Your guide to London’s best museums

Very few cities in the world have the same calibre and number of fantastic museums as London. Here we reveal the city’s best.

Here are the major and some minor museums well worth a good half day exploration.

Some cater brilliantly to kids whilst others are more suited to serious devotees of subjects.

Whatever you are looking for, London is going to satisfy…

The Natural History Museum

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington SW7
Underground: South Kensington

From the nation that gave the world the greatest natural historians and scientists, Charles Darwin and David Attenborough, this is the finest example of a museum dedicated to the wonders of the natural world.
It’s particularly impressive for youngsters in their ‘dino’ years.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Rd, South Kensington SW7
Underground: South Kensington

The ‘attic of Britain’, the V&A’s permanent collection is home to the great collection of unexpected and quirky gems that only a colonial power could amass.
The temporary exhibitions are always surprising and worth it.

British Museum

Great Russel St, WC1
Underground: Tottenham Court Rd/Russel Square

When you conquer and run the world you tend to collect a few keepsakes from your efforts, the Biuritih Musuem is where the best of these spoils of colonial conquests are kept.
In short, it is the greatest collection of antiquities in the world, some are fairly controversial.
From the Egyptians to the Greeks (and those troublesome Elgin Marbles) the museum is an ancient historians nirvana.
And Lord Foster’s dome over the atrium is pretty impressive.

National Portrait Gallery

St Martin’s Place, London
Underground: Leicester Square / Charing Cross

Suited to serious devotees of art or second and third time visitors, the visiting exhibitions can unearth some absolute gems so well worth checking what’s on when you are in town.

National Gallery

Trafalgar Sq, London WC2
Underground: Charing Cross / Leicester Square

Ok now we are into the serious museum trail. Started in 1824 the gallery has more than 2300 works in its collections so it’s not an easily tackled beast but don’t be put off.
The collections masters are well worth it particularly the classic works from Monet, Cezanne, Seurat , Van Gough, Da Vinci, Titan, Raphael to name a few.
Something for everyone.

Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1
Underground: Southwark

Worth it just for the turbine hall itself and views of London from the galleries.
However the collection itself has left many a visitor cold unfortunately.

Science Museum

Exhibition Rd, South Kensington SW7
Underground: South Kensington

An absolute favourite with kids, the flight simulator gets a serious workout with teenagers.
The Medical History Gallery gets a gory imagination firing but overall it’s a worthwhile fun education.

Royal Museums Greenwich

Romney Rd Greenwich SE10
Underground: Cutty Sark, Docklands Light Rail (DLR)

The Greenwich museums include the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory but the park and Royal Navy Gardens should be considered part of the experience.
A local family favourite the big open spaces and views back to the city are beautiful but the experience is an indulgence if you are on a short time frame.

Churchill War Rooms

King Charles St, Westminster SW1
Underground: Westminster / Charing Cross

A great insight into both the man and how the war was run (if not won).
In the secret underground bunker visit the war cabinet rooms, the transatlantic telephone room and kitchens.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Lincoln Inn’s Fields, WC2
Underground: Holborn

A great British eccentric, the architect John Soane collected a scintillating collection of antiquities and famous architectural drawings that are on display.
The museum is often cited as the greatest hidden gem of London’s many public museums.

Niche museums also worth visiting

Cartoon Museum

London Film Museum 

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising 

Charles Dickens Museum

Design Museum 

Fashion & Textile Museum 

Florence Nightingale Museum

Freud Museum

London Fire Brigade Museum

London Transport Museum 

Museum of Childhood

Royal Academy of Music Museum

Museum of London

Library and Museum of Freemasonory


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