National Portrait Gallery  

 
 
ADDRESS
St Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE
 
 
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OPENING TIMES
Last admission is 45 mins before the Gallery closes.
 
PRICES
Free. Special exhibitions prices vary.
 

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National Portrait GalleryThe National Portrait Gallery houses portraits of significant figures from the late 15th century to the present day. This isn't the place to come for serious works of exceptional artistic merit - the overriding aim of the National Portrait Gallery is to reflect the status of the sitter, not the artist - but where else in London could you hope to find The Beatles, Henry VIII, Sir Richard Branson and JK Rowling all hanging out together? The appeal of this gallery (opened in 1856) rests simply in its comprehensive commemoration of British history from the late 15th century to the present day through the medium of portraiture. The sense of progression and the feeling of familiarity with many subjects are what make the gallery so appealing. Having said that, critically acclaimed self-portraits by William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other notable British artists are also displayed alongside the 10,000 portraits of everyone from statesmen to showbiz stars and media barons. The collection represents Britain and is arranged thematically, starting with the Tudors and ending with present day politicians and pop stars. Look out for the only surviving portrait of Shakespeare taken from life in The Ondaajte Wing, the Hans Holbein cartoon of Henry VIII, the anamorphic portrait of Edward VI, and the sculpture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in medieval costume. Photographs, caricatures, drawings and sculpture are included in the collection which also boasts 250,000 archived images. The National Portrait Gallery also hosts the annual Portrait Prize competition alongside ever-changing collections of contemporary work.

Best for: Accessible art, portraits and posing, Shakespeare and showbiz.

 

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What's on in London 2020

Plan the perfect year in the capital with our pick of the best events in London 2020. From January to December, every month boasts an impressive line-up of entertainment. So take a look at our guide and be sure not to miss a thing.

 
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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £137  38% off
Leicester Square, WC2H | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
The Hampshire Hotel is located in the heart of film and Theatreland. Guests can enjoy superb Mexican- Peruvian sharing plates at Leicester Square Kitchen with drinks ... More
 
 
 
The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £181  21% off
2 Spring Gardens, SW1A | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Almost in the shadow of Nelson's Column, and with the Palaces of Whitehall looming behind it, this hotel is at the heart of the Capital. ... More
 
 
 
Club Quarters Trafalgar Square
London > Hotels > Mid-Range Chain Hotel   from £115  40% off
8 Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
A fantastic nineteenth century exterior hides a thoroughly modern hotel, with clean, minimalist design in the rooms. The biggest draw is the location, in the very ... More
 
 
 
 
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Alternative Art Galleries nearest National Portrait Gallery

Nearest to National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
National Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
The National Gallery dominates London's Trafalgar Square with its neo-classical columns and portico designed by William Wilkins adjoining the square on its east side where it ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Stephen Wiltshire Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
5 Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, St James's, London SW1Y | 4 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Stephen Wiltshire's art work would be impressive even if you didn't know who he is. But his intricate and architecturally accurate pen and ink sketches are ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Strand Gallery
London > Attractions > Art Galleries
32 John Adam Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 4 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Part of the Proud Galleries family, Proud Central became The Strand Gallery in 2010 expanding from a photography gallery to an exhibition space for all disciplines ... More
 
 
 
 
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Sights and Attractions near National Portrait Gallery

The best museums, galleries, attractions near National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
St Martin-in-the-Fields
London > Attractions > Historic Buildings
Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
This historic church of St Martin-in-the-Fields overlooking Trafalgar Square was built in 1726 and is the best known work of Scottish architect James Gibbs whose ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Nelson's Column
London > Attractions > Sights
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London SW1Y | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Master tactician, inspirational leader, patriotic martyr, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson is one of England's great heroes. His Nelson's Column statue is at the very heart of ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Fourth Plinth
London > Attractions > Sights
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square remained empty after its completion in 1841 - it was designed for an equestrian statue of one of Britain's Colonial ... More
 
 
 
THE BEST

Events near National Portrait Gallery

Near National Portrait Gallery
The Doctor
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 20th April to 18th July 2020
National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Lane, WC2N | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
Described by the Guardian as 'one of the peak theatrical performances of the year', Juliet Stevenson reprises her role in Robert Icke's The Doctor when it ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Watsons
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 8th May to 26th September 2020
National Portrait Gallery, 6 Panton Street, SW1Y | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel and "joyously directed" (Evening Standard) by Samuel West, The Watsons comes to the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre from Chichester ...More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Waitress
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 8th February 2019 to 4th July 2020
National Portrait Gallery, 18-20 Maiden Lane, The Strand, WC2R | 5 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Based on the 2007 film by Adrienne Shelley, Waitress the musical tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town who dreams ...More
 
