The National Gallery is among the most important attractions in London, and a must-see for those people who are passionate about arts. It is one of the richest art galleries in the whole world. You can appreciate its collection even if you are not an expert. The paintings, about 2300 pieces, cover a period from 1250 to 1900, and are located in different rooms.
For example, the High Renaissance is covered in the West Wing. where you can find paintings of Michelangelo, Rubens and El Greco among others. The most popular section is the East Wing (1700-1900), where Van Gogh and Monet hold court. The masterpieces of the National Gallery of London are very well known to the general public:
Venus and Mars by Botticelli – Source: www.nationalgallery.org.uk
Sunflowers by Van Gogh – Source www.nationalgallery.org.uk
The building is huge, you might need hours or even a couple of days in order to see all the paintings. Since its foundation in 1824 it gradually grew thanks to private donations. If you do not have much time the best thing is to select a particular section so that you can see what interests you the most. The restaurants are quite good, if you feel like taking a break and continue with your visit after lunch.
The most astonishing fact is that you can access the National Gallery of London for free, you pay for the extras (map of the building, audioguides…) and for temporary expositions. Beware, the gifts shops are particularly expensive. The audioguides (3.50 pounds) can be very useful, although for some languages they are not complete and do not have comments for all the paintings. You can give a donation if you wish, either on site or online
Some parts might be closed, which is why it is better to check in advance. There have been some proposals for the privatization of the museum, which resulted in strikes and the consequent closure of some parts, due to the lack of staff. In such a case you might want to leave your visit for the future if there are some parts you really wanted to see or just enjoy the rest, there is more than enough.
Being one of the most important museum of the whole world, you might want to take covers and avoid the queues. This can be done if you access the building first thing is the morning (it opens at 10.00). The busiest time if from 15.00 to 18.00 approximately, especially if a group of students is visiting the museum. For a more personalised visit, you can book a private tour, just check the link below:
Your Bicentennial Concierge remains at your disposal for further information.