Top 10 London Museums

Full of culture and history, London museums offer a wealth of experiences and exhibits, with something for all ages and tastes. Whether you’re returning to the city and want to see something new, or a first time visitor who wants to see the best of London we’ve got it covered in our guide to the top 10 London Museums. We’ve included a guide to the nearest tube station and Transport for London has some great free apps to help plan your trip.

The British Museum

Founded in 1753 it sits among the most famous museums in the world and it is the most visited museum in the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to human history and has over 8 million artefacts in its collection. Despite its age, it has moved with the times, with ever changing and beautifully presented exhibitions. This is a must see for any visitor to London.

  • General Admission: Free. Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting there: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
  • Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russel Square, Goodge Street

National Maritime Museum

Britain once had the largest Navy in the world and it’s fitting that the National Maritime Museum is the largest in the world. With over 2 million maritime artefacts you can discover stories about Britain’s encounters with the rest of the world at sea. It’s well worth a visit to see the uniform Admiral Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar, complete with a bullet hole!

  • General Admission: Free. Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting here: Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF London
  • Nearest Tube: N/A DRL best way to get here

National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery has over 2000 paintings in the Western European style from the 13th to 19th Centuries. There is a painting from almost every European school of art, the most famous include; The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein and Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh. A must see for any art lover.

  • General Admission: Free
  • Getting there: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
  • Nearest Tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment

Victoria and Albert Museum

This London museum is the largest museum of decorative arts in the world. Named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert it is located in South Kensington making it a perfect museum to combine with a trip to Harrods. It has 145 galleries and it is worth noting it has the biggest collection of Italian Renaissance works outside Italy.

  • General Admission: Free
  • Getting here: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
  • Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge, South Kensington, Gloucester Road

National History Museum

Visit the world-famous dinosaurs, the museum recently opened a new viewing area where you can come face to face with the huge T-Rex and explore different time periods. Along with this there are 36 free galleries, so you’ll have great fun mapping out your route, finishing off in the coffee shop for a well-deserved rest!

  • General Admission: Free. Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting here: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
  • Nearest Tube: Knightsbridge, South Kensington, Gloucester Road

Tate Modern

Situated on the banks of the River Thames the Tate Modern is Britain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art. This London museum has a unique shape as it was once a power station post-war. It’s well worth stopping at one of the restaurants for great views across the city.

  • General Admission: Free! Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting here: Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
  • Nearest Tube: Southwark, Blackfriars, St Pauls

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum explores the story of London and its transport system over the last 200 years. As well as looking at the past the museum also looks at present day transport and develops concepts for future transportation. Don’t miss seeing the first underground train from 1890.

  • General Admission: £17, children go free
  • Getting here: Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB
  • Nearest Tube: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Holborn, Embankment, Charing Cross

Imperial War Museum

Founded in 1917 with the aim of recording the military effort throughout the First World War it has grown to cover military history from 1914- to the present day. You can explore the secret operations of Britain’s Special Forces or find out how families lived in wartime Britain. There’s even a kids guide to ensure the whole family can get involved.

  • General Admission: Free
  • Getting here: Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
  • Nearest Tube: Lambeth North, Waterloo, Elephant and Castle

Science Museum

This is a museum that pushes the boundaries of visitor experience, it has the largest collection of technological objects on the planet. It’s not just a place for the scientists among us, the fun and interactive experiences mean even those for whom science is a hazy memory will enjoy the museum. It will also keep kids entertained all day.

  • General Admission: Free. Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting here: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD
  • Nearest Tube: South Kensington

The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the story of London from prehistoric times to the present day. It uses reconstructed interiors, street scenes and displays of original artefacts found during the museum’s archaeological digs. It’s worth checking out the website if you’re visiting with children as they run a variety children’s events.

  • General Admission: Free. Fees apply for certain exhibitions, see website for more details
  • Getting here: 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
  • Nearest Tube: Barbican, St Pauls

Image © Museum of London