A Mini Guide to London’s Art Museums for the International Fashionista


London is the capital of culture and what better way to spend your free time than visiting one of the 1,500 gallery spaces in the city (and that doesn’t even include pop-up art spaces!). From North, South, East or West; there is always an art space to explore, whichever corner of the capital you are. With the oldest museum in the world, the British Museum, dating all the way back to 1753 being based in London, it is safe to say that art has a pivotal place in the capital’s heart.

Still not convinced? Well fear not! Our cool fashionista colleagues in our London office have compiled the top 10 art museums and spaces in London for your cultural and artistic radar.

Top London’s Art Museums and Galleries

 Top London's Art Museums and Galleries Map - Stylight
Victoria & Albert Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum - McQueen exhibitionPhoto: condenast.co.uk

The Victoria & Albert Museum has been hailed as one of the most credible museums in the world, combining both art and design, and has hosted some of the most spectacular fashion and design exhibitions to date, including Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950, and currently showing the much anticipated exhibition Undressed: A Brief of Underwear. With a permanent collection spanning over two million items, it is definitely not one to miss for inspiration.

Cromwell Road, SW7
Free entry. Some exhibitions carry a charge to visit
Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington

National Gallery
Located in one of the most iconic squares in the world, the National Gallery is home to some of most recognisable and sought after artwork from artists including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Monet, to name a few, amongst its 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Looking for the ultimate artistic experience? Look no further than the National Gallery!

Trafalgar Square, WC2
Free entry
Nearest Tube Station: Charing Cross

Saatchi Gallery
For the contemporary art lover, you must pay a visit to the Saatchi Gallery in West London. Opened by art collector Charles Saatchi as a way of showcasing his collections and also known for being a platform for young British artists which, in turn, helped launch the career of Damien Hirst. Currently the museum is hosting Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones – the much anticipated exhibition focusing on the fascinating fifty year history of one of Britain’s most iconic bands.

Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3
Free entry. Some exhibitions carry a charge to visit.
Nearest Tube Station: Sloane Square

Saatchi Gallery

Photo: peopleofprint.com

Somerset House
The former home to London Fashion Week, Somerset House is one of the most inspiring museums in London. Only a short walk from the beautiful area of Covent Garden and “Theatreland”, it is the perfect place to go for a bit of cultural inspiration and hosts various music, film, and fashion exhibitions. The museum also features a spectacular courtyard which is used throughout the year for various events including open-air concerts and films as well as London’s favourite ice rink. A true London gem!

Strand, WC2
Free entry. Some exhibitions carry a charge to visit.
Nearest Tube Station: Temple

Somerset House
Tate Modern
Hailed as one of the best museums in the world for modern and contemporary art, the Tate Modern, located directly on the River Thames, is home to some of the most sought after pieces. A former power station, the gallery features a vast gallery space spanning over four floors including an immense entrance hall known as the Turbine Hall which doubles up as a space to display large specially-commissioned works by contemporary artists. Fancy a spot of shopping? The shop in the Tate Modern is one of the best museum shops and you can buy everything from books to artist materials and posters of the iconic works featured in the museum.

Bankside, SE1
Free entry. Some exhibitions carry a charge to visit.
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

British Museum

Photo: fosterandpartners.com

British Museum
You can’t compile a list of London’s best museums without mentioning the British Museum. Dating all the way back to 1753, and the oldest museum in the world, the gallery features over eight million objects in its permanent collection, making it one of the largest collections worldwide. Looking for something different? Inside the Great Court in the centre of the museum, there is the Reading Room featuring hundreds of thousands of books on every subject imaginable, too.

Great Russell Street, WC1
Free entry
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn

With nearly two million people visiting the Barbican every year, it is definitely not one to miss for the true London artistic experience. With a focus on all areas of art including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts, there is something for everyone of all ages. Recent iconic exhibitions at the Barbican include the Bauhaus exhibition, 30 Years of Japanese Fashion, and The World of Charles and Ray Eames. And that’s not all that’s great about the Barbican, it’s exterior architecture is known worldwide as the most iconic and recognisable piece of brutalist architecture in the world.

Silk Street, EC2
Free entry to Museum but all exhibitions are paid for.
Nearest Tube Station: Barbican

Barbican museum London

Photo: dazedgroup.com

White Cube, Bermondsey
The White Cube in Bermondsey, the newest of the White Cube galleries, opened in 2011 and has been host to some of the best works from artists including Chuck Close, Theaster Gates and Anselm Kiefer. Owned by art dealer Jay Jopling it is heralded as providing a platform for young British artists and often allows them to put on one person shows; a triumph for any emerging artist. And that’s not all! As the building was formerly a warehouse, it spans over 58,000 square feet making it Europe’s largest commercial gallery.

Bermondsey Street, SE1
Free entry
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge

White Cube Bermondsey

Photo: artfund.org

Royal Academy of Arts
The motto of the Royal Academy of Arts is ‘Led by Artists’ and rightly so as it is the only art museum in London where not only iconic artworks are housed, but artists are practising consistently, creating new pieces as well as teaching and mentoring in numerous Royal Academy schools. The museum has also hosted numerous exhibitions of iconic artists including David Hockney, Van Gogh and Ai Weiwei. Let the artist in you come alive with their open entry annual Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open entry exhibition where the final 1,000 works are displayed in the museum itself.

Burlington House, W1
Prices vary depending on the exhibition.
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus

Victoria Miro Gallery

Photo: dazedgroup.com

Victoria Miro Gallery
And last, but certainly not least, the Victoria Miro Gallery is one for the diehard contemporary art fans. Run by Victoria Miro, one of the “grandes dames of the British art scene”, the gallery represents worldwide known artists including Grayson Perry. It’s current exhibition, featuring work by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (the recent Louis Vuitton muse) is definitely not one to miss!

George Street, W1
Free entry
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus

|By Aurora Starbuck – PR & Marketing Manager UK & AU|


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