Royal Academy of Arts
Royal Academy of Arts
4.5
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Founded in 1768, this thriving center of artistic excellence is the oldest fine arts institution in Britain, whose exhibitions attract over a million people each year.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Top ways to experience Royal Academy of Arts
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Mayfair
Set beside some of London's best parks and home to world-class galleries, luxurious hotels, and famed thoroughfares, the ultra upscale Mayfair is one of London's most exclusive haunts. Here the shopping is haute, the dining is exquisite, and the nightlife is vibrant. A casual stroll through the area’s chic streets will reveal that Michelin stars and chauffeured cars are practically the norm here. Even if you're on a tight budget, this exceptionally well connected swath of Central London is worth exploring, if only for the chance to take a peak at the goings on of upper crust English society.
How to get there
  • Green Park • 4 min walk
  • Piccadilly Circus • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • AmbridgeGirl
    London, United Kingdom638 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent exhibitions.
    Visited the Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers exhibition and the Summer Exhibition. Enjoyed both exhibitions which were both very different but excellent. It was quite busy but not too crowded. Lots of staff around to help. Bought SGDLTR posters which will be framed. Highly recommend.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 15, 2023
  • HINA W
    Islamabad, Pakistan6,566 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Art for everyone!
    I believe that is a truly superb art institution. It was the first official art school of Britain. It holds some wonderful temporary art exhibitions. Prominent among these are the Summer Exhibitions which showcase the works of prominent as well as upcoming artists. The Academy is located in the historic Burlington House in Piccadilly. The building has beautiful statues on its facade. I love it because Free Art was opened to public for the first time here. This was done to increase the art appreciation in the common man. At times works of masters like Gainsborough and Michelangelo are also displayed in this institute. Travelling exhibitions of Greek and Roman Statues are also held here. You have to buy the tickets for these special exhibitions.
    Visited August 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written July 12, 2023
  • Rajesh Parmar
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom1,307 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Summer Exhibition buy a wine and walk around the show too.
    I came to see Summer Exhibition. I got off at Green Park underground station just few minutes walk. I did like it very much also There give me a mini book with number of the art and prices. Other room you can buy wine and walk around the room with wine in your hand. I did enjoyed the show very much.
    Thank you for your lovely review. I'm really pleased you enoyed the show. We look forward to welcoming you back. Many thanks, Kate
    Written November 7, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 2, 2023
  • Museuman
    London, United Kingdom22 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressionists on paper -- and in reality.
    Remarkable to see so many familiar compositions, but on paper rather than canvas. As my special interest is cross-cultural influences there were a few high points. Along with the obvious Orient-inspired delights of Degas and Van Gogh, there is the less legendary Jean-Louis Forain. Well known for his Japanese influences, his fan painting owes a debt to Chinese tradition as well. It also has a very seasonal look. The dog is especially charming and sums up the title of the work “A walk in the snow” (circa 1885).
    Thank you for your review. I'm pleased you enjoyed the exhibition - I love the work of the dog too! I hope you are able to visit us again soon. Many thanks, Kate
    Written February 5, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 29, 2023
  • Menekag
