Whitechapel Gallery

Top choice gallery

in East London
Image by View Pictures / UIG via Getty Images
Image by View Pictures / UIG via Getty Images

A firm favourite of art students and the avant-garde cognoscenti, this ground-breaking gallery doesn't have a permanent collection but is devoted to hosting edgy exhibitions of contemporary art. It made its name by staging exhibitions by both established and emerging artists, including the first UK shows by Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo. The gallery’s ambitiously themed shows change every couple of months (check online) and there’s also often live music, talks and films on Thursday evenings.

Other features include an excellent bookshop and a cafe on the ground level.