Museums in London
100+ London Museums
There are so many wonderful things about London. In fact, they’re countless. And, if you’re a resident, you might not even realize how good you have it until you travel and compare.
We’re devoting this blog post to museums in London. So, do you know that many of the best London museums are free? Now, you might expect that if you’re a museumgoer. But, look at any of our US museum pages, and you’ll see $20 or $30 price tags for a few hours in some museums that might even pale in comparison.
So, we’re excited to share three picks for excellent museums in London, and all three are free. However, that’s just the start, as we have a list of 100+ other museums throughout the area. Maybe we’ll even surprise you with a few you haven’t heard of yet!
Three London Museums to Start
Museums allow us to do two primary things: look forward and backward. At the Science Museum, your mind can race with the possibilities of the future. However, you can also understand the context in which such advances have arisen over the last three centuries.
Simulators and IMAX
Featuring an IMAX cinema, jet plane simulators, and all kinds of interactive galleries, the Science Museum is a must-see. With over 15,000 objects on display, you can get lost here for a whole day without seeing everything.
Best of all, entry is free for any visitor, local or tourist. However, charges apply to specific exhibitions and shows at the IMAX cinema, but they’re well worth the extra cost.
London Science Museum Hours
During the school holidays, the museum is open seven days a week—the rest of the year, you can visit Wednesday-Sunday, between 10 am and 6 pm. The building is fully accessible for wheelchairs and prams, with accessibility aids like subtitles and audio descriptions on all touch screens and exhibits.
The nearest tube station is South Kensington, only a short five-minute walk from the museum.
Imperial War Museum
Few things have rocked our world in recent history more than war. From the most remote conflicts in the modern world to the most significant battles of the 20th Century, the mark that war has left on contemporary society is indelible. The Imperial War Museum in London is the leading museum globally for this subject. Over a century old now and founded during the height of the First World War, you can find the voices of those who had none at this museum.
A fascinating look into the darker aspects of our history and a celebration of feats of engineering, it’s another London museum you don’t want to miss. With free entry except for some special exhibitions, you can visit the museum seven days a week, 10 am to 6 pm. The building does have full, unassisted access for wheelchairs, though some exhibits are not suitable for limited mobility visitors.
The museum is less than ten minutes from Lambeth North tube station, or Elephant and Castle.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Celebrating 3,000 years of art and performance, the Victoria and Albert Museum is the must-see art museum in London. Housing a permanent collection of over 2 million objects, including architecture, painting, textiles, fashion, jewellery, and much more, there are few better treasures troves of art than this museum.
The permanent collection boasts such famous works as copies of Michelangelo’s David, and special exhibitions have seen displays courtesy of designers such as Carl Fabergé and his famous eggs.
Plan Your Visit
Entry is free, although booking a timeslot in advance is advisable to avoid disappointment. The museum’s vast displays could easily take a whole day to browse. You won’t go hungry, though, as you can get lunch in the café and shop for beautifully crafted items inspired by the collections.
There is wheelchair access as well as accessibility facilities. The Victoria and Albert Museum is a five-minute walk from the South Kensington tube station.
