Your visit

Your time at the Gallery

How long does it take to see the National Portrait Gallery? It's up to you! Here are our recommendations for making the most of your time at the Gallery.

Under 30 minutes

Download the free Bloomberg Connects app and follow along with a tour of the works on display. Available for download on iOS and Android.

1 hour

  • Concentrate on a particular period of history. Use our floor plans to find the relevant galleries. The portraits are arranged chronologically, starting with the Tudor collection on Floor 3 and ending with the newest additions on Floor 0.
  • See a temporary exhibition: The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure on Floor 0.
  • Take a highlights tour through the Collection.

2 hours or more

Explore the whole Gallery from the Tudors to today!

Make the most of everything the Gallery has to offer – visit an exhibition, enjoy a free Portrait of the Day talk. Dine in the restaurant, café or café bar. Browse the shop for something special.

Special displays

    'Work in Progress',        2021-2022,    NPG 7145,    © National Portrait Gallery, London 'Work in Progress', 2021-2022

History Makers

This new space displays images of contemporary “history makers”, such as the race campaigner Doreen Lawrence, the England footballer Lucy Bronze, the author Jeanette Winterson and our Work in Progress mural.

Floor 0, Room 33

    Lucian Freud,    by Lucian Freud,    1963,    NPG 5205,    © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images Lucian Freud, by Lucian Freud, 1963

Freud Gallery

This room offers a glimpse into the Lucian Freud Archive, providing a unique and intimate insight into the artist’s life and drawing practice, via his childhood drawings and the remarkable sketchbooks spanning his entire career.

Floor 2, Room 26

    Anna May Wong,    by Atelier Gudenberg, published by  Ross-Verlag,    1920s,    NPG Ax160193,    © National Portrait Gallery, London Anna May Wong, by Atelier Gudenberg, published by Ross-Verlag, 1920s

Reframing Narratives

In partnership with the CHANEL Culture Fund, Reframing Narratives: Women in Portraiture is a three-year project, which aims to enhance the representation of women in the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection and highlight the often-overlooked stories of individual women who have shaped British history and culture.

Floor 1, Room 29

    Marc Quinn ('Self'),    by Marc Quinn,    2006,    NPG 6863,    © Marc Quinn. Photo: Marc Quinn studio. Courtesy: Marc Quinn studio Marc Quinn ('Self'), by Marc Quinn, 2006

Mask displays

This room brings together historic life and death masks and explores how they were made. These poignant objects, which are among the most realistic portraits in the Collection, are presented alongside works by contemporary artists Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn, who have used masks to interrogate their own identity and mortality.

Floor 1, Room 32

Portrait of Carmen Munroe
Carmen Munroe OBE by Sonia Boyce OBE © Sonia Boyce. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust (detail)

Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush's arrival in Britain, Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation is a display of ten portraits, highlighting the experiences of people who have made positive contributions to the United Kingdom.

Room 14, Floor 3