Impressive museums in London, England

London’s most important museums

There are more than 300 museums and galleries in London, making it one of the major museum capitals in the world. Historical museums with ancient artefacts, museums with the largest collections of European art, fortresses and contemporary art galleries – how can you see it all when the city is so expensive? It’s simple – almost all of London’s museums are free. So here’s where you can spend your time in London on a budget to see the king’s jewels, ancient Egyptian relics and masterpieces of great painters.

National Gallery

The London National Gallery is located in one of the city’s most famous squares, Trafalgar Square. Here, surrounded by modern sculptures and the historic Nelson’s Column, stands the majestic gallery building. The National Gallery is as important as the Louvre in Paris, the Prado Museum in Madrid or the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Its collection contains more than 2,500 paintings by Western European painters, including masterpieces by such artists as:

  • Rubens;
  • Cézanne;
  • Raphael;
  • Michelangelo;
  • and Rembrandt.

The National Gallery doesn’t have all day to see all the important exhibits, but there are a few paintings that definitely can’t be missed. For example, the legendary “Sunflowers” by Van Gogh or a painting by the Spanish artist Velazquez – “Venus with a mirror”. The masterpieces of the French Impressionists, including works by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Cézanne are worthy of special attention. The list could go on and on, but the gallery itself has taken care of it. On the official site of the museum you can find a special selection of “30 must-see paintings”, where employees of the gallery allocated 30 major masterpieces. That way, you know that you haven’t missed a thing. Or visit the gallery with a Russian speaking guide, who will also tell you interesting facts about each painting.

Every day the museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00, on Fridays from 10:00 to 21:00.

Tickets: Entrance to the gallery is free, except for temporary exhibitions.

Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN . Westminster District.

British Museum

Another museum in London where you can spend, it seems, your whole vacation, as its size and number of exhibits is almost impossible to count. In the British Museum you can get acquainted with the full history of mankind, which covers more than 2 million years. The museum exhibits are from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as Asia and Africa. Just imagine, here you can see:

  • Leonardo Da Vinci’s ancient manuscripts;
  • sarcophagi and Egyptian mummies;
  • the mathematical papyrus of Ahmes;
  • Moai statues from Easter Island;
  • the sculptures of the Parthenon.

And that’s just a small fraction of the ancient artifacts in the British Museum’s collection. One of the most important exhibits that can’t be missed while visiting the museum is the Rosetta Stone. It is a slab of stone, on which the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are carved. Thanks to this stone, scientists were able to decipher Egyptian script and make a huge breakthrough in science and history.

Opening hours: The British Museum is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.

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Tickets: Admission to the museum is free, except for temporary exhibitions.

Address: British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG . Fitzrovia District.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular museums, not just for children but for adults too. It’s hard to believe, but the museum has a collection of over 80 million items. What adds to its popularity, though, is the museum’s interior and architecture. The museum exterior resembles a fairytale castle with towers and when you walk into the main hall, it seems as if you are in a Gothic cathedral. But above the ceiling here hangs a 30-meter skeleton of a blue whale.

The museum is divided into four zones:

  • Blue Zone – there is a huge dinosaur gallery with growling tyrannosaurs, and you can also look at mammals and sea creatures from around the world;
  • Green Zone – birds, insects and predator plants are represented here;
  • Red Zone – features geological processes, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as well as meteorite fragments;
  • The Orange Zone, home to the Darwin Research Center, the High Tech Studio, and scientists’ laboratories.

In addition, from November to January in the museum courtyard opens one of the most beautiful ice rinks in London. There are children’s attractions and shops with mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Opening hours: Open daily from 10:00 to 17:50.

Tickets: Entrance is free except for temporary exhibitions.

Address: London, SW7 5BD, Cromwell Road, Natural History Museum. South Kensington District.

Tower

The ancient fortress Tower has towered over the north bank of the Thames since the 11th century. At various times the Tower has been used as a royal residence, zoo, mint and jail. Now the Tower is home to a historical museum that details what happened over the centuries in British history. Walk the somber labyrinths of the ancient towers and hear the mysterious legends of the imprisoned prisoners, see the treasures of the British Crown and see the richest collection of the Armoury.

The Tower has beautiful views of the famous Tower Bridge.

There is an unusual entertainment in the Tower – to find seven black crows. According to the legend, if the ravens leave the fortress, the British monarchy will fall on the same day. Therefore, the black crows are sacred birds here. In the Tower there are special caretakers of crows – Ravensmasters, and the birds get the best food and care, as long as they do not leave the towers of the Tower.

Hours of operation: March 1 through October 31, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. November 1 through February 28, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets: £24.7 adults, £19.3 for students, disabled and pensioners from 60, £11.7 for children aged 5 to 15 and free for under-5s.

Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB. Whitechapel District.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the world’s largest museums devoted to art and design. The museum building sits across from the Natural History Museum and looks just as opulent thanks to Victorian architecture mixed with modern glass and metal inlays. The museum exhibition covers more than 3,000 years of history and introduces visitors to the fashion of different eras, architecture, furniture, sculpture and jewelry.

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You can rest between museum halls in a cozy cafe, which is located in the museum’s courtyard – among the walls of the Victorian palace, museum installations and a small pond.

Especially noteworthy here are the temporary exhibitions that the museum organizes several times a year. For example, the largest exhibition of Frida Kahlo was held here, which included not only her paintings, but also her memorable costumes. There are also exhibitions of famous photographers such as Tim Walker, exhibitions of future technologies and collections of clothes by famous designers.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Opening hours: Museum is open daily from 10:00 to 17:45.

Tickets: Entrance to the museum is free except for temporary exhibitions.

Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL . South Kensington area.

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is one of the most famous contemporary art museums in the world. It is where you can discover all the latest trends in the modern art world, explore the work of iconic artists and see every possible contemporary style in one place, including:

  • surrealism;
  • modernism;
  • pop art;
  • minimalism;
  • conceptualism;
  • and others.

In the museum you can see the masterpieces of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and other legendary artists who loved to experiment in their art. There are so many works on display that you’ll have the opportunity to visit an entire room devoted only to the works of Mark Rothko or Gerhard Richter. See all the artists representing Surrealism and then dive into the work of the Impressionists.

After visiting the art rooms you can also go up to the 10th floor of the gallery where you can enjoy a free 360-degree panorama of the whole of London, including views of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City of London, Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge.

Be sure to check out the gift store (there are several on the museum grounds), which has a huge collection of books and magazines on art, design, and fashion.

Opening hours: The museum is open Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 to 18:00 and Friday to Saturday from 10:00 to 22:00.

Tickets: Admission is free, except for temporary exhibitions.

Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG . Southwark District.

Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts is first and foremost an educational institute and the oldest artists’ association in England. The Royal Academy also played a major role in the emergence of the “London School,” a group of young British artists working in London. Now the Academy’s permanent collection holds a huge number of works by British artists and sculptors. But the main reason to visit this museum is the temporary exhibitions. Every temporary exhibition draws huge queues, all thanks to the big names in art – Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley and other equally legendary artists of the day are exhibited at the Royal Academy.

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It is noteworthy that the Royal Academy of Arts has its annual exhibition in summer. This is the time when the graduates exhibit their work, so you can see brand new experiments in art and even buy them. It is the oldest open exhibition in the world and has been held since 1796.

Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy

Opening hours: The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, except on Fridays from 10:00 to 22:00.

Tickets: The cost may vary depending on the particular exhibition – from £10 to £25.

Address: Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD . Mayfair area.

Impressive museums in London, England

The British Museum is Britain’s central historical and archaeological museum and one of the largest museums in the world. It was founded in 1753 with the permission of the British Parliament. Its exhibition occupies 94 galleries, the total length of 4 km.

Madame Tussauds Museum

Nowadays Madame Tussauds is the biggest and the most famous wax museum in the world with branches scattered around 10 cities around the world. Movies and show business stars, presidents, prime ministers of different countries, kings and queens – there is no one else in the exposition!

Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

The most famous address in London, where, according to the stories of the author, Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson lived is 221b Baker Street, in the Westminster district. Although at the time of the creation of the works this address did not yet exist in London, because Baker Street in those days ended at the hundredth number of houses.

The National Gallery of London

The London National Gallery is one of the biggest art galleries of the British capital. There are more than two thousand masterpieces of Western European painting from the 12th to the 20th centuries.

Saatchi Gallery

The most shocking of all British museums, the Saatchi Gallery is famous for its exhibitions of conceptual contemporary art, not always understandable to the general public. The exhibits shock and awe the visitor, often bewilder and almost always astound.

Tate Gallery

The personal collection once owned by industrialist Sir Henry Tate formed the basis of the world’s largest collection of English art from the 16th to 20th centuries, the Tate Gallery. Its original name was the Gallery of British Art.

Tate Modern Gallery.

From the outside, the Tate Modern Gallery doesn’t look like a museum at all: the dark, gloomy, industrial-looking building looks like a factory or warehouse. Funnily enough, it’s actually originally an industrial building – the gallery works in a former power plant building, and that’s not the only original thing here.

Charles Dickens House Museum in London

In London, in a perfectly restored house at 48 Doughty Street, in the Holborn district, is a piece of Victorian England, a piece of its history, the life of old England. It is the home museum of the great English writer Charles Dickens.

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Institute of Modern Art in London

Russian tourists do not often get to the gallery of the Institute of Modern Art – this museum is little known in Russia. But it has become famous in Western Europe and the U.S., and visitors from there often appear in it. And the vast majority of visitors are British.