|London Museums||Address||City||Postal Code||Website|
|Bank Of England Museum||Barthomolew Lane||London||EC2R 8AH||https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/museum|
|Ben Uri Gallery and Museum||Boundary Road||London||NW8 0RH||https://benuri.org|
|Brainiac Live||2 Charing Cross Rd||London||WC2H 0HH||https://brainiaclive.com|
|British Dental Museum||64 Wimpole St||London||W1G 8YS||https://www.bda.org/museum|
|Burgh House||New End Square||London||NW3 1LT||https://www.burghhouse.org.uk|
|Cecil Sharp House||2 Regents Park Rd||London||NW1 7AY||https://www.efdss.org/cecil-sharp-house|
|Charles Dickens Museum||48 Doughty St||London||WC1N 2LX||https://dickensmuseum.com|
|Churchill War Rooms||Clive Steps King Charles St||London||SW1A 2AQ||https://www.iwm.org.uk|
|Cuming Museum||The Old Town Hall, 151, Walworth Rd||London||SE17 1RY||https://www.southwark.gov.uk/events-culture-and-heritage/explore-culture-in-southwark/heritage-and-local-history/cuming-museum|
|Design Museum||224-238 Kensington High Street||London||W8 6AG||https://designmuseum.org|
|Estorick Collection||39a Canonbury Square||London||N1 2AN||https://www.estorickcollection.com|
|Faraday Museum at The Royal Institution of GB||21 Albemarle Street||City of Westminster||W1S 4BS||https://www.rigb.org|
|Fashion & Textile Museum||83 Bermondsey St||London||SE1 3XF||https://fashiontextilemuseum.org|
|Forty Hall Estate||Forty Hill||Enfield||EN2 9HA||https://www.fortyhallestate.co.uk|
|Foundling Museum||40 Brunswick Square||London||WC1N 1AZ||https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk|
|Freedom Centre International||38 Upper Wickham Lane||Welling||DA16 3AD||https://www.fcichapel.org|
|Freud Museum||20 Maresfield Gardens||London||NW3 5SX||https://www.freud.org.uk|
|Fulham Palace||Bishops Avenue||London||SW6 6EA||https://www.fulhampalace.org|
|Garden Museum||5 Lambeth Palace Road||London||SE1 7EU||https://gardenmuseum.org.uk|
|Grant Museum Of Zoology||21 University St||London||WC1E 6DE||https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/grant-museum-zoology|
|Guatemalan Maya Centre||94 Wandsworth Bridge Rd||London||SW6 2TF||http://maya.org.uk|
|Guildhall Art Gallery||Basinghall Street||City of London||EC2V 5AG||https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/attractions-museums-entertainment/guildhall-galleries/guildhall-art-gallery|
|Hackney Museum||1 Reading Lane||London||E8 1GQ||https://hackney-museum.hackney.gov.uk|
|Handel & Hendrix In London||25 Brook St||London||W1K 4HB||https://handelhendrix.org|
|Havering Museum||19-21 High St||Romford||RM1 1JU||https://www.haveringmuseum.org.uk|
|Hire The Science Museum||Exhibition Rd||London||SW7 2DD||https://www.hirethesciencemuseum.com|
|HMS Belfast||Battle Bridge Lane||London||SE1 2JH||https://www.iwm.org.uk|
|Horniman Museum and Gardens||100 London Road||London||SE23 3PQ||https://www.horniman.ac.uk|
|Houses of Parliament||Bridge Street||City of Westminster||SW1A 2JH||https://www.rosindell.com|
|Hunterian Museums At The Royal College Of Surgeons||35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields||London||WC2A 3PE||https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/museums-and-archives/hunterian-museum|
|Imperial War Museum||Lambeth Rd||London||SE1 6HZ||https://www.iwm.org.uk|
|Jack The Ripper Museum||12 Cable St||London||E1 8JG||https://www.jacktherippermuseum.com|
|Jewish Museum||129-131 Albert St||London||NW1 7NB||https://jewishmuseum.org.uk|
|Leighton House Museum||12 Holland Park Rd||London||W14 8LZ||https://www.rbkc.gov.uk|
|Livesey Museum For Children||682 Old Kent Rd||London||SE15 1JF||http://www.liveseymuseum.org.uk|
|London Canal Museum||12-13 New Wharf Rd King's Cross||London||N1 9RT||https://www.canalmuseum.org.uk|
|London Film Museum||45 Wellington Street||London||WC2E 7BN||https://www.harrypotteronlocation.co.uk|
