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Tate Modern Tips (154)


Situated in what was once the Bankside Power Station is the relatively new Tate Modern [opened in 2000] which was opened to house the modern art collection of the Tate Gallery [located further down the Thames at Millbank].
To be honest I wasn't hugely impressed with this place on my first visit in 2002. However, I wasn't having the best of days when I visited, for various reasons, and some modern art really just isn't my taste - I felt like there were a lot of installation type works and not so many paintings. On my most recent trip to London (2015) I decided to give the Tate Modern a second chance and this time I really enjoyed it. Maybe the art was just more to my taste or maybe I was just in a better frame of mind to appreciate it! Its a large building providing large airy galleries. Even so there was some work going on when I visited to expand the building and create even more gallery space to show off more of the collection. Well worth a visit in my revised opinion!! Always happy to admit when I was wrong ;)

There are two restaurants on the premises but they looked a bit too fancy/expensive for me as I just wanted a snack - so I advise taking something with you or eating before you get there if you don't want a fancy meal.

entry- free to permanent exhibits
Tel:020 7887 8000

hevbell's Profile Photo
Sep 23, 2016

Tate Modern Gallery

The Tate Modern was opened in 2000 in the former Bankside Power Station. It is the world famous museum for modern and contemporary art. There might be various opinions about the exhibition, but it is definitely worth a visit. The inhouse cafes with riverside balconies offer panoramic views of the Thames, the Millenium Footbridge and St. Paul's Cathedral.

HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
Nov 17, 2015

An Old Home for New Art.

The Tate Modern opened to the public in May 2002 in what was once the Bankside Power Station which stands on the south bank of the Thames on the former site of Great Pike Gardens, which supplied fish to the religious houses in the area during the 14th century.

The building was constructed in two stages between 1947 and 1963 and was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. It consists of a steel structure enclosed by 4.2 million bricks, the chimney, being 99m high, was designed to be lower than the 114m dome of St. Paul's Cathedral across the river. The western half of power station, which includes the chimney, went into production in 1952 and the eastern half in 1963. The power station stopped generating power in 1981, standing empty for thirteen years until the Tate Gallery took over the site in 1994.

The design by Hertzog & De Meuron, winners of an international competition for the conversion of the old power station, kept the buildings main structure intact and retained the huge turbine hall as an exhibition space and public forum. Galleries were added over the seven floors of the boiler house, as well as a two storey 'lightbeam' which allows natural light into the galleries below and offers panoramic views across the Thames to St Paul's Cathedral and the City of London.

The cost of the conversion was £134 million and in the first three months of its opening the gallery had over two million visitors. The gallery holds the Tate's modern art collection from 1900 to the present day and holds a number of temporary exhibitions each year.

HackneyBird's Profile Photo
May 25, 2014

Art in an old power station

Update April 2014: additional photo added

The newer of the two Tate Galleries in London is Tate Modern, which is housed in a converted power station on Bankside. It displays the national collection of international modern art, which is defined as art dating from 1900 onwards. Tate Modern includes modern British art where it contributes to the story of modern art, so major modern British artists may be found at both Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

Highlights of the collection include masterpieces by both Picasso and Matisse and one of the world's finest collections of Surrealism, including works by Dalí, Ernst, Magritte and Mirò. Among my personal favourites are the sculptures of Giacometti and a whole room devoted to Mark Rothko. The collection is arranged not chronologically as you might expect, but by four major themes: Material Gestures, Poetry & Dream, Idea & Object and States of Flux. This makes it possible to compare very different artists tackling similar themes.

There are also regular special exhibitions, often making use of the vast space of the old turbine hall which sits at the heart of the gallery. Check the website to see what is on when you're in London. Facilities include a formal restaurant (on the top floor and apparently with stunning views of the river – I haven’t eaten there myself) and two cafes. General admission is free although there is a charge for special exhibitions.

The gallery is open Sunday – Thursday, 10.00 AM – 6.00 PM, and on Friday and Saturday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM. Be prepared for crowds if you come at the weekend in particular – this gallery has certainly made modern art more popular and more accessible, and it’s a favourite destination for many London families as well as tourists.

toonsarah's Profile Photo
Apr 14, 2014
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Tate Modern

I left the Tate Modern underwhelmed. There's a number of reasons for this, some of them subjective. Firstly the Turbine Hall was closed for renovation. Pretty much every "wow" exhibit I've ever seen advertised for the Tate Modern was in the Turbine Hall, so that put things on a damper straight away. But even excusing that the rest of the collection was sharply contrasted with my recent visit to the Met in New York. Whereas in the Met my biggest disappointment was all the great art that I'd missed due to lack of time, at the Tate I simply didn't see that many outstanding pieces at all.

Sure there were a couple of Picassos, but he was a prolific artist turning out around 50,000 pieces of art. All I saw in the Tate Modern were a few small, lesser known paintings. There was a Matisse - not the Reclining Nude I that sold for nearly $10 million but the other one, Reclining Nude II. There were a couple of nice Max Ernst paintings. Not exactly breathtaking, but I guess the Tate Modern is supposed to be a celebration of British modern art, right? So where are all the big names, like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst? I guess they are all over at the other Tate.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good museum and it's free so I shouldn't complain too much. I'm just disappointed that such a potential showcase for British modern art felt a bit flaccid.

antistar's Profile Photo
Aug 01, 2013

The Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is the most popular modern art gallery in the world, receiving around 4 million visitors a year. As it is a modern gallery, exhibits will not be to all taste. For me, I found the works very impressive and for certain this is one of the top five modern collections of art in the world.
This does not mean that you will enjoy everything shown here. It is best to approach your visit with an open mind.
The collection touches all the bases when in comes to art since 1900. This is includes Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Virtually every important artist in the 20th century is represented by one of their best works. The museum as several floor completely dedicated to traveling exhibitions. The permanent collection takes up two floors and is quite manageable in that it will not tire you out as some art galleries will.
The building itself is in an old power station. From a far it actually does not look very welcoming however the interior works well for exhibiting art.
A visit to the Tate Modern technically should not set you much money as it is free. There is donation box for those who wish to contribute as I did. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday and closed on Monday.

Paul2001's Profile Photo
Jul 21, 2013

Tate Modern.

Tate Modern is said to be the most popular modern art gallery in the world. I am not that into modern art, but I wanted to go there anyway, and didn´t regret it.

Tate Modern is a very special gallery in a big former power station right on the banks of Thames. It mainly exhibits modern and contemporary art, some of which I don´t understand at all. And I so want to understand it. But here are also paintings by the masters, Monet f.ex. And surrealistic work by Dalí, Ernst and Miró. Here is also a Picasso collection and works by Mondrian, Giacometti, Pollock, Bourgeois, Rothko, Moore and Matisse. So it is well worth a visit.

Tate Modern is on 6 floors - and it is so spacious. There are exhibitions on 3 floors and they are so extensive and different from one another that I think everybody will find something there that they will like. I just rattled my brain over some of the modern art work and thought that the artist was maby taking us for a ride. But that is just my opinion, nobody forced me to go to Tate Modern, there are plenty of other traditional galleries if one is not into modern art. There was one art work though that made me think. In one showroom there was a big thingy (in lack of a better word) lit up, I would say 2 big lights, one on a table and one coming from above slowly approaching the light on the table. When they touched the light went out. The artist is showing the act of taking a photo and I kind of agree with him here. One can be so occupied with taking a photo that one doesn´t really enjoy what one is looking at. I have felt like this when I am traveling, instead of really absorbing the beauty of a place the first thing I do is take a photo.

This is what I love about art, when it makes you wake up and think. But most of the modern art work there didn´t do the trick, maybe some other time I will be more inclined to understanding this kind of art. There are free daily guided tours at 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00 and I am going to go on those tours next time I visit Tate Modern. Maybe that will make me appreciate this kind of art form more, or at least understand it.

There is a café there with fantastic views of London and the Milennium bridge. And Tate Modern is so lively, I would go there just to be around people and have some coffee and wander around in the show-rooms. Here are also interactive activities and films so there is plenty to do here and a visit will take ca 2-3 hours.

Photos are allowed without flash.

Admission: free. Some exhibitions are not free of charge though.

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10:00-18:00. Friday and Saturday: 10:00-22:00.

There is a boat, the Tate boat, which takes people from Tate Modern to Take Britain. But I wouldn´t recommend visiting both galleries in one day, my mission was to visit 2 galleries/museums every day... it just proved to be too much. One cannot take it all in, especially in such big museums/galleries.

