The Best Museums in London 2019

Want to visit some of the best Museums in London 2019? Here’s my London Museum guide with more information about each museum as well as the exhibitions, opening hours and admission fee.

Even if you have visited or stayed your whole life in London, chances are you may have missed out on some of the following museum experiences that we’ve listed in this London Museum guide. These are the absolute gems that you are yet to visit and experience.

If you want to visit as many museums in London as possible, you should stay in a more central location or at least in good connection to the underground system. Check out this guide on where to stay in London

Whether you’re a tourist or a native, I’m sure you will find many museums on this list that match your interests and are totally worth your time. Furthermore, if you’re visiting London with kids, there are plenty of museum choices as well that are interesting and fun for the whole family. 

British Museum

No list of museums in London or even the whole World is complete without mentioning the British Museum. Housing artifacts and exhibits from periods spanning over two million years of human history. With over six million visitors annually, this museum houses world-renowned exhibits such as the Egyptian Mummies and the Pantheon Sculptures and the Rosetta Stone which are considered its most prized possessions.

The museum is free for all audiences and there are special (sometimes paid) exhibitions and events every now and then which are definitely worth checking out. In short, the British Museum is in a class of its own and one day may be too short a time for you to fully experience the grandeur housed in its premises.

  • Address: Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 3DG
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
British Museum
Photo: Giovanni G /

Victoria and Albert Museum

Proudly claiming to be the largest museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum is home to over two million exhibits from over two thousand years of art history. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or some time enriching yourself in the art and design, this is the place for you.

The museum is free for all audiences and the incredible architecture of the building itself makes you stand back in awe and observe it in its magnificence. With extended hours until 10 PM at night on Fridays, there is ample time for you to plan a visit to this beautiful exhibition of masterpieces from our past.

  • Address: Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week. Fridays 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Saturdays to Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
Victoria and Albert Museum
Photo: pio3 /

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is home to the world-famous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Situated in an iconic building, this amazing place has much to offer for the rest of the year as well with over 80 million unique specimens housed in its premises. From dinosaurs to blue whales, this museum has so many interesting exhibits that you will find yourself quickly running out of time.

The museum is free for all audiences and with several special exhibitions and events organized throughout the year, it could well be a place to revisit multiple times during the year if you’re interested in our planet’s natural history.

  • Address: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:50 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
Natural History Museum london
Photo: elRoce /

Museum of London

A list of museums in London but how about one dedicated to the city itself? The Museum of London is dedicated to the great city and its history. The amazing thing is that the curators have managed to date the history of the geographical location of the city back to prehistoric times as far back as 450,000 BC. The most interesting walks in this museum would be through the last 400 years which have transformed into the vibrant and modern city that we see today.

While the entry to the museum is free, it is highly recommended to book a tour or purchase tickets to the special themed exhibitions.

  • Address: 150 London Wall, Barbican, London EC2Y 5HN
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
museum of london
Photo: Ethan Doyle White

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is situated in the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site with notable neighbors including the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House. With the addition of four new galleries, the museum allows visitors to explore fourteen galleries in total.

The museum is free for all audiences and packs a few surprises especially for children. With special kids sections with interactive exhibits and even hands-on activities, this could be the place to bring your children and watch them learn a few things about maritime history in the most unique manner.

  • Address: Park Row, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9NF
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
National Maritime Museum london
Photo: RUKSUTAKARN studio /

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is one of the largest war museums in the world. The museum is huge with six floors of exhibits ranging from weapons and vehicles to books and uniforms among the many treasures housed in its premises.

The museum is free for all audiences and you should plan your time well in advance as the sheer number of exhibits will overwhelm you. Of course, you can always pay a second or third visit to complete your tour and witness the entire collection.

  • Address: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
Imperial War Museum london
Photo: Shutterstock

Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood

The V&A Museum of Childhood is one of the few museums in the world that are dedicated and specializing in objects by and for the children. Founded in 1872 as the Bethnal Green Museum, the museum was remodeled after the First World War as an art museum. It now houses the UK’s collection of childhood objects from the modern-day dating back to the 1600s.

As with all the publicly managed museums in London, the entry is free for all audiences. The museum is also famous for its award-winning program for schools.