 
 
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Entertainment near National Portrait Gallery

Near National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Odeon Leicester Square
London > Entertainment > Cinemas
24-26 Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
One of London's biggest cinemas, the Odeon Leicester Square regularly plays host to premieres and awards ceremonies as well as screening the biggest of the week's ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The 99 Club
London > Entertainment > Comedy Clubs
Storm Nightclub, 28a Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Playing across multiple venues across London seven days a week and 52 weeks a year - do they really put on shows on Christmas Day? - ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO)
London > Entertainment > Theatres
St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
London Coliseum is a magnificent historic building and an excellent venue in which to enjoy the soaring sounds and high drama of some truly thrilling operas. ... More
 
 
 
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Shopping near National Portrait Gallery

The best shops and markets near National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Tenderproduct
London > Shopping > Art and Design
6 Cecil Court, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Tenderproduct is the second tender venture by Etan Ilfeld, who previously founded the neighbouring Tenderpixel Gallery, an innovative space for emerging talent. Tenderproduct is a shop ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Davenports Magic Shop
London > Shopping > Specialists
7 Charing Cross Underground Shopping Arcade, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
From budding Harry Potters and bumbling Tommy Coopers to dynamic David Copperfields, Davenports is a haven for magicians of every level and ability. Non-magicians too are ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Ben & Jerry's
London > Shopping > Food and Drink Shops
Vue West End, 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Fosil Fuel, Phish Food and Baked Alaska, no, not a tour of the Natural History Museum but the names that Ben & Jerry have come up ... More
 
 
 
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Restaurants near National Portrait Gallery

What are the best dining options near National Portrait Gallery London?
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Wagamama
London > Restaurants > South East Asian restaurants
140 Irving Street, Soho, London WC2H | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
Taking inspiration from Japanese ramman-noodle bars, Wagamama is the ultimate in high-quality, fast food. Huge bowls of steaming, soupy noodles, chicken dumplings with a chilli-soy dipping ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The National Cafe
London > Restaurants > British restaurants
East Wing National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
On the ground floor of the East Wing of the National Gallery, with its own entrance opposite St Martin-in-the-Fields, The National Cafe is ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
National Dining Rooms
London > Restaurants > British restaurants
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
The National Gallery's National Dining Rooms restaurant won Time Out's Best British Restaurant Award in 2007 for good reasons - they do all sorts of great ... More
 
 
 
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Education near National Portrait Gallery

Near National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The London Film School
London > Education > Universities and Colleges
24 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H | 6 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
The London Film School is the oldest-established international school of film technique in the world. The school has contributed significantly to ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Courtauld Institute of Art
London > Education > Arts and Drama
Somerset House, Covent Garden, London WC2R | 10 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
The Courtauld is one of the most prestigious art schools in the country, affiliated with the Oxbridge system and boasting a huge private location and prime ... More
 
 
 
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English [Out There!]
London > Education > English Language Courses
10 Coptic Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1A | 11 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
English [Out There!] takes a very hands-on approach to learning English. The course places an emphasis on using what you have learned. Students are taken out ... More
 
 
 
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Leisure near National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
AWAY Spa W London
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
10 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1D | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
On the 6th floor of the W London the AWAY Spa certainly takes you away from the manic pace of life in Leicester Square ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Victoria Embankment Gardens
London > Leisure > Parks and Gardens
Victoria Embankment, Villiers Street, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 4 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Created in 1874, the Victoria Embankment Gardens run parallel to the River Thames, creating a green walkway between Waterloo Bridge and Embankment, and are dotted with ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
So SPA Sofitel St James
London > Leisure > Health and Beauty
6 Waterloo Place, St James's, London SW1Y | 5 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Opened in July 2009, So SPA by Sofitel is a stunning relaxation space - all marble and modern design - housed within the Sofitel St James ... More
 
 
 
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Pubs near National Portrait Gallery

The best pubs near London National Portrait Gallery.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Salisbury
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
90 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Gastropub ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Harp
London > Nightlife > Pubs
47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
The Harp, a welcoming bar in Covent Garden, is a traditional pub where the emphasis is firmly on real ale - earning it CAMRA's National Pub ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Mr Fogg's Tavern
London > Nightlife > Pubs
58 St Martin's Lane, WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Themed around explorer Phileas Fogg, this traditional Victorian tavern in the heart of Covent Garden's ... More
 
