Tate Modern is No.2 in the list of London's most visited attractions, No.6 in the list of London's best galleries, and No.7 in the Top 10 things to do for free
We wouldn't describe this as a spectacular view, but it's definitely worth seeking out if you're already planning to visit the Tate Modern anyway (and you fancy a cup of tea).
On level 6 of the gallery is a restaurant which offers sit-down meals and a bar. (It's that big glass-fronted level that you can see when you're standing outside.)
If you pick a seat next to the bar window then you'll get a great view of the Millennium Bridge and the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. The buildings directly in front of St. Paul's will never win any architectural awards, but it's quite nice sitting there with a beer and watching the people strolling along Bankside, and the boats motoring up the Thames.
Have a read of Craig's blog before you go, because he's written a review of Tate Modern. It's not his favourite gallery in the world (in fact, he doesn't like it at all -- but that's because he's not a fan of modern art), but he still thinks the building itself is worth looking at. It used to be an old power station, and the stomach of the building has been left empty. It's just a vast blackened chasm now, usually with a giant art installation inside -- the architecture, at least, is genuinely impressive.
You might also want to check out our page of other great views in London.
brucemartin – “I don't know the answer about late evening viewing hours, but I agree that it is a very relevant and useful question. I think that one of the best aspects of the London Drum forum is the knowledge about various viewpoints around London, so I look forward to reading the answer to this, and anyone else's observations of other viewing opportunities.
When I visit London next, I hope to try several of these. I also look forward to the view of St. Paul's Cathedral from the roof of the shopping center building to its northeast, which I understand to provide a nice view of the dome and the area. Thanks for raising this question.”
Admin – “The viewing balcony does open late. It has the same times as the gallery:
10 AM to 6 PM (Sun-Thu)
10 AM to 10 PM (Fri-Sat)
But unlike the gallery the last entry is 30 minutes before closing so you’ve got to get in before 5.30 PM / 9.30 PM”
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Craig’s review – “I promised myself that I would come to the Tate Modern with an open mind, but I know I'm going to laugh at the modern art. It's so bad, it's good. So you might want to take this review with a pinch of salt if you're an art lover.
I do actually quite like art, believe it or not, but this isn't art to me. It's more like a song by someone who can't sing. It's a load of… continued”
Read Craig’s review of this event
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