Tate Modern was built as Bankside Power Station and designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. Shut down in 1981, it opened as an art museum in 2000 and has enjoyed spectacular popularity ever since. The gallery now attracts five million visitors.
Inside, the original cavernous turbine hall is used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. The permanent collection draws from the Tate organisation's collections of modern art (international works from 1900 and on) and features heavy-hitters such as Matisse, Rothko, Bacon, Twombly and Beuys. If you don't know where to start, take one of the guided tours (ask at the information desk). There are also various tour packages, some combined with Shakespeare's Globe and others including lunch or dinner (the Level 2 café is recommended). The Tate-to-Tate boat service – decor courtesy of Damien Hirst, bar on board – links with Tate Britain and runs every 20 minutes, stopping along the way at the Eye. Tickets are available from ticket desks at both Tates, on board, online or by phone (7887 8888, £4.30 adult).