Tate Modern

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© Tate Photography

Turbine Hall

Duncan McKenzie / Time Out
Michael Franke / Time Out
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Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. Built after World War II as Bankside Power Station, it was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. The power station shut in 1981; nearly 20 years later, it opened as an art museum, and has enjoyed spectacular popularity ever since. The gallery attracts five million visitors a year to a building intended for half that number; the first fruits of work on the immensely ambitious, £215m TM2 extension opened in 2012: the Tanks, so-called because they occupy vast, subterranean former oil tanks, will stage performance and film art. As for the rest of the extension, a huge new origami structure, designed by Herzog & de Meuron (who were behind the original conversion), will gradually unfold above the Tanks until perhaps 2016, but the work won’t interrupt normal service in the main galleries.

In the main galleries themselves, the original cavernous turbine hall is still used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. Beyond, the permanent collection draws from the Tate’s collections of modern art (international works from 1900) and features heavy hitters such as Matisse, Rothko and Beuys – a genuinely world-class collection, expertly curated. There are vertiginous views down inside the building from outside the galleries, which group artworks according to movement (Surrealism, Minimalism, Post-war abstraction) rather than by theme.

Venue name: Tate Modern
Address: Bankside
Opening hours: Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Fri 10am-10pm (last adm 45 mins before closing)
Transport: Tube: Southwark/Blackfriars
Price: Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions
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  • Sculpture Until Sunday April 3 2016
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  • Mixed media Until Thursday December 31 2015
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  • Installation Until Sunday March 20 2016 Free
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  • Until Sunday January 24 2016
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  • Experimental Thursday January 14 2016 - Sunday January 17 2016
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:20
  • 4 star:15
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:3
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Tom Bruce

A grand industrial building turned modern art exhibition palace, the Tate Modern has prime positioning on the Thames Southbank directly opposite St Paul's cathedral. It's free, it's wonderful, it's absolutely massive (and, with a staggeringly large sail boat-looking extension being added as I write, about to be even more so) and it has a couple of cheeky Warhols and Hockneys. Unfortunately, the paid entry seasonal exhibitions are a bit out of the recently graduated student's price range. The curators will also never beat the time when they had gigantic usable metal slides installed which ran from the rafters to the ground floor. Now that was art!

The number of ridiculously good looking fashionistas per square foot of London positively sky rockets upon entering the Tate Modern. Every beard is groomed, every eyebrow plucked, every pair of jeans tight, every set of cheekbones chiseled, every tattoo a work of art. As a friend noted at the time, we were "the ugliest people in the entire gallery". It's as though their genes were better. And you can't compete with DNA. You just can't. Why mention these people in a review, though? Well, because the real art is in the reaction of the viewer to the art. Just as it is more fascinating to watch an artist at work than to view the finished product, it is more enjoyable to examine how human strangers interact with the space and art around them. We are all art. One gallery piece, a rectangular mirror, makes this exact point. But I had formed this theory before we came to the mirror part, I swear it. Below is the only picture I took at the Tate this last Friday - I just found the separations satisfying. Ah, culture. 

Kritt N

If you love contemporary art, then there's no better to place spend your day than the Tate Gallery. 

Since being converted from a power station, the Tate Modern houses some of the finest collection in contemporary and modern over seven floors and organizes special exhibition for gallery members and for those with ticket. 

The cafe on the second floor is well worth a visit for it's stunning view across the Thames, the Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral and the the gallery shop is well worth a visit too, for a vast array or gift ideas from the wacky to the inspirational. 

It's easy to reach from London Bridge and like most London galleries, is free. Well worth a visit.

Ben C

Visiting the other day, I was struck by how easy it was to move through the rooms and leave totally unchanged, uninspired or in any way enlightened about the stuff that makes life interesting. It's a shame because the space is fantastic, and there are some genuine highlights (in the permanent collection, the Cy Twombly and Giuseppe Penone sculptures, Meredith Frampton's stunning portrait of Marguerite Kelsey). NB I did't see the temporary exhibitions this time, so not counting them in this.

The new wing they're building wont' solve this problem - the Tate needs either better art, or a better "story", to use the language of our time, not necessarily more art.

Everyone else rightly picks up on the great venue itself - cafes, locations, stuff for kids: I completely agree with that. If you're looking for something to do with friends or kids for a few hours, then its great. Just not for a fresh and challenging experience of art. 

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

The cafe bar at the top is a great location for a relatively cheap date in London.  Go have a glass of bubbles and sit by the floor to ceiling windows ... the view is stunning, and then you can go explore the artwork!

Charly Lester - Time Out Head of Dating

Victoria A

I love this gallery. There is always so much to see. The modern sculpture display are most magnificent. When you get tired, go to the cafe on the top floor and enjoy a cup of coffee and the view of the River Thames. Brilliant View.

kim r

One of my favourite places in London- getting there is a treat, either across the Millennium bridge with its stunning views down the river and back to St Pauls, or along the Thames past The Globe or the great eateries. Once there at the Tate Modern, there is always at least one top class exhibition to see- currently Matisse or Richard Hamilton (I preferred the latter). The room are well curated with a mixture of styles and the guided talks are well worth the investment, Book shop is great and the café gives you the opportunity to sit in the fresh air and look across at the Thames & St Pauls

Janet Bennett

We loved visiting the Tate Modern, my daughter always loved art, so it was by chance we visited on a wet day, but what a memorable experience. So much to look at and admire, paintings, photography, this museum is one the best things to see in London, lovely shop, and lots for children to participate in.

