Mor and I share a common love for travel but a lot of times, the places we wanna visit are very different. For example, his ideal holiday consists of sunny weather, the beach and the sea while mine consists of cold weather, castles and old streets. It’s a wonder we even agree on our vacations’ locations!
Oh, and I also love museums. He doesn’t.
But how can I plan a London itinerary without museums? Impossible! I wanted to see 5 museums at least, he wanted to see zero. Haha! So we reached a compromise and decided on visiting two! Fine, fair enough!
Narrowing down which museums to see was challenging but in the end, I chose The National Gallery and The Wallace Collection with the reasons being that the National Gallery had a number of Van Gogh’s (my favorite painter) and the Wallace had Fragonard’s “The Swing” (one of my favorite paintings!)
First, we visited The Wallace Collection.
The Wallace Collection is in Marylebone, which was where the Sherlock Museum is. We decided to walk from the Sherlock Museum to The Wallace thinking it was just a few blocks away but OH MAN, WAS IT FAR! (So tip: do not walk to this museum from the Sherlock Museum, unless you’re a walker, which I obviously am not!)
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned, Fragonard’s “The Swing” is one of my favorite paintings (of course, it’s probably because of the pink dress and swing!) so the walk was worth it for me (can’t say the same for Mor haha!)
It really surprised me to find out that it was housed at this unassuming place. Entrance was free and you can take pictures with and of the paintings!
The Wallace Collection is home to quite a few other treasures too: some Rembrandts, Van Dycks and even a pair of Velasquez’s are displayed here. So many pretty things!
But one of the things that I really loved about this place was how bright and colorful the interiors were. I’m loving the wallpapers! They remind me of the interiors of The Palace of Versailles!
The Wallace Collection had a lot of French paintings and a section on armors and weapons. It was a really nice place to spend a few hours on (but we only stayed for an hour max because I was afraid Mor might start getting cranky… kidding!! Hehe.)
The National Gallery
Then on a separate day, we visited The National Gallery. In a gist, it is now my favorite museum in the world (yes, I love it more than the Louvre!)
The National Gallery was just pure love. The had so many paintings from the masters: Monet, Vermeer, Renoir and of course, my favorite, Van Gogh! What is even better was they had a special exhibit on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers!
Van Gogh painted a lot of sunflowers. For the exhibit, they brought in one of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings from Amsterdam to the National Gallery and hung it side by side the sunflower painting that is housed there.
There was a queue for the exhibit because they only let a certain number of people at a time inside the room. We were in and out of the room in 5 minutes max but it was definitely a highlight for me to see these two paintings together!
Too bad I couldn’t take any photos inside (and they were also strict about photos everywhere else in the museum) so I just took a photo of the souvenir shop. Haha. 😐
Suffice to say that I took my time wandering around the museum, but I still wish I had an entire afternoon to check out all the paintings. I wish I can show you guys all the beautiful paintings we saw but since I couldn’t take photos, you’ll just have to google them yourself!
And as a happy ending, God rewarded Mor for being so patient with his wife. Haha! When Mor saw a particular painting by Monet called “Bathers at La Grenouillere”, he was so impressed and immediately loved the painting (hmm, don’t know why though because again, even in art styles, we differ!)
He was so in love with the artwork that he said he was determined to look for a print of it at the souvenir shop. I initially thought we wouldn’t be able to find one because it wasn’t a famous painting but we looked hard and in the end, we were able to find it! Ta-da!
If you’re thinking of visiting London’s museums, I highly recommend these two, but if you had to choose only one, go for The National Gallery! It’s also free and their collection is superb!