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If you're a dedicated museum lover, London's over 240 museums will keep you going for days, weeks, months, even years. Where else in the world can you experience the life and times of ancient civilisations, come face to face with Egyptian mummies, brush shoulders with London's famous kings and queens and spend the afternoon with some of the world's most renowned artists for free, but London!
If you like art, culture and history, you will love London's most popular museums. Enjoy the world's greatest collections, each in a stunning building FREE!
Brush up on your knowledge of ancient and modern civilisations at the British Museum. As the oldest national public museum in the world, the British Museum attracts millions of visitors to its worldwide collection each year. You can marvel at objects spanning two million years of human history, from the Rosetta stone and the first known image of Christ, to a fantastic collection of mummies and contemporary African Art. New galleries dedicated to Egyptian tomb paintings, Medieval Europe and Chinese ceramics have recently opened.
The life and earth science collections of the Museum comprise some 70 million specimens or items, gathered over 400 years and within 5 main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology.. The collections cover virtually all groups of animals, plants, minerals and fossils from all across the world, and even the universe. Many of its items were collected by Darwin himself on his various expeditions. Its most popular exhibits are its dinosaur skeletons, including a cast of one donated by Andrew Carnegie and located in the museum's central hall.
Bringing science to life, and life to science... welcome to the Science Museum. Founded in 1857, the museum holds over 300,000 items including Stephenson's Rocket, Puffing Billy and a working version of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine (considered by many to be the "first computer"). The museum also houses many items collected by Henry Wellcome related to medicine. This includes historic medical instruments and a lifesize iron lung.
Get some visual inspiration at the world's greatest museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Discover its treasure trove of objects from the world's richest cultures; you'll see glass, fashion, ceramics, sculpture and more. Check out the British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the country's art and design. Seven miles of gallery space is yours to explore for free at the V&A.
The National Portrait Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of personalities and faces, from the late Middle Ages to the present day. You can come face to face with the people who have shaped British history and culture, from kings and queens to musicians and film stars. Artists featured range from Holbein to Hockney. The collection includes work across all media, from painting and sculpture to photography and video.
Continue your free exploration of history and culture at Tate Britain. The gallery holds the largest collection of British art in the world. It features works from the last five centuries, including contemporary British art, in a series of free, changing displays. A quintessentially British artistic experience!
A trip to London isn't complete without a visit to Tate Britain's sister gallery, Tate Modern, which shows the best modern and contemporary art from around the world. The former Bankside Power Station includes the awe-inspiring Turbine Hall, which runs the length of the entire building. This unique space features some amazing interactive and innovative exhibitions, and the permanent galleries won't cost you a penny!
Fancy an afternoon with Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso, Michelangelo, Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh Then join a free guided tour at the National Gallery. You can get up-close and personal to paintings by these and many more great Western European masters.
Other notable, free museums:
Museum of London
National Maritime Museum
Imperial War Museum
Royal Air Force Museum
Bank of London Museum
London Political Cartoon Gallery
Museum of Childhood
Museum of Garden History
Petrie Museum of Egyption Archaeology
RIBA Architecture Gallery
Sir John Soane’s Museum