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Review of National Gallery

National Gallery
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Small-Group Guided Tour of the National Gallery in London
Ranked #2 of 1,767 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. It is on show 361 days a year, free of charge.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Easy to find on Trafalgar Square, many rooms and galleries so leave time to see as much as you want. We found the whole experience up lifting, the paintings were magical and most looked real with hands painted with veins and pinched skin, just wonderful. Do go if you can.

Thank MallinTilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"trafalgar square"
in 1,661 reviews
"van gogh"
in 932 reviews
"famous paintings"
in 321 reviews
"da vinci"
in 395 reviews
"sainsbury wing"
in 282 reviews
"art lovers"
in 455 reviews
"love art"
in 247 reviews
"great art"
in 350 reviews
"works of art"
in 308 reviews
"free admission"
in 258 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 246 reviews
"on display"
in 492 reviews
"audio guide"
in 472 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 288 reviews
"few hours"
in 427 reviews
"rainy day"
in 261 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 267 reviews

15,234 - 15,238 of 31,604 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013

From the outset it must be said that the National Gallery in London has a world-class collection of art up to the 20th century. The Dutch Golden Age pictures and the Impressionists collections in particular are not to be missed. If you are only interested in the artifacts on the walls and pedestals then you can stop reading now. This review is primarily about the building, the Sainsbury Wing (the "new" wing of the 90's).

This effort by the American architect Robert Venturi must certainly be London's poorest public building of the last quarter century and the unfortunate black sheep of the otherwise excellent stable of buildings provided to the UK from Sainsbury patronage. The building is an aesthetic calamity, all mid 80's post-modernist dinner-party quips that make a mockery of the diginified orginal building it adjoins.

The original building is still in relatively fine form, although the new lower-level brasserie and cafe are already looking terribly worn and untidy. It's difficult to not be concerned with the cleanliness of the tables and eating area as the floor was filthy on my visit and many tables uncleared for my entire time there and waste bins over-flowing and bulging out of their cabinets - and this was no Saturday. I was there mid-day on a Monday.

The Sainsbury entry hall offers little better. The space has all the charm and sophistication of a Tube station (complete with flourescent lighting and Tube-style map of the building prominently displayed on the wall upon entry). The finish is comining off the benches, the walls are filthy to the height of about four feet from being soiled by thousands of bodies and bags coming into contact with the surfaces, and they appear to have never been cleaned.

On my way out I decided to use the main mens room on the first floor (there is not one logically placed in the entrance hall for some reason). It was truly a multi-sensory experience. The entire mens room smelled of urine, the floor was wet (from something unknown), the door handle to the stall was about to fall off, and after I washed my hands I was forced to pull open two 'lobby' doors to get back to the concourse after the man in front of me left without washing his hands and had polluted the handles. Why bother to wash ones hands when you'll only leave the mens room dirtier than when you came in? Why do the British insist on such a spatial arrangement that is entirely un-hygenic?

The experience of the building sorely took away from the experience of the art I'd seen in the galleries. The management of the collections is obviously superior to the management of the building. I expect more from a world class institiution in a world class city. An 'A' for art, but an 'F' for facilities. I bought the museum collection catalogue to ensure I won't have to return anytime soon. Pity.

Thank Officium
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

I often go to the National Gallery and love it there. I am not a member but still get updates of what's on and often spend an afternoon mooching around. It's a wonderful place with Art and Photography to meet anyone's needs. Really worth a visit when in London.

Thank Hannah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

This is an excellent art gallery with spacious rooms well laid out and manned. It is very easy to walk around and admire the many artworks on your own as everything is well documented and named. I particularly liked the Italian rooms with the magnificent Canalettos. Downstairs there is a nice cafe an toilet facilities. Well worth a visit if you are in the Trafalgar Square area.

Thank Babsstockport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

NG in London has extended collection of famous artworks, but, we skipped most of them, in order to spend a quality time where the works of impressiionist like Renoir, Monet, Degas were. If you are art-lover or who'd like to see once the well-known masterpieces, its place to go.its free of charge and also provides audiotour for only £4.

1  Thank Maggy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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