30 Free Museums in London

Museums can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Many great museums in London are free to visit, including the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum and more.

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Natural History Museum England

These museums are home to amazing collections of art and artefacts from all over the world. So if you’re looking for a fun and affordable day out in London, don’t miss out on the city’s free museums!

List of the best free museums in London

Whether you’re interested in history, art or design, these museums are a must-visit for anyone visiting London. With so many excellent free museums in London to choose from, there’s no excuse not to explore all that London has to offer.

1. The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world, and for a good reason. 

Located in the heart of London, the museum houses a vast collection of artefacts from all over the globe. Visitors can see everything from prehistoric tools to ancient Egyptian mummies to medieval armour.

BritishMuseum

The British Museum is also home to the world-famous Rosetta Stone, which helped scholars decipher hieroglyphics. In addition to its fascinating exhibits, the museums offer various educational programs and events. Whether you’re interested in history, art or simply want to explore one of London’s most iconic landmarks, a visit to the British Museum is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

The British Museum is free to visit, making it a great option for budget-minded travellers.

2. The National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the United Kingdom’s most visited tourist attractions. Located in Central London, the gallery houses some of the world’s greatest paintings – over 2,000 paintings from the middle ages to the 19th century from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh.

Whether you’re an art lover or not, visiting the National Gallery is a must-do when in London. Thanks to its central location, it’s easy to get to, and there are plenty of other attractions nearby if you want to make a day of it.

National Gallery UK

Once inside, you can explore at your own pace or join one of the free guided tours which take place throughout the day. You’re sure to find something that catches your eye with so many incredible paintings on display. So why not pay a visit to the National Gallery next time you’re in London?

3. The Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is a must-see for any art lover visiting London. Housed in a former power station, the Tate Modern has become one of the most popular museums in the world, attracting over five million visitors each year.

The museum’s collection includes works by some of the most famous names in modern art, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollock. In addition to the collection, the Tate Modern also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions, so there is always something new to see.

Tate Modern London

And if you need a break from all the art, you can always enjoy the stunning views of the Thames from the museum’s cafe. So whether you’re an art connoisseur or just looking for something different to do in London, be sure to add Tate Modern to your list.

4. The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the world’s largest decorative arts and design museums, with a collection that spans more than five thousand years of human history.

The museum is located in London, England, and is named after Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. The Victoria and Albert Museum is home to a wide variety of collections, including furniture, fashion, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, glass, jewellery, paintings, prints, and photographs.

The museum offers something for everyone, with a collection that spans centuries and cultures. From ancient Egyptian artefacts to cutting-edge contemporary fashion, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a window into art and design history.

V and A museum

Perhaps best of all, admission to the museum is free, making it an ideal way to spend an afternoon in London. Whether you’re a casual visitor or a serious scholar, the Victoria and Albert Museum is sure to impress.

The next time you’re in London, be sure to add it to your itinerary. The museum is divided into 11 different galleries, each of which has its own theme. The galleries include the Architecture Gallery, the European Ceramics Gallery, and the Fashion Gallery.

5. The Science Museum

The Science Museum is a museum in London that’s dedicated to science, technology, and engineering. It’s home to various exhibits on these topics, including the Body Zone, the Energy Gallery, and the Flight Gallery.

The Science Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. It is packed with interactive exhibits that are both educational and enjoyable. Visitors can learn about the history of science and technology, see how everyday objects work, and even participate in experiments.

The museum also has an IMAX cinema, a planetarium, and a hands-on activity centre for children. Whether you are interested in physics or engineering, the Science Museum is sure to have something to capture your imagination. So why not pay a visit and discover the wonders of science for yourself?

6. The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London. And it’s easy to see why – the museum is home to an incredible collection of organisms, from dinosaurs and insects to crystals and minerals.

The museum is also home to many interactive exhibits, making learning about natural history fun for all ages. But the Natural History Museum is more than just a display of specimens – it’s also a research institution dedicated to furthering our understanding of the natural world.

natural history museum LONDON

So whether you’re interested in learning about evolution or simply want to marvel at some of the world’s most impressive animals, the Natural History Museum is definitely worth a visit.

