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National Portrait Gallery Tours

National Portrait Gallery
Strolling the halls of the National Portrait Gallery is like taking a walk through British history, as you pass images of royals, politicians, and pop culture icons. When it opened in 1856, the gallery was the first of its kind. Now it houses the world’s biggest portrait collection, featuring more than 11,000 works.
 
The Basics
Visitors can opt to explore independently on a self-guided tour or hire a multimedia guide, enjoying access to more than 40 rooms, spread over three floors. The vast permanent collection features paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures, dating from as early as the 13th century. Popular exhibits include portraits of Kings Richard III and Henry VIII (along with his six wives), and Victorian-era portraits of Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and the Brontë sisters.
 
The modern era is well represented too, including Diana Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge, actors including Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren, and other famous Brits such as The Beatles, Richard Branson, and J. K. Rowling.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Entrance to the National Portrait Gallery is free, but there is an admission fee for some temporary exhibitions.
  • On-site facilities include a museum shop, paid storage lockers, a rooftop restaurant, and a café.
  • Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum.
  • The gallery is fully wheelchair accessible.
 
How to Get There
The National Portrait Gallery is located on St. Martin’s Place, just north of Trafalgar Square and right next door to the National Gallery. The closest Underground station is Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines), but it’s also a short walk from Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.
 
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, year-round, but it can get busy at weekends, so make an early start to avoid the crowds. An atmospheric time to visit is Friday nights, when the gallery stays open until 9pm, and often hosts special events and exhibitions.
 
Portraits of Note
Highlights of the National Portrait Gallery include the “Chandos” portrait, alleged to portray William Shakespeare; a sketch of novelist Jane Austen by her sister; and the  “Ditchley” portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. In the modern gallery, must-sees include Julian Opie’s celebrated Blur portraits, Sam Taylor-Wood’s video portrait of David Beckham, and Marlene Dumas’ painting of Amy Winehouse. The most bizarre is Mark Quinn’s Self, a frozen sculpture of his head made with his own blood.
Address: St. Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE, England
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11 Tours and Activities to Experience National Portrait Gallery

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London Royal Parks Bike Tour including Hyde Park

London Royal Parks Bike Tour including Hyde Park

star-5
Discover the beauty and history of Royal London by bike on a morning or afternoon city tour. Enjoy a guided ride through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and St. James's Park. Cruise by the stately monuments such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and view royal sites like Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, and the Princess Diana Memorial. Along the way, learn about London’s rich history and contemporary culture.  
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$33.70
From
$33.70
Taking safety measures

Escape The Airport: See London On Your Layover

Escape The Airport: See London On Your Layover

star-5
Why spend your Heathrow layover stuck in the airport food court when you can explore London’s top attractions? Take a 6-hour private tour of the capital and create a custom itinerary based on the things that interest you. Visit Big Ben, eat traditional fish and chips, stroll through Covent Garden, and more. Whatever you decide, your private guide is with you every step of the way to ensure an authentic English experience.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$187.94
Price varies by group size
From
$187.94
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

3 Amazing London Art Galleries 1 Tour 1 Guide

3 Amazing London Art Galleries 1 Tour 1 Guide

star-3
If you've got a keen interest in art then this London gallery tour is for you. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the large collections in London's galleries, you'll visit the highlights of the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate Modern with an art historian guide. As well receiving personalized attention in a small group, you’ll discover context integral to understanding masterpieces by the likes of Van Gogh, da Vinci, Hockney, and Picasso.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.25
From
$69.25
Taking safety measures

North tour of London by the traditional Electric Black Taxi (Electocab Ltd)

North tour of London by the traditional Electric Black Taxi (Electocab Ltd)

IN THIS TAILORED TOUR YOU WILL BE TAKEN THROUGH THE ALLURE OF THEATRELAND. YOU GET TO EXPLORE THE WELL KNOWN CAMDEN TOWN BEFORE REACHING HAMPSTEAD VILLAGE AND HAMPSTEAD HEATH WITH ITS TREMENDOUS HISTORY LAIED ON THE NORTHERN PART OF CAMDEN DISTRICT. ST. JOHN’S WOOD AND THE FAMOUS BEATLES CROSSING WOULD BE ON OUR WAY BEFORE VISITING LORDS CRICKET GROUND AND THROUGH THE BEAUTY OF REGENTS PARK AND THE HISTORICALLY BOHEMIAN AREA OF FITZROVIA WE HEAD BACK TO TRAFALGAR SQ. WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$213.07
per group
From
$213.07
per group

South Tour of London by the traditional Electric Black Taxi (Electocab Ltd)

South Tour of London by the traditional Electric Black Taxi (Electocab Ltd)

