What to see at the Tate Modern in London: timetables, prices and tips

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Second most visited museum in London, after the British Museum, the Tate Modern since 2000 is located inside the gigantic former Bankside power plant. Here you can admire many permanent art collections but also temporary exhibitions that rotate from time to time. This art gallery is worth a visit even if you are not an art lover as the large renovated building houses a bar upstairs ideal for a cup of tea to sip while enjoying a wonderful view.


  1. What to see and how to visit Tate Modern
  2. Marilyn Diptych
  3. Nude woman with necklace
  4. The lobster phone
  5. Metamorphosis of Narcissus
  6. Waterlilies
  7. The uncertainty of the poet
  8. Painting
  9. Man with a newspaper
  10. Oscillating
  11. Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion
  12. Hours and prices
  13. User questions and comments

What to see and how to visit Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is located in a complex over 200 meters long and almost 100 meters high; the museum unfolds over several floors but the structure is complex and constantly evolving. The permanent collection is located on the second, third and fourth floors divided into "Poetry and Dream" on the 2nd floor, "Transformed Visions" on the 3rd, "Energy and Process" and "Structure and Clarity" on the 4th.

In the atrium and in the Boiler House on the third floor, however, there are temporary exhibitions. To the 5th level is set up the Tate Exchange, a space where you can collaborate and test new ideas through art.

At level 0, in addition to the entrance and the information point, there is the room of the Turbines which is used from October to March for the exhibition of works by contemporary artists. Finally, inside the art gallery there are several refreshment points; we suggest the Bar on level 3 with a large terrace while on level 6 the panoramic restaurant bar. But here it is the 10 must-see works at the Tate Modern in London!

1 - Marilyn Diptych

One of Andy Warhol's most famous pieces that the artist wanted to dedicate to Marilyn Monroe after her death.
The painting was made using the screen printing process and is made up of two silver canvases where the photo of the diva is repeated 50 times in 5 rows and 10 columns. On the left side there are 25 images that are repeated in color, while on the right side 25 photos in black and white.

  • creation date: 1962
  • Author: Andy Warhol
  • Dimensions: 205,44 cm x 289,56 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: silk-screen painting on canvas

2 - Nude woman with necklace

The work portrays a reclining female figure that is presented in a rough and sexualized way where orifices, breasts and limbs are bulky.
The face is that of the second wife Jacqueline Roque

  • creation date: 1968
  • Author: Pablo Picasso
  • Dimensions: 113,5 x 161,7 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

3 - The lobster phone

This work was done in collaboration with his friend Edward James who pushed Dalì to create what can be seen today.
James told the artist that while he was at a lady's house, she was holding a lobster when she answered the phone.
The association of common objects with a sense of humor is the basic principle of surrealism.

  • creation date: 1936
  • Author: Salvador Dalí
  • Dimensions: 17,8 x 3,30 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: surrealist sculpture

4 - Metamorphosis of Narcissus

In this work Dalì wants to represent with hallucinatory effect the figure of Narcissus who is first a figure kneeling in the pond and then becomes a flower that emerges from the egg held by a giant hand. On the right stands the statue of Narcissus which shows what the young man was like before his transformation.

  • Creation date: 1937
  • Author: Salvador Dalí
  • Dimensions: 50,8 x 78,3 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil color on canvas

5 - Water lilies

This work belongs to one of many similar as the artist possessed in his garden a pond with numerous floating water lilies which became the main motif of his latest paintings.

  • creation date: 1916
  • Author: Claude Monet
  • Dimensions: 200,7 x 426,7 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil paint on canvas

6 - The uncertainty of the poet

In this work, the artist approaches the classic, represented by a woman's torso, with the exotic represented by bananas. The train that passes behind represents the passage of time from antiquity to the present.

  • creation date: 1913
  • Author: Giorgio de Chirico
  • Dimensions: 106 x 94 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

7- Painting

This large canvas is dominated by a very saturated blue ground painted in tempera on whose surface several irregular shapes are arranged. The most important is an amorphous white shape painted with irregular brushstrokes running to the left. On the right, however, small circles that dangle looking like balloons in the air.

