London is home to more than 170 museums, and many would be classed as the finest in the world. From established and historical institutions to cutting edge interactive experiences, there is a museum experience for every traveler in London.
Many of the city’s museums are historical artefacts themselves with their buildings showcasing some of the most ingenious and impressive architecture in London. Collections have been built up over centuries meaning that the museums in London boast some of the most priceless and culturally significant items in the world.
In addition to providing quality cultural experiences to countless visitors, the majority of the museums in London are also free of charge to the public. This means that regardless of your budget, the museums in the UK capital are worthwhile and affordable attractions.
The Design Museum’s striking angular silhouette is largely disguised by its leafy surroundings. Nestled in the heart of upmarket Kensington, this feat of contemporary architecture was opened in 2016 to replace the original design museum.
Featuring a range of masterpieces of design and innovation from the 19th century to the modern digital age. The collection spans all aspects of design with examples of innovative fashion, architecture, furniture and technology all on display.
Entry to the museum is free, however, tickets can be purchased for special exhibitions and events. The Design Museum also boasts an impressive shop where visitors can purchase an assortment of high-design products and souvenirs.
The British Museum is immediately recognisable by its beautiful glass ceiling that stretches across the entire area of the central foyer. Home to the iconic Rosetta Stone, the Museum is situated in Bloomsbury and is easily accessible by London’s underground and bus systems – Holborn is the closest tube station.
The Museum is particularly notable for its collection of ancient artefacts and objects of interest, which stretches back 2 million years. One of the most popular exhibitions is the ancient Egyptian Gallery, home to multiple sarcophagi, scriptural tablets and tapestries. The Rosetta Stone is known as the key that unlocked the hieroglyphic language of ancient Egypt.
Admission is free and there are also a number of free tours that guests can pre-book if you would like a more in-depth look at some of the museum’s most famous pieces.
Located in the heart of central London, the National Gallery is in Trafalgar Square, one of London’s most popular and busiest destinations. The gallery was founded in 1824 and is home to over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th century to the 19th century.
Many of history’s most famous and culturally significant paintings can be found in the National Gallery including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, multiple self-portraits by Rembrandt and Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne.
The gallery has an impressive range of food and drink options available both in the gallery and the nearby area. Cloakrooms and luggage storage are also available at no cost to visitors.
Housed in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern is London’s primary museum for contemporary and modern art and located on London’s famous South Bank. The Tate Modern is globally recognised as having one of the best collections of British and international pieces and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Once inside the building, visitors will find themselves in the breath-taking turbine hall. Running the entire length of the Tate Modern, the turbine hall is a cavernous and inspiring space, guaranteed to make any visitor reflective.
The Tate Modern is home to over 70,000 original contemporary artworks and features a constantly evolving selection of temporary exhibitions and installations. Some of the permanent pieces on display include works by the likes of David Hockney, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Housing one of the largest collections in the world, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a world leader in the preservation and collection of art and culture. Home to 2.3 million objects of interest, spanning 5,000 years of human creation, the collection at the V&A is a truly expansive representation of human existence.
The museum also holds one of the most impeccably curated fashion archives in the world with a range of garments and costumes from as far back as the 15th century. Visitors can enjoy Alexander Mcqueen evening gowns, suits from the swinging sixties and priceless Simone Mirman hats.
The V&A is located across the road from the Natural History Museum, which is also free to enter, and guests keen to take a deeper dive into history should combine the two into one visit.
by George Pizani | On: Gay London