London has so many famous art museums and galleries – and entry to all of them is completely free. I can’t get over this. These museums are all institutions which are held in the highest regard (probably bordering on religious fervor) and could only be described as “sacred” for any lover of art. London is also brimming with contemporary visual art galleries well-known for exhibiting the latest and greatest, and they are all free! Take advantage! I originally tried to make this list highlighting the best 5 free art venues around the city, but that was impossible… there are just too many amazing spaces. These are our top 9 must-see visual art spots in London.
The Alternative Atlas top pick for so many reasons. A pristine small gallery space in Shoreditch with a great name and an even greater show program. 1 Baldwin St, London EC1V 9NU.
2) The Tate Modern
Too good for words… but the images speak volumes. Bankside, London SE1 9TG.
3) Marlborough Fine Art
Representing prominent international artists since 1946, this gallery has locations all over the world. We visited their Chelsea location on our last visit to New York; it was a highlight of our trip then and it is a highlight now! 6 Albemarle St, London W1S.
4) White Cube
We visited the Mason’s Yard branch and saw an excellent exhibition of work by Larry Bell. This gallery shows renowned contemporary artists and is often subject to controversy, but I’m way too busy looking at the artwork to pay any attention to that. 144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ.
5) The Saatchi Gallery
Stunning contemporary art space. We covered this beautiful gallery here. Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, London SW3 4RY.
6) National Portrait Gallery
Opened in 1856, this was the first portrait gallery in the world. Obviously they know what they are doing! St. Martin’s Pl, London WC2H 0HE.
7) Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Located on the same street as the previously mentioned White Cube, this gallery is a main dealer of British and international modern and contemporary art. We saw an amazing show of American abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell. Usually you have to pay to see Motherwell paintings, right? 28 Duke Street St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6AG.
This gallery rules! Located along Brick Lane among the street art and vintage shops, this gallery specializes in Lowbrow and Alternative. It was founded by artists and it is run by artists. Long live love! 26 Cheshire St, London E2 6EH.
9) The National Gallery
This palatial complex houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world. It had to be mentioned somewhere. Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.