National Portrait Gallery
Charing Cross, London
2 Saint Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE
- Charing Cross Station (0.1 km)
- Leicester Square Station (0.2 km)
- Charing Cross Railway Station (0.2 km)
- Contact us:
020 7312 2490
59 reviews of National Portrait Gallery in English
Reviewed using Android. Get the app
Was very pleasently suprised how great this was…..free, not to rammed with tourists, great work and peices especially if like me you like contemporary art, sculputres and photography more than the usual traditional peices. Went for the Mick Jagger exhibition and it was worth the visit alone some very cool photos and prints. Top attraction for me.
One of my favourite galleries
I esp love the Tudor Gallery of
portraits (up the escalator)
Tip to show you how important
these paintings are :
choose one, then choose one small section of that painting
- say 20cm square - & look at the intricate painting contained within
that space. They were consumate masters! (there are few contemporaries
who can compare) I also love the yearly Portrait Awards : such talent
An oasis of beauty indeed. From the decor of the building, architecture, to the variety of art pieces and styles found.
Try to visit it before 12 as it's more quiet.
Also there's a cafe upstairs with a lovely view of London.
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
This is one of my favourite galleries in London! Although i have yet to visit The National British Museum (is that what its called?), so it could change!
I tend to go when there are special exhibitions on, my favourite being the BP Portrait awards as I love seeing work by up and coming artists.
After that, its nice to leisurely wonder around and discover areas you have never been to before.
They have a large tudor collection, which really excited me. It was great seeing portraits of those you have studied. It gives you a sort of nostalgic feel.
Overall, definitely worth a visit, and much more after that!
Reviewed using Blackberry. Get the app
My favourite museum in London!
I was impressed by the variety of portraits. I was expecting some boring 500 years old portraits with people that look and sit there, all looking alike. However, it was the totally different.
I especially liked the photographs from the last 25 years, you can tell that the artist liked to experiment and some pictures just need to be looked at. Admission is free here, just like almost everywhere in London.
It’s easy to reach by tube and a very short walking distance.
The upstairs bar is fantastic for a date - one of the best views of London - a real hidden gem! We recommend this on our website as somewhere that's perfect for an early days date:
This is great for the different exhibitions that are here during the year, luckily my employer is a sponsor so I get to go to the exhibitions for free. Often extremely packed at the weekends!
National Portrait gallery is my choice for quality temporary exhibitions. Their permanent display is eclectic, however it is the changing exhibitions that I return for. The last one I saw was a comprehensive collection from Annie Leibovitz, even though it was an extremely popular exhibition I didn't feel rushed through. Cheaper if you're a member, but the usual display is of course free.
One of the many things that makes London a great place to live is this gallery. Arranged with the oldest portraits on the highest floors, and descending to the most modern stuff on the ground floor (and with one feature exhibition always running), this gallery is free and provides a fantastic space to wander about in for an afternoon.
UPDATE If I could give them another star for the upstairs bar, I would. It's stunning. They win the accolade of serving the best mimosa I've ever had in London. Great views too. If only they had another door so the bar could stay open past 5 during the week. UPDATE
I don't come here often enough. Every time I come here I think that. And I still haven't seen the Annie Leibovitz exhibition. Dammit.
I took my family here at the weekend and they really enjoyed it. Luckily there are escalators and lifts about the place so my nan could get about the place - she doens't walk very quickly having just turned 70. It's just the right size to walk around without getting too tired.
The best bit of this whole place is the Tudors and Stuarts section at the top. It's really cool to see the real life paintings of stuff i used to read about in school history books.
Still can't believe it's free to come here.
I really don't come here enough.
This is one of my favourite galleries in London. The special exhibitions always lure me in; my favourites to date have been the works of Annie Leibovitz and the Wyndham Lewis exhibition last year. I always go to the annual portrait and photography competition exhibitions - the works are always incredible and diverse.
I love going to the little tea shop in the basement, right next to the book shop - it's the perfect escape on a rainy day.
For a more decadent treat, the upstairs resto/bar is a wonderful spot to take in views of London.
Another amazing thing? Apart from the special exhibitions, it's free to go - what's not to love about that?
A superb place. There's always something interesting to look at: amazing photography and wonderful paintings in a really lovely space set in the perfect location for nipping in on the way to somewhere else central.
I often stop by at the NPG without quite enough time to have a leisurely look around so will make a proper visit very soon, hopefully catching the Twiggy exhibition - I saw a glimpse of it during a quick visit to the gallery recently and there were some wonderful images there.
Despite the fact I have a friend that works here, I am here much less often than I ought to be; time after time I see news of a great show and say “I really should go and see that” to myself, and never do. However most recently I was tempted through its doors once more by the fantastic Gay Icons show, which if it’s still running by the time you read this you should definitely see, regardless of whether you bat for the pink team or not.
Overall, it’s the ideal place to be if you’re in the mood for a bit of cultural stimulation, happen to be in the area and find the adjacent National Gallery in Trafalgar Square a bit overwhelming. It was opened in 1896, and features portraits off the most famous people in British history, so if you like contemplating the celebrities of yesteryear, then what a suitable place to start. It’s also home to the annual BP portrait award, which is a free show. In fact there are loads of free shows here, making it a great ‘first date’ place as it guarantees to give you loads of fodder for conversation the moment you leave. It does late openings on Fridays (till 9pm) and has a charming café where you can snag some light bites.
The National Portrait Gallery was surprisingly good and I still don’t think I have gone to a better art gallery in London (although I should probably get to a few more exhibitions before I say that). It is a fascinating way of discovering about both history and art and also to look at how individuals have impacted on society and how they are rendered in the public mind. The tours are the biggest highlight as they are usually themed. My guide was so wonderful, as she showed us portraits of one particularly tragic figure she actually started cheering up. I was so moved.
The national portrait gallery, despite being in one of the best locations in Britain is somewhat overlooked by tourists and residents alike. However for those who do venture through its portico should expect a truly stunning collection of works, with the vast majority of British historical figures immortalised on canvass. As with all public museums in England entrance is free, which makes this wonderful collection all the more worthwhile in our current climate.
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