The National Gallery is just beautiful inside and out. Standing tall, watching over Trafalgar Square, this art museum is one of the most recognizable landmarks in London.
It’s a great place to go on a rainy afternoon (by yourself or with a date), or with friends and family visiting from out-of-town. I love taking guests through Westminster, and walking upon Nelson’s Column, through Trafalgar Square and up to the proud building that is The National Gallery.
There’s something really great about the area. There’s the energy of tourists and locals buzzing about, taking pictures with street performers, making wishes in the fountains, and snacking on the front gallery steps. It’s always a lively place surrounded by so many spectacular views. Outside, the scenery is iconic, but inside, it is just as amazing–a beautiful building that holds some of the world’s most famous paintings.
The National Gallery is a free museum, which is really nice. It makes it accessible for all to learn about art and culture, allowing for impromptu visits any day of the week, whether you have the cash or not. And it has everything you need for an afternoon at the museum–a restaurant, cafe, cloakroom, gift shop, and endless rows of art.
The gift shop is a good one. I’ve mentioned my affinity for gift shops in the past, but I especially love museum shops. They hold eclectic, interesting problem-solvers and decor in addition to prints of famous pieces. I used to do all my Christmas shopping at the MOMA online store, due to the originality of everything they offered. The National Gallery lived up to my museum gift shop expectations, and I even purchased some gifts to tuck away for next Christmas.
This was after, of course, weaving in and out of wings and corridors of spectacular art. The National Gallery holds Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers,” my favorite painting, by George Stubbs, “Whistlejacket,” and Seurat’s “Bathers at Asnières,” to name a few. These famous pieces are among hundreds of others, including the works of Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Vermeer, Monet, Botticelli, and much more. Trust me, there are some serious paintings at The National Gallery, that will thoroughly impress you, and possibly give you goosebumps.
I’m a huge fan of art and museums. Not only is the talent and technique obviously amazing, and these paintings are astonishingly well-preserved (despite being hundreds of years old), but you’re witnessing something so special. To me, I’m moved by the greatness of it all. These are paintings printed in text books, spoken about in schools, in pop culture, and used for advertising and inspiration everywhere, and here I am, privileged enough to see it in person. What an honor. I hope you see it that way too. That we’re all very lucky to be able to head to The National Gallery (for free!), and feast our eyes on truly amazing pieces of history. So head to Trafalgar Square to see the wonder of it all for yourself. Enjoy!
London WC2N 5DN