Britain’s first art school, founded in 1768, relocated here to Burlington House, a Palladian-style mansion away from Piccadilly’s fumes (plus a few bars and an exclusive restaurant, The Keeper’s House). In 2018, it completed a renovation that connected an adjacent building, linked it with modern elements such as polished concrete and picture windows, and found new space to put some previously stored works on display (the Royal Academy Collection Gallery contains those, plus Michelangelo’s only marble sculpture in Britain, an unfinished circular relief of Mary with the babies Jesus and John). But in truth, the main reason to come is whatever crowd-pleasing paid exhibition is on. The biggest event, and always worth it, is the annual Summer Exhibition, which without fail since 1769 has displayed the best works from anonymous submissions; careers are made by it. Don’t miss the wooden red “Phone Box No. 1” tucked behind the stone front gate—it was the 1924 prototype for what we now recognize as an international icon.
Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Piccadilly or 6 Burlington Gardens, W1
Our Rating Hours Sat–Thurs 10am–6pm; Fri 10am–10pm; last admission 30 min. before closing Transportation Tube: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park Phone 020/7300-8000 Prices Free admission Web site Royal Academy of Arts
MapBurlington House, Piccadilly or 6 Burlington Gardens, W1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.