The National Gallery London – A Quick Guide

Located in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London, this iconic building and gallery is home to nearly 2300 Western European paintings that date from the 13th Century through to the late 19th Century.

Admission Cost: FREE

Yes, it cost nothing to enter the main gallery and many people cannot believe that an art gallery with so much to offer is FREE!

The gallery itself was originally founded in 1824 and was set up to house 38 paintings that had been purchased by the British Government. These painting had been purchased by the British Government from a banker called John Julius Angerstein and at the time of purchase, the government had nowhere to exhibit the paintings. Up until 1838, the paintings had been displayed in John Julius Angerstein’s old house but where then moved to the Gallery in Trafalgar Square.

Today, the National Gallery is one of the most popular attractions in London and it is easy to see why so many people flock to the gallery from around the world to see the impressive collection of art. The collection of art now belongs to the public of the United Kingdom.

National Gallery LondonThe current building that know plays home to the National Gallery was designed by William Wilkins from in 1832 and it is the third building to house the gallery. Visitors to the gallery will see painting from so many world famous artists spanning many centuries. The building itself is stunning with so much space and offers the perfect home to compliment painting from such artists as:

Bellini – Botticelli – Cézanne – Gainsborough – Leonardo da Vinci – Monet – Raphael – Rembrandt – Renoir – Rubens – Turner – Van Dyck – Van Gogh

The list above is just a few of the well known artists whose paintings grace the gallery, which is why it attracts so many visitors throughout the year.

Throughout the year the gallery holds many different events and special exhibitions from various artists and photographers. The gallery also runs lectures and guided tours for people that would like to learn more about various topics. These lectures and guided tours are a fantastic source of information for many art enthusiasts and students and prove very beneficial to help expand their knowledge and understanding of art.

National Gallery London Tours

Many people choose to simply make their own way around the gallery and take in the paintings in their own time. However, the gallery does run tours throughout the day and there are also audio guides that are available from the museum, if visitors wish to use the facilities. Holders of the London Pass receive a FREE Audio Guide at the National Gallery. So, if you are a holder of the pass, don’t forget to ask for your free audio guide.

National Gallery Opening Times

The National Gallery London is open to the public 361 days a year and the opening times of the gallery are displayed below:

Opening Times:

Daily: 10.00 – 18.00
Friday: 10.00 – 21.00
Please Note: The Gallery is closed on the following dates: 24th, 25th & 26th December and 1st January.

National Gallery Shop

There are several shops in the gallery and they are located at the Portico and Getty entrances of tyhe Gallery and also in the Sainsbury Wing. The shops provide visitors with the chance to purchase a wide selection of gifts and items that are related with the collection of paintings and works in the gallery. Visitors can also purchase postcards and prints of any of the paintings that are displayed in the gallery.

National Gallery Restaurant

The National Gallery restaurant is known as the ‘National Dining Rooms’ and offers visitors a wide selection of regional dishes. The restaurant also offers a children’s menu and all day bakery.

Restaurant opening times: 10am–5pm, Fridays 10am–8.00pm

If you would like to book a table, you can do so on this number: 020 7747 2525

National Gallery Café

The café offers a selection of European dishes throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The café also has a ‘Take Out’ option from its self service area.

Café opening times: Monday to Friday 8am–11pm, Saturday 9am–11pm, Sunday 9am–6pm

If you would like to book a table for dinner, you can do so by calling this number: 020 7747 5942

Expresso Bar

The gallery has a great little self service Expresso bar that offers a selection of coffee, cakes, pastries and baguettes. It also has a touch screen facility that allows you to view the paintings displayed in the gallery.

Opening times: Daily 10am – 5.30pm, Friday 10am – 8.45pm

Nearest Stations To The National Gallery London

Getting to the National Gallery is very easy and vistors have a number of options. The easiest way to reach the gallery is by using the Tube and there are several Tube stations close to the gallery.

Charing Cross

Leicester Square

Piccadilly Circus

National Gallery London Address

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Tel: 020 7747 2885

National Gallery London Map

The map below will help you locate the location of National Gallery:

View Larger Map

Learn more about the history of the National Gallery London


The National Gallery in London, is one of the top 5 most visited museums in the world. The British Museum, which is in London, is also listed as one of the top 5 mosted visited museums in the world. Both of these museums are FREE admission! So, if you enjoy visiting museums and you are looking for places to visiting during your time in London that are free of charge, these to museums are great places to visit, especially if the weather is not so good outside. The National Gallery is one of those museums that you can very easily spend a lot of time in without realising it. It is advisable to make free a good half day or even a full day to ensure yo see everything in the gallery and even then, you may need to make a second visit!

The gallery is very well set out and the building is spacious. It is great for people of all ages and all in all, the national Gallery London is a great day out for individuals, couples, groups or families and it costs nothing!