Must-Visit Free Art Galleries Of London


From Central St Martins to the Slade School of Art, London has long been associated with creatives. Its tourist scene reflects this, guests of hotels near Hogarth Road can easily visit a great many galleries that explore everything from ancient decorative works to up and coming new artists right out of London educational institutions.

But what is most enticing for first time tourists staying at hotels near Earls Court is the fact that many of the city’s best museums and galleries are free to visit. Whilst touring and temporary exhibitions are most often ticketed, many of London’s galleries offer permanent galleries that can be visited for free. This blog will explore some of the most popular and the lesser known gems you can find across the city.

The National Galleries

Both the National Galleries are situated on Trafalgar Square, making them easily accessible for tourists staying in Central London. The National Portrait Gallery is dedicated to historic and contemporary works of art that depict influential figures from throughout British history. These include works depicting Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth, as well as pop culture figures like Damon Albarn and Judi Dench.

The National Gallery, founded in 1824, houses the official collection of art owned by the British government. These works range from between the 1300s and the turn of the 20th century and include European master works by the likes of Jan van Eyck and Vermeer as well as works by Leonarda da Vinci.

Tate Britain And Modern

The two Tate Galleries in London are located at different points along the River Thames. The Tate Modern, dedicated to 20th century and contemporary international artworks is located next to Blackfriars Station within the former Bankside Power Station. The Tate Britain is located in the Pimlico area of South London and is dedicated to British artworks ranging from between the 20th century and the Tudor era. Both are free to visit, but often programme temporary exhibitions that may cost money to see.

The Serpentine Gallery

Easy to reach from the Park Grand London Kensington, the Serpentine Gallery is situated almost on the border between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The gallery is dedicated to free-to-visit exhibitions often exploring the life and works of one artist. Mostly focused on the contemporary and modern, the Serpentine Gallery has showcased works by the likes of Marina Abramovic and Damien Hirst.

White Cube

Just a short walk from London Bridge station on Bermondsey Street, the White Cube is another contemporary art gallery that exhibits works and exhibitions by modern day artists. Situated on Bermondsey Street, this gallery has programmed the likes of Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, with strong associations with the 90s wave of “Young British Artists”.

The V&A

This South Kensington design museum may approach art through a wider lens, exploring history through decorative arts and design, but it can still be considered an art museum nonetheless. Easy to reach from hotels near Gloucester Road Tube Station, the V&A is the largest museum of its kind. It originated from Prince Charles, husband of Queen Victoria’s wish to create a cultural metropolis for the people of London in South Kensington.