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam1,470 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous architecture and an amazing place for art lovers
    One of my favourite places in London despite not having too many pieces in the permanent collection. There are a few note worth paintings and a michael Angelo sculpture but not too many. There were a couple of exhibitions when we visited but they didn’t intrigue me enough to visit. That being said, I followed course a couple years back and that was just an amazing experience. I love visiting their gift shop. Always find little gift items and souvenirs.
    Thank you so much Meneka. I hope you are able to visit us again soon. Many thanks, Kate
    Written February 5, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 11, 2024
  • andyh67186334
    Coalville, United Kingdom6,854 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Unexpected Break From the Rain
    Even in August you cannot escape heavy showers of rain in London. I was walking along Piccadilly and sought refuge inside the Royal Academy Of Arts. The building is a magnificent piece of architecture Bothe on the exterior and interior of the building. The Academy is free to enter apart from special exhibitions where a charge is made. There are some great free exhibits to view and a cafe for coffee and cake. Well with a visit if you are on Piccadilly.
    I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. I hope you can come back again (whether rain or shine!) Thanks, Kate
    Written March 6, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written March 2, 2024
  • Jannerbloke
    Plymouth, United Kingdom12,664 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Two spectacularly good experiences.
    Came this week to catch the Impressionists on Paper during its last week, and the beginning of the Entangled Past exhibition. Not remotely disappointed, both were a fresh take on important areas and not surprisingly there were busy crowds but not so great as to seriously inhibit a proper view of everything. Set aside at least an hour for each to absorb and get the best of it. Regret we we didn’t have sufficient energy or time to look at the Kauffman. Just as well the Friends catering and hospitality works so well here. The Tavares Strachan sculpture in the entrance courtyard, ‘The First Supper (Galaxy Black)’ is a perfect greeting and wonderfully executed huge piece as you come in off the street.
    Thank you for your lovely review! Many thanks, Kate
    Written March 6, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 5, 2024
  • Sue
    20 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful exhibition and incredible building
    Came in to see Impressionists on Paper. Beautiful exhibition, good descriptions in the guide book. Quite busy but probably because it closes soon. This is also a very interesting building to look around with incredible architecture inside and out. Only slight criticism was being charged a ‘service charge’ in the poster cafe when we had queued at the counter to order two teas, which we then had to stand in the corridor to drink as no spaces available to sit.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 6, 2024
  • Bluebellplasnewydd
    Cardiff, United Kingdom2,026 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressionists on Paper
    This is an impressionist "light" exhibition with charcoal and pencil drawings not devoid of colour but without the magnificence of the traditional paintings. Even so the various artist's style is easily recognisable. The exhibition is well set out with adequate but not overwhelming descriptions on the wall. There are 3 large rooms but in some ways a fleeting view is needed. So it will not really take more than an hour to view. It was not crowded when we visited on a weekday morning.
    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I'm pleased you enjoyed the show. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Many thanks, Kate
    Written March 18, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 8, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,216 reviews
Excellent
1,275
Very good
577
Average
195
Poor
92
Terrible
77

