Royal Academy of Arts, London

Royal Academy of Arts London building view

History of Royal Academy of Arts, London

In 1768 The Royal Academy of Arts was founded to promote understanding of art and its practice use. That is why this art institution is led by famous artists and architects, as it was intended by founders. No one can teach better or support young artists than those who themselves were beginners but succeeded thanks to Royal Academy of Arts.

Royal Academy of Arts from 1868 till now has been based in Burlington House on Piccadilly in central London. Before that it occupied the east wing of National Gallery.

Royal Academy of Arts London inside

As independent, privately funded institution, Royal Academy of Arts School is the oldest art school in Britain and has three-year postgraduate course, where students can enjoy and appreciate the visual arts through exhibitions, education and debate. Moreover, the most sought-after teaching staff,  artists and thinkers in the world are the key to intresting learning.

Royal Academy of Arts, London exhibitions

On 25th of April in 1769 136 works of art were firts show to public. It was the begining of Royal Academy Summer exhibition. Since that time it is held annually. Its main goal is to open galleries up to the finest artistic talents, selected purely on merit.  Around 1,000 works are sampled to the final show. For selling artist works the Academy takes a 30% commission. Summer exhibition is a good place where visitors can  buy and discuss the works on show. In addition you are going to know more about rich history of the RA, see the work of Academicians past and present.

Royal Academy of Arts London Summer exhibition

Should be mentioned that The Royal Academy has its own Collection of fine art. A lot of  artists that participated in talents show of the British School presented their best works to inspire the new generations of British artists. About 935 paintings, 350 sculptures, 700 plaster casts, 25,000 prints and drawings and 5,000 historic photographs from the 18th century to the present day are now displayed around the building.

Royal Academy of Arts, London map

Royal Academy of Arts, London floor map

Royal Academy of Arts London floor map
Royal Academy of Arts, London map ground floor and lower ground floor
Royal Academy of Arts London floor map ground floor and lower ground floor
Royal Academy of Arts London map first floor and second floor
Royal Academy of Arts London floor map first floor and second floor

Royal Academy of Arts, London opening hours

Decided to visit Royal Academy of Arts, be aware of its opening hours: from 10am to 6pm every day from Monday to Sunday. Such a convenient schedule will allow you to pay more attention to exhibitions. If you are not a Friend to RA you should buy a ticket to enter. Still, there are a lot of free tours. You can always enter The RA Schools Show for free.

How to get to Royal Academy of Arts, London


Central London

Piccadilly site
Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BD

Burlington Gardens site
6 Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3ET

Central location of RA makes getting to it very comfortable and easy. If you prefer tube, the closest stations are:

  • Piccadilly Circus (on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines)
  • Green Park (on the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines)
  • Oxford Circus and Bond Street (the Central Line)

Buses that go near RA stop on Piccadilly and on nearby Regent Street:

  •  bus routes 14, 19, 22, 38

Royal Academy of Arts, London shop and restaurant

Not only you can enjoy an art in Royal Academy of Arts but feel different tastes of food and drinks in its top-listed restaurants. Quick coffee with sandwich, light lunch with cocktails or formal dinner will definitely quench your hunger.  At your service: The Shenkman Bar, The Keeper’s Garden, The RA Grand Café, Atelier, The Gallery Café, The Courtyard Café.

As a true tourist you should buy souvenirs. Royal Academy Shop works daily from 10am to 17:45pm and offers artists’ materials, books, gifts inspired by the work of Royal Academicians.

The Royal Academy Studio Shop browse designer pieces by Alessi, prints by David Mach RA, Joe Tilson RA, stunning jewellery and branded leather accessories.

Royal Academy of Arts London shops map

Contact Royal Academy of Arts

Phone: +44 20 7300 8000