People keep asking me what I am going to do London for a month, I respond, “See all the museums!” In order to do that you have to get started right away. I probably won’t review each one I visit individually, but the Tate Modern needed its own post as it is quite large.
Now I am not a huge fan of modern art. However, two years ago when I attended the Venice Biennale I had a change of heart and decided I would be more open to seeing modern art. This motivated me to tour the Tate Modern plus I had heard so much about the building.
Getting to the Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is accessible by several tube stations including Blackfriars and Southwark. However, I recommend arriving at St. Paul’s station and walking across the Millenium Bridge. This offers you an amazing view of the museum and of the Thames River.
Inside the Tate Modern
The building used to be a power station, so it is quite large. However, don’t let the size scare you away from visiting. The museum is well laid out and has elevators and escalators to every floor, so you never have to climb the stairs unless you want to.
Unless you are at the museum to see a specific exhibition, I would start on the first floor and work your way up. Then you can cross to the other side of the museum and work your way down.
Don’t forget to look at the structure of the building as it is essentially part of the art. This is best done from the bridges between the two gallery spaces. You can do so at each level and get a different perspective. Also, go down to the ground floor and look up. It is then you get a sense of how large the space really is.
What I really enjoyed about the Tate Modern is the size. I never felt I couldn’t see the art and even though there was a line to get in, it was never crowded inside. Each gallery was large enough that the art was never blocked from view by other patrons.
Not all the art was modern either! There was a room with Mark Rothko piece and he was inspired by Monet’s large art. So, there was one of Monet’s Water Lillies right next to the room!
The other thing I really loved about the Tate Modern is that the space allows for large art to be on exhibition. For some reason, large pieces of art appeal to me. It’s probably why I like Monet so much!
See St. Pauls from the Tate Modern
This is one of the great unknowns of the Tate Modern, but it offers stunning views of St. Pauls! If you head to the 3rd floor gift shop outside the visiting exhibition space. There is a smoking balcony there and you can see St. Pauls. You can also see the Millenium Bridge. The sun was shining the day I went and the man next to me said to someone, “St. Pauls is glistening. That rarely happens.” It is definitely a sight to see.
Have you been to the Tate Modern? What is your favorite piece there?