London Sights

Royal Academy of Arts

  • Piccadilly Map It
  • Mayfair
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 08/30/2016

Fodor's Review

Burlington House was built in 1664, with later Palladian additions for the 3rd Earl of Burlington in 1720. The piazza in front dates from 1873, when the Renaissance-style buildings around the courtyard were designed by Banks and Barry to house a gaggle of noble scientific societies, including the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Astronomical Society.

The house itself is home to the Royal Academy of Arts. Re-development works are well on course to ensure the Royal Academy—still one of the capital's premier public galleries—will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2018 in fine style. The statue of the academy's first president, Sir Joshua Reynolds, palette in hand, stands prominently in the piazza. Free tours show off part of the collection and the excellent temporary exhibitions. Every June–August, the RA puts on its Summer Exhibition, a huge and eclectic collection of art by living Royal Academicians and many other contemporary artists.

  • Royal Academy of Arts, London, England

    © Zach Nelson / Fodors Travel

Sight Information


Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD, England

Map It


020-7300–8000; 020-7300–5839-for lectures and family programs

Sight Details:

  • £10–£16

Published 08/30/2016


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