|London Transport Museum||35-39 Wellington St||London||WC2E 7BB||https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk|
|M O C A||M O C A 113 Bellenden Rd||London||SE15 4QY||https://www.moca.london|
|Madame Tussauds London||Marylebone Rd||London||NW1 5LR||https://www.madametussauds.com/london|
|Merton Heritage Centre||The Canons, Madeira Rd||Mitcham||CR4 4HD||https://www.merton.gov.uk|
|Museum Of Brands Packaging & Advertising||111-117 Lancaster Rd||London||W11 1QT||https://museumofbrands.com|
|Museum Of Croydon||Katharine St||Croydon||CR9 1ET||https://museumofcroydon.com|
|Museum Of Cultural Arts||22 Shepherds Close||Romford||RM6 5AD||https://www.museumofculturalarts.co.uk|
|Museum of Freemasonry||60 Great Queen Street||London||WC2B 5AZ||https://museumfreemasonry.org.uk|
|Museum Of Immigration & Diversity - 19 Princelet Street||19 Princelet St||London||E1 6QH||https://www.19princeletstreet.org.uk/|
|Museum Of Methodism & John Wesley House||49 City Road||London||EC1Y 1AU||https://www.wesleysheritage.org.uk/the-museum-of-methodism/|
|Museum of the Home||136 Kingsland Road||London||E2 8EA||https://www.museumofthehome.org.uk|
|Museum Of The Order Of St John||St Johns Gate 26 St John's Lane||London||EC1M 4DA||https://www.sja.org.uk|
|Museum Of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society||1 Lambeth High St||London||SE1 7JN||https://www.rpharms.com|
|National Army Museum||Royal Hospital Rd||London||SW3 4HT||http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk|
|National Gallery||St. Vincent House, 30, Orange St||London||WC2H 7HH||https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk|
|National Maritime Museum||Romney Road||London||https://www.rmg.co.uk|
|National Portrait Gallery||2 St Martin's Place||London||WC2H 0HE||http://www.npg.org.uk|
|Natural History Museum||Cromwell Rd||London||SW7 5BD||https://www.nhm.ac.uk|
|Pendon Museum||High Street||Long Sutton||PE12 9DB||https://pendonmuseum.com|
|Petrie Museum Of Egyptian Archaeology||Malet Place||London||WC1E 6BT||https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture|
|Polish Institute & Sikorski Museum||20 Princes Gate||London||SW7 1PT||https://www.pism.co.uk|
|Ragged School Museum||46-50 Copperfield Rd||London||E3 4RR||http://www.raggedschool.museum.org.uk|
|Royal Air Force Museum London||Grahame Park Way||London||NW9 5QY||https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk|
|Royal Armouries in the Tower of London||HM Tower of London||London||EC3N 4AB||https://royalarmouries.org/venue/white-tower/|
|Science Museum||Exhibition Rd||London||SW7 2DD||https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk|
|Science Museum Library||Dana Research Centre And Library, 165 Queen's Gate||London||SW7 5HD||https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk|
|Sir John Soane's Museum||13 Lincoln's Inn Fields||London||WC2A 3BP||https://www.soane.org|
|Somerset House||Strand||City of Westminster||WC2R 1HH||https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/|
|The Bethlem Art & History Collections Trust||Monks Orchard Rd||Beckenham||BR3 3BX||https://www.museumslondon.org/museum/145/bethlem-museum-of-the-mind|
|The British Dental Museum||63-64 Wimpole Street||City of Westminster||W1||http://bda.org|
|The British Museum||Great Russell Street||London||WC1B 3PP||https://www.britishmuseum.org|
|The Brunel Museum||Railway Avenue||London||SE16 4LF||https://thebrunelmuseum.com|
|The Cartoon Museum||63 Wells Street||City of Westminster||W1A 3AE||http://cartoonmuseum.org|
|The Chocolate Museum||187 Ferndale Road||London||SW9 8BA||https://www.thechocolatemuseum.co.uk/|
|The Clink Prison Museum||1 Clink St||London||SE1 9DG||https://www.clink.co.uk|
|The Courtauld Gallery||Strand||City of Westminster||WC2R 0RN||https://courtauld.ac.uk|