Regina1965's Profile Photo
Dec 30, 2012

Modern Chic

I’m pretty sure that to say the Tate Modern is a controversial, even polemical, gallery is not exactly a bad thing when referring to an institution that houses and displays contemporary art. Its collections and its exhibitions are certain to cause discussion, at the very least, and are usually very interesting from a number of points of view, the artistic being only one among many. Prominent along the south side of the Thames, the Tate Modern is housed in what was initially built as the Bankside Power Station. The modernist, functional yet ugly design of the building, together with attendant smokestack, meshes well with the ability of the Tate Modern to question and probe modern trends and ideas relating to aesthetics and the place of art in society. The Tate Modern’s collection is not displayed in chronological order, but is arranged according to themes, which, grosso modo, mean that the curators have tried to group various schools and trends in art around core concepts. Thus, although Pop Art might be separated from Futurism by Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, Pop Art and Futurism are grouped together, while Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism each find themselves in separate spaces. The Turbine Hall, located at the bottom of the building, functions as a temporary exhibition space, generally given over to commissioned works of art by famous contemporary artists, such as Ai WeiWei, Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois and Doris Salcedo. The Tate Modern works on a voluntary admission fee scheme, which encourages visitors to stop by multiple times and to allow the works and their impact to sink in before taking on the rest of the collection.

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Dec 12, 2012
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"Maybe it's Because I'm A Londoner...."
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The Tate Modern now occupies the old Bankside Power Station and has a formidable collection of British Art from the last five centuries. The power station closed in 1981 and was converted since then by architects Herzog and De Meuron and now has seven floors, the bottom five having the galley space (opened in 2000). The exhibits are arranged in five sections and there are also temporary displays. Outside the Tate Modern seems to be a place where street performers gather but there was one interesting fellow who seemed to be working up to complete 5,000 squat thrusts. Today's target was 2,500 and the fellow seemed to be doing it so people are more aware for the need of exercise.

davidjo's Profile Photo
Dec 05, 2012

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is housed in an old power station on the south bank of the Thames in central London. It doesn't sound like an appealing location, but strangely it actually is. The scale of the building with it's old chimney is quite impressive and the vastness of the space inside in the Turbine Hall lends itself to creating a very atmospheric exhibition space.

I'm no expert in art of any description, but I do like looking at nice things and I tend to prefer more modern stuff to older more traditional stuff. The Tate Modern has lots of stuff that I thought was great, other stuff that was more interesting or challenging rather than being immediately visually appealing (but still good) and other stuff that is (in my very humble and unrefined opinion) just plain weird. But all of it will give you something to talk about.

This isn't an elitist place and it's usually very busy if not crowded. It's also not a quiet place like many museums and galleries, there always seems to be noise and children running around.

Admission is free except for the temporary exhibitions (which can be very expensive). Donations are requested however.

zadunajska8's Profile Photo
Jan 01, 2012

Tate Modern

Tate Modern is housed on a former Bankside Power station that turned into a big museum for modern art. I have visited the museum many times as there are often different installations and exhibitions. Sometimes I get bored some other times I get excited here but that’s a risk that you take with modern art.

The museum is usually full of young people that enjoy this amazing gallery, I guess for some of them may be the only museum they have ever visited :)

The collection is big with thousands of paintings, photos, video installations, sculptures etc Of course it includes some masterpieces of famous people like Picasso, Hirst etc

It is open Sunday-Thursday 10.00-18.00 and Friday/Saturday 10.00-22.00

There’s no entrance fee
There are more than one cafes inside the museum but the one at the 7th floor is great even if you don’t want to order something because you will have amazing view over Millennium bridge (and for free!)

mindcrime's Profile Photo
Apr 10, 2011

The Tate Modern Gallery At The Power Station

For quite a few years, the power station stood neglected on the river opposite St Paul's Cathedral. That was until the Tate Modern Gallery decided that it would make a stunning art gallery.

The gallery has lots of weird and wonderful examples of modern art from artists such as: Thomas Struth, Eduardo Paolozzi, Damien Hirst and Pablo Picasso. All of the main rooms are free to visit but there is a fee to enter the special exhibitions. When we visited it was the last days of the Matisse and Picasso exhibition.

Exhibits include paintings, photos, sculptures and films. Even if you are not a great fan of modern art it is still worth looking around at the surroundings of the exhibits.

The gallery opens at 10am though closing times vary and are late evening at weekends.

cheekymarieh's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Things To Do Near Tate Modern

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Getting to Tate Modern


25 Sumner Street Bankside, London SE1 9TG


  • Sunday 10:00 to 18:00
  • Monday 10:00 to 18:00
  • Tuesday 10:00 to 18:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 18:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 18:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 22:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 22:00