National Portrait Gallery  

 
 

THIS VENUE IS NOW CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT.

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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 Gallery is closed until Spring 2023.

The 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.

 

National Portrait Gallery images

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LondonTown.com - National Portrait Gallery Location Map

 
 
 

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What's on in London 2020

Find out the best London 2020 events with our comprehensive guide to the top entertainment in the city throughout the year. From January through to December, 2020 is packed with unmissable events - so read on to get the best out of London town.

 
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Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire Hotel
London > Hotels > Luxury Chain Hotel   from £143  22% 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 £127  40% 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  27% 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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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Events near National Portrait Gallery

Near National Portrait Gallery
Editor's Top Pick - Recommended
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 31st March 2016 to 1st November 2020
National Portrait Gallery, 218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, W1V | 5 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Mischief Theatre, creators of The Play That Goes Wrong - winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy - and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, have ...More
 
 
 
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Good
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 6th October to 19th December 2020
National Portrait Gallery, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N | 5 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
David Tennant, the well loved actor best known for playing Doctor Who, returns to the West End to star in Good, the first play from the ...More
 
 
 
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Pretty Woman: The Musical
London > Events > Theatre  Dates: 13th February 2020 to 2nd January 2021
National Portrait Gallery, 16 Denman Street, W1D | 6 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Everyone's favourite Hollywood love story comes alive on the London stage this February when Pretty Woman: The Musical transfers from Broadway to the West End with ...More
 
 
 
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Near National Portrait Gallery
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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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What are the best dining options near National Portrait Gallery London?
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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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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
 
 
 
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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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National Portrait Gallery gyms, sporting activities, health & beauty and fitness.
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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.
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The Salisbury
London > Restaurants > Gastropub
90 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N | 2 minutes from National Portrait Gallery
Gastropub ... More
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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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National Portrait Gallery clubs, bars, cabaret nights, casinos and interesting nightlife.
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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.
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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
 
 
 
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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
 
 
 
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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

 
 
 
Titian: Love, Desire, Death
Exhibitions | Until 17th January 2021 

National Gallery 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

All six works in the series of paintings showing Classical myths primarily taken from the Roman poet Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', commissioned ...More

Sin
Exhibitions | Until 3rd January 2021 

National Gallery 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

A group exhibition exploring complex theological ideas and depictions of sinful everyday behaviour including works across the centuries by Bruegel, ...More

Artemisia
Exhibitions | Until 24th January 2021 

National Gallery 1 minute walk from National Portrait Gallery

This first major exhibition of 17th-century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi's work includes two versions of her painting Judith Beheading Holofernes ...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

 
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
Theatre | Until 1st November 2020 

Criterion Theatre 5 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Mischief Theatre, creators of The Play That Goes Wrong - winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy - ...More

 
Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly!
Theatre | Until 6th March 2021 

Adelphi Theatre 5 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Multi Olivier and BAFTA Award winning Imelda Staunton plays meddlesome socialite turned matchmaker Dolly Levi, taking the title role in ...More

 
Good
Good
Theatre | Until 19th December 2020 

Playhouse Theatre 5 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

David Tennant, the well loved actor best known for playing Doctor Who, returns to the West End to star in ...More

 
Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt
Comedy | Until 15th November 2020 

Apollo Theatre 5 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Adam reads aloud unsettling entries from his diary as a junior doctor and intersperses the anecdotes with songs....More

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Theatre | Until 24th January 2021 

Palace Theatre 5 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

From the 36,000 retweets Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling got when she announced the ...More

 
Pretty Woman: The Musical
Pretty Woman: The Musical
Theatre | Until 2nd January 2021 

Piccadilly Theatre 6 minutes walk from National Portrait Gallery

Everyone's favourite Hollywood love story comes alive on the London stage this February when Pretty Woman: The Musical transfers from ...More

 
 
 
 
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Hotels near National Portrait Gallery

From cheap budget places to stay to luxury 5 star hotels see our special offers for National Portrait Gallery hotels, including Club Quarters Trafalgar Square from 70% off.

 

 
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