There are over 240 museums in London. You will find major and unusual museums on this page. Many are free.

Top Museums:

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!

Imperial War Museum

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!

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, SW7

The world’s greatest museum of art and design.

Science Museum

Exhibition Road

Tube:South Kensington

Open seven days a week, 10.00-18.00. Entry to the Museum is free.

The Design Museum

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. "

Link to Art Museums here.

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....

John Keats

Sports Museums:

Arsenal Museum

Situated in the Northern Triangle Building of the Emirates Stadium.

Wimbledon Lawn tennis Museum

World Rugby Museum Twickenham

The world´s most comprehensive collection of rugby memorabilia.

Marlylebone Cricket Club Museum

Free Maritime Museums

Museum of London Docklands

Old Royal Naval College


National Maritime Museum Greenwich

Harry Potter Studio Tour

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.

Military Museums

National Army Museum

Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea

You can´t understand British history without understanding the history of the British Army.

Closed for redevelopment until 2016.

Royal Artillery Museum

At Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.

Closed Sundays and Mondays.

The Sikorski Museum

20 Prince´s Gate, SW7

Tuesday - Friday :14- 16

1st Saturday of the month:10.30 - 16

Household Cavalry Museum

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.

More Museums:

London Transport Museum

Covent Garden Piazza

London Canal Museum

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.

2 Willow Road

Hampstead, NW3

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.

Museum of Richmond

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!

Florence Nightingale Museum,

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

The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, WC1

Britain's first home for abandoned children and London’s first public art gallery.

Closed Mondays.

Keats House, Keats Grove, Hampstead NW 3   The poet John Keats lived here in 1818 for 17 months.

Leighton House Museum

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.

Sir John Soane´s Museum

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.

The Vault at Hard Rock Café

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.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

100 London Road,SE 23

Tube: Forest Hill station    Free admission

We’ve been open since Victorian times, when Frederick John Horniman first opened his house and extraordinary collection of objects to visitors. Since then, our collection has grown tenfold and includes internationally important collections of anthropology and musical instruments, as well as an acclaimed aquarium and natural history collection.

Benjamin Franklin House

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.

Linley Sambourne House

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.

The British Red Cross Museum

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.

The Wellcome Collection

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.

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

Address: Freemasons’ Hall

60 Great Queen Street

London WC2

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!

The Brunel Museum

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 Fan Museum in Greenwich

The only museum in the World dedicated entirely to fans. They have over 3,500 fans!! (and afternoon tea).

The Magic Circle Museum

12 Stephenson Way, Euston

The Magic Circle headquarters hosts a remarkable museum and library dedicated to preserving the craft of magic.

Freud Museum

20 Maresfield Gardens NW3

Housed in what was once the home of Sigmund Freud and his family.

Tube: Finchley Road

Sherlock Holmes Museum

221b Baker Street NW1

Dr Watson lived at 221b Baker Street.

Did he really?

The Cinema Museum

2 Dugard Way (off Renfrew Road) SE11

When going to the Pictures was a ticket to escapism and fantasy.

Bank of England Museum

Threadneedle Street, EC2

Displ ays old banknotes and coins, antique furniture, historic pictures and glistening gold bars. Entry to the museum is free.

London Fire Brigade Museum

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.

Kirkaldy Testing Museum

99 Southwark Street SE1

Houses Kirkaldy's huge testing machine, and many smaller more modern machines.

Cartoon Musem Holborn

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.

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

2 Colville Mews, W11

Just a two minute walk from Portobello Road in Notting Hill.

Grant Museum of Zoology

University College, Gower Street

(Close to British Museum)

Admission to the Museum is free of charge.

The Grant Museum of Zoology is the only remaining university zoological museum in London. It houses around 67,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom.

Charles Dicken´s Museum

48 Doughty Street, WC1

Tube: Russell Square

Number 48 Doughty Street was an important place in Charles Dickens's life where he resided from 1837 until 1839. Dickens described the terraced Georgian dwelling as 'my house in town'.

London Sewing Machine Museum

292-312 Balham High Road, SW17

Shows the history and evolution of sewing machines.

Open on the first Saturday of every month between 2pm & 5pm.

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

University College, Gower Street

(Close to British Museum)

Admission to the Museum is free of charge.

The Petrie Museum houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world.

The Jewish Museum

129-131 Albert Street, NW1

Tube: Camden Town

The Jewish Museum was founded in 1932 by Professor Cecil Roth, Alfred Rubens and Wilfred Samuel. Originally located in Woburn House in Bloomsbury, it moved to an elegant early Victorian listed building in Camden Town in 1994.

Museum of Water and Steam

Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, London TW8 0EN

Bethnal Green Museum of 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.

Hackney Museum

Free exhibitions and events exploring Hackney's past and present for visitors of all ages.

The Musical Museum

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 House Museum

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.