13 must-see museums in London, UK

London’s Top 13 Museums

A trip to London without visiting a single museum? Impossible! If only because admission to many of them is free. And this is especially nice, because London is an expensive city, and you want to see everything. We are going to tell you about 13 popular museums that will appeal to anyone.

The British Museum

You’ll love this museum if you’re interested in exhibits from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome and Greece, Mesopotamia and other periods of pre-written times. Open every day from 10:00 to 17:30 and free on Fridays from 10:00 to 20:30.

British Museum

2. Natural History Museum

This museum will appeal to fans of stories about dinosaurs, volcanoes, spiders, rocks, etc. And if you adore Jurassic Park – this museum is a must on your agenda! Admission is free, so budget travelers will appreciate it too. Open daily from 10:00 to 17:50, admission is free.

Natural History Museum

Science Museum

The very name of the museum speaks about its exhibitions. Here you will learn the history of the electric grid and the first computers, see the robots and find out when the first of them appeared. There are also exhibitions related to medicine, including surgery, atomic science and nuclear physics. The museum has large collections of exhibits. Even if you don’t understand anything about physics, you will still be interested. Open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, admission is free .

Science Museum

4. Tate Britain and Tate Modern Galleries

Tate Britain is also called the Gallery of British Art because it houses the world’s largest collection of 16th- and 20th-century English art. Open every day from 10:00 to 18:00, admission is free.

Tate Britain

The Tate Modern Gallery came into existence in 2000 when the Tate Britain collection became too large. So the entire collection was split in two: classical art remained in Tate Britain and contemporary art is now in Tate Modern. It is open Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 22:00. Admission is free.

Tate Modern

5. Victoria and Albert Museum – Victoria and Albert Museum

This museum is the world’s largest museum of applied art and design. The collection counts about 2 million items, which will tell you about the ingenuity and creativity of the human race. Here you will see pieces of furniture, jewelry, sculptures, paintings and photographs, tableware and costumes. Open every day from 10:00 to 17:45 and on Fridays from 10:00 to 22:00. Admission is free .

Victoria and Albert Museum

6. The National Gallery of London

This museum will appeal to those interested in Western European art. What makes it noteworthy is that the exhibits are all in chronological order. So you can study the painting trends of a certain time and see how they changed. Here you can find paintings by such masters as Titian, Van Gogh, Rubens, Michelangelo, Raphael and others. Open every day from 10:00 to 18:00, Fridays from 10:00 to 21:00. Admission is free .

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The National Art Gallery

7. London Transport Museum

The name of the museum corresponds to its content: there are exhibits about transport in London and its impact on society over the past 200 years. Here you’ll see carriages and double-decker buses, workers’ uniforms, posters, signs, and maps from different times. Open every day from 10:00 to 18:00. Tickets cost £18 for adults and £16.50 if you buy online. But there’s a nice bonus! You buy a ticket and you can use it for a whole year! So if you’re a transport fanatic and are going to be in London from time to time, this museum is your dream destination.

London Transport Museum

8. Horniman Museum

This museum is the collection of tea company owner Frederick John Horniman. He was an avid traveler and collected interesting things from different parts of the earth. So if you also collect something or want to look at unusual exhibits and take a walk in the garden at the same time, you will love this museum :) Open daily from 10:00 to 17:30. Entrance to the museum is free, but the entrance to the house of butterflies and a small oceanarium is paid.

Horniman Museum

9. Design Museum

The museum will appeal to lovers of fine arts, and, of course, designers, architects, artists, illustrators and all creative types. Also, the museum offers lectures and workshops, the schedule of which is available on the website of the museum. Open from 10:00 to 18:00 every day. Admission is free, some temporary exhibitions can be paid.

