it was eventually moved to Trafalgar Square in 1838.
Not just limited to artwork, today the National Gallery hosts numerous temporary exhibits throughout the year, as well as family workshops for children, and even regular concerts.
Some of the many world-famous works of art you can expect to see at the National Gallery include:
If you want to purchase an audio tour, it's cheaper if you combine one tour with the Collection audio tour package.
If you like podcasts, then make sure you download the National Gallery podcast for more background information about the art that is currently displayed, as well as tours you can listen to during your visit.
Perhaps it may go without saying, but reserve at least half an hour before or after your visit to the museum to check out Trafalgar Square; (and make sure you snap some photos of Nelson's Column, one of the most iconic landmarks in London!)
There is a National Gallery Membership which costs £50, so members can get free entry into exhibitions for 12 months, and also take part in Members'-only events and special offers.
London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom (See map).
The nearest station is Charing Cross (which is a one-minute walk away) and Leicester Square (which is a three-minute walk away).
The nearest station is Charing Cross, which is a three-minute walk away.
You can reach the National Gallery via routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 24, 87, 91, 139, and 176, all of which stop at Trafalgar Square.
Recommended visiting time is around three to four hours, but you may need and/or want to reserve the entire day for exploring the galleries in their entirety.
Photography throughout the National Gallery is usually allowed, but for personal and non-commercial purposes only. Photography in the exhibitions as well as the use of flash photography, tripods and selfie sticks are strictly prohibited.
Be aware that you won’t be allowed to carry any bags on your backs while visiting the gallery, but you can leave your personal items in the cloakroom for a small fee.
If you’re worried about missing any important artwork and/or you’re short on time, The National Gallery provides a variety of audio tours which focus on a specific topic or theme:
If you want to purchase an audio tour, visit one of the Audio Guide desks which are located at the Sainsbury Wing Level 2 and the Portico Entrance.
You can also download and print out different “trails” from the museum’s official website which lead you to the various collections in the museum; however, you will need to print off the documents at home or at a nearby internet cafe as the Information Desks will be unable to print them for you.
The National Gallery is free to enter, and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (except on January 1st, December 24th, December 25th and December 26th). The National Gallery stays open later on Fridays (until 9 p.m.)
The National Gallery hosts ten-minute talks by art experts which take place from Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. The talks last ten minutes and cover specific topics, artwork, themes and artists, depending on when you visit; (for more information check out the National Gallery’s official website).
There are also free daily guided tours which take place at:
The Cloakroom is open every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and costs:
The National Gallery audio tours cost: