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Arts and Culture in London

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London is recognised around the world as a key cultural capital, amazing the masses with its grand, historic museums, fine art galleries, and edgy exhibitions, not to mention striking landmarks like the Tower of London and the London Eye.

 

Art galleries

 

Any serious art-lover would need days to see all of London’s stellar galleries - whether they’re interested in quirky contemporary work or old world masterpieces. Here’s a couple you can’t afford to miss.

 

National Gallery

 

Based in historic Trafalgar Square under the gaze of Lord Nelson's statue, the National Gallery houses a jaw-dropping collection of over 2,300 paintings. You'll marvel at the immense, imposing exterior of Neo-Classical stone columns and domes - a fitting entrance to a gallery which showcases work from early 13th century artists to European masters like Cezanne and Van Gogh.

 

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN. Tel:+44 20 7747 2885

 

National Gallery website
Tate Modern

 

Those seeking a cool contemporary twist should check out the Tate Modern, which overlooks the shimmering Thames on its south bank in central London. Based within the former Bankside Power Station - a looming, red-brick behemoth of industrial architecture - the Tate Modern showcases artwork of the Expressionist, Surrealist, and abstract schools. See the work of great artists such as Matisse and Rothko, as well as up-and-coming geniuses.

 

Bankside, London SE1 9TG. Tel:+44 20 7887 8888

 

Tate Modern website

 

Museums

 

London is a city steeped in history, but its museums tell stories from all across the world.

 

British Museum

 

Established in 1753 and set in a vast glass-roofed complex, the British Museum is a treasury of relics from cultures both new and old, across the globe. You can see authentic and beautifully designed Egyptian coffins, incredible Roman ruins, and early English artefacts. Don’t miss out on seeing the near-legendary Rosetta Stone, the key which unlocked the language of civilizations long extinct.

 

Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Tel:+44 20 7323 8299

 

British Museum website

 

Landmarks

 

Wherever you walk in central London you’re bound to stumble across a landmark, whether ambling by the river near St Paul’s Cathedral, or strolling through Westminster beside Buckingham Palace. And then there's this imposing must-see…

 

Tower of London

 

This fortress, which dates back almost 1,000 years, is a must-see for history-buffs and appreciators of Norman architecture. You’re sure to get a kick out of pacing across its stone battlements, watching the black ravens in the green courtyards, and walking through the grand halls lined with shiny suits of armour. Be sure to see the White Tower - the oldest and most infamous part of the castle - which houses a Romanesque chapel.

 

London, EC3N 4AB. Tel:+44 844 482 7777

 

Tower of London website

 

Theatre

 

London has always had a thriving theatre scene, particularly in the West End, although many visitors will also want to flock to the Globe to see the works of the Bard performed with classical flamboyance.

 

Shakespeare’s Globe

 

Located by the banks of the Thames, Shakespeare’s Globe is an almost-exact reconstruction of the circular Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan venue where Shakespeare showcased many of his plays to awestruck audiences. The new Globe, built with extreme attention to historic detail, is constructed entirely from sturdy English oak and boasts London’s only genuine thatched roof. It hosts concerts by candlelight, modern dramatic productions, and of course, plenty of Shakespeare’s plays.

 

21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT. Tel:+44 20 7902 1400

 

Shakespeare’s Globe website