Design Museum

10. Museum of brands, packaging & advertising

The name of the museum speaks for itself. Here you really can find advertising, labels, covers of different times. But you can not just look at how much advertising has changed and marvel at it, but also understand how the society lived and how it evolved and develops up to now. Exhibitions are devoted to specific topics, such as “Can Advertising Save a Life?” The museum will appeal to those interested in the world’s population and history. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission for adults is £9, annual ticket £17.

Museum of brands, packaging & advertising

11. Ripley’s London Museum – Ripley’s Incredible Things

The Ripley’s Museum is now closed, but it plans to open in a new location in the near future. The museum is notable for its unusual collection and interesting interactions that both adults and children will enjoy. Let’s hope the museum opens soon!

Ripley's London Museum

The Sherlock Holmes Museum

The famous 221b house on Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigated intricate and mysterious cases. In the museum you feel like you’re back in that era! After all, the whole entourage is made with the details from the books about Sherlock Holmes. Don’t forget to visit also the Old English restaurant Mrs. Hudson where you will have a chance to drink English tea and think about mystic affairs in your life, maybe you will be able to solve something. Open daily from 9:30 to 18:00. Adult ticket costs £15.

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Sherlock Holmes

John Watson

13. Harry Potter Museum – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter.

Well, Potter-heads! Are you ready to visit the most fascinating museum? Here you can visit the set, see the collection of potions, wands and other equipment, consider every detail of the costume and feel the “magic” of Potteriana. Open every day from 8:30 to 22:00. It’s best to plan your visit in advance, as the number of visitors in the museum is limited. Tickets are purchased on the official website. The ticket price for an adult is £43.

Harry Potter Museum

Harry Potter in London

Ksenia Panova

Ksenia Panova English fan.

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Top 33 museums in London

The British capital offers its guests a fascinating and informative cultural travel program. Walking through the many museums and galleries of London is an unforgettable experience. Here, every tourist will find interesting educational institutions of different thematic areas. Museums of London amaze visitors with a magnificent wealth of exhibits. They reflect a cultural heritage of all mankind. During the heyday of the British Empire, valuable works of art and ancient artifacts were brought to London from all over the world. Most museums offer tourists free admission.

British Museum

British Museum, London

The British Museum features numerous historical and archaeological exhibits reflecting England’s colonial past from Ancient Egypt to the present day. Many of the exhibits on display today were donated by famous people or purchased by the administration at auctions. However, there are among them those that appeared “from the back door. The Greeks and Egyptians to this day are trying to recover architectural masterpieces and archaeological finds which they believe do not belong to Britain. The British Museum is associated with tourists not only with a rich collection of various exhibits, but also with a building in the style of classicism – with columns and a modern glass dome in the courtyard which has become one of the symbols of London in the XXI century.

As for the museum galleries, there are a huge number of artifacts. All exhibitions are divided into thematic areas. The most interesting collections are ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman, but other collections are also of interest. For example, numismatic, which is a collection of coins of different times from all over the world. The art department is worth a separate mention. It’s not too big, but it boasts works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt and many other famous artists.

Intriguingly, the staff includes not only the traditional employees, but also six cats whose duties include catching mice. You have a chance to meet the unusual staff during a tour. It is located at Great Russell Street, London. Its doors are open daily from 10-00 to 17-00. You do not need to pay to enter – you can learn the history of Britain and not only free of charge.

Sherlock Holmes Museum

The Sherlock Holmes Museum, London

When Arthur Conan Doyle created his legendary work about detective Sherlock Holmes he could hardly think that in couple of hundred years number 221 house, which number was little more than hundred in XIX century, would appear in Baker Street and still less that this address would be one of the most famous in London. Today the Sherlock Holmes Museum, opened in 1900, attracts thousands of tourists. It is housed in a Victorian-era mansion, carefully designed by a modern architect according to book descriptions. Similarly, all the interior interiors have been restored.

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The space of the four-storey cottage is arranged slightly differently than it was described by Arthur Conan Doyle in his book; the arrangement of the rooms was affected by the tourist popularity of the place. On the first floor, in addition to cash registers, there is a fairly large souvenir store. The second floor – the chambers of the famous detective.

