National Portrait Gallery

This is one of the most unexpectedly pleasing galleries in London. Unrelated to the neighbouring National Gallery, it opened in 1856. Well-known names can be put to some not-so-well-known faces, and there are some fascinating paintings from Tudor times to the present day. Royalty is depicted from Richard II (1367–1400) to Queen Elizabeth II, and the collection also holds a 1554 miniature, the oldest self-portrait in oils in England. The displays are changed regularly so paintings from the collection are not always on view.

  • St Martin’s Place WC2

  • 020 7312 2463


  • Open 10am–6pm Sat–Wed, 10am–9pm Thu–Fri

  • Free (separate charge for some exhibitions)

Gallery Guide

The gallery’s three floors are arranged chronologically. ...

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