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A titan in the world of modern art galleries, the Tate Modern is one of the most atmospheric and spectacular art galleries in the world, and justifiably one of the most-visited. If you see just one gallery or museum in London, make it this one.
Housed in a former Bankside power station designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and more recently renovated and reimagined by the architects Herzog & de Meuron, the building itself and its location is as striking as the comprehensive and vast collection of art within it. Within it, a different international artist is chosen each season to fill the enormous and cavernous Turbine Hall with a different work of art. Past guest artists have included Louise Bourgeous and Ai Wei Wei.
Each floor of the gallery is taken up with a different theme or movement within modern art. Level 3 focuses on expressionism, abstraction and abstract expressionism, with American names like Rothko, Matisse, Kapoor and Monet across the hall from the surrealists. Level 5 is filled with Arte Provera along with popular movements such as cubism and pop art, along with futurism and vorticism. There is a café with outdoor terrace as well as a top-floor bar and restaurant affording spectacular views across the river towards the skyscrapers of the city and the iconic St Paul's cathedral. It is also well worth spending a little time in the bookshop, as it contains one of the best collections of art, design and travel books in the city.
Location: Tate Modern is located in Southwark, on the banks of the river.
Opening Times: Sunday - Thursday: 10:00 - 18:00 - - Fridays & Saturdays it opens later and closes at 22:00.
Prices: The permanent collection is free; special exhibitions cost about £10 - 12.
Nearest Tube: Southwark (Jubilee Line).