The third floor is occupied by the rooms, where Doctor Watson and maid Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock’s irreplaceable assistant in everyday problems, lived. By the way, it is her who welcomes guests and introduces them to the mansion. The fourth floor of the mansion has nothing to do with the detective, there are busts and sculptures of other characters from Arthur Conan Doyle’s works. The address is 221b Baker Street. However, attentive visitors are likely to notice a discrepancy, it is located at 239. The exhibit is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closes exclusively on Christmas Day.

Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery, London

The Saatchi Gallery is one of Britain’s most unusual museums. Everything here is striking, from the exhibits to the building in which they are housed. The former barracks is hardly the best place to experience art. The gallery gets its name from its founder, art dealer Charles Saatchi. It was he who decided to make his personal collection of contemporary paintings available to the public. Today Saatchi boasts not only permanent but also temporary exhibitions, some of which cause a sensation among visitors and critics alike. And not always in a positive sense of the word.

Going to a gallery, you need to be ready to experience all kinds of emotions, from admiration and excitement to bewilderment and disgust. After all, how else would one feel about Mark Quinn’s works – heads cast from frozen blood? Or the animals cut up in formaldehyde by Damien Hirst? Unfortunately or fortunately, those exhibitions are in the past and cannot be visited today. But there are others – no less flamboyant and shocking.

Causing controversy among critics and interest among ordinary people, even those with no relation to the art. What you will be lucky enough to see on the day of your visit is a mystery. The gallery is located at Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road. Its doors are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The box office, where you can get a ticket for free, closes half an hour earlier at 5:30 pm.

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Tate Gallery

Tate Gallery, London

Tate Gallery is the best place to experience British art. There are works by a wide variety of authors, from the 16th century to the present. It was started by industrialist Henry Tate, who decided to make his personal collection available to the public. All works are systematized in chronological and thematic order, for ease of perception. After all, the variety of dates, styles and names can make even seasoned connoisseurs dizzy. Portraits, landscapes, domestic sketches, mysticism … everyone will surely be able to find a canvas to their liking.

The year 2000 was a year of change for the Tate Gallery. Its collection grew so large that the old building in Trafalgar Square was no longer sufficient. So a branch of the Tate Modern appeared on the opposite side of the Thames. The premises for it were chosen as an unusual and original, and it had a power station. Gradually this place became a cult among fans of modern art all over the world. But even if you are indifferent to the paintings, visit the gallery Tate is still worthwhile.

If only to take a boat ride between branches on the River Thames and have a cup of coffee in the panoramic cafe under the roof of the Tate Modern. Located at London, Millbank, Tate Britain, its modern branch is opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral. Both are open from 10-00 to 17-50. The first Friday of each month is a ‘long’ day, with doors open until 8pm. December 24-26 – days off. You do not need to pay to enter. But you do have to pay for the boat ride, if it’s part of the plan.

Charles Dickens House-Museum

Charles Dickens House Museum, London

Charles Dickens is one of the most famous English writers. He wrote such works as The Adventures of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and many others. Guests of the museum dedicated to the literary genius can get acquainted not only with his works, but also with the life of a traditional Victorian family. So what can be seen? First of all – the dining room, where the whole family gathered. The Victorian porcelain plates depict the writer and his friends. Also on the first floor there is a bedroom with a large bed covered with a canopy, a kitchen and a living room.

The second floor is the real kingdom of Dickens, his study with a dressing room. Here, as if two hundred years ago, there is a table and chair, where the works were created, of which the whole world soon learned, the first editions of books and even manuscripts lie. The walls of the study and other rooms of the museum are decorated with paintings depicting old London. Dickens house-museum is located at 48 Doughty Street. Tickets close at the Dickens House from 10.00am to 5.00pm, but are on sale until one hour before that. Tickets cost £9. It is closed on public holidays.

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