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National Portrait Gallery

#39 of 1,589 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Neighbourhood:
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
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Address: 2 St. Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7306 0055
Website
Today
10:00 - 18:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Thu - Fri 10:00 - 21:00
Sat - Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No
Description:

This world-famous museum houses portraits of noted Britons from the Tudors...

This world-famous museum houses portraits of noted Britons from the Tudors to the present day.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 4,465 reviews
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    Very good
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    Terrible
Fascinating gallery and history lesson all in one!

Amazing to follow English/British history through the portraits in this beautifully laid out relaxing environment. Worth dropping in for half an hour on a rainy day or you could... read more

Reviewed 27 January 2016
Oliver R
via mobile
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4,465 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,683: English reviews
2 reviews
Reviewed 27 January 2016 via mobile

Amazing to follow English/British history through the portraits in this beautifully laid out relaxing environment. Worth dropping in for half an hour on a rainy day or you could spend a whole day here - entry is free with an option to donate so great value - you can donate whatever you think it's worth! I reckon it's worth at... More 

Helpful?
Thank Oliver R
Brussels
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2016

A wondrous array of beautiful ancient and modern paintings and photographs.It would be possible to spend several hours here. Tours, a serviced cloakroom which takes luggage and a restaurant are available.

Helpful?
Thank EmmaBrussels
Potters Bar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
195 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2016

I really enjoy dipping into one or two galleries when I am near Trafalger Square. We are very fortunate that the art galleries are free

Helpful?
Thank Teresa N
Preston, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2016

Fantastic portraits both old and modern.You do not need to be an art connoisseur to enjoy the exhibits. We had afternoon tea in the Portrait Restaurant which is situated on the 3rd floor and enjoys a panoramic view of the London skyline. Lovely sandwiches,warm scones and cakes served with an infinite supply of tea. Around £25 per person

Helpful?
Thank Peter R
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2016 via mobile

I am re-installing a review which was taken down for no other reason than the lack of e-mail address, which is very odd considering that I reviewed two other places of interest at the same time. What was once a cosy little coffee shop in the basement of the National Portrait Gallery, nestling quietly beside the bookshop, has been stripped... More 

Helpful?
Thank deirdre k
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2016

I have been planning a visit here for years but kept ending up at the National Gallery by mistake. Found myself in the area and visited on a whim complete with suitcase. Very efficient cloakroom attendant looked after coat, case etc. No pressure to donate but happy to do so when I collected my belongings after a fantastic visit. I... More 

Helpful?
Thank Sian A
Stamford UK
Level Contributor
133 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2016

I have been here umpteen times before but there is always something new to discover. The layout lends itself to a chronologlal wander through British history and the notes by the side of each painting help to explain the historical, cultural and scientific significance of each subject. A great place to spend a couple of hours and make you feel... More 

Helpful?
Thank ADH58
Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2016

Visit every time in London. So much to see and appreciate! Variety of paintings and sculptures. ! In particular loved the portrait of Kelly Holmes by Craig Wylie

Helpful?
Thank Lynn C
Morrisville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2016

With so many museums in London it's hard to choose which ones to visit during one's stay. This one, however, should be on the top of any visitor's list if you want to be able to trace the history of who's who in the lineage of the Royal Family, and in England as a country. There are beautiful and historical... More 

Helpful?
Thank RandiEJ2016
London
Level Contributor
82 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2016

Most of gallery is free. Room after room of portraits that are mostly interesting. The shop is a little overpriced & the restaurant on top floor quite expensive but boy, what views! A must see if a first time visitor to London

Helpful?
Thank sue f

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Staying in Trafalgar Square / Embankment

Neighbourhood Profile
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
With its iconic Nelson’s Column, majestic oversized lions and brightly-lit fountains, Trafalgar Square is not just considered the heart of this bustling London hub, but the very core of the city itself. Beyond this esteemed gathering place are more famous icons, as well as a disproportionate numbers of the city’s most popular cultural attractions including the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites are quiet lanes and antiquated pubs to discover, as well as riverside vistas to enjoy on the embankment. With a calendar full of celebratory events, any time of year is a fine time to visit.
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