Tate Modern

Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK

It’s impossible to ignore the hulking 1950s architecture of the Tate Modern, slap-bang in the middle of the most-walked part of the South Bank. A visionary refurb of this former power station has resulted in an artistic behemoth with multiple gallery spaces (containing both free exhibitions and ticketed exhibitions), including the fantastic Turbine Hall for oversize installations. Outside, the Millennium Bridge leads over the Thames to the City and the great domed St. Paul’s Cathedral.

More Recommendations

From Picasso to WeiWei: London's Tate Modern

I wasn’t an art history major, I didn’t even take a high school level art class, but I could spend hours at the Tate Modern in London. Located by the Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the museum is a convenient stop while checking your tourist spots off your list. I highly recommend taking the guided tour with one of the experts; especially with modern art, it’s great to know the background behind each piece. And guess what, the tour is free, too! Now you have no excuse...

A Private Tour of the Tate

Located in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern opened as a contemporary art museum in 2000 following an adaptive reuse of the building by the architects Herzog & de Meuron. It has already become the world’s most-visited contemporary art collection. Jetset World Travel can arrange for a private view of the collection, before the doors open to the public, led by art experts. After your tour of the Tate Modern, you can hope on a boat and travel on the Thames to Tate Britain for a tour led by an art specialist. Whether you want to spend a day or a week exploring the arts scene of London, from the galleries of the West End to the emerging artists of East London — and, of course, world-famous museums — Lauren Maggard of AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council can create a bespoke itinerary around your interests and schedule. Contact her at lauren.maggard@afar.com.

A Very High Tea

For a memorable afternoon tea, head across the River Thames to the Tate Modern. The modern art gallery, housed in a former power station, stands tall in Bankside and is accessible by the Millennium Bridge. After all that walking and seeing a few floors full of impressive-looking art, my friend and I took a break at the upstairs bar/restaurant. He ordered a coffee from the bar and then I wandered over to the restaurant for afternoon tea. My tea and scones were reasonably priced, considering the breathtaking setting. Since the two areas are separate, we each enjoyed the stunning views alone, taking in the Thames and the London skyline.

Some Surrealism at the Tate Modern

Tate Modern is Britain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art from around the world, housed on the banks of the Thames. The awe-inspiring Turbine Hall runs the length of the entire building. The collection includes works by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois. Entrance is free. This painting: Autumnal Cannibalism, Dali’s depiction of the horror of war, painted the year that the Spanish Civil War began. London trip report: http://bit.ly/1gZcVuX

View from the Tate

After climbing the steps of St Paul’s for one observation point above the city, cross the pedestrian only Millennium Bridge to visit this fabulous modern museum. Be sure to go to the top of the Switch House section to get another great view across the skyline! Shard to the right and Gherkin to the left!

Information on this page, including website, location, and opening hours, is subject to have changed since this page was last published. If you would like to report anything that’s inaccurate, let us know at notification@afar.com.

Nearby highlights
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
More From AFAR