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National Portrait Gallery

#37 of 1,480 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
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Address: 2 St. Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE, England
Phone Number: 020 7306 0055
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Thu - Fri 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat - Wed 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Fee: No

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 3,942 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 2144
  • 898
    Very good
  • 176
  • 27
  • 16
Spend a few hours or just pop in to look at the latest exhibition

Free to get in (sometimes an exhibition charges). I love popping in on a Wednesday evening for a look around (open late). Just off Trafalgar Square some great a paintings, good... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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3,942 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 3,261: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Free to get in (sometimes an exhibition charges). I love popping in on a Wednesday evening for a look around (open late). Just off Trafalgar Square some great a paintings, good little shop and the restaurant very pleasant.

Thank sunshineonleith123
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Not every portrait here is show-stopping but enough are to make this a memorable stop, and one you'll want to come back to. First we work our way through the power folks: Henry VIII, his wives (well, some weren't powerful enough to make it out alive, but there you go--gaze into Hans Holbein's portraits and see if you can tell... More 

Thank CarolitaNYC
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This is a superior gallery with works spanning many centuries and many styles. I like the annual BP portrait awards, always fascinating. The restaurant is fabulous, a special treat and since we went to the restaurant we make a whole special day out

Thank Jaxeeee
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Great for finding all sorts of people - Tudors to modern day. Arctic explorers or the like require more searching, but can also be tracked.

Thank debtaliesin
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
185 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

What can you say about this place, it is unbelievable that it is free to visit. There is so much to do and I received a tip from somebody who grew up in Westminster and lived locally, they told me to just visit one section at a time. Don't try and do the whole thing otherwise you will suffer from... More 

Thank Adrian B
Northampton, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

With a couple of hours to kill on a showery afternoon, what better place to visit? Unplanned, but a gentle wander through our history and culture. Well-laid out, plenty of seating when the legs needed a short rest and endlessly interesting.

Thank Anthony N
Rijeka, Croatia
Level Contributor
1,121 reviews
952 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 564 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The art gallery, established in 1856 and opened at this spot in 1896 as the addition to the National Gallery, holds a huge collection of portraits (almost two hundred thousand of them) and is like a “who-is-who” catalogue of the most prominent and influential British people. It is a very interesting museum, well-worth the visit and you definitely won’t be... More 

Thank Borzov
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
98 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This museum is located right next to the National Gallery. As the name suggests, it is mainly portraits taken right up until the 00s.

Thank kathleen f
British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
731 reviews
368 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 289 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My gal and I are avid museum goers and while she enjoyed this gallery I did not. The reason is simple: she has an extensive knowledge of many of the people whose portraits are on the wall while I do not. I didn't enjoy wandering around looking in even a passive way. If I had it to do over again... More 

Thank Codiak!
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,075 reviews
882 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 833 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Sadly my visits here are infrequent nowadays but I managed to attend recently for the 'William Eggleston Portraits' exhibition which is on until 23rd October. I had never heard of this influential American photographer before but spent two interesting hours viewing his work so didn't have time to view much of the gallery's vast permanent collection. Don't be fooled by... More 

Thank WMIM

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Staying in Trafalgar Square / Embankment

Neighborhood 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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