Anna Goedeke

A must go for art lovers! And if you need to take a break from all the wonderful paintings, photography, and sculptures go to the cafe and enjoy the view over the Themse and the city!


It is a really nice place, however I am not a big fan of a modern art plus I haven't seen new pieces in ages. Still it is worth going to see the view from terraces.


Tate's great, two simple words that sum up this place, My sister updates my membership each Christmas and it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. I always enter via the millennium bridge so I can see the new London (Shard) verses the old (St Pauls). The latest suprise was the new room dedicated to the American great photographer William Eggleston and as my friend Susie says Billys work reminds her of one of her all time favourite quotes from Camille Pissaro “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where others see nothing”. Truly recommended. I'm devoted to the mans work and I'll say it again the Tate is great.


Lot of lovely art display. Like the café in the upper gallery. Get a good view of the rive Thames while enjoying a cup of tea. Brilliant

Steven Green

Worth it just for the architecture alone - the art, views and cafe are a bonus. Plus it's free to get in - what are you waiting for?


The Tate is such a fun building and place, with its changing exhibitions there is always something new to see. It has such a wide range of interactive, weird and modern exhibitions and makes a great day out for a family or adults looking to see something new, interesting. It sparks a great talking point and I would highly recommend. It is also worth checking out what exhibitions they have so that you can time your visit with a particular interest.

Andreu Quintana

Really worth having a visit, and a revisit every now and then. Perfect for a reunion with a friend, talking about now and then in front of a Warhol painting, or just enjoying the greatest views of Sant Paul and The City from the bar on the top floor! If you have no clue about any vanguardism, there are fantastic mural paintings with a very visual quick explanation of the last 100 years. Do not miss it!


its a great building, and has some of the most inspiring artists in the world. its the only place like it in the uk, not only does it offer already famous artist like dali and pollock but it also allows new artists to debut thier work among the greats giving the tate a very broad array of interest. If you like art its great.


Free, Free Free... yeah and free your mind. Don't take the Tate Modern too serious - JUST ENJOY! I know little about art, I don't have time to really care, but I do like life experiences. Catch a boat 'up' the Thames... head into the gallery and you have yourself an amazing and interesting day out... for pennies. Impressed?


A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon on the Southbank

Mary Young

A must for any tourist intending visiting London, whether or not you are interested in Art!

Mark A. Harris

The Tate Modern is an incredibly awe inspiring place ... The works of Art are simply fantastic & I could spend many more enjoyable hours in its company ...


Such a great use of the space and a good balance to the Tate Britain in its modernism.

Paul Simmons

Wonderful location with the potential to be a really outstanding venue - unfortunately under a massive handicap due to the current regime in terms of much of the exhibitions and temporary collection. Very much a case of the Emporer's New Clothes - hopefully this may change when the existing dictatorship shuffles on or is overthrown. Perhaps we need an 'Art Spring'..


Great place to get inspired! Tune off the city and fall back in love with the art!


I am not very arty, I don´t understand modern art... but this is a great museum. Many interesting pieces of art, very spacious to walk in even when there are hundreds of people


Yes, it is a modern art museum, but I don't understand how the most of the pieces in it can be called master pieces. Maybe I am too classic.

Kate Rushton

A great place to spend a rainy day in London. It really does challenge your view of art. But, most importantly, it is free.

Beki Lacy

I came here for the first time with my friend who is an art student a few years back and went in with a closed mind as I wasn't sure what to expect. How wrong was I? Such an entertaining gallery (I'm not usually a fan) but it's exactly what it says in it's name, modern, I believe this helps it appeal to a younger audience and gets them more interested in the art. Another must see in London and another where you get free entry - so many amazing things to do for free!


I have visited the Tate Mordern 3 times in the past year and walked past the outside countless times and it never fails to awe me. My last visit took me to see the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit, someone whom I studied at school which gave me yet another reason to love this building (after studying it at University). I highly recommend standing on the viewing platform and taking in the full expanse of the Turnbine Hall!

Alice Waller

Whether you think modern art is pretentious rubbish or eye-opening beauty, the Tate Modern still makes for a fun and interesting day out. Something in London that has to be tried at least once!


what rubbish, fine art is art! i could knock over my office bin and display it in their gallery.

And rew McKelvie

Having been taken to this page, from the film section, I unwisely believed it would actually show the films showing at Tate ......

Betty Maxey Clark

A gallery I will visit when in London on my next visit to restore older buildings in Cities and have them for the public to see and use should be done more often Betty Maxey Clark 1/25/12


One art critic described this place as "whatever it is, it's not an art gallery". I agree; it's like a soulless art theme park. Art needs intimacy to work