Tate Modern ★★

Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern
Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
A gallery at the Tate Modern, London, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Olafur Eliasson's the Weather Project (2003) installation at the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Contemplating a work from the "Bacchus” series (2008) Cy Twombly, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra)
The Tate Modern lives in an old power station on the Thames, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Christine Matthews)
Andy Warhol room, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Robert)
Contemplating a pair of "Red on Maroon" (1959) by Mark Rothko, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Edna Winti)
"Whaam!" by (1963) by Roy Lichtenstein, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Neal Ungerleider)
"Summertime: Number 9A" (1948) by Jackson Pollock, Tate Modern, London (Photo by MO-A)
An exhibit in the turbine room of the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Mr. Pink)
"Nude Woman with Necklace" (1968) by Pablo Picasso, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Mark Colliton)
"Fountain (1917, replica 1964) by Marcel Duchamp, Tate Modern, London (Photo by MO-A)
"Staircase-III" (2010) by Do Ho Suh, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Tammy O.)
A detail of "White Field" (1964) by Gunther Uecker, Tate Modern, London (Photo by muffinn)
Detail from "Autoconstruccion" (2008) by Abraham Cruzvillegas, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Isabell Schulz)
A room in the Tate Modern, Tate Modern, London (Photo by Adrian Pingstone)

Fantastic modern art museum in a massive former power plant, with blockbuster exhibitions and a fab gift shop and bookstore

If you're into contemporary art, this place rocks.

The Tate’s famed international modern art collection occupies a huge renovated former power station on Bankside, just across the pedestrian Millennium Bridge from The City and St. Paul’s.

The collection includes art from the Impressionists to today—from Rodin’s The Kiss and dozens of pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and van Gogh to Dalí, Giacometti, and Modigliani, and later works by Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Henry Moore, Julian Schnabel, Frank Stella, Anselm Keifer, and a host of other contemporary-era artists.

It also puts on showstopping major special exhibits of the sort the entire global art world talks about.

Seriously.

My father was an artist, so I run into this lot plenty, and I have honestly overheard the following conversation:

"I'm headed to London next week."

"Oh yes, why?"

"To see that exhibition at the Tate."

That was it. The entire purpose of a transatlantic trip was just to go to a temporary show at this one museum.

(Awesome gift store, too.)

Tours
 
Tate Modern Tours
 

These might include Tate Modern

More tours
 
 

Tips

How long should I spend at the Tate Modern?

Depending on what kind of exhibits are on, figure on at least an hour in the main collection (more if you're a modern art fan), maybe another 30–45 minutes for special exhibits.

I have actually come here and spent more than three hours simply at a special exhibit, never even getting to the main part of the collection.

Also figure on spending at least 20–30 minutes (and probably a lot more money than you expected) in the awesome book store and gift shop.

Free audio guide with London Pass

Though admission is already free, don't forget to use your London Pass to get a free audio guide (normally £4.50).

In the neighborhood