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London on a Budget: 5 Art Galleries That Don’t Cost a Penny

London on a Budget-

London isn’t a city that’s kind to your budget. In fact, the capital is perhaps best known for its expensive London hotels and pricey food. As soon as you step out of that ~15 mile radius, though, the expenses seem to drop. Unfortunately, no other city in England has Art Galleries nearly as enticing as London. The good part is that most of these Galleries are completely free. You’ll be able to see some of the most impressive and interesting paintings and sculptures Europe has to offer—without paying a penny!

Here are my pick of the top five London Galleries you can see on a budget:

London Budget

Tate Modern Museum

Tate Modern
Bankside, London SE1 9TG

The Tate Modern is a popular tourist venue, attracting more visitors than any other modern art gallery world-wide. You’ll find a comprehensive collection of 20th century art that exhibits a variety of artistic movements. If you do visit the Tate Modern, be sure to pop by the atmospheric canvases by Mark Rothko which have a whole room dedicated to their marvel. The exciting gallery only gets better with the Tate modern Tanks performance space, adding a new dimension to the brilliance of the free gallery.

The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Home to England’s collection of European paintings and masterpieces, the National Gallery would certainly rank in the top five. Some displays you can’t miss are Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘The Rockeby Venus’ by Velazquez, a Spanish painting legend. The National Gallery has works ranging from the Middle Ages to French Impressionism, so it’s better if you plan what you want to see in advance. You could also take an audio tour which will help you learn more about the marvel of the Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

National Portrait Gallery

The collection of historical British people portraits in the National Portrait Gallery emphasizes the sitter as opposed to the artist. You will therefore get a range of portrait experience, from amateur to professional. The good part is that none of them lack in quality and expression. Personal recommendations are portraits of Henry VIII and Richard III, expressing history at its best. More recent 20th century attractions are the cultural figures of Paul McCartney and James Joyce.

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London, SW3 4RY

In Chelsea, the heart of London’s luxury and elegance, you’ll find a free contemporary art gallery providing Charles Saatchi’s pick of young and underground contemporary artists from all over the globe. Thought-provoking and challenging works like Google Street View’s enlarged photos depicting strange events really sets you in for a nice and entertaining frugal evening.

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX

London’s East End isn’t as familiar with modern art, which is what the Whitechapel Gallery aimed to change. Opened in 1901, the most established modern art gallery in the capital continues to surprise visitors by showing local talent through contemporary art. The London Open exhibits the most dynamic and intelligent work being created in the capital right now. The Whitechapel Gallery has come a long way from what it was 111 years ago—just showcasing Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock’s work. It continues to push the boundaries and expectations of local East Enders to this day.

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