Got 60 minutes?

30 Highlight Paintings

The National Gallery houses one of the finest collections of paintings in the world. Explore this selection of 30 of the highlights, which includes some of the Gallery's best-loved works.

Guided tours

We’re making changes to our programme of free daily guided tours - from 1 October 2018 there will be a new programme in place. To better meet the needs of our various audience groups we’ll be moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ model of tours. In response to feedback received from our Members, we will be introducing Members only tours as part of our new approach to guided tours – because we know that many of you attend these tours and greatly enjoy them. Members only tours will take place once a month in the first instance and places will be bookable and limited. This means we can keep the numbers low enough to make the tours interactive and responsive to your requests. If these tours are popular we will make them more regular. Please see the Members event webpage for more details.

Alternatively the Gallery holds daily tours, led by Gallery lecturers, these 60-minute tours stop off at some of the Gallery's most definitive works, providing a general overview of the collection.

Daily guided tours take place every day at 11.30am. Please see the events webpage for more details.

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks. Please see our lunchtime talks webpage for more details.

Talk and draw

Discover the collection from a new perspective with free creative sessions led by artists, poets and National Gallery lecturers.

Join an artist and a lecturer to explore a painting in two different ways, drawing in from of the painting with life models. All materials are provided and session last an hour. Please see our talk and draw webpage for more details.

When is the best time to visit the Gallery?

The Gallery is least busy on weekdays between 10am and 4pm. Another great time to visit is on Friday evenings when the Gallery is open until 9pm.

When is the best time to visit an exhibition?

We advise Members, where possible, to visit on a weekday rather than weekends.

The first two weeks, and final two weeks of an exhibition can be very busy, therefore it is advisable to visit the exhibition a few weeks after opening.

Please note Members can take advantage of the Members' Preview Days. The Gallery opens the exhibition to Members only before opening to the general public. Visit our webpage for dates and timings.

As a Member you do not need to book for the Members' Preview Days, just turn up with your Membership card.

How can you speed up entry to exhibitions?

You can skip the queue at the ticketing desk by booking your free Members’ ticket for exhibitions in advance.

Log in to your Membership account at using your email address and password and follow the links to tickets.

Select the 'Print at home' option and bring your tickets with you on the day.

When you arrive, go straight to the exhibition entrance.

Looking for more ways to beat the crowds?

As a Members you will receive notification of our exhibition Private Views, where you can enjoy the exhibitions at your leisure, after hours.

Save on National Gallery events, talks, courses, and workshops

Members, of the National Gallery, can take advantage of discounted National Gallery courses, talks, discussions and workshops.

To see what's on and book your discounted tickets, please see our What's on webpage.

Save in the National Gallery restaurants and cafés

All Members, of the National Gallery, can enjoy 10% off their total bill* in the National Dining Rooms, National Café, and Espresso Bar.

To redeem this offer please show your Membership card to staff.

You can call 020 7747 2525 to make a table reservation.

*Please note that the discount does not apply to alcoholic beverages. 

Be part of the story

Join today and enjoy free entry to exhibitions, exclusive Members' events, exhibition preview days, special offers, and more.