Top 5 art galleries to visit with a stay in London in 2012

Holidaymakers planning to spend some time in London this year will always find plenty to do to keep them busy. With a world-famous theatre district, internationally-renowned restaurants and many historical attractions to see, you”ll never be bored on a trip here.

It also has a vibrant art scene, so it is well worth taking a tour of the most famous galleries in the city.

However, guests staying in may not always know where to start when it comes to deciding which venues to visit, so why not read our list of the top five galleries to explore while in London this year?

The National Gallery

One of the most famous galleries in London, and with good reason, as it is home to paintings ranging from between the 13th and 19th centuries.

Visitors can now come to the venue free of charge, which will make for a budget-friendly day trip. It is also open 361 days of the year, so you have a good chance of being able to head to the gallery at least once during your holiday.

There are more than 2,300 works of art in the National Gallery, making it one of the best places to see the history of western European art in the world.

Some pieces that you might have heard of include Sandro Botticelli”s Venus and Mars and Leonardo da Vinci”s The Virgin of the Rocks.

Tate Modern

For fans of contemporary art, there is perhaps no better place to visit than the Tate Modern. This was opened in 2000 and, since then, it has become one of the most important art venues in the country.

You will be able to see international works from the 1900s, in addition to modern British art.

Walk through different rooms and learn more about Surrealism, Minimalism, Post-war innovations in abstractism and figuration, as well as Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism on a visit here.

You will also have the opportunity to see some of the many temporary exhibitions that are held here, with 2012 seeing the Photography: New Documentary Forms display, among others.

Serpentine Gallery

The Serpentine Gallery might be another venue you want to visit if you like to look at contemporary art and more than 800,000 people head here every year. If you join the crowds and attend the free gallery, you will be able to see permanent exhibitions by Ian Hamilton Finlay, while there are a number of temporary displays put on here all the time.

This year, the gallery will showcase work by Yoko Ono, with the widow of The Beatles” John Lennon putting on a show with a collection of her pieces.

The Queen”s Gallery

For a memorable experience, a visit to the Queen”s Gallery could make for the perfect day out.

Located in Buckingham Palace, this is a unique type of exhibition centre, showcasing displays from the Royal Collection, in addition to pieces by world-renowned artists.

You might want to peruse the paintings and treasures held by Her Majesty, or you could take a look at temporary displays. One exhibition being put on at the gallery this year is Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist.

Visit the gallery between May 4th and October 7th and you”ll be able to see some of the artist”s famous anatomical drawings.

National Portrait Gallery

To finish your trip to London, why not head to the National Portrait Gallery? This exhibition centre was opened in 1856 and now has more than 160,000 portraits from the last 500 years.

This is one of the largest collections of art in the capital, so you are sure to find something that interests you here.

As well as permanent displays, you may wish to head to the gallery in 2012, as a number of temporary exhibitions are being held. Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People, for instance, will be held until July 22nd giving visitors the chance to see 14 portraits of people painted between the 16th and 17th centuries, whose identities remain unknown.

There are so many opportunities to enhance your knowledge of art history, so why not book a trip to London today and you can walk around some of the city”s best galleries with ease? With London Summer Olympic Games 2012 around the corner, 2016 are getting closer.

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