London Museums

20 Museums in London that are really worth it!

Whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling in the big hall of the Natural History Museum in London

In a Nutshell: Our tips for London's museums

  • In addition to the famous London sights, London also has an abundance of cool museums. You can choose between art museums, historical museums and special museums like the Vagina Museum.
  • There are also exciting museums for kids with areas where the little ones can let off steam with experiments or simulators.
  • Many of London’s museums are free. You don’t have to worry about tickets and can spontaneously take a quick look at a museum.
  • If you’re only in London for a weekend, you should still visit at least one museum. Our tip: the Tate Modern!

We will show you the most beautiful museums in London below and tell you everything you should know for a visit.

The main art museums in London

Art and London somehow belongs together. That’s why you should definitely visit some of the great art museums in London.

Tate Modern

Large hall with people at the Tate Modern in London
Tate Modern is housed in a former power station

With its six floors, Tate Modern is the largest museum of modern art in the world.

You can find works by world-famous artists like Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh or Picasso and easily spend a whole day in the museum.

But even if you’re not a fan of art, you should visit the Tate for its architecture alone: the building is a former power station and stands directly on the banks of the Thames.

By the way, Tate Modern is also a great museum for children – there are many interactive games for kids, for example painting the exhibited works of art.

On the roof is a restaurant with a platform from which you have a great view of the river and the city.

The permanent exhibition is free, but you have to pay for the temporary exhibitions.

Entrance fee


Tate Britain

Spiral staircase with black and white pattern and black statue at the Tate Britain in London
Tate Britain focuses on works by exclusively British artists (© phil_bird)

Tate Britain is the largest collection of British art between the 16th and 21st century.

Exhibited are paintings, prints and sculptures by British artists, adding up to about 3,200 works. And there are always new temporary exhibitions.

Entrance to Tate Britain is free, tickets for the changing exhibitions cost about 10 pounds, depending on the exhibition.

Eintrance fee


Museum room with red walls and paintings in the National Gallery in London
The National Gallery is one of the top museums in London (© National Gallery, London)

The National Gallery exclusively exhibits paintings – around 2,000 works by international artists from different eras.

You can, for example, see works by Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci or Rembrandt.

The National Gallery is one of the most visited museums in London and is located in the famous Trafalgar Square, the entrance is also free. 

Entrance fee


Victoria & Albert Museum

Museum hall in the Victoria & Albert Museum with a large carpet surrounded by a glass wall
The Victoria & Albert Museum is not about the artwork itself, but about the art of the craft (© Victoria and Albert Museum)

The Victoria & Albert Museum is another art museum, but it focuses on the manufacturing process and craftsmanship of the art pieces.

You can admire oriental carpets, jewelry, clothes by famous designers, as well as oil sketches, statues and weapons from different cultures and eras. 

The museum owes its name to its founders Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who opened the museum in the middle of the 19th century.

Admission to the Victoria & Albert Museum is also free.

Entrance fee


Design Museum

Large “Designer” font in the museum hall at the Design Museum London
It’s all about beautiful things at the Design Museum in London (© Gareth Gardner, Design Museum London)

At the Design Museum, everything is about design – and the range is wide.

Exterior and interior design, graphics, furniture design or fashion – you can see really beautiful objects from all imaginable themes in this museum.

Admission is free.

Entrance fee


The Saatchi Gallery with white columns from the outside
The Saatchi Gallery houses modern art from the Young British Artists group (© Mathew Booth, 2009, Saatchi Gallery, London)

The Saatchi Gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood was founded in 1985 by art dealer Charles Saatchi and features exhibits of modern art in the form of paintings, sculptures, sketches, video or photography

The works on display are mostly by young British artists, also called the Young British Artists, who were sponsored by Saatchi in the 1980s.

Admission is free and there are always temporary exhibitions.

Entrance fee


Historical museums in London

London and Great Britain have thousands of years of glorious history which you can discover at the various history museums in London.

British Museum

Great Hall in the British Museum with buildings under the glass roof
The British Museum is worth seeing just for its impressive hall (© phil_bird)

The British Museum is definitely one of the must-see museums in London, if only for its beautiful building.

There are several thousand years of history on display here, with artifacts from all corners of the world. You can see Egyptian mummies, sketches by Michelangelo, excavations from the Stone Age or artifacts from Asia, Africa and South America.

You can easily spend several hours in the British Museum which is also free of charge.

