National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
4.5
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM, 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Gallery is filled with the people, portraits and the life stories of a nation. Home to the most extensive collection of portraits in the world, visitors can explore over 220,000 works, from the 8th century to the present day.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: 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.
How to get there
  • Charing Cross • 2 min walk
  • Leicester Square • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Alexandra K
    London, United Kingdom303 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Welcome back
    Always a great gallery and the recent revamp has made it even better. The entrance is more open, the shop is a huge improvement and the layout works much better. The cafes are so much inicer. We saw the Paul McCartney photographs and that is huge - allow a lot of time just to go round that. A history lesson and an art exhibition rolled into one. Well, well worth a bisit.
    Hi Alexandra, I’m so pleased that you found your trip to the Gallery well worth the visit. I have shared your kind praise of the renovated Gallery with the relevant colleagues. Thank you again, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 12 July 2023
  • HBW
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Do visit the galleries and exhibitions.. Give the cafe a miss.
    Just visited the newly reopened NPG and it is still one of the best and most interesting galleries in London. Here you'll find the familar traditional portraits of kings and queens, the great and the good (and not so good) as well as more modern portraits ina variety of styles and media (paintings, photographs and bronzes) all beautifully curated. Staff are on hand to point you in the right direction. We went to the Paul McCartney exhibition which was absolutely brilliant. Definitely a must-see. The new cafe on the ground floor is probably best avoided. Whilst high prices are to be expected, there is no excuse for the abysmally slow service which led to a long queue. It was also very crowded. It doesn't seem to have occurred to them that many of their customers may have been travelling for several hours and just want a quick cuppa.
    Hi Helen, it’s great to hear that you rate us as one of the most interesting galleries in London. I’ve shared your helpful comments with the café team so that we can continue to review and improve the services we offer. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 14 July 2023
  • Sussexmum
    Pett, United Kingdom32 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very busy
    Took my 15 year old daughter who is a massive Beatles fan to see the Eyes of the storm exhibition, well presented and was very good. Pre ordered tickets, very small queue, was busy in there but manageable. Gift shop, card only and very expensive. The Gallery itself was absolutely packed out, which spoilt things for us, so we didn’t stay long but would definitely go back at some point. The toilets on entry are unisex which wasn’t great but found some others by cafe later, cafe was busy.
    It’s great to hear that you and your daughter enjoyed our Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm exhibition. We accept cash at the Ticket Desk as well as all of our gift shops and have separate male and female toilet facilities on the fourth floor. I’m so sorry to hear that the high number of visitors detracted from your visit. I hope you will enjoy your future visits. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 July 2023
  • Carol S
    Los Angeles, California421 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning Display of Portraits
    On our last morning in London, we made a quick decision to visit the National Portrait Gallery. We only had a little over an hour, which we quickly realized was not enough time. We knew we wanted to see several portraits so immediately went to them upon entry. The Brontë sisters, Queen Charlotte and King George were at the top of our list. We had previously seen many images of the Brontë sisters, but all had been edited. Seeing it in its natural state with the paper folds was amazing. I applaud the museum for not restoring it. From one room to the next held beautiful portraits of people from every walk of life. Since our time was limited, I took photographs of the detailed text so that I could read later. At opening, there were no crowds. There were school children on field trips but the sound of children and knowing they were there to learn history and the beauty of art did not bother me. I know how crowds can be as I experienced it at another museum the same week. For us, arriving at opening worked well. Next time I visit London, the gallery will be at the top of my list and I will allow hours to take my time. Oh, and as we hurried out to find the exit, we happened upon a wall of modern portraits. From Ed Sheeran to the surprise we least expected. It was the William and Kate portrait. We had no idea it was in this gallery. No crowds at this point. We were free to take our time looking at the beautiful, stunning details. Wow! A true masterpiece. Plan accordingly but don’t miss this gallery.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience at the National Portrait Gallery! I'm glad you had a chance to see some of our most popular portraits, including the Brontë sisters, Queen Charlotte and King George, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. I agree, there’s so much to see and do, and it's worth taking your time to appreciate the many different portraits in our Collection. I hope that you’ll be able to visit us again soon to explore more of the Collection. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 20 July 2023