Simonr1295
London, UK364 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
Brilliant show, in a brilliant setting. There is a huge amount of utterly brilliant work to see in this exhibition. Picasso’s complete mastery of drawing, etching, drypoint, aquatint and all other forms of printmaking is almost incredible. But perhaps the most telling element is a film by Clouzot of Picasso drawing in felt tip, shot through the reverse of the paper, so you see the picture emerging in real time.
Written February 25, 2020
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.

Alessandro B
18 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
Disappointing.
As soon I entered the courtyard I was asked what I was doing there. When I told the young lady I had a ticket for 3pm she let me walk to the next lady who was checking tickets. It was 2:45pm and she suggested we should have a coffee before joining “the queue”. I replied that I didn’t want to have a coffee and I’d be happy to join the queue. There was no queue and we entered the exhibition straight away. All was fine until around 3:30pm when various announcements were made for us to move on swiftly as the RA would close at 4pm. I found this very annoying and at one point questioned one of the staff members as to why we were being asked to move quickly. His reply was that they wanted to “stagger people leaving the RA”. I found this really ridiculous as there were indeed very few visitors but acutally an incredible amount of staff. So I left the exhibition at around 3:50 went to the toilet where there were about 4-5 staff members ensuring that only one male and one female would be entering the facilities at one time. Once outside in the courtyard, I sat down. I I noticed an elderly lady, perhaps in her 80s, who had just purchased a coffee. After a few minutes she was approached by a staff member and told to drink up quickly.
So I’m afraid my trip to the RA was very disappointing.
If you’re not able to treat people with respect I suggest you close again
Written July 19, 2020
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.
Dear Alessandro, Thank you for your review. I am so sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your visit and that you felt in any way rushed through the exhibition. As we near closing time, our team pro-actively messages visitors. This is not intended to make you feel uncomfortable - more to enable you to make best use of any time remaining. As you mention we do have a higher ratio of team members to visitors than normal. This is to ensure a smooth experience for all of our visitors during such challenging times. Although our feedback has been excellent, we do seem to have gotten it wrong during your time with us. I apologise for any distress you have been caused. Re-opening the RA has been a pleasure - as has welcoming back our Friends and our visitors. Of course there are always processes we can improve upon. And we review our operations daily. Thank you for sharing your feedback, for helping us to improve further and for providing us with a chance to respond. Although you were disappointed I hope that you will be able to visit us again. Wishing you and yours well. Many thanks, Kate
Written August 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Annie F
UK76 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We had a timed ticket for the Picasso exhibition and arrived at the RA at about 10.20 on 25 February with an overnight bag so we didn't have to return to our hotel before catching the train home. I'd noted the size restriction on the website and took a bag that fell within the size constraints. It had a handle to roll along and the lady on duty just said she couldn't take it but in a supercilious, unpleasant and unfriendly manner. I pointed out that that i had checked the size limitation before we came. Without a word she took the bag onto the counter and tried to measure it, but didn't make any comment. She did accept it so obviously it fell within the parameters, but again, not a word from her. A very arrogant manner. Even it the bag were refused, it should have been possible to do it in a pleasant manner. Different staff were on duty when we collected the bag, younger, more enthusiastic and very pleasant so maybe the lady we saw found the job of cloakroom attendant very much beneath her? An unpleasant start for our first visit. This may seem a trivial point, but first impressions matter!

We loved the exhibition - so much to see - and found all other staff very pleasant.
Written February 25, 2020
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.
Thanks for your review Jenny. I'm pleased you enjoyed the show. I'm very sorry to hear that a team member was rude to you. If you'd like to discuss this further please feel free to email me directly on kate.topham@royalacademy.org.uk - I hope you are able to visit us again soon. Many thanks, Kate
Written February 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jannerbloke
Plymouth, UK12,664 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Came on a Wednesday just after lunch to see the comprehensive exhibition Francis Bacon - Man and Beast. We hadn’t booked a time slot, nor are we friends or members but the effect of the slot system meant that the place wasn’t crowded and on enquiry at the desk we were able to get in straightaway. The whole place is upbeat, helpful and friendly. There is now a sort of snack facility in the courtyard so if you want a bite or drink before or after (usually people waiting to meet friends) and there is the restaurant inside but you’d probably need to book. Bacon entrance prices were a bit over £20 but not only is this apparently the best and most extensive display of his work ever but the Academy has an extensive permanent and impressive collection of other art which can be viewed entirely free.

The Bacon did not disappoint. It was well spread through many large rooms. The gentle no pressure flow of visitors gives ample space and time to view and read a very well curated spread. He is with Freud, Auerbach, Hockney etc in the top flight of postwar British artists in the world standings. His techniques, his iconoclasm and the power of the images do nor require visitors to have a vast grounding in fine art or history to be deeply effected.

Never spent time in the RA shop before. Exhibition and Bacon related stuff on the tables but those striking statement huge high wall bookcases are a bit intimidating and literally put vast swathes of tantalising books beyond reach. The second room is in parts a bit dinky and fluffy but then some people like that.

We had a good visit. The building and institution or welcoming and appealing. The staff were all upbeat and friendly even though they managed to coax us towards the benefits of membership including offsetting the days tickets and bookshop discounts. We haven’t been seduced yet but we will be back again soon. The Whistler extravaganza is not far off.
Written February 17, 2022
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.