Entrance fee


Crown Jewels in the Tower of London

Photo of the Tower of London at dusk from across the Thames, eerily illuminated by the golden glow of riverside streetlights.
In addition to the Crown Jewels, there are also other exhibitions at the Tower of London (© blunker)

The Tower of London is not just a tower, but an entire fortress that stands on the banks of the Thames.

In the past, the legendary Tower of London was the city’s prison. Beheadings and torture were carried out here and you can still visit the prison cells today.

The castle is mainly home to several exhibitions: for instance, an exhibition about torture devices, the royal armory and a chapel from the 11th century.

But the centerpiece of the Tower is, of course, the British Crown Jewels which are said to be worth around 20 trillion pounds.

Admission to the Tower costs around 30 pounds, with the ticket you can visit all exhibitions.

Entrance fee


To the ticket for the London Tower & Crown Jewels

Churchill War Rooms

Bunker in London with desks and mannequins
The Churchill War Rooms were the bunker from which Churchill led British forces during World War II (© herraez)

The Churchill War Rooms, or Cabinet War Rooms, were the bunker used by the British government during World War II.

British forces were commanded from the underground rooms, which are right next to the British Parliament, during the war.

You can easily spend 1 to 2 hours in the once top-secret corridors to see the equipment, Churchill’s personal belongings or the conference room where war plans were discussed.

Admission to the Churchill War Rooms costs 29 pounds. 

Entrance fee


Museum of London

Exterior facade of the Museum of London with boats in the foreground
At the Museum of London, you can explore London’s millennia of history (© Museum of London)

The Museum of London shows the entire history of the city from the Stone Age to the present day.

You can see archaeological finds from several centuries before Christ, artifacts from the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and modern times.

The museum, like most other museums in London, can be visited for free. It’s within walking distance of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Entrance fee


Great museums in London for kids

If you’re traveling with kids in London, there are some museums that are very exciting not only for adults, but also for children. We can recommend the following museums for the whole family.

Natural History Museum

Whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling in the big hall of the Natural History Museum in London
The Natural History Museum is a highlight among the museums in London for both children and adults

The Natural History Museum is a highlight among the museums in London not only for children. It is one of the largest natural history museums in the world.

You can see dinosaur skeletons and fossils, amazing plant exhibits as well as the largest collection of meteorites in the world. One of the museum’s main attractions is a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex that roars and snaps at visitors.

The Natural History Museum is also free and is one of the most visited museums in London.

Entrance fee


Science Museum

Entrance to the Science Museum in London with people
The Science Museum in London has many interactive stations where scientific principles can be tested (© Science Museum Group)

The Science Museum is right across the street from the Natural History Museum. If your kids have enough stamina, you can easily visit both museums in one day.

Various fields are covered at the Science Museum, including astronomy, biochemistry, meteorology, medicine or physics.

Some important scientific artifacts are on display, such as Galileo Galilei’s telescope or the oldest steam locomotive in the world.

There are five levels in total as well as many interactive stations, where young and old can apply the principles of the different areas.

In addition, there is the Wonderlab: children from the age of 4 can experiment independently and watch live shows by chemistry experts.

Admission to the Science Museum is free. The Wonderlab costs 10 pounds for kids aged 4 and over, and 12 pounds for adults.

Entrance fee


London Transport Museum

Double-decker buses from different eras on display at the London Trasport Museum
Double-decker buses, subway cars and old timetables make up the London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum focuses on the history of the city’s public transportation

On display are not only the typical double-decker buses, but also subway cars, trolley buses and train cars that you can even board.

There is also the Design for Travel gallery where placards, posters and historical timetables are exhibited.

You can try driving a subway through London’s many miles of tunnels in the subway simulator.

Children 17 and under can enter for free, adults pay 21 pounds.

Entrance fee


To the ticket for the London Transport Museum

Cutty Sark

Large sailing ship on land with illuminated masts
You can visit the Cutty Sark sailing ship from above as well as below

The Cutty Sark is a sailing ship built in 1869, which once supplied the city with tea from China. At that time, it was one of the fastest sailing ships ever.

Today it is a museum ship which is exhibited in the district of Greenwich on land.

You can go on board and, thanks to actors, experience firsthand what the hustle and bustle on board looked like back then.

It costs 7 pounds for children and 15 pounds for adults. There’s also a combo ticket including the Royal Observatory.

