The Tate Modern is home to some of the most unique and thought provoking pieces of art in the world. For culture lovers, this is a must-see attraction on any visit to London. It houses collections of art that are far from traditional, pushing the boundaries of people’s ideas and expectations. Even the building it’s housed in is a work of art. Originally the Bankside Power Station until it was transformed by the architects Herzog & de Meuron, it now holds seven floors of art work dating from 1900 to present day.
When entering the building visitors are greeted by a statement piece of art. This installation is changed frequently so even visitors who have been before are likely to find something new waiting for them. Over the years there have been a variety of works taking pride of place in the entrance hall, from a tuba which was over 100 feet in length, to clever uses of sound where words were projected through strategically placed speakers around the hall.
There is much more to do at the Tate Modern than just looking at the art – though if that is what you prefer then take an audio guide or gallery map and enjoy. The gallery has a number of interactive displays so the viewer can get involved with the pieces. The Surrealist room allows visitors to try out some Surrealist activities and make use of the interactive multimedia programme. Sketching in the gallery is also encouraged. During the school holidays (at the weekends and on Thursdays and Fridays) families are able to utilise artist devised resources. The Open Studio is a public area where visitors can experiment with materials and create works of their own inspired by the free collection. For those who have an interest in sound the Sonic Trail helps visitors experience the Tate Modern solely through the sounds generated from the building.
The Tate Modern encourages visitors with children – they make a point of letting you know it is ok to talk when viewing the collection. Buggy parks and changing facilities are available around the site and the Tate café offers healthy snacks and meals to keep young visitors happy. It has even won an award for being the Best Family Restaurant in London, and with a ‘kids eat free’ deal it keeps costs down too.
For a special occasion why not visit the Tate Modern restaurant? Located on Level 6, it has an extensive menu and stunning views over London. Combine a romantic meal with a Tour for Two where you and a partner can enjoy a personal guided tour of one of the collections.
How to Get Here:
By Tube – the nearest underground stations are Southwark, Blackfriars and St Pauls. To travel by boat the Tate Boat runs every 40 minutes between the Tate Britain and Modern.
There are a number of apps about the Tate Modern which have been created for Smartphones. Download some before your visit and you’ll have a great idea of what there is to see in the gallery. It means you’ll understand the collections in advance, and you won’t miss seeing anything that’s high on your list.