  • Address: Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:45 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
london Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood
Photo: BasPhoto /

The Design Museum

The Design Museum is a relatively new addition to this list opening its doors on November 2016. However, within a short span of time, this museum has garnered a large fan following. According to the Museum’s website, “The Design Museum offers inspiring insights into the world of design with exhibitions on fashion, architecture, furniture, graphic, product, transport, and digital design.” 

The museum hosts several interesting exhibitions every month which are paid. The entry is, however, free for all audience. The museum is also notable for its community services by hosting talks and family activities.

  • Address: 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
museums in london
Photo: Tom Eversley /

The Science Museum

The Science Museum is the most visited museum dedicated to scientific achievement and innovation in Europe. Housing over 15,000 exhibits, this museum is a crowd favorite for children, teenagers, and adults alike. The museum is home to a gigantic IMAX screen and even offers space travel experiences as part of its many 3D and 4D simulators.

Entry to the museum is free for all while some special exhibitions are paid. The museum hosts several interesting events and unique one-time exhibitions every now and then which are definitely worth the price.

  • Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
The Science Museum
Photo: Anton_Ivanov /

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Home to the oldest lawn tennis competition in the world, The Championships Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is a tribute to the game itself. A visit to this place allows you a chance to be part of its illustrious history. Alongside the championship trophies, tablets, and plaques, the museum also houses donated items from legendary players.

The museum is one of the few paid exhibitions in the city with ticket prices at £15 for children and £25 for adults. However, a visit to this historical venue also allows you to see the infamous center court in person as well as visit the other notable areas of the venue such as the Press Interview Room and the Millennium Building player’s section.

  • Address: Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: £15 for children and £25 for adults
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Photo: Willy Barton /

Charles Dickens Museum

The Charles Dickens Museum is dedicated to the famous author who resided at this exact address from 1837 to 1839. This museum offers you a chance to witness the life of the brilliant novelist and the collection includes the letters, memorabilia and original furniture from the author’s time. The Dickens’ family home is a must-visit for you and your family if you loved his timeless masterpieces like Great Expectations and Oliver Twist (which he wrote in this very house).

The ticket prices to the museum start at £4.50 and go up to £9.50 for adults. The special discounted price for students and seniors is £7.50 while the children under 6 years of age can enter for free. 

  • Address: 48 Doughty Street, Holborn, London WC1N 2LX
  • Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Closed on Mondays
  • Admission Fee: Free
Charles Dickens Museum
Photo: Alan Kean /

Royal Air Force Museum

The RAF Museum is dedicated to the last 100 years of the aviation in general and the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom in particular. Even if you’re not interested in aviation or flight combat at all, this place is bound to catch you by surprise offering multiple stories of bravery and sacrifice. If that’s not enough, you will get to witness the first airplanes that flew in the World Wars. The exhibits are housed in six hangars guiding the visitors through various phases of the history of the Royal Air Force.

  • Address: Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
london museums
Photo: iolya /

National Army Museum

If you’re interested in the armed forces, a visit to The National Army Museum is a must if you’re in London. The museum comprises of five interactive and immersive galleries that help the user discover the Army’s role in the history of the nation. Visitors can experience what its like to be a soldier, learn about the Army and its purpose and also how strategy and tactics have changed over the years as technology evolves.

The entry to the museum is free and it can provide a very good opportunity for you or your entire family to learn about the British Army in depth.

  • Address: Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free
national Army Museum
Photo: Willy Barton /

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum should be the place to bring your kids to learn about the history of modern urban transportation. London’s iconic Double Decker bus is one of the most popular exhibits here whereas interested families can even visit the world’s first underground steam train.

It’s a great museum to include on your 4-day London itinerary or if you’re especially interested in transportation.  

The London Transport Museum’s souvenir shop is famous for its perfect gifts and memorabilia. Don’t be surprised to find yourself spending as much time in the souvenir shop as you spent in the rest of the museum.

  • Address: Covent Garden, London WC2E 7BB
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free for Children under 18 and £16.50 for adults
London Transport Museum
Photo: pisaphotography /

Clink Prison Museum

The Clink Prison Museum is very different from the other entries on this list. Built on the site of the original Clink Prison, this museum exhibits the infamous medieval prison and allows the visitors to experience the life of a prisoner in those times. Please beware that some exhibits such as torture devices and interactive scenes may not be for the faint of heart.

  • Address: 1 Clink Street, London SE1 9DG
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: £5.50 for children and £7.50 for adults
museums in london
Photo: Nando Machado /

Horniman Museum & Gardens

Very popular among the locals, the Horniman Museum and Gardens are worth a visit if you are visiting London with your family. With a lot to offer for patrons of all ages, the Horniman Museum regularly hosts special exhibitions and other events such as concerts, festivals, and workshops for the local community. If nothing, then a walk through the gardens can be a lovely and therapeutic experience.

  • Address: 100 London Rd, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Admission Fee: Free entry for all. Entry to the Temporary Exhibits section is paid
Horniman Museum & Gardens london
Photo: Eugene Regis /

Sherlock Holmes Museum

If you’re a fan, you know what you are getting into. If not, this museum will prove to be one of the quirkiest ones you visit from our list. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creations lived at this address and it has been rightfully transformed into a Victorian-era house where Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson solved so many of their cases. Exhibits features recreated models and wax figures of the famous characters and objects from the stories and the souvenir shop packs a couple more surprises that we won’t spoil for you right now.

  • Address: 221-B Baker Street, Marylebone, London NW1 6XE
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: £10 for children and £15 for adults
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Photo: sematadesign /

The Postal Museum and Mail Rail

The Postal Museum is another worthwhile museum to visit while you’re in London. Even with the advent of technology, there is so much that still relies on the postal service and this museum records this particular aspect of history in the best possible way. The highlight exhibition is the Mail Rail which is described as London’s secret Post Office Underground Railway. This ride guides the visitors through an interactive history of the postal service and the original tunnels that were used for the purpose.

  • Address: 15-20 Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DA
  • Opening hours: Seven days a week from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Admission Fee: £10 for children and £17 for adults
The Postal Museum
Photo: RichartPhotos /

More about the Museums in London

Almost all the public museums in London are free to enter. Some paid exhibitions which are usually temporary are worth your time and money and we definitely recommend checking them out. The main focus of the museums of London is to nurture a culture of learning from a glorious past and leaning towards a brighter future.

Museums in London for Kids

British Museum

The British Museum has special exhibitions for kids and also organizes child-centric activities on a regular basis.

Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood

A museum dedicated to childhood. No further explanation needed. Children would love to see how the childhood has transformed through the ages.

The Science Museum

Simply put, The Science Museum is like heaven for modern children who can’t get enough of gadgets. With its immersive 3D and 4D experiences and exhibits and not to forget the ginormous IMAX screen and space travel, this is the place to keep your child engaged for days.

Charles Dickens Museum

Take your children to this family-friendly museum and help them connect with the author of their favorite classics. So many children appreciate the simplicity of life that led to these masterpieces on their visit here.

The Postal Museum and Mail Rail

The Postal Museum’s exhibits are child-friendly. The highlight of the museum is the Mail Rail which is a train ride. It’s a fantastic way to engage children and help them learn about the importance and history of the postal service.

Madame Tussauds

museums in london for kids
Photo: landmarkmedia /

Frequently Asked Questions about London Museums

Which museums are free in London?

All the publicly managed museums in London are free to enter. From our list specifically, the following museums have free entry for all.

  1. British Museum
  2. Victoria & Albert Museum
  3. Natural History Museum
  4. Museum of London
  5. National Maritime Museum
  6. Imperial War Museum
  7. V&A Museum of Childhood
  8. The Design Museum
  9. The Science Museum
  10. Charles Dickens Museum
  11. Royal Air Force Museum
  12. National Army Museum
  13. London Transport Museum (Free for Children only)
  14. Horniman Museum and Gardens

How many museums are there in London?

There are well over 40 museums in London, everything from art museums to science, natural history and much more. Sometimes, the dedicated art galleries are also added to the list when they are not, technically speaking, designated as museums.

How are national museums funded in London?

The central government in each of the member states in the UK funds the museums. For London, this fund comes from the government of England.

Is it possible to volunteer in a London Museum?

Yes, almost all museums have volunteer programs and welcome the help of volunteers from everywhere. The positions may be limited though so it’s best to contact the museum of your choice well in advance.

What is the total number of people that visit the London museums?

While conservative estimates put the figure at over 100 million visitors per year for the entire UK, nearly 20 million of those were in London. Please note that these figures are not exact and only reported estimates.

london museums
Photo: Mykolastock /

Do you have more questions about museums in London? Leave a comment below!

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