  • creation date: 1927
  • Author: Joan Mirò
  • Dimensions: 97,2 x 130,2 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: tempera and oil paint on canvas

8 - Man with a newspaper

The artist stages four scenes painted on canvas that look the same regardless of the man's disappearance. The other difference between the 4 panels is the slight change of perspective that can give a minimal 3D effect.

  • creation date: 1928
  • Author: Renè Magritte
  • Dimensions: X 115,6 81,3
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas.

9 - Oscillating

The title expresses the sense of dynamic movement of the work as the artist thought that painting had to be abstract like music. He used color to create a link between the work of art and the spiritual dimension and each shade has a meaning for Kandinsky.

  • creation date: 1925
  • Author: Wassily Kandinsky
  • Dimensions: 705 502 mm x
  • Technique and subject of the work: oil painting on canvas

10 - Three studies for figures at the base of a crucifixion

This work wants to represent the figures that in the sacred stories they were standing at the feet of Christ on the cross. Bacon here distorts and transforms them: in the first panel we see what could be considered the most human figure. In the second the figure is amorphous and finally in the third one can recognize the ear, ribs and mouth, taking up the human features of the first panel.

  • creation date: 1944
  • Author: Francis Bacon
  • Dimensions: 74 cm x 94 cm
  • Technique and subject of the work: pastel and oil color on canvas

Hours and prices

  • Sun-Thurs from 10:00 to 18:00; Fri and Sat 10: 00-22: 00. The museum is closed on 24, 25 and 26 December.
  • Best time to avoid queues: early in the morning or in the evening
  • admission is free except for special exhibitions. For this type of exhibition disabled visitors have a reduced ticket while the companion enters for free. Children up to 12 do not pay while children between 12 and 18 have reduced admission.
  • Reductions: For special exhibitions disabled visitors have a reduced ticket while the companion enters for free. Children up to 12 do not pay while children between 12 and 18 have reduced admission.
  • Free visits: there are two free guided tours every day: at 11:00 and 12:00 visit of level 3; 14: 00-15: 00 visit of level 5. For those who make the visit independently it is recommended to take an audio guide for £ 4,00 - € 4,00

Useful tips for visiting the attraction

  1. Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 10:00, upon opening;
  2. Buy the city card: if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, you can buy the city card and at the Tate Modern you will get the free audio guide.
  3. Download the map: it may be useful to download the museum map on your mobile phone before visiting the picture gallery for £ 1,00 (€ 1,16)
  4. Watch out for restrictions: in some attractions and museums it is not allowed to bring water or food: make sure you don't have any with you and always read the information signs at the entrance
  5. Minimum time: allow 3 and a half hours to visit the entire complex (including paid exhibitions), or 2 and a half hours to visit only the free part
  6. Refreshments: when you are tired take a break in one of the food outlets or on level 4 where films are shown in the amphitheater.

Where is it and how to get there

  • On foot: located on the south bank of the Thames, in the Bankside neighborhood in the heart of London - Get directions.
  • By bus: it is possible to reach the picture gallery by bus 45, 63 and 100 and get off at the Blackfriars Bridge Road stop; with RV1 or 381 lines stopping at Southwark Street or with bus 344 getting off at Southwark Bridge Road.
  • By metro: the nearest tube stations to the Tate are Southwark (Jubilee line), Blackfriars (districct and Circle line), St. Paul's (Central Line), London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines)
  • On a boat: every 40 minutes the Tate Boat runs between Tate Modern, London Eye and Tate Britain.

Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief

The Tate dates back to 1897, the year in which it began hosting works from British collections; with the passage of time and years it has opened up new spaces.
In 1992 it was decided to create a special gallery for modern and contemporary art it was inaugurated in 2000 inside a power plant closed in 1981.
Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron were entrusted with the redesign work to transform the former building into what is now the Tate Modern Museum.

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