  • Carole L
    Romford, United Kingdom243 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visit to the refurbished NPG.
    Wanted to visit following the major refurbishment. Art over three floors with plenty of information regarding the person or persons painted which is sometimes not readily available in other galleries I have visited. Freindly and helpful staff and I would recommend you book a time slot for your visit online to avoid disappointment. They do apparently have walk in opportunities but I would suggest booking as the gallery was very busy during our time there. It's likely you would need more than one visit to fully appreciate the collection. But it's layout allows you to dip in if your time is limited.
    Hi @833carolel, it’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your visit to the Gallery! I’m particularly pleased that you found our staff to be friendly and helpful. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 21 July 2023
  • Dave G
    Cardiff, United Kingdom22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Blown away by Eyes of the Storm
    I went to see the Sir Paul McCartney “Eyes of the Storm” exhibition. It was excellent. It was lovely to see ‘new’ pictures of The Beatles that were taken on such an intimate level. The space itself was excellent and the pictures were beautifully presented and the downloadable commentary by Sir Paul really gives it a personal feel. The shop is excellent too. I would also recommend the refreshments in the NPG cafe, excellent.
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed our Paul McCartney exhibition, along with our gift shop and café. I hope that you’ll return to see more of our exhibitions in the future. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 21 July 2023
  • Beverly M
    6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Busy, but beautiful
    We had booked a time slot to go in, and had to queque along with many people. I was a bit worried as we had a specific time, and went in later, but it was fine. They did a wonderful job redoing/rehanging the art. They used the massive space they have to good use. It was a bit crowded at times, and difficult to look at the art. But it is to be expected, as they just reopened. We will definitely go again.
    Hi @K3756EHbeverlym, it’s definitely been busy since we’ve reopened but it’s great to hear that you enjoyed seeing our newly presented Collection. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 July 2023
  • Nailligthgink
    50 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Return to an iconic place
    We’ve visited the NPG before, this was After The ReHang or whatever. The Tudor Gallery was very crowded so we missed that. The Paul McCartney photo exhibition was excellent. The burst from Blackand White Britain to technicolour America was inspired. Superb pictures which told a story of a time and place now gone. We had lunch which was good and The Audrey Green cafe was busy but we found a table. For out of towners like us, the prices were not scary. However, although I didn’t use them, I understand the gender neutral loos were nobodies’ high light. Perhaps a rethink might be in order. The NPG is a global resource and not every one has the same outlook on such personal facilities.
    I’m so pleased to hear about how much you enjoyed the Paul McCartney: Eyes of the Storm exhibition and the rest of the Gallery. I have shared your valuable comments about our toilets and facilities with the relevant department to inform their reviews. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 July 2023
  • Bluebellplasnewydd
    Cardiff, United Kingdom2,031 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Staring you in the face
    Recently revamped with a new entrance this gallery categorises paintings according to era. Some of the earlier works of art are impressive and give an idea how the well to do lived. However it is difficult to identify with the subjects. More interesting are the modern paintings exploring innovative techniques which may not be to every bodies taste. Admission is free and there were no queues on the Saturday afternoon when we visited.
    Thank you for your review of the Gallery, @Bluebellplasnewydd. I hope that you found lots to enjoy from the new displays. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 August 2023
  • Marita H
    Alma, Michigan58 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Always a classic place you don’t want to miss.
    We returned to the National Portrait Gallery this time to see the Paul McCartney photography of the early days of the Beatles. The special exhibit was far beyond expectation - in terms of size and overall quality. It’s a must-see for any Beatles fan. After the special exhibition we toured several of the permanent galleries, especially appreciating the portraits from the Tudor period. I’m an Elizabeth I fan and stood with delight before the originals of so many famous portraits of her.
    Hi @490maritah, it’s wonderful that you were able to see such a range of our Collection, from the Paul McCartney exhibition to our Tudor Galleries. I hope that you’ll be able to come back soon to discover even more. Best wishes, Emily
    Written 10 January 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 5 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles5,864 reviews
Excellent
3,696
Very good
1,662
Average
400
Poor
71
Terrible
36

