With a fantastic selection of London museums and galleries, this UK city provides an excellent introduction to the intriguing worlds of art, culture, heritage, science, technology, architecture, and many other subjects. These museums in London boast an extensive collection of priceless relics, amazing treasures, and interactive exhibitions, making them the best way to know this lovely city.
Victoria and Albert Museum dazzles visitors with its art and design collection, Museum of London reveals the capital's fascinating history. Madame Tussauds Museum offers the best opportunity to take pictures with wax replicas of prominent celebrities, the National Gallery exhibits artwork by painters like Botticelli, Turner, and Van Gogh. The city's transportation history is on display at London museums such as the National Maritime Museum and London Transport Museum.
There are also some quirky museums in London such as The Clink Prison Museum, a recreation of a medieval jail, and the Jack the Ripper Museum, which tells the horrifying tale of serial killings. Along with sizable permanent collections, museums in London frequently hold brand-new, captivating temporary exhibitions on a variety of topics. Whatever your passions, there is a museum in London that will capture your interest and satisfy your cravings.
From world-renowned institutions like the British Museum to more specialist options like the Imperial War Museum, London has a museum for everyone. For art lovers, there is the National Gallery and the Victoria and history buffs, while the Museum of London is a must-see. The Madame Tussauds Museum invites visitors to take photographs with wax statues of world-famous celebrities.
Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, houses a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. This 1852-founded London museum has 145 galleries and a collection that spans 5,000 years of art history, from the prehistoric era to the modern era. The collection features medieval artifacts, sculptures, prints, paintings, photographs, costumes, textiles, porcelain, glass, silver, ironwork, jewelry, and furniture belonging to Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America.
One of the most well-known museums in London is Madame Tussauds, known for its impressive collection of wax figures of international celebrities and British royals. Pose like a supermodel with Cara and Kendall and walk the red carpet with Dwayne Johnson and Zendaya. Compare yourself to heavyweight champions AJ and Ali or join Beyoncé and Taylor Swift on the stage. Meet with world leaders and get the chance to see the Queen from close. Pose with more than 150 lifelike figures of the world's most famous people and experience true awe and immersive experiences.
The Imperial War Museum covers conflicts involving Britain from the First World War to the present, listing it amongst the best London museums to know war history. One of its galleries depicts the Nazis' persecution of Jews and the complex political processes in Nazi Germany while other holds military equipment and armaments. Another section focuses on hostilities since 1945, including the Cold War, Middle East conflicts, and British Army deployments in Bosnia and Northern Ireland.
The Clink Museum, one of the most popular kid-friendly museums in London, invites visitors to the site of an old jail. The jail was well known for its severe and inhumane methods of imprisonment throughout its existence from AD 860 until its collapse in 1780.The museum has on display numerous authentic torture devices, historical lock-up displays, wax figurines of the inmates, and the horrifying conditions most of the inmates were kept in during the medieval period and afterward.
The Jack the Ripper Museum tops the list of the unique museums in London for telling the complete tale of the murders committed by Jack the Ripper. It details about the victims' lives, the primary murder suspects, the police investigation, and regular life in London's east end in 1888. The museum is housed within an old Victorian home in the heart of Whitechapel. Solving the Jack the Ripper mystery with the evidence on exhibit at the museum is both entertaining and thrilling.
The British Museum is one of the best museums in London and the entire world for displaying human history and culture in an interesting and educational way. The museum's collection comprises artifacts ranging from microscopic archaeological remnants to enormous sculptures, making it the world's finest, most complete, and largest. The collection consists primarily of objects from Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and the ancient world, exhibiting the evolution of human culture from its beginnings to the present.
The Natural History Museum London boasts 80 million specimens of life and earth science organized into five primary collections: botany, zoology, entomology, paleontology, and minerals. It is one of the most popular museums in London among kids for its displays of dinosaur skeletons. Another attraction is the building's elaborate architecture, which is best illustrated by the huge Diplodocus cast that dominates the vaulted main hall. The museum is an internationally famous research facility with a focus on identification, taxonomy, and conservation.
