A cosmopolitan city like London is full of impressive museums. And what’s the best part: almost all of them are free! Watch mummies in the British Museum, gaze at the old masters at Wallace or admire jewels and tiaras at the Victoria & Albert Museum? London has it all. These are our 5 favourite museums in London.
Tip: do you want tips for more free things to do around London? Check this blog!
The My Maps map above summarizes all our tips. The menu on the menu has separate layers that mark the best coffee spots, sleeping places and highlights. Click on the star to save the map to your own Google Maps or open the map in a new window for a larger version. Enjoy!
#1 The Wallace Collection
Website | The collection of The Wallace is impressive and can easily compete with the major museums. Its walls are almost completely covered with paintings of famous artists and old masters. Don’t expect sterile spaces with white walls, because The Wallace is located in a beautiful historic building. Of our favourite museums in London, this is perhaps the least known and the smallest. Yet it’s still big enough to be able to spend half a day here and it’s still popular with locals and tourists.
#2 Natural History Museum
Website | Even the building of the Natural History Museum is impressive. The beautiful museum was built entirely in the Gothic style you might know from churches. It’s almost like a cathedral! Highlights in the museum are the famous dinosaur in the great hall and the rest of the dinosaur collection.
Tip: get here as early as possible. This museum is so popular – certainly among families – that there is often a line. So try to come as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
#3 Tate Modern
Website | This is the largest modern museum in London. With many changing exhibitions and big names such as Monet, Picasso and Dali, this large museum offers something for everyone. Not such a fan of contemporary art as Sebastiaan? Then just go to this museum for the view from the top floor over the big city!
#4 British Museum
Website | The most famous museum in the United Kingdom is the British Museum. The Egyptian collection, statues of the Greek Parthenon and the bright white central hall itself are particularly popular. Part of the Egyptian collections are mummies, statues and the famous Rosetta stone. This stone finally helped archeologists to decipher the ancient Egyptian script!
Tip: also get here early or prepare for long queues. The museum is also much quieter at the end of the afternoon.
#5 Victoria & Albert Museum
Website |This museum is in Kensington, right next to the Natural History Museum. You should visit this museum for the huge collection of decorative art and design. Prepare yourself for historical dinnerware, clothing and art, as well as paintings and sculptures. Our favourites are the jewelry collection and the Cast Courts.
Fun fact about the Cast Courts: there are no originals, only copies! But not regular ones, but historical copies with their own history. For example, the sign with the copy of Michelangelo’s David says that this was a gift from Florence, after the English monarch had not been allowed to buy another piece of Italian art. The enormous copy of the Column of Trajan from Rome also has a unique story. Read the information book in the column itself!
Tip: the South Kensington underground station has a direct covered connection to the museum.