There are so many great museums in London, big and small. Most are free – it’s one of the best things about London. It means that you can return as many times as you want, (although donations are encouraged).
So, here are my favourites, what I believe are London’s best museums:
British Museum, Russell Square
This place is vast and full of priceless historical artefacts, (many of which were essentially stolen centuries ago, but let’s not dwell..). The Egyptian and Greek collections are some of the best in the world.
The special exhibitions are also worth checking out. Go early or late to avoid the inevitable day time crush. It’s also worth booking in advance. Popular exhibitions can sell out months before the exhibition opens.
If you don’t have much time, concentrate on the highlights – you can buy a highlights brochure in the museum shop and do a self guided tour.
London Docklands Museum, West India Quays
This museum contains everything you want to know about London’s docklands and maritime history. It’s in a great location and has some excellent permanent exhibitions. This is one of my favourite museums.
Imperial War Museum, between Lambeth North and Elephant and Castle
This is the place to visit if you’re interested in London life during the world wars and the Blitz. There is so much to learn here with exhibitions dedicated to the Holocaust and the first and second world wars. There are sometimes fantastic temporary photography exhibitions too.
Churchill War Rooms, Westminster
Tickets for this museum are quite expensive but a must if you’re at all interested in how London survived the second World War. You need a few hours to spend here to do the place justice.
London Museum, Barbican
Tracing London’s history back to the Roman era, this is the place to learn about London’s roots.
Natural History Museum, South Kensington
A beautiful building full of massive dinosaur skeletons. Check out the interesting Crime Scene Live events held every quarter. The place gets jammed with children during the school holidays and the weekends – expect to queue to get in if you’re visiting during those periods.
Visit on the last Friday of every month when the place is open until 10.30pm if you want a quieter experience.
Science Museum, South Kensington
Fascinating exhibitions and an interesting bubble show which is good for young children.
Victoria & Albert Museum South Kensington
A massive building full of art and design artefacts. I could (and have) spent hours here.
Dickens House, Russel Square
This is where Charles Dickens lived and wrote some of his books. The museum sets out his life and has some interesting artifacts related to his books.
Dr Johnson’s House, Chancery Lane
The place to come and learn about Dr Samuel Johnson. Definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in the man himself.
A bit of a trek but a fascinating place and brilliant if you’re into art deco.
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