Entrance fee


To the combo ticket for the Cutty Shark and Royal Observatory

HMS Belfast

Illuminated warship HMS Belfast with London Bridge in the background
HMS Belfast is a former warship which can be visited in its entirety today

HMS Belfast is the huge warship anchored near London Bridge. It was part of the British fleet during World War II and serves as a museum ship today, consisting of nine decks.

You can learn all about the history of the 950 people who lived and worked on the ship, visit the many rooms through hatches and ladders, and learn all about the ship and its history through interactive exhibitions. 

You can also combine a visit to HMS Belfast with a trip to London’s largest skyscraper, The Shard, which is just a few minutes walk from the museum ship.

We passed HMS Belfast on our boat tour on the Thames and it’s already really impressive from the outside

Children pay 12 pounds, adults pay 24 pounds. 

Entrance fee


Special museums in London

Of course, in a cosmopolitan city like London, there are also rather peculiar museums. Lo and behold: our recommendations for special museums in London.

Madame Tussauds

Three museum visitors look at the wax figure of David Bowie at Madame Tussauds in London
The wax figures at Madame Tussauds look very real (© Madame Tussauds)

There is a Madame Tussauds in various cities around the world, including Berlin and New York. But the original is the museum in London which was founded in the 19th century by Marie Tussauds.

The wax museum in London consists of about 190 wax figures representing celebrities from many different professions. Obviously, the the Royal Family is also featured, as well as international pop stars, actors and athletes.

London’s Madame Tussauds also has the Marvel 4D cinema, but you’ll need an extra ticket for that.

Admission costs around 34 pounds online, so you can save 10% compared to the ticket on site.

Entrance fee


To the ticket for Madame Tussauds

Our tip: If you want to visit other attractions in London besides Madame Tussauds, there’s a very cheap combo ticket on Get Your Guide with which you can also visit the London Eye and Sea Life:

Go to the Madame Tussauds, London Eye & Sea Life combo ticket

Royal Greenwich Observatory

Giant telescope protruding from the roof of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London at night
At the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, you can visit the giant 28-inch telescope (© Royal Museums Greenwich)

The Royal Greenwich Observatory is London’s historic observatory which first determined the prime meridian in the 19th century, and thus also Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Today, the research centers have moved and the building houses a museum of astronomy and navigational tools.

In the planetarium, you can see a giant 28-inch telescope, interactive exhibits on various space topics, and the first accurate clocks and marine chronometers that helped Britain become the leading naval power.

The ticket for adults costs 16 pounds, children pay 8 pounds. 

Entrance fee


To the ticket for the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Horniman Museum

Hall with display windows from anthropology and biology at the Horniman Museum in London
The Horniman Museum features Frederick Horniman’s collection of artifacts from anthropology, natural history and music

Founded by tea merchant Frederick John Horniman in the late 19th century, the Horniman Museum is also a great museum to visit if you’re in London with kids.

His collection of artifacts from the fields of anthropology, natural history and music are displayed here.

There’s a huge collection of insects, preserved animals, an aquarium and a huge, beautiful garden which is one of the main attractions of the museum.

Admission is free, except for the aquarium: here you pay 2.50 pounds for children and 5 pounds for adults

Entrance fee


Vagina Museum

Exhibits with glistening blood, a giant tampon and information boards in the Vagina Museum
Prejudices and myths are dispelled at the world’s first vagina museum (© Vagina Museum, London)

The bustling grounds of Camden Market are home to the world’s first Vagina Museum which aims to educate the public about the female genitalia.

Using exhibits and menstrual blood made of red glitter, the museum dispels age-old prejudices and myths around the vagina.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are always interesting temporary exhibitions, and admission is free.

Entrance fee


The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History

Shelf with preserving jars with animals in the Viktor Wynd Museum in London
At the tiny Viktor Wynd Museum, you can admire bizarre and creepy exhibits (© Oscar Proctor)

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is a tiny museum housed in the basement of a building in the Hackney neighborhood.

Displayed are all sorts of strange objects that collector Viktor Wynd brought with him from different parts of the world.

For example, you’ll find the skeleton of a two-headed cat, voodoo artifacts from New Orleans or death masks from New Guinea.

The museum is very small, so you can only go with a reservation and the visit is limited to a maximum of 30 minutes. The entrance fee is 10 pounds.

Entrance fee


These were our 20 best museums in London!

Have you been to London and can you recommend more museums that we haven’t listed here? Then leave us a comment!