Housed in a hulking converted power station, this vast modern art showplace opened in 2000, but still breaks new ground with installations. Each year Tate Modern hosts the unique Unilever Series, where different artists are asked to create an installation for Turbine Hall. Previous works in this series have included Rachel Whiteread’s casts of 14,000 boxes stacked to form a maze of white towers, and The Weather Project by Olafur Eliasson—in which an eerie mist surrounds an immense blazing sun. (For 2008, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster will be featured in Turbine Hall.) Six floors of masterpieces by Picasso, Dalí, Warhol, Rothko, and Hirst (among many others) on level 3 and level 5 contrast with the soaring, industrial rooms holding permanent and rotating exhibitions on level 4. Take tea in the 7th floor café and restaurant; its Thames views are as captivating as the artwork.
Insider Tip: Board the Tate boat (a ferry that Damien Hirst decorated with his signature multicolored dots; it sets sail every 40 minutes) from here to Tate Britain—just down the river at Millbank and home to works by Brits including Joseph Turner, William Blake, and John Constable along with modern British artists including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Sarah Lucas.
Admission: Free for the permanent collection; tickets required for the rotating exhibitions.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.