Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
3.5
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Housed in a landmark industrial building on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, BALTIC presents an ever-changing calendar of dynamic, diverse & international contemporary visual art exhibitions and events. Also houses BALTIC SHOP, a community cafe & cafe bar. Library & Archive and Six rooftop restaurant.
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  • Paul S
    Washington, United Kingdom166 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    …its a great space that is currently wasted space…
    Look , its a great space and from time to time , over many years I have seen some stunning Contemporary Art there…but the last couple of visits have been really poor. There’s more art in the shop than in the gallery space…its a great space that is currently wasted space. I am sorry to say but I would curate things a lot differently and I am sure many other visitors would too…
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 October 2023
  • Lucy S
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands5 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Friendly welcome, exhibit staff not so friendly :(
    Very friendly welcome as we entered, and café staff were lovely too! When we went through the exhibit on the 5th floor, the plant and herb room, there was a very abrupt male staff member - who was in charge of the tea samples. There was also a lady who was quite rude to us at the herb grinding table. When we accidentally lifted a lid, she scolded us and explained it was for herb grinding at 4pm. We apologised profusely and also suggested a sign as the pots are very inviting and it’s not obvious you’re not allowed to open them. Her response to this was “well there’s no sign saying to open them either so how about don’t open them”. From what was a lovely experience we felt quite embarrassed and left after this.
    We're really pleased you had a friendly welcome, however, what you've described after that is not what we'd expect at all. Whilst our reply is quite some time after your review, we'd love you to get in touch with us please by emailing myexperience@balticmill.com as we'd very much like to discuss this more & make it up to you. Thank you.
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 October 2023
  • T Smith
    Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Free behind the scenes tour
    We went with friends to the free Sunday morning behind the scenes tour and it was excellent! The views from the top of the building are amazing. It was really interesting to see how art is moved around the building, the library facilities and the bee hives on the roof.
    Thank you! We're so pleased you enjoyed the free behind the scenes tour! Hope to see you again soon. Keep an eye out for free Quayside or Kittiwake tours as well as Baltic Bee talks too. We'd love to have you back. Much appreciated!
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 19 November 2023
  • NetN
    Burnopfield, United Kingdom182 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good for a rainy afternoon
    This is a good place for a wander when the weather is awful as there are nice views of the quayside and plenty of space. It's free. There is a nice cafe with decent scones. The shop has some unusual things in if you're a bit stuck for Christmas presents. There's a childrens area and sensory room. There's parking behind the Baltic, but most of the other carparks around there seem to be getting built on. The best bit at the moment (I felt) is floor 1 which has an exhibition from a workshop with local neurodivergent people - the walls are plastered with colour and there are short films of how the pieces are made. There's so much joy in the pictures - that's what art should be about. The top floor has the Waiting Gardens exhibition at the moment which was the reason I went to the Baltic. With the blinds up on the skylights it is a large, bright,airy space, and has so much potential with the lay out - but my gardener's fingers were itching to sort out the frequent dead and wilting plants (despite a sign which says the plants are attended weekly by a team of volunteers). The ferns on the back wall seemed to be doing well, shame about the cyclamen and the various dead shrubs, some of which looked like they had been there for some time. Unless it's some sort of metaphor.....I know nothing about art
    Thanks Annette, we're pleased you enjoyed so much of your visit. We appreciate you highlighting the parts you enjoyed most and those which many other visitors will potentially enjoy too. We promise the plants in Michael Rakowitz, The Waiting Gardens of the North are well looked after & whilst some appear (at times) to need some help they're getting on fine. If you fancy getting your green fingers on plants, we'll soon be looking for gardening volunteers as we redevelop some green spaces around Baltic - drop us a line if you want to join in myexperience@balticmill.com Thanks again!
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 December 2023
  • Pamela J
    Manchester, United Kingdom71 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Art, food, views - fabulous
    Where to begin? There was so much to see and think about here. We particularly enjoyed seeing the Waiting Gardens of the North installation, which is in a huge, dramatic space, and the paintings by people who are neurodiverse - I wish I had half their talent and creativity. The cafe was also excellent and has stunning arrangements of hanging plants from the very high ceiling. Great views of the city from the massive windows too. Go if you can!
    Pamela, thank you so much for the review - you've highlighted some seriously good parts of what we do. Thanks for reviewing us and sharing your experience, we really appreciate it.
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 January 2024
  • T B
    York, United Kingdom1,216 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Views - inside and out
    Come here for a great photo of ‘the bridges’ but obviously you’ll want to look around too. There was an interesting exhibition from lands afar when we visited - a great way to teach those younger ones about the world and other cultures, have a chat about our country’s role in regional politics whilst your at it (2 birds and all that). Makers market was on too to check out local artists. You could grab a bite or drink here but I’d recommend crossing the bridge for more options. Enjoy!
    Thanks for the review & the score Tommy! We're pleased to hear you enjoyed Stepping Softly on Level 3, it closes after this weekend so that's good to know for your review readers. We have a fantastic exhibition on Ground floor at the moment, Open Submission, with over 100 local artists & makers - pop in if you fancy it. We recommend the Reuben in Baltic Kitchen - delicious! Hope to see you again soon.
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 8 March 2024
  • Joasi23
    South Yorkshire, United Kingdom1,834 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit
    The use of the magnificent building is what drew us in . It’s commendable that the structure still stands in its original splendour at the side of the modern iconic bridge . Got to be honest the interior underwhelmed us , but maybe we didn’t give it enough time . We were hoping to see the North finally start giving the South a run for its money . However the staff were lovely and the viewing areas were fabulous.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles1,284 reviews
Excellent
374
Very good
378
Average
251
Poor
170
Terrible
111

