Rating: 5 out of 5.

The National Gallery is quite simply an embarrassment of riches. It seemed like its endless row of rooms each has its share of masterpieces it was hard to leave one for the next. There were priceless Michelangelos, a roomful of Rembrandts, some famous Van Goghs, Monets, and at least one Vermeer, all in fine condition and attracting crowds and tour guides left and right. I found it amazing that entry to these riches was free and everyone behaved accordingly inside. So civilized.
Our trip to the National Gallery, with a high level of appreciation, couldn’t have gone any better. The crowds were manageable, the art was iconic, and the setting world class, which all combined to make this really one of the best museums in the world. The famous Madonna of the Rocks by da Vinci was nowhere in the free galleries and turned out to be in a special paid exhibit for a period. Would paying £18 for the privilege change my lofty perception of the Gallery? Probably. Looks like we’ll have to see about that.

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