International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - Mosaic in the National Gallery

For me, one famous saying sums up how fascinating exploring London is:

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.

– Samuel Johnson

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - Tower Bridge & the South Bank

I totally agree with what Samuel Johnson said two hundred years ago. Because London truly has almost everything you could want. If you are a foreigner like me, you too would find it easy to integrate into student life in London . With its long history, artistic atmosphere, open mind and hospitality, I always feel intrigued to go exploring London.

Having such a great opportunity to live here, I want to make many memorable experiences through exploring London. So, I decided to immerse myself in the artistic vibes of the city, starting with a 1-day tour of the museums and art galleries on a sunny winters day. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, these are all free!

1st Stop: British Museum

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - The British Museum exterior and interior

The British Museum was founded in 1753. Its collection is based on more than 71,000 pieces left by Sir Hans Sloan. The collection has reached more than 8 million pieces so far, covering more than 2 million years of human history. Let’s enter the time machine and go back into the world two million years ago.

I spent two hours wandering around the vast museum but still did not manage to finish seeing all of the collection hall. This is because the museum is tremendously grand like a giant maze.

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - The British Museum exterior and interior - Grand interiors and artifacts at the British Museum

One tip I would give is to use an audio guide, which enables you to have a deeper understanding of everything throughout your tour.

 

2nd Stop: National Gallery

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - Outside the National Gallery

The National Gallery, established in 1824, is located north of Trafalgar Square in central London. In its early days, there were only 38 paintings here. King George IV persuaded the government to buy 38 Works of Libran, Rall and others. Later on, it gradually expanded to become the National Art Gallery of today, which now mainly collects paintings.

The type of collection found in the National Gallery is hard to find in China. In the labyrinth-like exhibition halls of the National Gallery of Art, paintings range from Da Vinci and Raphael to Venetian, British landscape, French realism and pre-impressionism, to Cezanne and even Van Gogh. If you are a big fan of art, do not hesitate to visit!

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - paintings and mosaics in the National Gallery

Another tip to make the most of the gallery is to take an official free English guided tour. This guided tour lasts about 1 hour and includes the introduction and explanations of 6 important paintings.

Once you exit the gallery, don’t rush to get your London tube or bus, as Trafalgar Square with the iconic Nelson’s Column is right in front of you! Take your time exploring London! Here, you will find street painters, performance artists, dancers and singers showing their talent every day and night. It’s a special place where you can really feel the vibrant atmosphere of London.

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - pillars and interiors in the National Gallery

 

3rd stop: Tate Modern

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - The Tate Modern from outside and Yu He

Located on the South Bank of the Thames, London’s Tate Modern Art Gallery is connected by the Millennium Bridge, opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral. The gallery mainly collects modern works of art in the 20th century, which are divided into the categories: history – memory – society, nude figure – action – body, landscape – material – environment, still life – object – real life. Paintings by Picasso and Dali are particularly rare treasures you can find in the museum. Therefore, you will definitely have different and unique visual experiences at the Tate Modern.

I happened to encounter a special exhibition of Pierre Bonnard in the Tate Modern. If you are a member, you can have free entry plus a guest. Another great thing about being a student in London is all the discounts and concessions we get for entry into most of the different art exhibitions like this one.

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - Pierre Bonnard exhibition at the Tate Modern

 

From the moment I stepped into the first hall I felt time was frozen. Those vivid colours and bold compositions brought me back into Bonard’s life in the 1930s. Trust me, you will find peace of mind during these hours in the Tate Modern. You too will find inspiration here, with more ideas about the past and your future life.

There’s no doubt that you’ll probably enter many more of the free exhibitions during your visit. If you tire from spending all afternoon here, you can relax on the super comfy sofas.

To finish exploring London, simply follow the sunset along the River Thames, watching people come and go, whilst sipping one more cup of hot coffee.

 

International Student Blogger - Exploring London's Art in a One Day Tour - View of the Millennium Bridge, The Thames and St Paul's Cathedral

What a wonderful world!

Yu

Read more posts like this on Yu’s personal blog

Yu

Yu

MA International Media Business at University of Westminster
I am an MA student who is outgoing, passionate, creative and always love to explore unknowns. I love the saying that "if you are tired of London, you are tired of life.” My favourite places in London are some small alleys where you could always find some surprises. Studying at University of Westminster is a brilliant experience and the best chance to have an insight of London. I'm really keen on sharing life experience and hope I can offer you some inspirations of wonderful study life at UoW in London.
Yu

Latest posts by Yu (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

University of Westminster
309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW
General enquiries: +44 (0)20 7911 5000
Course enquiries: +44 (0)20 7915 5511

The University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee.
Registration number: 977818 England