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National Gallery extends opening hours from 22 July

Issued July 2020

The National Gallery is extending its opening hours to 6pm daily* from Wednesday 22 July, as the next step in its reopening after lockdown. This will allow more people to see the nation’s paintings in person and visit the universally acclaimed Titian: Love, Desire, Death exhibition.

Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery says: 'We started welcoming visitors again on Wednesday 8 July after an unprecedented 111 days with the doors closed. We wanted to use these early days of reopening to make sure we were offering the very best visitor experience in the very safest way, before increasing the number of visitors we can let in. Having successfully reopened and with huge demand from the public for our once in a lifetime Titian exhibition, we are delighted to now extend our opening hours by two hours daily.'

All visits need to be booked online and in advance, this is to help us manage the number of people in the Gallery, limit queuing and reduce contact. There is still a reduced maximum capacity for visitors.

Due to a strong demand for the Titian: Love, Desire, Death exhibition, bookings are now being taken for dates up to and including 6 September - more tickets will be released in due course. The show has also been extended until 17 January 2021.

As part of our new safety measures, entrance is via the Sainsbury Wing Entrance and exit through the Getty Entrance; 2m social distancing measures are in place throughout the Gallery; and we have introduced three one-way art routes to guide you through different areas of the collection**.  You can still see the paintings you know and love as you move through the Gallery, with opportunities to choose which art journey your visit takes.

You can download our online art route map ahead of your visit or view it on your smart phone, and visitors can access extensive information on each painting through the Gallery website. When walking through the art routes, you can also get extra information about paintings by downloading the free Smartify app and using your phone to scan the paintings.

Providing a safe and enjoyable experience is our priority; in order to achieve this an enhanced cleaning regime is in operation. We have installed higher efficiency filters in the air conditioning system throughout the Gallery and are increasing the flow of fresh air. Perspex protection panels are in place at Ticket and Information desks, along with the shop and café counters too, and there is plenty of hand sanitiser at regular intervals throughout the building. 

For added reassurance that the National Gallery is a safe place to work and visit, we have provided personal protective equipment for our staff (including face masks, gloves and eye protection) and we are also recommending that all our visitors wear a face covering during their visit. 


* The National Gallery is open 7 days a week. Opening hours from Wednesday 22 July are daily 11am–6pm, Friday 11am–9pm. The Getty Shop is open, as is the National Café which has a takeaway offer – both are contactless payment only.

Admission and tickets

There are three ways to book a visit at

  • Members go free to 'Titian: Love, Desire, Death' and our other exhibitions
  • Gallery entry + Titian (visit our 5-star Titian: Love, Desire, Death exhibition and see our collection)
  • Gallery entry (a free ticket to see our collection and Nicolaes Maes: Dutch Master of the Golden Age)

Art routes

**Visitors can choose to explore route A, as well as route B or/and route C. Both route B and C pass through the Impressionist galleries and end at the toilets, café, shop and exit.

  • Route A – See some of the earliest works in the collection including paintings by Botticelli, van Eyck, Leonardo, Memling, Michelangelo, Raphael, Piero and Uccello.
  • Route B – Travel from Venice to the English countryside and see artists including Bronzino, Canaletto, Gainsborough, Hogarth, Holbein, Monet, Seurat, Turner and Van Gogh.
  • Route C – Witness dramatic candlelit moments and contemplate serene interior scenes and see artists including Caravaggio, Rubens, Velázquez, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Monet, Seurat, Turner and Van Gogh.


National Gallery Press Office on 020 7747 2865 or email

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