Lee K
Rome, Italy65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
The Summer Exhibition never fails to please. The exhibition is always well stewarded and this year is no exception. Lots of staff to answer any queries about the venue and see your safe access.
The exhibition itself never fails to amaze, the exhibits cover all aspects of art, some professional, the majority amateur.
The whole experience is well worth the entrance fee and I always give a donation which supports the future development of art in our country.
Anyone interested in art please go!
Written October 1, 2021
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.
Thank you for your lovely review. And for your generosity in donating! We look forward to seeing you again soon. Many thanks, Kate
Written October 14, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

markwilliams62
London, UK53 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Went to see the David Hockney exhibition full of anticipation having travelled into London especially for it. But left very underwhelmed.
Not, I hasten to add, by the artwork. It was sublime. A joy in fact.
But the staging leaves so much to be desired and simply doesn't do the artwork any justice whatsoever.
The exhibition is crammed into two small rooms at the back of the building. The pieces are mounted one above the other and tightly packed. There are no descriptions for each piece (partly because there isn't much spare wall space) and the only information is a number corresponding to each piece which are listed in the small booklet you are given as you enter. Sadly the numbers just correspond to the date each piece was created. No further information is provided at all.
A cynic might say this is because they want you to buy the book!
A real shame that the RA chose to stage such an important artist's work in this way.
Unless you can go at a very quiet time and are prepared to be completely underwhelmed too, I'd say don't bother and just buy the book instead.
Written August 29, 2021
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.

Jackie K
Nottinghamshire, UK1,158 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Viewed Picasso and Paper exhibition and loved it. Although it was very crowded in the galleries we were able to get quite close to the paintings and sculptures. We appreciated our chance to see so many examples of Picasso’s work from every period in his long career. My favourite was the Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Written March 7, 2020
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.

Kaz B
Calne, UK536 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is my first visit and I went specifically for the Picasso exhibition. What a great show a feast for the eyes and I recommend using the audio guide for insights into the various pieces and the stories behind them. It would be great if the audio numbers were placed next to the correct pieces of work and also bigger but I muddled through.
Written February 24, 2020
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.

Elaine E
Cardiff, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Saw the RA Summer Exhibition today and, as ever, plenty to admire, disagree over and be gobsmacked by the sheer variety of the works on show.
The theme for the show was 'Climate'.
As well as some obvious messages about the planet burning up there were some beautiful, tender and thought provoking works in all media - a real testament (mostly) to human imagination and skill.
Disappointed to see it slammed by some of the major newspapers and even Time Out could only recommend 10 stand out works that were worth seeing out of 1500 - quite frankly an undeserved kick in the teeth to the general public who provided most of the submissions.
Definitely worth a visit. Too late for this year? Give it a go in 2023 - I can't wait to see the theme and everyone rising to the challenge!
Written August 18, 2022
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.

Mark E
Dartford, UK5,493 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
Picasso was clearly a very talented youth and much of his early work exhibited here shows skills you not expect at his age.

The exhibition documents how the sketch work changed over time and its relevance to the larger pieces.

So far, so good...

But, there’s tons of Picasso work, literally thousands of doodles, sketching and rough work in notebooks (one condescending RA explanatory note explains what a sketchbook is for the few visiting five year olds). It seems like all of it’s here, but I know that’s far from the truth. There’s even bits of torn paper in the form of those paper chains we all made aged six.

And there’s the problem. Some of the stuff would be litter if it hadn’t been made (ha! How would you know?) by Picasso, some of it veers off in the direction of “I did this because I could” some I simply didn’t like, but that’s me.

A huge bonus is that there’s none of the Picasso’s he painted when clearly paying the rent was a primary motivation (MoMA in New York has hundreds of those).

Even so I thought a bit more of a cull would have told the story better at this exhibition.

And as a final rant, why do some people have to stand three inches from a picture for ages - is it simply to stop everyone else looking at it?

Written February 27, 2020
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.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,072
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Royal Academy of Arts - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Royal Academy of Arts





All London HotelsLondon Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in London
All things to do in London
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars