Old Royal Naval College exterior

©Will Jones/Lonely Planet

Old Royal Naval College

Top choice in Greenwich

Home to the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, the Christopher Wren–designed Old Royal Naval College is a masterpiece of baroque architecture. The sprawling grounds are open to the public, as well as the recently restored Painted Hall, nicknamed the 'Sistine Chapel of the UK' and covered from floor to ceiling with extraordinary 18th-century art, and the neoclassical Chapel of St Peter and St Paul. Tours of the grounds are included in the price of the Painted Hall ticket.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Greenwich attractions

1. Painted Hall

0.04 MILES

Designed as a dining room for retired and disabled sailors and completed in 1726, the Painted Hall is an over-the-top banqueting space that's covered…

2. Chapel of St Peter & St Paul

0.06 MILES

With its mix of Greek revival and naval motifs, the beautiful Chapel of St Peter & St Paul, built in 1742, is decorated in an elaborate rococo style…

3. Old Royal Naval College Visitor Centre

0.14 MILES

A handy introduction to the royal borough of Greenwich, this exhibition delves into the history of the area with models and hands-on exhibits, many aimed…

4. National Maritime Museum

0.16 MILES

Narrating the long, briny and eventful history of seafaring Britain, this excellent museum has three floors of engrossing exhibits. Highlights include JMW…

5. Queen’s House

0.17 MILES

Designed by architect Inigo Jones, Queen's House was the UK's first classical building, and it's as enticing for its form as for its art collection. Many…

6. Cutty Sark

0.17 MILES

The last of the great clipper ships to sail between China and England in the 19th century, the Cutty Sark was launched in 1869 and carried almost 4.5…

7. Greenwich Foot Tunnel

0.22 MILES

Reached via glass-topped domes (with lifts and steps) on either side of the River Thames, this white-tiled 370m-long pedestrian tunnel opened in 1902…

8. St Alfege Church

0.28 MILES

Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor to replace a 13th-century church and consecrated in 1718, baroque St Alfege features a restored mural by James Thornhill …