Opened in 2000, the Tate Modern is a £130 million project, considered a model of urban regeneration, with the disused Bankside Power Station transformed into a cutting-edge space dedicated to 20th century art. It is the second most visited attraction in the UK – welcoming over 5 million people a year, just behind the British Museum.
The permanent exhibition changes every two years so that much of the Tate Gallery’s collection of modern work can be displayed, presented thematically rather than chronologically. The Tate Modern collection includes works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Salvador Dalí, Claude Monet, René Magritte, Piet Mondrian, Edgar Degas, Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, among many others.
The power station building, which stands on the banks of the Thames, also offers a magnificent view of the river, the Millennium Bridge and the north bank. Just head to the restaurant, which operates on the sixth floor, or the open balconies on the third floor. From the terrace, you can enjoy 360-degree views of central London, which includes the city’s major landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the River Thames, the Shard itself, the Walkie Talkie, the Gherkin and even Wembley Stadium.
The Turbine Room features changing artworks, specially commissioned to fit the huge space.
The main building, once a power station, faces the River Thames and is now called the Natalie Bell Building. The large chimney of the former power station is a feature of the museum, which has become a symbol of London.
Behind the power station building, a bold and award-winning tower, the Blavatnik Building, was opened in 2016. It is an extension of the gallery’s exhibition space.
Tate Modern has been used as a set for films and TV shows, including Mission Impossible – Fallout, starring Tom Cruise, and Bridget Jones’ Diary.
The Millennium Bridge, which, like Tate Modern, opened at the turn of the millennium, connects the gallery on the south bank of the Thames to the north bank near St Paul’s Cathedral.
How to get to the Tate Modern
Nearest tube stations: Southwark (Jubilee line), Blackfriars (District and Circle lines), St Paul’s (Central line)
53 Bankside, SE1 9TG Bankside