There's so much going on in London, it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you consider yourself a Londoner, have recently moved to the Big Smoke or are visiting the city for a few days, the team have worked hard to become experts in what's going on – and we're here to share the wisdom.


Whether it's theatre you're after, something a bit out of the box, or perhaps you're in need of some well-deserved R&R in the capital city, we've put together guides on the top London walking tours, best immersive experiences and top London spa experiences, plus many more.

If it's art that tickles your fancy, London is one of the best places in the UK to see an art exhibition. Home to many of the biggest galleries in the country (and the world) there's a huge amount to see in the permanent collections, let alone the exhibitions.

Different galleries are known for different specialisms, from the National Portrait Gallery which houses and exhibits different kinds of portraiture, to the Victoria and Albert museum (the V&A) which is known for its speciality in fashion and textiles. So, if you're interested in a particular medium or type of exhibition, it can be good to keep an eye on a gallery or museum which specialises in that.

Cost is obviously something that we are all keeping an eye on at the moment. The good news for art lovers is that many London museums and galleries have huge amounts that you can usually view for free, especially elements of the permanent collections.

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However, you often have to pay to see particular exhibitions with tickets costing between £10-£20, with most galleries offering concession prices for students, children and seniors. If you are a fan of a particular museum or gallery, many have the option of becoming a member which includes perks like access to a members' café and opportunities to get tickets to popular exhibitions early, or even in private viewings.

The Going Out team have been lucky enough to try out some of the experience we recommend, and you can take a look at our BBC Earth Experience review, what is Frameless?, 2:22 A Ghost Story review and The Cauldron review. here.

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Best art exhibitions in London at a glance:

  • A Birthday Garland, free
  • Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective, from £4
  • Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas, from £5
  • Japan: Myths to Manga, from £10
  • Accidentally Wes Anderson: The Exhibition, from £11
  • Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms, from £5
  • RE/SISTERS A Lens on Gender and Ecology, from £3
  • The Credit Suisse Exhibition Frans Hals, from £20
  • Frameless Lates, from £20
  • Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology, £80
  • The National Gallery official guided tour and cream tea for two, £65
  • Private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern, from £458.69

Best art exhibitions in London for 2024

Best limited-time art exhibitions in London

v&a best art exhibitions london 2023 uk
Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The Credit Suisse Exhibition Frans Hals

This exhibition at The National Gallery is displaying from now until the 21st January next year. Frans Hals was one of the most sought-after painters of his generation, and looking at his artworks in this exhibition, it's not hard to see why 17th-century Dutch audiences were impressed, and why the popularity of his portraits earned him the Haarlem's famous son status.

The exhibition is the first major retrospective of Hals in more than thirty years, and around 50 of Hals' finest works, including his most famous picture The Laughing Cavalier (1624), will be exhibited.

Buy The Credit Suisse Exhibition Frans Hals tickets from £20 at The National Gallery

For more exciting things to do in London, take a look at the best London experience gifts and top London walking tours.

Japan: Myths to Manga

This next exhibition is located at Young V&A in Bethnal Green, and it invites guests to take a trip to Japan and uncover how Japanese landscape and folklore have influenced art, technology and design.

The title image for Japan: Myths to Manga is a still from Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro, and this is just one of the mediums the exhibition explores. Also on display is a Sylvanian Families camping set, a Hello Kitty rice cooker, personal robots, and so much more.

Japan: Myths to Manga is running from now until Sunday 8th September, so there's still plenty of time to visit this family-friendly exhibition.

Buy Japan: Myths to Manga tickets from £10 at V&A

Accidentally Wes Anderson: The Exhibition

There are few filmmakers with as recognisable an aesthetic as Wes Anderson, director of beloved movies such as The Grand Budapest Hotel and Fantastic Mr Fox. His love for a bold colour palette, symmetry and pastels mean that he has a very distinctive style, which can often occur naturally, without him having any involvement.

American Wally Koval realised this and in 2017 opened an Instagram account called Accidentally Wes Anderson as a personal travel bucket list for him and his wife. Since then, the account has grown into a community of one million followers and has led to a New York Times bestselling book.

Now, Accidentally Wes Anderson has been brought to life in South Kensington, giving you the opportunity to explore and learn more about picturesque settings from each of the seven continents, all within a very aesthetically pleasing exhibition space of course. Who knows, you might even spot a few familiar locations.

Buy Accidentally Wes Anderson: The Exhibition tickets from £11 at Fever

A Birthday Garland

This free exhibition at London's Southbank Centre looks right up our street as it's all about words! Artist Mary Kuper has been commissioned as part of the London Literature Festival to create an exhibition which offers the experience of walking inside a single word.

Kuper works with the etymology of words and drawings which are contained in the Southbank Centre's library. There's also the chance to create your own 'word picture' to take home.

A Birthday Garland is showing from now until 12th May.

Get free A Birthday Garland tickets at Southbank Centre

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms

It's very likely that you've seen this exhibition all over your social media platforms — and why wouldn't you? It looks incredible!

Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama came to worldwide attention in 1960s New York for their range of creative practices, which encompass anything from installation and sculpture to painting and fashion design.

The Infinity Mirror Rooms is one of Kusama's largest installations to date, and it's shown alongside Chandelier of Grief, a room which creates an illusion of infinite rotating crystal chandeliers. This exhibition is showing from now until 28th April 2024.

Buy Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms tickets from £5 at Tate

Visiting a gallery would be a great date activity, and for more best London date ideas, take a look at our guide.

Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas

Artist Sarah Lucas is celebrated for her provocative use of materials and imagery, and this particular exhibition is no different. Happy Gas uses ordinary objects and subverts them to challenge our understanding of sex, class, and gender.

Happy Gas is showing from now until 14th January 2024 at the Tate Britain. Be sure to look at the content guidance before attending this exhibition, too, as it contains some potentially upsetting scenes.

Buy Sarah Lucas: Happy Gas tickets from £5 at Tate

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a creative? Then take a look at the best UK pottery experiences and best photography courses.

Private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is one of the world's biggest museums of modern and contemporary art. While this is part of what makes it so exciting, it can also be a bit daunting, especially if you're a first time visitor.

That's where a private tour can be an amazing way to see the gallery. These tours are for up to eight people and last anywhere between one and a half and two hours. You'll have a professional tour guide all to yourselves as you get to know the history of this unique exhibition space and gain insights on some of the artwork.

These tours can be in English, Spanish or French. Semi-private tour prices start from £92.50 at Fever, whereas private tours start from £458.69.

Buy tickets for a private guided museum tour of the Tate Modern from £458.69 at Fever

National Gallery
GettyImages/Allan Baxter

The National Gallery is one of London's most iconic buildings, situated in Trafalgar Square. The home of the masterpieces, on this hour-long tour you'll be guided between some of the more famous European works in the gallery by an expert tour guide.

And after all that art you'll probably need a snack, so you'll head to Ochre for afternoon tea including savoury sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream and seasonal pastries.

Buy tickets for The National Gallery official guided tour and cream tea for two for £65 at Virgin Experience Days

Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum

British Museum
GettyImages/Justin Pumfrey

Be guided by a qualified archaeologist as you make your way around the British Museum and see how our relationship with design and stonework has evolved over time. You'll get to hear the history behind some of the world's most famous artefacts, and learn more about the science behind archaeology.

Buy tickets for Wonders of Civilisation: A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum for two for £80 at Virgin Experience Days

Best small art exhibitions in London

the barbican alice neel best art exhibitions london 2023 uk
Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective

This writer loves The Photographer's Gallery — it's easy to get to (it's located right by Oxford Circus station), and it always has fantastic exhibitions on, and this next exhibition is no different.

Born in 1938, Daido Moriyama uses dense and grainy images to change how we look at the world. This exhibition spans Moriyama's whole career, starting with his early photographs for Japanese magazines and how he engages with photorealism, then it moves to his self-reflexive period in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective is running from now until the 11th February next year.

Buy Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective tickets from £4 at The Photographer's Gallery

RE/SISTERS A Lens on Gender and Ecology

As well as theatre, cinema, and the beautiful conservatory, the Barbican in East London also has an art gallery. RE/SISTERS A Lens on Gender and Ecology is a group exhibition, put together by 50 international women and gender non-conforming artists, which explores the relationship between gender and ecology. The exhibition highlights the systemic links between the oppression of women and the degradation of the planet.

Buy RE/SISTERS A Lens on Gender and Ecology tickets from £3 at Barbican

If you like to consume art through film, be sure to take a look at our guides to the best luxury cinema experiences and how to get cheap cinema tickets.

If it's through music, we have the best candlelight concerts and how to get cheap concert tickets guides for you.

Frameless Lates

Maliha Abidi frameless lates best art exhibitions london
Maliha Abidi via Frameless Maliha Abidi via Frameless

The newly launched Frameless Lates sessions take place every Friday and Saturday night, and is open exclusively to over-18s. With a drink in hand and music from Soho Radio filling the exhibition, late-night guests will be able to visit all four galleries, as well as the occasional artist in residence, for example, Maliha Abidi.

In October 2023, Frameless Lates showcased the work of Pakistani-American artist, author, and women’s rights activist, Maliha Abidi. Our Digital Writer Joanna was lucky enough to be invited to Frameless Lates, and here's what she thought of it: "There’s nothing cooler than art after dark, especially when it’s at Frameless. The gallery showcases art in such a unique way, and it’s amazing how you can interact with art from so long ago.

"Hearing some tunes from Soho Radio really added to the unique atmosphere of the night, and they were perfect to listen to while grabbing a drink at the end. I especially loved seeing the work of the featured artist, Maliha Abidi, come to life and learn more about her artwork."


Check out our Going Out section to stay on top of what's going on in London and beyond, such as the best London theatre shows and Manchester theatre shows.