The Wallace collection in London

The collection belonged to the famous collector, Sir Richard Wallace (it was assembled, for the most part, by Sir Richard’s father, the Marquis of Hertford) and, after his death, was given to the nation by his wife. The collection was donated along with the house in which it was located and is still there.

The Cupids of London Museum.

The Cupids of London Museum appeared in 2007 in Piccadilly Square, the busiest place in the city, and immediately became popular with visitors and residents. It was quite unexpected, because Paris is known as the city of love, while London is more reserved in this respect. But nevertheless.

Westminster Abbey Museum

Westminster Abbey, or St. Peter’s Cathedral Church, is a magnificent monument of architecture, stunning in its size and sumptuous interior decoration. The church, built in the Gothic style, is the country’s main shrine, located in Westminster.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Unquestionably Europe’s best museum for the completeness of its arts and crafts collections, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a must for any tourist, even if just for a couple of days. Fourteenth place among the museums of the world (!)

Harry Potter Museum in London

The Harry Potter Museum near London, created by Warner Bros. in 2012, is one of the most visited museums in the world, visited by up to 5.5 thousand people a day. Under its roof there are hundreds of exhibits, dozens of locations where episodes of the famous film were filmed.

The Jeffrey Museum in London

The Jeffrey Museum is a museum of interiors. Ordinary, domestic, over the last 400 years – since 1600. You can see what a merchant’s living room looked like at the end of the Tudor dynasty, a nobleman’s bedroom in Dickens’ time, a Victorian “tea room” or a hippie-era studio.

London Design Museum

The Design Museum in London is a veritable gift for anyone interested in expressions of creativity and imagination. It has become a real innovation in the museum world and a Mecca for artists and creative people, and you can recognize it by the sculpture “Head of Invention”.

Natural History Museum in London

This museum has a very quaint building – covered in colorful tiles, bizarrely shaped, more like a church than a museum. But as soon as a visitor steps inside – he forgets about the exterior decoration, because in the huge entrance hall stands the same huge replica of a diplodoc skeleton.

Cutty Sark Museum

Everyone knows the careful and reverent attitude of the British to their past, represented in landmarks, castles, cathedrals and, of course, in museums. One of these relic museums is a witness to the history and development of Great Britain – a ship-museum with a mystical name Cutty Sark.

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Museum of London.

There are many museums in the world dedicated to the history of a particular city, but the Museum of London stands out among them. First, because it is one of the largest city museums in the world. Secondly, because it is interactive and geared towards children.

The Science Museum of London

London, of course, one of the most famous in terms of tourism cities not only of old Europe, but the whole world. And of course – such a number of attractions, mixed with varying degrees of truthfulness of stereotypes about local features, enticing detachment from continental Europe.

The best places to explore the world culture and history of Britain, of course, sheltered London, the cradle of royal dynasties. The jewel in the crown of the country’s museum heritage is undoubtedly the British Museum, the largest museum in the world and the pride of the British. Here, everyone can enjoy the collections of renowned British physician and naturalist Hance Sloane, Earl Robert Harley and the library of antiquarian Robert Cotton, free of charge. Rare works of art from Ancient Egypt and Nubia, the Ancient East, East and South Asia, Africa, Mesoamerica, Oceania and Europe are relentlessly interesting not only to connoisseurs of history, but also to ordinary people. A visit to the library is a unique pleasure, but only those who have signed up in advance can use the huge book fund.

As for offbeat museums, London also has no shortage of them, such as the charming Teddy Bear Museum, dedicated to the English Teddy Bears.

Proven by time and fleeting fashion, the most powerful design and arts and crafts museum is the Victoria and Albert Museum on Cromwell Road, South Kensington tube station.

It’s a crime to bypass the National Gallery of London, whose wealth of some 2,000 beautiful examples of paintings from the 13th to 20th centuries. It is located right on Trafalgar Square. After a sedate stroll through the quiet, pompous corridors of the gallery, a breath of fresh air will be a visit to Madame Tussauds, London’s most famous icon.

As for offbeat museums, London also has its fair share of them: the Teddy Bear Museum is a charming museum dedicated to British Teddy Bears, featuring bears from rare collections or belonging to historical or famous personalities. Walking through the streets of London you can’t help but think of the legendary Sherlock and Watson and it’s even more exciting when you visit the private Sherlock Holmes Museum. Guess where it’s located? 239 Baker Street, of course. The doors to the abode of the genius detective are open daily from 10:30 to 18:00.

Have fun at the Dragonfly Museum, which is populated by thousands of different species of these insects, and a visit to the Lawnmower Museum will add to your knowledge of the history of this gardening machine and the mechanics of its operation. The highlight of the exhibit is the presentation of cars converted from lawnmowers.

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