Tate Modern, London, England

Musicians on the Millennium bridge, with Tate Modern in the background, London, England

The Tate Modern is on the South Bank of the Thames beside the Millennium Bridge. Entry Free. On the far left Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is visible in white. A short walk across the bridge gets you immediately to St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as the City of London district.

Why visit the Tate Modern art gallery?

tate Modern exterior, London, England

The Tate Modern is free to enter, houses an impressive series of spaces – particularly the vast Turbine Hall – and a fantastic location on the Thames Riverside, but is a bit short of must-see exhibits. Conceptual art rules and does little for me or other visitors judging by the speed with which they walk by  wacky works.
The temporary exhibitions, however – for which you have to pay – can be excellent. We visited the Tate’s pay-to-enter Miró exhibition and were most impressed.

If you’re passing by on the South Bank – which you certainly should if you’re a tourist – then drop in and make up your own mind.

A comfortable space with accessible though modest art forms, Tate Modern, London, England

The Tate encompasses a huge and comfortable space with accessible though modest art forms, occasionally fascinating and frequently deranged.

The Blavatnik extension to the Tate Modern

The Blavatnik extension was paid for by a Russian billionaire called Blavatnik. Mere millionaires who bought glass-fronted apartments adjacent to the Tate are cursing his name because visitors can not only get a great free view over the Thames and City from the open north side but also get a close-up view of the fixtures and fittings of the very pricey apartments from the southwest side!

Ghardaia city in couscous, Blavatnik, Tate Modern, London, England

Ancient Ghardaia city, Algeria, rebuilt in cooked couscous by Kader Attia, Blavatnik building, Tate Modern.

Tattered Stars and Stripes painting by Ed Ruscha, Tate Modern, London, England

A brilliant comment upon the current state of America by Ed Ruscha in the Blavatnik extension of the Tate.

Tate Modern, Blavatnik extension, Thames panorama, London, England

There are excellent views over the Millennium Bridge and the Thames from the Tate Modern’s café but the best panoramic view including the City of London is from the top floor of the Blavatnik extension, and it’s free!

Some Tate Modern exhibits

Conceptual art, Tate Modern, London, England
Tate Modern alien visitors, London, England

Well, we don’t know who this is by and don’t really care, but we’d like to mess it up in Photoshop. That being said it is better than any Tracey Emin work we’ve ever seen.

radio tower art in Tate Modern, London, England

A tower of obsolete radios.

Tate Modern turbine hall, London, England

The Tate Modern turbine hall, seen from the bridge across to the Blavatnik extension. In the distance some visitors are constructing a fantasy city out of thousands of white Lego bricks.

Tate Modern Opening Hours: 10. 00 to 18. 00 daily, except 24-26 December.
Address: Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7887 8888

This huge gallery space is free apart from special exhibitions that are generally pay-to-enter (which is fair enough, something has to subsidise the free art).

Getting to the Tate Modern

This gallery is perfectly situated on the South Bank of the Thames, one of the better walking routes in London. Within easy walk are Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London (downriver), St Paul’s Cathedral and ‘The City’ (across the river on the Millennium Bridge) and the National Theatre, London Eye, Westminster and more (upriver).

– Boat. A private ferry runs from Tate Modern to Tate Britain (on the Thames of course) every 40 minutes. Convenient but pricey.

– Tube. The nearest Underground station is Southwark, 600m away.

– Buses. 45, 63 and 100 stop nearby on Blackfriars Rd or RV1 and 381 on Southwark Street.

– Cycles. There are docking spaces for Barclays Cycles (aka Boris Bikes) at both New Globe Street and Southwark St nearby.

– Cars. Not recommended. Taxis, no problem, dropping off/picking up near the main entrance in Holland Street.