Lovett17
Claygate United Kingdom58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
A great use of a redundant flour mill. The galleries are not too big and the labelling is clear and concise. A couple of hours can be well spent here, more if you are a culture vulture. The cafe is very good - great breakfast baps and the shop is outstanding. Strangely, I'm beginning to judge galleries on the quality of their shops - good value and quality merchandise, low in 'naff-factor'. Good, helpful staff too in all departments.
Written 11 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are in love with your review! Thank you very much for sharing your experience & we hope to see you again soon. If you come to us again, we highly recommend a free spotlight tour (they can be the cherry on your cake), these are on offer every day 11.30, 13.30 & 15.30. Thanks again!
Written 12 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

king3434
Edinburgh, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This is a highly enjoyable art gallery and it should be appreciated that there is no entrance fee. Yes, some of the exhibitions are strange but art will always be subjective and it is good to expose yourself to different artists. And given it's free entrance, you don't feel bad about not visiting a floor that doesn't interest you. The Chicago exhibition was very evocative. The shop is fantastic and so cool! The only problem is the lifts and stairs- they give me terrible vertigo.
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're really pleased that you enjoyed your visit with us and thank you very much for sharing your review with others. You've hit the nail on the head about enjoying and understanding contemporary art and BALTIC is here to give everyone the opportunity to experience it all and for free, this is something we are incredibly proud to do. You mention Judy Chicago (currently exhibiting on Level 3, finishes on 19 April 2020) and it's a perfect example, an international exhibition and artist here on the doorstep of Gateshead & Newcastle for free! Next time you visit, please feel free to let us know about your dislike of the lifts and the stairs, we can offer you an alternative route to hopefully save you any vertigo. Thank you again, we look forward to welcoming you next time!
Written 26 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GloucesterTraveler
Gloucestershire, UK189 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
A great building, exhibition spaces and location

Unfortunately the exhibitions were only unstandable by the contemporary artists themselves.

If you have to explain the thinking behind an artist work to understand it then its a waste of time.

Only positive was it was free to enter and good access to the millennium bridge to access the city but as always car parking was expensive.
Written 15 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We love our building too, thanks for the compliment & positivity around free entry. It's a shame that you didn't enjoy our exhibitions, we do have a changing programme of free exhibitions so if you come back you may see something you haven't before. We think that some art doesn't need explaining and some does, for us it's a bit like reading a book - sometimes it needs someone to explain or it helps to chat about it with others and sometimes it's an easier read. Our car park helps us to sustain ourselves as a charity and helps to ensure that we can provide free access to contemporary art, activities, sessions and opportunities for everyone. Thanks for the review, we hope to have you back in the future.
Written 25 August 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

HartColeridge
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I visited the Baltic today, 15 August 2020. I was incredibly happy that they had managed to open it already, the other museums I checked in Newcastle weren't planning to open until 1 September.

