7 must-visit free galleries in London

It’s hard to find a more culturally fulfilling place than London. Seemingly everywhere you look history jumps out and throws a metaphorical glass of cold Thames water in your face. Just walk out of a tube station in whichever direction takes your fancy and you are bound to pass numerous monuments and architectural treasures. If there is one downside to London’s massive cultural offering; it’s that you are often left feeling a lot lighter in the wallet. Exhibitions, followed by museums followed by dinner can quickly add up! Fear not though. As we have put together a list of 7 must-visit free galleries for anyone in or heading to London. We could have gone on, but the 7 listed will definitely put you on the fight track.

  • The National Gallery

You don’t get more London than the imposing National Gallery building looming over Trafalgar square. Constructed in 1838, the National Gallery is the original ‘for everybody’ art gallery. Today is no different; free to enter, a constant stream of world-class exhibitions and open daily from 10am.

  • The National Portrait Gallery

Just around the corner from the National Gallery sits the National Portrait Gallery; a slightly less serious and fun cousin to the former. Here you will find photos and portraits of famous celebrities by well-known artists (and often celebrities). The greatest achievement of the National Portrait Gallery is immediately creating a sense of affiliation with the subjects on display; mainly through recognition but also through medium and style.

  • Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery has a real community feel to it mostly due to there being no permanent collection. The gallery rotates exhibitions frequently between contemporary greats and local community projects. Add the fact that the gallery was purpose-built in a beautiful arts and craft style and is renowned for being light and spacious – plus it is of course free.

  • Tate Britain

Built of the wealth of the Tate families sugar business, Tate Britain is even more impressive having just undergone a major facelift. Home of the famous Turner Prize and containing countless masters’ works; Tate Britain really should be a big, underlined & bold note on all those who visit London’s list.

  • Tate Modern

On the other side of the river to Tate Britain and housed in an old power station sits Tate Modern. Like the modern building in which it resides, Tate Modern is dedicated to showcasing art from 1900 to present day. Almost as spectacular as the art housed inside Tate Modern is the approach from Blackfriars tube station; pass St Paul’s Cathedral the cross Norman Foster’s breathtaking ‘blade of light’ footbridge.

  • Wallace Collection

Set in the old home of the the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace the Wallace Collection is an amazing collection of art, spanning almost every conceivable medium. Paintings and sculptures are combines with armour and furniture to create a pretty individual setting. There are also free classes, talks and tours throughout the week – so be sure to check the calendar before planning a visit.

  • The Photographers’ Gallery

The Photographers’ Gallery, which is just off Oxford St, is the largest public gallery dedicated to photography in London. Here you will find a mix of amazing emerging talent and famous established photographers alike. There are always new exhibitions on and prints are always available – which may leave you a bit empty handed. This article was written by Nick Williams, who works as a marketing assistant at John Jones London. John Jones offer museum quality picture framing as well as professional art supplies from their Finsbury Park location.