There are over 240 museums in London. You will find major and unusual museums on this page. Many are free.
The British Museum Great Russell Street (Free)
The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning it granted free admission to all 'studious and curious persons'. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million today. Plan your visit!
Lambeth Road SE1
In 1917 the Cabinet decided that a National War Museum should be set up to collect and display material relating to the Great War, which was still being fought. At the outset of the Second World War the Imperial War Museum's terms of reference were enlarged to cover both world wars and they were again extended in 1953 to include all military operations in which Britain or the Commonwealth have been involved since August 1914. Spend a day here!
Kensington High Street W8
"At the Design Museum we believe that without better design, better use of scarce resources, and more innovation, the future won’t work. We see design as an integral part of every aspect of life: a way to understand the world around us, and to make it a better place to live. "
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing....
Free Maritime Museums
National Maritime Museum Greenwich
From breathtakingly detailed sets to stunning costumes, props and animatronics, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London provides a unique showcase of the extraordinary British artistry, technology and talent that went into making the most successful film series of all time.
Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea
You can´t understand British history without understanding the history of the British Army.
Closed for redevelopment until 2016.
At Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.
Closed Sundays and Mondays.
20 Prince´s Gate, SW7
Tuesday - Friday :14- 16
1st Saturday of the month:10.30 - 16
Horse Guards Avenue T :Charing +
The Household Cavalry Museum sits within Horse Guards in Whitehall, central London, one of the city’s most historic buildings.
Covent Garden Piazza
12-13 New Whard Rd,N1
Tube: King´s Cross
This unique waterways museum is housed in a former ice warehouse built in about 1862-3 for Carlo Gatti, the famous ice cream maker, and features the history of the ice trade and ice cream as well as the canals.
This unique Modernist home was designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1939 for himself and his family.
With surprising design details that were ground-breaking at the time and still feel fresh today, the house also contains the Goldfingers' impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture.
For centuries Richmond has been a centre of fashion and the arts, as well as home to several of Britain’s monarchs. The Museum celebrates the rich heritage of Richmond, Ham, Petersham and Kew and, through the exhibition and education programmes, all other areas of the borough.
Smaller Museums worth a visit:
Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Rd E2
The museum shows typical English middle-class living quarters in a succession of period rooms. If you like interiors or design!
2 Lambeth Palace Road SE1
The legacy of the Lady with the Lamp is displayed in detail, including a series of letters she wrote.
Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Road SE1
River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames
Dennis Severs´ House, 18 Folgate Street, E1
40 Brunswick Square, WC1
Britain's first home for abandoned children and London’s first public art gallery.
Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead NW 3 The poet John Keats lived here in 1818 for 17 months.
12 Holland Park Road, W14
The building was once the home and studio of the Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton. One of the most lavish private houses in surrounding Kensington.
13 Lincoln´s Inn Fields, Holborn
Sir John Soane's life and work (1753-1837) are displayed in his own amazing house at Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, now a museum.
Open Tuesday to Saturday.
150 Old Park Lane T:Green Park
Hard Rock London presents it's legendary London treasure trove of rock memorabilia.
The Vault is open 7 days a week from 11:30am til 9pm with no admission charge - be sure to drop by.
36 Craven Street (Charing Cross)
In the heart of London, is Benjamin Franklin House, the world's only remaining Franklin home. For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Dr Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the United States and more – lived behind its doors. Built circa 1730, it is today a dynamic museum and educational facility.
18 Stafford Terrace, London
Tube:High Street Kensington
A unique example of a late Victorian townhouse. Home to the cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne and his family from 1874, it survives with almost all of its furniture and fittings intact.
Opposite Moorgate underground station.
The British Red Cross museum and archives welcomes visitors for tours or research appointments. Please be aware that due to space restrictions, we are only able to accommodate up to ten people per tour and up to two people in the search room at a time.
183 Euston Road, NW1 Entry Free
Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination for the incurably curious. Located at 183 Euston Road, London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections.
Address: Freemasons’ Hall
60 Great Queen Street
The Library and Museum is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday except public holidays, weekends and the Christmas and New Year period.
Well worth a visit!
Railway Avenue, Rotherhite SE16
The Museum is an educational charity run by volunteers and tells the story of one of the world’s great engineering dynasties. Brunel organised the world’s first underground concert party here in 1827, and the Museum celebrates and interprets music and theatre as well as engineering.
More small museums:
The only museum in the World dedicated entirely to fans. They have over 3,500 fans!! (and afternoon tea).
12 Stephenson Way, Euston
The Magic Circle headquarters hosts a remarkable museum and library dedicated to preserving the craft of magic.
20 Maresfield Gardens NW3
Housed in what was once the home of Sigmund Freud and his family.
Tube: Finchley Road
221b Baker Street NW1
Dr Watson lived at 221b Baker Street.
Did he really?
2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road) SE11
When going to the Pictures was a ticket to escapism and fantasy.
Threadneedle Street, EC2
Displ ays old banknotes and coins, antique furniture, historic pictures and glistening gold bars. Entry to the museum is free.
94a Southwark Bridge Road SE1
A must-visit for any aduMlt who aspired to work in the fire brigade as a Child -I did!
Guided tour only.
99 Southwark Street SE1
Houses Kirkaldy's huge testing machine, and many smaller more modern machines.
35 Little Russell Street WC1
(Near the British Museum)
Its mission is to preserve and promote British cartoon art, comic art and caricature.
Pollock´s Toy Museum
1 Scala Stret, W1
The museum occupies two conjoined houses near Goodge Street and when wandering from one small room to another prepare to encounter toys from your own childhood.
Cambridge Heath Road E 2
(Tube: Bethnal Green)
The V&A Museum of Childhood houses the UK’s national collection of childhood objects, ranging in date from the 1600s to the present day.
As well as toys, dolls and games, the museum has a wealth of objects relating to aspects of childhood including home, childcare, play, learning and clothing. Free admission.
The Musical Museum contains one of the world's foremost collections of self-playing musical instruments. From the tiniest of clockwork music boxes to the Mighty Wurlitzer the collection embraces an impressive and comprehensive array of sophisticated reproducing pianos, orchestrions, orchestrelles, residence organs and violin players.
Picture below from the Bank of England Museum. Well worth a visit!
Vestry Road, Walthamstow E17
Vestry House Museum presents the history of Waltham Forest. Situated in Walthamstow Village, the building used to house the parish workhouse, and was later a police station and private home. Here you can see the famous Bremer Car, a Victorian parlour, costume gallery and wonderful displays of locally manufactured toys and games.