|The Design Museum||224-238 Kensington High St||London||W8 6AG||https://designmuseum.org|
|The Fan Museum||12 Crooms Hill||London||SE10 8ER||https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk|
|The Fusilier Museum||Tower Hill||London||EC3N 4AB||https://fusiliermuseumlondon.org/home|
|The Garden Museum||5 Lambeth Palace Rd||London||SE1 7LB||https://gardenmuseum.org.uk|
|The Geffrye Museum Of The Home||136 Kingsland Rd Hoxton||London||E2 8EA||https://www.museumofthehome.org.uk|
|The Grant Museum Of Zoology Ucl||The Darwin Building, Gower St||London||WC1E 6BT||https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture|
|The Guards Museum||Wellington Barracks||London||SW1E 6HQ||https://theguardsmuseum.com|
|The Hermitage Development Trust||Somerset House, Strand||London||WC2R 1LA||http://www.hermitagerooms.org.uk|
|The Household Cavalry Museum||Horse Guards Whitehall||London||SW1A 2AX||https://www.householdcavalrymuseum.org.uk|
|The Museum of Everything||4 Chiltern Street||City of Westminster||W1U 7QW||https://www.gallevery.com|
|The National Gallery||Trafalgar Square||City of Westminster||WC2||http://nationalgallery.org.uk|
|The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace||Ambassador's Court||City of Westminster||SW1A 1AA||https://www.rct.uk|
|The Ragged School Museum||46-50 Copperfield Road||London||E3 4RR||https://www.raggedschoolmuseum.org.uk|
|The Sherlock Holmes Museum||221b Baker St||London||NW1 6XE||https://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk|
|The Space Centre||94 Judd St||London||WC1H 9NT||https://www.thespacecentre.com|
|The Wallace Collection||Hertford House Manchester Square||London||W1U 3BN||https://www.wallacecollection.org|
|The Wallace Restaurant||Manchester Square||London||W1U 3BN||https://www.peytonandbyrne.co.uk|
|The Wellingborough Museum||12 Castle Way||Wellingborough||NN8 1XB||https://www.wellingborough.gov.uk/info/200070/museums_and_galleries/844/wellingborough_museum|
|The William Morris Society||Kelmscott House 26 Upper Mall||London||W6 9TA||https://morrissociety.org|
|Type Museum||100 Hackford Rd||London||SW9 0QU||http://www.typearchive.org|
|UCL Art Museum||Gower Street||London||WC1E 6BP||https://www.ucl.ac.uk|
|V & A Museum of Art and Design||Cambridge Heath Road||London||E2 9LH||https://www.vam.ac.uk|
|V & A Museum Of Childhood||Cambridge Heath Rd||London||E2 9PA||https://www.vam.ac.uk/info/young|
|Valence House Museum||Becontree Avenue||Dagenham||RM8 3HT||https://valencehousecollections.co.uk|
|Vestry House Museum||Vestry Road||London||E17||https://vestryhousemuseum.org.uk|
|Victoria & Albert Museum||Cromwell Rd||London||SW7 2RL||https://www.vam.ac.uk|
|Wandle Industrial Museum||The Vestry Hall Annexe London Rd||Mitcham||CR4 3UD||http://www.wandle.org|
|Wellington Museum||28 Fore Street||Wellington||TA21 8AQ||https://www.wellingtonmuseum.org.uk|
Did we leave your theater off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It’s impossible to narrow the list to the absolute best London museums. We have more than 100 on our list alone! However, a few of the most-visited include the National Gallery, British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Gallery, and Natural History Museum.
Some of the more unique museums in London include the Jack the Ripper Museum, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Freud Museum, Handel & Hendrix in London, the Cartoon Museum, and Chocolate Museum.
There’s some debate on which is the oldest museum in London, as some publications list the British Museum. The British Museum opened its doors in 1759, so it’s got some longevity. However, the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London opened its doors to visitors in 1660. So, it’s not just the oldest museum in London, but one of the oldest visitor attraction globally.