An eye-catching fusion of new and old through industrial design and mesmerising modern art, Tate Modern is London's premier league venue for contemporary art. Housed in a former power station, the imposing edifice makes the most of the original industrial brick façade with an extra seven storeys of exhibition space.
Opened in 2000, Tate Modern displays the national collection of British art from 1900 to now as well as international modern and contemporary art that was formerly housed in the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain). One of the most-visited modern art museums in the world, entry is free except for special exhibitions. This powerhouse of modern art is displayed thematically into zones such as Poetry and Dream, Energy and Process, Structure and Clarity, and Transformed Visions. Highlights include Picasso's 'Weeping Woman', Henri Matisse's 'The Snail', Andy Warhol's 'Marilyn Diptych' and 'Lobster Telephone' by Salvador Dali as well as artworks by the Young British Artists collective of the '90s such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and Sam Taylor-Wood.
Within the complex, the immense Turbine Hall is the gallery's entrance point on the ground floor where you'll find huge installations, the Poetry and Dream wing on level 2 contains over 70 surrealist artworks, and the Transformed Visions wing on level 3 is dedicated to post-World War II works of expressive abstraction. The pieces on level 4 explore the development of abstract art including cubism and minimalism, as well as a focus on the Italian arte povera movement of the '60s and '70s.
Tate Modern is currently undergoing a refit with a new building which will see the Turbine Hall closed from May 2013 until the end of the year. To visit Tate Modern, the closest rail and tube station is Blackfriars and from here, it's an 11-minute walk over the Millennium Bridge. Another option is the Tate Boat (complete with décor courtesy of Damien Hirst) which travels down the Thames River every 40 minutes and links Tates Britain and Modern, stopping at Embankment. Adult return tickets are £11.