 
 
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Nightlife near National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Library
London > Nightlife > Bars
112 St Martin's Lane , Covent Garden, London WC2N | 1 minute from National Portrait Gallery
Private members club housed in a five story town house, with a restaurant, hotel, bar and nightclub. Members are voted in by a committee but it's ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Lost Alhambra
London > Nightlife > Nightclubs
28a Leicester Square, WC2H | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
From the team behind Tonight Josephine and Blame Gloria, The Lost Alhambra in Leicester Square has been revived ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Cork & Bottle
London > Nightlife > Wine Bars
44 Cranbourn Street, Soho, London WC2H | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Located in the heart of the West End you’d expect it to be packed with the usual crowds but hidden in a basement below a sex ... More
 
 
 
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Meeting venue hire near National Portrait Gallery

Where to have your meeting, conference, exhibition, private dining or training course near National Portrait Gallery.
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Odeon, Leicester Square
London > Business > Venue Hire
24-26 Leicester Square, Soho, London WC2H | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
One of London's biggest cinemas, the Odeon Leicester Square regularly plays host to premieres and awards ceremonies as well as screening the week's big releases. Aside ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
St Martins Lane Hotel
London > Business > Venue Hire
45 St. Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
To enter the stunning St Martins Lane Hotel in the heart of London's Theatreland you pass through the tallest revolving door in London, a luminescent yellow-glass ... More
 
 
 
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
Haymarket Hotel
London > Business > Venue Hire
1 Suffolk Place, St James's, London SW1Y | 3 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
A hip designer hotel by Tim and Kit Kemp in a grand building on the prestigious Haymarket, the broad boulevard street making for an impressive entrance. ... More
 
 
 

Alternate names and popular misspellings for National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery, National Portrait Galery
 
 

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What's On Today

Near National Portrait Gallery

 
 
 
POSTPONED: Artemisia Gentileschi
POSTPONED: Artemisia Gentileschi
Exhibitions | Until 26th July 2020 

National Gallery 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

Artemisia will not open as originally planned on 4th April 2020 due to current global travel restrictions. The National Gallery ...More

 
Titian: Love, Desire, Death
Titian: Love, Desire, Death
Exhibitions | Until 14th June 2020 

National Gallery 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

With landmark loans from the likes of the Wallace Collection along with six paintings jointly owned by the National Gallery ...More

 
City Of Angels
City Of Angels
Theatre | Until 5th September 2020 

Garrick Theatre 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

A hit for the Donmar in 2014 when it ran as the theatre's Christmas production, Cy Coleman and David Zippel's ...More

 
The Doctor
The Doctor
Theatre | Until 18th July 2020 

Duke of York's Theatre 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

Described by the Guardian as 'one of the peak theatrical performances of the year', Juliet Stevenson reprises her role in ...More

 
Fourth Plinth: Heather Phillipson THE END
Fourth Plinth: Heather Phillipson THE END
Exhibitions | Until 26th March 2022 

Trafalgar Square 2 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

London born artist Heather Philipson puts an ice cream with a cherry on top on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar ...More

 
Hairspray the Musical
Hairspray the Musical
Theatre | Until 29th August 2020 

London Coliseum - English National Opera (ENO) 2 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

The London Coliseum is transformed into 1962 Baltimore this spring when the Tony Award-winning production of Hairspray the Musical returns ...More

 
Leopoldstadt
Leopoldstadt
Theatre | Until 13th June 2020 

Wyndham's Theatre 2 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Tom Stoppard's epic family drama and "his most personal play yet" (The Times) comes to the West End in January ...More

 
Only Fools And Horses: The Musical
Only Fools And Horses: The Musical
Theatre | Until 27th June 2020 

Theatre Royal Haymarket 2 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan bring John Sullivan's much-loved sitcom to the London stage with Only Fools and Horses The ...More

 
Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen
Theatre | Until 27th June 2020 

Noel Coward Theatre 3 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Michael Greif directs the Tony Award-winning musical about a teenage outcast who becomes a focal point for a community's grief ...More

 
The Watsons
The Watsons
Theatre | Until 26th September 2020 

Harold Pinter Theatre 3 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Adapted from Jane Austen's unfinished novel and "joyously directed" (Evening Standard) by Samuel West, The Watsons comes to the West ...More

 

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From cheap budget hotels to luxury 5 star suites see our special offers for National Portrait Gallery hotels, including Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel from 87% off.

 

 
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