Top Museums In London

Feb 27, 2018

London‘s museums are amongst the most famous on the planet. Attracting millions of visitors a year from across the globe, they are the perfect celebration of history and heritage. In the capital, there is a museum for almost anything and what’s more, they’re all free! From the Rosetta Stone to David Hockney, these are our top museums in London:

National Gallery

National Gallery, one of many fine museums in London.


What is it:

Perhaps one of the finest art collections in the world, this artistic institution houses the works of da Vinci, van Gogh, Picasso and Michelangelo amongst others.

Slap-bang in the centre, just around the corner from old Nelson in Trafalgar Square, there are over 2000 pre-1900’s works to enjoy.

When to go:

Try and swing by on a Sunday to avoid the bulk of the weekend crowds.

Tate Modern


Tate Modern Museum in London

What is it:

A more recent addition to London’s art scene, the Tate Modern has already become one of the most visited of the capital’s museums and galleries.

After converting the former Bankside Power Station into a 21st century art hub, Tate Modern opened its doors in 2000.

Though not entirely free, you can view much of the permanent collection without parting with a penny.

When to go:

Like many of the others on this list, this shrine to contemporary and modern art is best visited on a weekday or a Sunday, when crowds are at a more manageable size.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum, great to visit in London.

What is it:

NHM might just be the most famous museum in the UK. Set in a stunning Victorian setting, this mighty building is an ode to the natural world.

From animatronic dinosaurs and giant trees to a full-sized Blue Whale skeleton and the evolution of man – there is plenty to explore at NHM.

An extensive collection documents life on Earth through the ages, with fossils, minerals and more showcasing the history of our wonderful home.

When to go:

Almost always packed to the rafters no matter what time you turn up. If you walk quickly, heading over near closing time is probably the safest bet.

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)


What is it:

The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative art and designs. Set in the impressive setting of the Royal Borough of Kensington, the ever-popular museum has a history stretching back to 1852. Wander through 5000 years of human history and explore art and expression through the ages. From Islamic sculpture to 1960’s fashion, V&A is a wonderful window to mankind’s love of all things creative.

When to go:

Another one that is almost always busy, though the sheer size of V&A means that the crowds do spread out a bit. Weekdays are a safe shout if you want at least a little peace and quiet.

Tate Britain


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What is it:

The original (and some say the best) member of the Tate club. Tate Britain celebrates the works of British artists through the ages.

Housed in the impressive setting of a Victorian-era prison, Tate Britain contains works by the likes of Tracey Emin, J.M.W. Turner and William Blake.

When to go:

Like its younger sibling, Tate Britain is best experienced on a weekday morning or Sunday afternoon, when the crowds are at their lowest.

Science Museum





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What is it:

Another must-visit member of South Kensington’s Museum Quarter, the Science Museum is a tonne of fun, with plenty of interactive exhibits to get involved in.

Spread over seven floors, this Museum is an engaging ride through man’s scientific and industrial history.

Exhibits cover all manner of human endeavours, from the first jet engine and some of the oldest surviving steam engines to early reconstructions of human DNA and space rockets.

When to go:

The hands-on nature of the Science Museum makes it immensely popular with roving bands of school kids, so your best bet is to go towards the end of the weekday after they’ve all headed home.


British Museum



What is it:

One of the oldest museums in the world, having first opened to the public in 1753.

Now near 270 years old, the British Museum houses one of the largest collections of historical artefacts on Earth.

An almighty museum in terms of size, this ever-popular attraction includes many of history’s most treasured finds, including the Acropolis’ Parthenon sculpture, remnants of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and the Rosetta Stone, the key to understanding ancient human language.

When to go:

Weekdays. You know the drill.

Imperial War Museum



What is it:

The capital’s branch of the IWM group, the Imperial War Museum is an incredible, if sobering reflection on war and conflict during the past century.

Originally opened as a means to record the British efforts in WWI, the museum has since expanded on the initial collection to cover British involvements in war through the ages.

When to go:

Once again, avoiding those school holidays and big, busy Saturday’s are the best bet for getting at least some of the place to yourself.

All Photos: Shutterstock

PS: If you’re looking for museums in London that are slightly more quirky and unusual than the ones listed here, check out our guide to the Top 10 Best Unusual Museums in the capital, and plan a day out to remember…

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