The Science Museum is known as one of the best London museums for its informative and interesting exhibits of global advances in science, technology, and medicine. While the Welcome Wing highlights advances in modern science, technology, and medicine, the Medical History Gallery has treasures from the history of medicine. Under-eights learn the importance of patterns in today's science in the Pattern Pod and the basic Science concepts on Launch Pad. The Apollo 10 command module, flight simulator, and space galleries are other highlights of the museum.
The London Transport Museum is a hidden jewel in the city's heart, taking you on a 200-year trip through the incredible development of London's public transportation. Additionally, it displays how social history, architecture, design, and engineering evolved together with it. Numerous real, historical vehicles are on display inside the museum along with thousands of information, exhibits, and hands-on activities that let you experience what it was like to travel in London in the past.
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is home to over 2 million seafaring-related objects, making it the largest marine museum in the world. Here, you may discover Britain's maritime history, learn about the adventures of well-known explorers, and use a cutting-edge bridge simulator to navigate a ship into port. The most significant collection on the history of Britain at sea, comprising British and Dutch maritime art, manuscripts, maps, and ship models, is housed on three levels of the museum.
The Museum of London is another one of the best museums in London to visit with family and learn about London's ever-changing history. The collections and the permanent exhibits of the museum show how London has changed through hundreds of thousands of years as a city. You will see London's remarkable growth from the Thames Valley's early settlement to the Roman army's foundation of "Londinium" to the major global city that London is today.
The National Gallery houses over 2300 Western European paintings from the 13th to the early 20th centuries. The National Gallery, situated in Trafalgar Square in the heart of London, honors some of the best Western European painters, such as Van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Degas, Cézanne, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. It is among the best museums in London that tell the history of Western European art since no other collection has such a consistent level of quality.
The Churchill War Rooms were built to survive the Nazi blitzkrieg and have been a major draw for tourists ever since they were made available for public viewing in 1984. The converted broom closet, the Prime Minister's office/bedroom, the Map Room, and the Cabinet Room are just a few of the historical spaces here. The museum's typing pool-like rooms that depict the difficulties of wartime labor and displays that explore various aspects of the struggle are some of its other highlights.
The Royal Observatory was established by King Charles II in 1675, making it the country's first scientific establishment. It was constructed to correct the tables of heavenly motions and fixed star positions to determine the longitude of locations and improve navigational skills. Here, you can indulge in various exciting activities, such as crossing the Meridian Line, learning how a self-taught clockmaker created history by figuring out longitude at sea and taking in a planetarium performance.
The Bank of England museum exhibits the transformational tale of the Bank from its private enterprise origins in the 17th century to the present ruling financial public administration. It describes everyday money matters using modern audio-visual techniques, including inflation, interest rates, the printing of banknotes, and the role of the bank in the UK economy. The bank's own collection of money-related items is on exhibit inside the duplicate of Sir John Soane's 18th-century banking hall.
There are more than 200 museums in London, ranging from enormous national institutions to smaller local ones. Many of these museums rank among the best in the world for their extensive collections while others are known for their modest yet quirky collections.
The British Museum spans 18.5 acres equivalent to nine football pitches, making it the largest amongst London museums. It houses roughly eight million pieces in the collection, just 1% of which are on display at any given moment. Even with that exhibition, it would take days to meticulously inspect each and every piece.
The British Museum is free to visit and allows access to all its permanent galleries. However, there is a fee to visit special exhibitions. Although admission to the museum is free, you must purchase a timed entrance ticket in advance.
The Imperial War Museum has a large collection to look at and examine, so you need at least three hours to visit it all. It is advised to allow 90 minutes for each of the First World War and Holocaust galleries and an additional hour for Levels 1 and 2.
According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the Natural History Museum had 1,571,413 visitors in 2021, making it the most visited museum in London and the UK. Tate Modern, the London Science Museum, and the V & A are other best museums in London that attracted the most visitors in 2021.