As they say on their website, only one gallery on the lowest floor is open. We arrived early and asked if it would be possible to enter before our booked time, but unfortunately it wasn't. That's OK, we needed to have lunch and we knew there is a beautiful cafe there anyway. The food and atmosphere in the cafe was good. Lovely staff. It's a shame they were serving using their takeaway disposable containers instead of real plates, even if you sit down inside to eat, but of course I understand why. It's still a good place to enjoy lunch and some free time.

Skip this bit if the Abel Rodriguez exhibition has closed when you're planning to visit: I hadn't looked into what the exhibition was beforehand, but I did know only one would be open under the current constraints. I have to say I really enjoyed it and learning about Abel Rodriguez and his life and connections with the Colombian rainforest. His drawings and paintings are what I (not knowing anything about art) think of as 'naive' in style, because I don't think he has any formal training. His pictures are effective though, packed with detail and really evocative of his subject matter (the rainforest), and you can see the huge knowledge he has of that subject matter flowing out of him into his pictures.

Maybe that's about it. For free, this is a five-star experience! If you can afford it, please give them a donation, it's a great place. Until things are a bit more normal, there's a ticket booking system you have to use via the website, it's straightforward, and booking and visiting are still free of charge of course. The shop is a good place to go to look for interesting gifts and books or just some enjoyable browsing.
Written 15 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Your 5 out of 5 review is really what we've worked so hard to re-open for, thank you so much! We've been open since the start of August and we're so happy to welcome visitors back, since your visit we've opened two new exhibitions on our larger gallery floors. On Level 4 you'll see Huma Bhaba, Against Time which is open now until February 2021. On Level 3, we have a group exhibition named The Making of Husbands, Christina Ramberg in Dialogue which will also be with us until February next year. We've also just re-opened our Learning Lounge on Level 2, with bookable sessions to play in an open space (all Covid compliant) and enjoy being out of the house safely. Our Sensory Room is also open for bookings each day. We're so proud to be open and welcoming visitors, thank you for sharing your experience and giving us such lovely feedback. P.S We love Abel Rodriguez, the rainforest and a reminder to look after the world is where our hearts and heads are right now. See you again soon!
Written 24 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sammy
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Although I found the Pierre Huygen film interesting, I think it was not only a poor choice but quite and irresponsible choice for half term. As I sat there multiple children between the ages of 3 and 7 entered without parents to what could have been quite disturbing to a young child. At times I also felt the need to intervene. I discussed it with the staff on the floor who advised a warning to parents the day before on ‘family day’ had been given but not today. Maybe someone needed to be sat at the entrance to offer a warning or making sure a care giver was present. It’s great children can run around but I think some of the exhibitions were not appropriate for half term. By the time kids had seen it, the parents had no choice. I would also question the artists choice in using an actual monkey.
Written 22 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are currently exhibiting Animalesque on Level 4 which includes the work of Pierre Huyghe, (Untitled)Human Mask (2014). The exhibition has been on since 16 November 2019, so it's worth noting that this exhibition isn't chosen for Family Day & half term, our programme comes first and then the events we schedule are organised side by side to this. The exhibition carries no parental warning and we've had very little to no complaint regarding the content since it opened (including during the Christmas holidays), so far we've had over 50,000 visitors. The content of that particular work is eerie but it is as you note a macaque wearing a mask in an abandoned setting. We have BALTIC Crew on the floors to chat about the work and they can confidently explain the art with our visitors, during half term we obviously have an increased amount of children welcomed into the building but we don't advocate our visitors letting their children go around our exhibitions or building unaccompanied. Simply for the reason that we're a contemporary art gallery, with many artworks on offer that are varied and everyone interprets in their own way. We are also a public building, open for free and for all, so we encourage visitors to be with their children so as not to get lost and to ensure context and understanding for younger visitors. The content of our exhibitions are not usually a problem for those who choose to stay with their children, look at exhibitions together and learn together with help from our team. If you'd like to discuss this more please get in touch myexperience@balticmill.com Your review will be shared with our wider team, thank you.
Written 26 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Penny F
Winchester, UK35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the gallery this weekend. We covered all three exhibitions and particularly enjoyed the Judy Chicago exhibition which we had travelled to see. We were surprised given the size of the building that there was no permanent collection on view. It is obviously a great favourite with the local community and it was wonderful to see all the children engaging with the space... We also visited the restaurant on the top floor which provided us with an excellent lunch to finish off our visit on a high.
Written 24 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for travelling to see the Chicago exhibition, we're so pleased you had a good visit with us. You visited during half term week and we welcomed over 23,000 visitors so we're not surprised you got to see children engaging with our exhibitions. It's a real highlight for us too. Sounds like you topped off your time brilliantly with a lunch in Six restaurant, we'll share your feedback with the team. Thanks for sharing your best bits with others & for taking the time to review us. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
Written 26 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neil_H_2011
Leeds, UK27 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
We have visited the Baltic on many occasions since 2003, each time was interesting with a varied range of artistic content. This visit was sadly one to forget. Two exhibitions both poorly explained ( to be honest one of the staff did an admirable job when we asked.) The Biswas material had a guide - unfortunately the lighting level was so low to be able to watch the video installations you couldn't read the guide. Photographic exhibition lacked any real depth of explanation aside from the brief summary on entering, it just left you wondering why the artist had included each specific photo and its context. I could have bought the accompanying book from the shop however - a nice marxist nod!!

