London is home to so many museums and art galleries that you could spend days trying to look round all of them, and amazingly almost all of them are completely free to enter. Whether you’re a tourist or a Londoner by birth, you’ve got to visit them at least once. Most of us don’t have quite enough time to cover everything, but here’re our top picks.
This museum is devoted to collections from the human world – ancient history recorded in the form of objects, art, books and manuscripts. Here you can find Egyptian Mummies, the Rosetta stone, The Parthenon Sculptures, Chinese ceramics and more. Admission is free apart from some special exhibitions.
The British Library is the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. It also contains spectacular reading rooms and incredible architecture. You can book guided tours daily.
We defy anyone not to be amazed by this iconic museum. You can see a perfectly preserved dinosaur skeletons, see a life-size model of the largest whale in the world suspended above your head, see a real life giant squid and marvel at the Harry Potter like museum itself.
Dedicated to the late King and Queen of Britain, the Victoria and Albert museum includes fascinating art and design collections from around the world, ranging from classical sculpture to collections from designers like Alexander McQueen and exhibitions on the Royal family’s clothing… Admission is free apart from special exhibitions.
Britain’s largest art galleries and home to all the classics, the Tate and National Gallery are must sees for any art lover. Both galleries house huge collections of pre 20th Century art, so allow a good chunk of time to look around. Again, admission is free apart from special exhibitions. The Tate is located near Pimlico, while the National Gallery is on Trafalgar Square. Both are free other than special exhibitions.
If you prefer modern art then the Tate Modern is the place to go. This huge museum is Britain’s largest collection of modern art and sculpture. There’s a constantly changing art installation in the enormous Turbine Hall, which is always worth a look – even if you’re not that into art, you can’t help but be amazed.
Famous for its support of up and coming artists, Whitechapel gallery is a small gallery, home to ever changing collections of contemporary art, showing everything from films to installations. This gallery is great for a taste of modern British art, or if you’re into the alternative and subversive.
Situated behind Kensington Palace Gardens and Hyde Park, this beautiful concert hall is London’s premier classical music venue. It hosts the world famous Proms, along with many other events year round including concerts by world famous orchestras and artists. You can also visit the hall for a guided tour to admire its amazing architecture.
London’s equivalent to Broadway, the corner of the West End sandwiched between Covent Garden and Soho is officially nicknamed Theatreland for its world famous shows. You can even turn up on the day an snap up a last minute seat from one of the many last minute ticket stands for as little as £10. Wander round the vibrant Chinatown to source a pre-theatre meal, and head to Covent Garden for a civilised post-show drink.
Starting or ending your trip from London? Why not add a few nights at the start to enjoy our very own capital city – there’s so much to discover and it’s an awesome way to take the stress out of arriving in time for your Eurostar! Just ask us about adding this on to any package.