Explorer58736901674
67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2024 • Couples
Visited for the first time today.
Such an interesting visit, learnt more history in my time there than any other museum I’ve visited.
Some very interesting people captured over the years.
My favourite portraits were King Charles and Wallis Simpson!
A lovely place to visit for free, you do make a donation and I imagine no matter how many times you visit you would always find something new to see!
Written 13 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jo M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Couples
The Portrait Gallery used to be my favourite gallery in London, but when we visited this week I was horrified to discover they now have unisex tollets. it's basically one room with a series of cubicles that can be used by either men or women. They were in a disgusting state. Men with a poor aim left the cublices with wet floors and any woman would feel intimidated to be the only woman in there with a strange man or men. Lazy and inconsiderate of the PG to treat women like this. Needless to say, we won't be going back.
Written 11 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Quartz I
Greater London, UK40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2024 • Solo
Entrance is free.

I would allow two to three hours to see everything.

The main plus point is the variety.

Intimate Tudor portraits, vast Regency oil paintings, Daguerrotypes, 20th century stylistic portraits and modern photographs.

A room about slavery was well thought out and detailed.

The contemporary photographs also; King Charles III, Little Simz, The Beatles...all represented as making modern Britain.

The painting descriptions were interesting and well written.

Their is also a basement Jazz cocktail bar called Larry's.
Written 10 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JBro259
London, UK14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2024 • Friends
I'm lucky enough to live in London and I come here a lot - so great that the customer care is as good as the amazing art on show and the deep dive Events and Exhibitions like "Six Lives" and "Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award 2024" currently on. NPG also has excellent offers like "Pay What You Wish", Concessions (for unwaged, seniors, young adults, people with disabilities etc.) and Late Sessions that make access more inclusive. Super helpful staff resolve any booking difficulties bumbling seniors like myseff encounter with online booking - all delivered in the beating heart of London's West End - What's not to like - go there - now!!!
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steven L
Minneapolis, MN20 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
What was once one of the greatest museums in the world has been whitewashed! The renovation is terrible. The lovely room which honored Queen Victoria has gone, there are only four portraits of the six wives of Henry VIII and it just doesn't have the style it once had. I used to say I couldn't decide which I preferred, this or the Victoria and Albert. Now there is no contest. I will never got the NPG again! What a loss!
Written 30 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elephantintheroom22
95 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Friends
Super galleries, something different every tine,. We do like the ambience of the ground floor cafe (named Audrey Green) but why no gluten free offering -like - nothing! At first the young servers said you can have salad and frittata but then changed their minds in time (thankfully as not actually suitable). Come on cafe owners why not a pre wrapped gluten free branded bar if nothing else, people do want to buy a bit of gluten free something with their morning cuppa!
Written 29 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

xerxes
Doha, Qatar2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Family
This was my first visit after many years. I have to say it didn’t seem radically different despite a recent multi year refurbishment. I would have loved to see more portraits from the 20 and 21st centuries and there is still the feeling that the gallery would benefit from a slightly larger space. Overall, a very pleasant couple of hours. One huge disappointment was the shop. The postcard section was really quite small. I mentioned this to my daughter and some other customers heard me and commented how disappointed they were too. I had the intention of buying - as I always used to - many postcards of my favorite portraits, but there was so much that there wasn’t a postcard of.
Written 23 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BigJeff L
1,197 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
As the gallery is so big it is a good idea to have a think about what you would like to prioritise. Choose the periods that most appeal to you and you can head straight for those rooms.
You will have FREE access to more than 40 rooms, spread over three floors. The vast permanent collection features paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures, dating from as early as the 13th century. Popular exhibits include portraits of Kings Richard III and Henry VIII (along with his six wives), and Victorian-era portraits of Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and the Brontë sisters.

The modern era is well represented too, including Diana Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge, actors including Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren, and other famous Brits such as The Beatles, Richard Branson, and J. K. Rowling.

Audio guides to the gallery are obtained at the entrance. They are small handheld units with small screens showing an interactive map. There are five different themed tours, lining together royalty, writers, celebrities and scientists. Alternatively, there is the 'highlights tour', offering you the opportunity to see the gallery's famous portraits without spending the whole day there.
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel1973C
Southampton241 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Family
On arrival, we were welcomed by very friendly, helpful staff which was very encouraging.
The cloakroom was very reasonable at a total of £5 for 2 small bags.
The gallery was well set out, although I think we missed some areas as it's so vast.
I was looking forward to seeing some of The Tudor artwork, but sadly put off by people who decided to shout very loudly at each other about the art, thus ruining the enjoyment for many others.
The artwork by Colin Davidson was very thought provoking and was both mine and my daughter's favourite part of the visit.
We also enjoyed elements of the photographic art.
The art gallery is a great place to visit and I do hope that people donate to it.
Written 10 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara R
2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Not far from Trafalgar square so not hard to find and on a bus line. Clean, spacious, bathrooms, has places to sit, portraits interesting. Some school classes were not well behaved and distracting. Great portrait of Prince William and Kate as well as of King Charles. Enjoyed portraits of historical figures that I had studied about.
Written 27 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Portrait Gallery - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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