I really felt frustrated because I really wanted to understand what the artists were trying to express. Most viewers seemed simply to wander in and out without really engaging - which kind of defeats the point of the exhibition.

Gone is the lower ground floor cafe which was really good. You now have the pretetious and poor value priced SIX terrace cafe in its place. I won't be rushing back any time too soon as Newcastle has lots more to offer.

If I am being brutally honest, the place has list a bit of its original lustre with the fabric of things looking a little worn and in needs of some attention. A full set of working lifts would help. First impressions really count and I would not say that a new visitor is going to think that this is a top provincial gallery. Derry, Hull and Coventry have really upped the stakes in this area.
Written 20 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zoey
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK17 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
We visited on Saturday for the first time in 2 years due to the pandemic. What a disappointment. The building both inside and out is filthy and tired. There were only 2 exhibitions open and 1 was a soft play which meant we only saw 1 exhibition which was poor considering this is supposedly a centre for contemporary art.

The Baltic used to be a fab place to go to see really interesting contemporary art. Now it is dull, lifeless and the majority of the floors are empty. I sadly would not recommend this gallery to people and would suggest they visit the Laing Art Gallery instead.
Written 4 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard B
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020
I checked on the website and saw that booking in advance was advised, unfortunately I hadn't booked, but I spoke to the Crew Member at the front of the building and she said that it might be possible to visit if there were available spaces. Went to the entrance and lucky for me I was able to get in. Very simple check in leaving my contact details. Throughout the building the staff were friendly and helpful, and the flow around the building, although different to normal when we can wander where we like, didn't affect my enjoyment of the visit. Well done BALTIC and all the team. Of course the work was stunning, Sitting on school style chairs to watch Imran Peretta's work brought it totally to life, and Abel Rodriguez work is stunning in scale and vision. Going to book my next visit now.
Written 6 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks Richard! We love your review and it gives us all the best feeling, we've worked hard to be open and we've even opened two new exhibitions since August, quite the challenge in current times. It's delightful to hear you enjoyed your visit, thank you so much for sharing. We'll see you very soon we hope!
Written 8 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Iz345
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Friends
I visited last year with a friend who’s not a big art fan but we both really enjoyed the trip. My favourite exhibition was Ezuhu ezu - In(complete) it was completely new from things I’ve seen before. It featured sculptures created from non-biodegradable plastic bags and discarded bottles. The West African hair-plaiting combined with the traditional basketry and fabric weaving techniques created a beautiful effect. Definitely worth the trip, hope I can visit again soon!
Written 18 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Oh yes! Ifeoma U. Anyaeji. Thank you for reminding us of a throwback artist from 2019! It's been a year since we said goodbye to that exhibition and what a wonderful exhibition, even if we do say so ourselves! We hope you can visit again soon too, thank you for the review & we look forward to welcoming you back.
Written 24 September 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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