20 Best Art Galleries in London

London is heaven for anyone who appreciates all forms of art.

From the numerous art galleries and museums in London, many of the best ones are free to enter and house some fabulous collections and exhibitions of the world’s finest art.

Barbican Art Gallery Gallery

An art institute for serious art lovers, the Barbican Art Gallery opened in 1982 is a place to appreciate and explore art, architecture, design, fashion, film and photography. Its Curve Gallery is free to enter.

Dulwich Picture Gallery

The Dulwich Picture Gallery in Southwark is the world’s first public art gallery that was purpose-built and established over 200 years ago. It is home to historic Baroque paintings from France, Spain and Italy as well as portraits from Tudor Britain.

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art

Located in London’s New Cross, Goldsmiths University is known for its artiness and they have set up a contemporary arts institution in a Grade II-listed building that used to be a Victorian bathhouse.

Hauser & Wirth

Hauser & Wirth is an internationally renowned chain of galleries which happens to have its London branch on Saville Row in Mayfair. They have exhibits of modern art from both new and professional artists from all over the world, which is displayed across two exhibition spaces; the North and the South Galleries.

Hayward Gallery

If you like to hang out in cool places in London, then the Southbank Centre will not leave you disappointed and the Hayward Gallery is no exception, with its world-famous contemporary art exhibits.

Museum of London

A trip to the Museum of London in Barbican is a great idea for an educational excursion as it is the venue of nine permanent galleries that depict the history of London, from Roman and Medieval times, and highlight historical events such as the Great Fire of London.

NOW Gallery

A trip to the Greenwich Peninsula will take you within the vicinity of the NOW Gallery. Made with a seven-metre tall glass facade, each year this groovy and artistic space houses three solo shows, as well as events including live art and music performances.

Royal Academy of Arts

Located in Piccadilly, Mayfair, the Royal Academy of Arts is one of London’s oldest art galleries which has been running since 1768.

Saatchi Gallery

Head to the Duke of York’s Headquarters on King’s Road where you will find the Saatchi Gallery, which hosts some the London’s most visited art exhibitions.

The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square is London’s first-ever public art gallery and Britain’s first home for abandoned children. The refurbished building still features original Rococo interiors from the first Foundling Hospital built in 1741.

The Guildhall Art Gallery

The Guildhall Art Gallery houses a collection of art collected by the Corporation of London dating from 1670 as well as the ruins of a Roman Amphitheatre which was rediscovered in 1988 by archaeologists.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery, located in the piazza of Trafalgar Square, was founded in 1824 and houses a stunning collection of more than 2,000 Western European works with masterpieces from the 13th to the 18th century.

The National Portrait Gallery

Observe pictures of aristocracy throughout the years in the National Portrait Gallery located at St Martin’s Place, near Charing Cross.

The Serpentine Galleries

While on your way through Kensington Gardens, you might like to pop into the Serpentine Gallery or even the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, which is the Serpentine’s little sister and used to be a gunpowder store back in 1805.

The Serpentine Gallery showcases some beautiful contemporary art and architecture, as does the Serpentine Pavillion.

The Tate Britain

The Tate Britain London art gallery in Bankside houses a permanent collection of historical British art from 1500 to the present day and hosts special exhibitions and events. Like the National Gallery, it is home to some truly beautiful art.

The Tate Modern

The building of the Tate Modern which is also located on Bankside, is amazing and well worth a visit to appreciate even its architectural structure alone. The Tate Modern is the most popular art gallery in the world and the most-visited tourist attraction in the UK. Here you will find ever-evolving modern art which dates back only as far as the 1900s.

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection is a London museum in Marylebone with a world-famous collection of fine and decorative European arts and artefacts from the 15th to 19th centuries including porcelain, paintings and furnishings.

The Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection is a museum on Euston Road where you can explore a unique mix of exhibits including medical artefacts and artwork focused on the connection between life, medicine and art.

The Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery was founded in 1901 and is located on Whitechapel High Street in Shadwell. This modern art gallery in East London presents contemporary and 20th-century art from big names such as Pablo Picasso.

Zabludowicz Collection

The Zabludowicz Collection in Belsize Park is an amazing contrast of contemporary art showcased in a Grade II listed Methodist chapel building over 150 years old. The historical architecture combined with the modern mastery of the artwork on display makes for a fulfilling and enriching experience for all who view it.