CHOOSING THE SOUTH TOUR WILL PROVIDE A CAPTIVATING EXPERIENCE. ONCE WE LEAVE THE HUB YOU ARE INSTANTLY TRAVELING THROUGH WHITEHALL WHERE YOU GET TO SEE THE QUEEN’S GUARD, 10 DOWNING STREET AND MUCH MORE BEFORE THE STUNNING BIG BEN, HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT AND WESTMINSTER ABBEY APPEAR ON THE HORIZON. YOU WILL GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO DELVE INTO SOUTHBANK WHERE YOU GET FAMILIAR WITH ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE, TATE MODERN, SHAKESPEARE GLOBE, THE FAMOUS BOROUGH MARKET AND OF COURSE THE SHARD BEFORE DRIVING OVER TOWER BRIDGE AND THROUGH UPPER THAMES STREET WHERE YOU WITNESS THE BEAUTIFUL VIEW OF THE RIVER THAMES AND THE SOUTHBANK. FINALLY, WE WILL REACH TRAFALGAR SQUARE THROUGH NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE. FURTHERMORE, BY TAKING SOUTH TOUR, YOU WILL OBSERVE SITES SUCH AS TATE BRITAIN, LAMBETH PALACE, MI5 BUILDINGS AND MUCH MORE.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$213.07
per group
From
$213.07
per group

Art in London Tour

Art in London Tour

Get a unique perspective of London on an art-focused tour that covers some of the capital’s major artistic institutions. You’ll benefit from the unique perspective of a London-raised professional artist as you explore the city’s galleries and museums in a quintessential black cab. Plus, all admission tickets are included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$248.58
From
$248.58
Taking safety measures

Bond with 007 in London - A spy mysteries tour ‘Licensed to Thrill’

Bond with 007 in London - A spy mysteries tour ‘Licensed to Thrill’

star-5
London without espionage is like tea without cake. Deceit woven in political conspiracies, thrilling car chases, gadget workshops spewing crazy innovations and double agents with looks to kill. So if you're a die-hard fan of Ian Fleming, this tour's “For Your Eyes Only”. Ride the mean streets of London and be part of a glorious 55-year legacy of spy thrillers. Relive your favourite spy flicks and their lead characters with an accredited London Private Driver Guide who's a pro at the 007 theme. Your mission ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, should you choose to accept, is to step into the shoes of Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig with your very own Special Agent. Snoop in on many mystery locations with fact-filled commentary and stand-up presentations. Prowl around the real-life world of secret service on Westminster, Whitehall, Downing St, National Gallery. Get closer to the fictional legend that is James Bond. Play out your fantasy because “You Only Live Once”..
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$388.83
per group
From
$388.83
per group

3 London Art Galleries with Private Local Guide - Tate Modern & National Gallery

3 London Art Galleries with Private Local Guide - Tate Modern & National Gallery

Dive into the creative life of London on our private art tour. Be entertained by the stories behind the wonderful masterpieces and hear about modern artists as you follow our local expert guide. Discover the impressive works of well-known artists like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, da Vinci at the National Gallery. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the significant persons’ paintings at the National Portrait Gallery. Feel the tug of modern and contemporary art at Tate Modern. As your guide will be right beside you, you don’t have to seek help from someone, all you have to do is ask, and you’ll get the answer. • Get to your meeting point by any transportation • Choose the time of the day, which would be good for you: morning or afternoon • You won’t be left wondering: just ask your host about anything you’d like to know • All three galleries are accessible for the tourists on a wheelchair
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$225.00
From
$225.00
Taking safety measures

National Portrait Gallery Tour

National Portrait Gallery Tour

The gallery will be closed from mid-2020 to (planned) spring 2023 for a major refurbishment. During this time, parts of the collection will be displayed around the UK in a series of exhibitions and collaborations, with other international loan exhibitions. This is a three-hour tour with an expert tour guide. Virtually hidden away behind the National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people for over four hundred years opening in 1856 where its first acquisition was possibly the oldest portrait of William Shakespeare. Find out more about the people who shaped Britain: meet Henry VIII and discover the fate of each of his six wives and Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, who won and lost power under him. We then visit the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and her favourite men Raleigh and Drake who plundered the Spanish and created England's first colonies.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$518.44
per group
From
$518.44
per group
Taking safety measures

Top 10 people in British History

Top 10 people in British History

Get to know 10 of the most influential and notorious figures in British history on a 3-hour small group walking tour. Find out who brought arts and culture to Britain and why Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas. Take a guided tour of the National Portrait Gallery, which houses stunning portraits of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I. This lively history crash course keeps you entertained from beginning to end.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$82.39
From
$82.39

Private Tour : 3 Amazing London Art Galleries 1 tour 1 guide

Private Tour : 3 Amazing London Art Galleries 1 tour 1 guide

star-5
Hear the stories behind historic works of art and learn more about the modern masters from your private guide on this tour of three incredible London art galleries. Explore works by da Vinci, Rembrandt and Van Gogh at the National Gallery; see impressive paintings of significant historical figures at the National Portrait Gallery; walk the vast Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. With your guide by your side, you don’t need to rely on gallery audio guides – just ask your guide all your questions!
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$147.73
Price varies by group size
From
$147.73
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience National Portrait Gallery?