Two buildings. Hundreds of masterpieces. Infinite enjoyment. The neoclassical West Building showcases European art through to the early 1900s; highlights include works by da Vinci, Manet, Monet and Van Gogh. The IM Pei–designed East Building displays modern and contemporary art – don't miss Pollock's Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), Picasso's Family of Saltimbanques and the massive Calder mobile specially commissioned for the entrance lobby. An underground walkway connects the buildings and is made extraordinary by Leo Villareal's light sculpture, Multiverse.
You could spend a full day here easily, especially as there are a number of in-house cafes. Consider joining one of the regular volunteer-led tours or taking advantage of the free, multilanguage 'Director's Tour' audioguide, which introduces the gallery's highlights. There's also a dedicated audioguide for kids.
The National Gallery's documentary and avant-garde film program takes place several times a month in the East Building auditorium. Free classical concerts fill the air on Sundays, fall through spring, in the West Building's West Garden Court. Check www.nga.gov/calendar for details of all events.