12 Best Art Galleries in London | Where to Go and What to See

From contemporary spaces to historic treasures, we're sharing the 12 best art galleries London has to offer in this blog.

12 Best Art Galleries in London | Where to Go and What to See
Photo by Artur Matosyan / Unsplash

Do you have a stay booked with us and want to know how best to spend your weekend in the city?  

If you and your loved ones enjoy art and culture, look no further.

In this blog, we’re sharing the 12 best art galleries in London for you to visit during your time with us.

Autograph | Best Art Galleries in London

Located in Hackney, Autograph is so much more than just an art gallery: it’s also an advocacy charity on a mission to promote the work of those who “use photography and film to highlight questions of race, representation, human rights and social justice”.

As well as housing its inclusive gallery spaces for artists’ creations, Autograph is home to an education studio and pop-up cinema spots. It’s recognised as the first permanent public place in England dedicated to diversity in the visual arts.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery was founded in South London over 200 years ago, for the purpose of giving the wider public access to great art in the 19th century.

It’s a philosophy that still stands today, with the gallery offering visitors the chance to gaze upon one of the finest collections of Old Masters in existence.

Spend an afternoon marvelling at paintings from the French, Italian and Spanish Baroque tradition, or their impressive array of British portraits dating from Tudor times to the 19th century.

Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art | Best Art Galleries in London

A contemporary arts institution aligned with the edgy Goldsmiths, University of London, this gallery is housed in a quirky Victorian former bath house in Lewisham.

Building on the university’s global reputation for art practice, the diverse exhibitions provide thought-provoking creative inspiration for the public, artists, students and academics.

The programme at the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art also includes talks, performances, films and other events.

A much more recent addition to the London cultural scene, the Haricot Gallery in Shoreditch was founded in 2023 with the aim of transforming the way art is experienced.  

They strive for their exhibitions to reflect the world that we live in, whether that be through tackling political subject matter, to offering a radical perspective on a tale as old as time.

Beyond simply showcasing the creative outputs of its artists, the Haricot Gallery ensures that their incredible stories are also heard as a central tenet of the visitor experience.

Hauser & Wirth | Best Art Galleries in London

A mere 15-minute walk from us here at DUKES London, Hauser & Wirth is an international chain of exhibition spaces with its London branch located on the luxurious Savile Row.

Spread across a North and South Gallery, it's the ideal destination for those looking to enjoy artist talks, film screenings and workshops alongside the exhibitions themselves.

A family business with a global outlook, Hauser & Wirth has built a reputation for supporting visionary artistic projects worldwide.

The National Portrait Gallery exists to tell the story of Britain through its people, using art to bring our history to life.

Home to the world’s greatest collection of portraits, this gallery was the first of its kind when its doors opened back in 1856!

After a recent £41.3m refurbishment, the National Portrait Gallery is without a doubt one of the best art galleries in London, adding a more welcoming visitor entrance, a public forecourt and a new Learning Centre.

Royal Academy of Arts | Best Art Galleries in London

For over 250 years the Royal Academy of Arts has been championing artists, now welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to its galleries annually.

Run by artists and architects elected by their peers, the Royal Academy is also home to Britain’s longest-established art school.

It's gallery in Picadilly, accessible on foot in less than 10 minutes from DUKES London, is open late on Friday nights, allowing you to enjoy great art and food until 9pm.

Located in Sloane Square, the Saatchi Gallery has held 15 of the 20 most visited exhibitions in London over the past few years - so it must be good!

A recognised authority in contemporary art globally, it became a registered charity in 2019 to better engage, enlighten and educate diverse audiences, all the while supporting emerging artists.  

Spend part of your weekend in London visiting this popular attraction and taking in over 35 years’ worth of art exhibitions, from Tutankhamun’s Tomb to Andy Warhol.

Tate Britain | Best Art Galleries in London

Explore British art from as far back as the 16th century at the Tate Britain, with its grand portico entrance setting the scene for a grand afternoon of cultural appreciation.

It’s truly a space for all, providing both visual and written guides on its website for prospective visitors, as well as tips for social care professionals who wish to bring their clients to the gallery for a cultural day out.

Gracing the banks of the River Thames, Tate Britain also boasts a library and archive reading rooms thanks to its status as a centre of excellence for art history research.

Tate Modern | Best Art Galleries in London

Given that the Tate Modern was the UK’s most visited attraction back in 2019, it’s no surprise that it features on this list of the best art galleries in London to visit during your stay with us.

In contrast to its sister gallery above, the Tate Modern is all about the here and now.

On display, you’ll find sculptures, paintings and large-scale installations from artists across the globe, in addition to a dedicated space for live performances and video.

Taking centre stage in Trafalgar Square, this iconic British landmark can’t be missed during your stay in the city.

Celebrating its 200-year anniversary in 2024, The National Gallery is celebrating its past and looking forward to its future with a year-long festival of art, creativity and imagination.

With more than 2,300 paintings from household names such as da Vinci and Van Gogh, you and your loved ones could easily spend an entire day wandering the halls of this fabulous cultural institution.

Last but not least, one of the best art galleries in London to visit is the Whitechapel Gallery in - you guessed it - Whitechapel!

Locally embedded and globally connected, it was founded in 1901 to enrich the cultural offer for the people of East London.

With 9 different exhibition spaces to explore, in addition to a specialist bookshop and well-reviewed restaurant, the Whitechapel Gallery is a great place to spend part of your weekend in the city.

If you haven’t booked your stay with us yet, make your reservation now to secure your luxury base from which to enjoy the sights of London.

If art galleries aren’t really your thing, we’ve plenty of other attraction recommendations for you to choose from in our guide to the best days out in the city.