London is one of the best cities in the world. The city is approximately 2000 years old, making it the home of several iconic landmarks. It is one of the most popular places in the world for tourists, and many of them visit the English capital numerous times. The truth is that there are so many things to see that it’s virtually impossible to visit everything in just one trip. Even some of the locals would agree that even living there doesn’t instantly mean you know the city like the back of your hand.
This is primarily due to the fact London is constantly changing and evolving, and you have to keep up with all its shifts and transitions to get the true feeling of the city. However, if you don’t plan on becoming a resident anytime soon or start creating a comprehensive map of London, you’re probably just looking for a list of spots where you can soak some culture during your temporary stay in London. Here are some of the ones you need to consider.
Located in the City of Westminster in London, Tate Britain is one of the most popular places in the world for art lovers. It is part of the more extensive network of Tate galleries, which includes the Tate Modern, Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool. The former is also located in London, while the latter are in Cornwall and Merseyside, respectively. Tate Britain is the oldest among them, dating back to 1897, and is one of the largest museums in England. Even during the post-pandemic days, when art galleries and museums around the world were struggling with low numbers of visitors, Tate Britain remained one of the most visited in the world.
Among the exhibits are Tudor exhibits, as well as much of the work of J.M.W. Turner. Other painters whose work is featured in the permanent collection of Tate Britain include Joshua Reynolds, William Blake, John Singer Sargent, Anna Lea Merritt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Annie Swynnerton.
The National Portrait Gallery
Housing an extensive collection of portraits depicting British people that have brought significant contributions to culture, the NPG was arguably the first gallery in the world dedicated solely to portraits when it opened in 1856. Forty years later, in 1896, the gallery relocated to its current spot, at St Martin’s Place, off Trafalgar Square. Since then, it has been expanded twice. As of 2012, around a third of the NPG’s collection, meaning 100,000 images, have become digitised. However, there’s something special about seeing the exhibits in real life, so you can’t miss visiting them when you’re in London.
Some of the unmissable paintings you should have a look at include portraits depicting Anne Boleyn, the ill-fated second wife of Tudor monarch Henry VIII, as well as her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. William Shakespeare, Anthony van Dyck, the Bronte sisters, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II and Ayuba Suleiman Diallo are some of the other highlights the gallery offers.
The British Museum
With nearly six million visitors arriving each year, the British Museum is one of the most popular cultural landmarks in the world. It hosts an extensive collection of over eight million pieces of art and historical artefacts. Apart from the permanent exhibitions, there are several temporary ones throughout the year and special shows dedicated to a particular art period or style. Sometimes, an artist gets a special show for their work. The admission is free, although you can leave a donation if the museum has impressed you, and it’s bound to do just that.
Because the British Museum is so large, you’ll probably need more than one day to visit it and take in all the cultural hotspots. You cannot do this if you’re not in the best physical condition. If you’ve dealt with a health complaint and your physician provided you with an incorrect diagnosis that worsened your situation, you should reach out to accidentclaims.co.uk. They can help you reach a favourable settlement so that you can continue your daily activities normally and get the compensation you deserve.
Some of the most notable exhibits include Roman gladiator helmets, the standard of Ur, art by Hans Holbein, Albrecht Durer, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt and van Gogh, the Sutton Hoo Saxon helmet and an impressive array of art pieces from Asia.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The largest museum of design, applied and decorative arts in the world, the V&A hosts a collection of nearly three million objects. It was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and it contains 145 galleries spanning roughly 5,000 years of art from ancient times to the present day. Visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, you can look at one of the most comprehensive collections in the world, containing many costumes, print and printmaking, furniture, jewellery, mediaeval objects, ceramics, glass and textiles.
The V&A museum owns one of the world’s largest collections of post-classical sculpture and the most significant number of items dating back to the Italian renaissance outside Italy itself. The departments of Asia include items from Korea, Japan, China and the Islamic world, among others. With nearly four million visitors each year, it is one of the most visited museums in the world.
Royal Academy of Arts
Founded in 1768, the RA is the oldest art institute in the whole of England. Known for its world-class exhibitions, including architectural design, photographs and paintings, the institution hosts artists such as John Constable, Turner and Tracey Emin. Based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, in the heart of West End. Entrance is free except for individual exhibitions. The purpose of the Royal Academy of arts isn’t just to show displays, however, but also to contribute to education and debates and a deeper understanding of the world of the arts.
When you visit London, it’s natural that you will want to have a good time, party, go shopping and visit restaurants. But if you’ve some free time in your schedule, you shouldn’t hesitate to fill it with cultural activities.