7. Sir John Soane’s Museum

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a London landmark not to be missed. Located in the Holborn neighbourhood, the museum was once the home of neoclassical architect Sir John Soane. Today, it houses an eclectic collection of paintings, furniture, sculptures, and architectural drawings that span Soane’s career.

What makes the museum so unique is that it has been left exactly as Soane himself intended. His original design for the building included an atrium with skylights, a curved staircase, and numerous alcoves and niches to showcase his treasured possessions.

A visit to Sir John Soane’s Museum is like taking a step back in time. It is a wonderful opportunity to see how an early 19th-century gentleman lived and worked. And best of all, admission is free!

8. The Geffrye Museum of the Home

The Geffrye Museum of the Home is a museum in London that explores the history of home life from the 1600s to the present day. The museum is set in a row of 18th-century houses, and each room is furnished in a different style, from oak furniture and tapestries to Victorian fireplaces and Art Deco light fittings.

As well as being a fascinating insight into changing tastes and style over the centuries, the Geffrye Museum is also a great place to learn about people’s everyday lives from different periods.

There are rooms dedicated to topics such as cooking, washing, and childcare, and there are also interactive exhibits where you can dress up in period costumes or try your hand at traditional crafts. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a unique day out, the Geffrye Museum is well worth a visit.

9. Pollock’s Toy Museum

Opened in 1960, the Pollock’s Toy Museum is a hidden gem in the heart of London. Housed in an eighteenth-century townhouse, the museum contains a fascinating collection of toys and games from around the world. Highlights include a working model of the Eiffel Tower, a life-sized dolls’ house, and a Victorian penny arcade.

The museum is also home to a selection of historic toys, including a fourteenth-century wooden horse and a seventeenth-century spinning top. Whether you’re a child or an adult, a visit to the Pollock’s Toy Museum is sure to be memorable. With its intriguing collection of artefacts and it’s charming setting, the museum offers a unique glimpse into the history of play.

10. Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England Museum is a must-see for any history buff or lover of all things money. The museum traces the bank’s origins back to its 1694 founding and chronicles its development into the world-renowned institution it is today.

Threadneedle Street London

Among the many highlights are exhibits on the bank’s early years, when it was responsible for both printers and debtors; its role in developing the City of London as a financial centre; and its involvement in some of the most momentous events in British history, such as the Napoleonic Wars and the Industrial Revolution.

The museum also houses an impressive collection of coins and banknotes, ranging from medieval pennies to colourful notes from around the world. Whether you’re interested in economics, politics or simply want to see where Britain’s most famous bank got its start, a visit to the Bank of England Museum is sure to enlighten and entertain.

11. London Postal Museum

The London Postal Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of communication. The museum tells the story of how mail has been delivered in London for over 500 years, from the early days of horse-drawn coaches to the high-speed postal trains of today.

Visitors can see how the postal system has evolved over time and learn about some of the interesting people and events that have shaped its history. The museum also houses an impressive collection of stamps and postal artefacts, making it a paradise for philatelists.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about the history of the postal service or simply want to see one of London’s most unique museums, the London Postal Museum is sure to impress.

12. The Transport for London Museums

If you love all things transportation, then a visit to the Transport for London Transport Museum is a must. Located in the heart of London Covent Garden, the museum houses an impressive collection of vehicles that have been used to transport people and goods around the city over the years.

From early horse-drawn carriages to modern trains and buses, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into London’s transportation history.

London transport museum

Best of all, admission to the museum is free for anyone under 17 years old, making it an affordable activity for all. So whether you’re a die-hard transportation enthusiast or simply looking for an interesting way to spend an afternoon, be sure to add the Transport for London Transport Museum to your list of places to visit.

Transport for London museum is one of the free museums in London near Covent Garden.

Transport for London Museum is free for the following people:

You can visit the Museum for free if you are:

  • Under 17
  • TfL staff or TfL Staff nominee
  • Staff of one of our Corporate Supporters
  • LTM Friend 
  • Patron 
  • Carer/Companion

13. Royal Air Force Museum London

The Royal Air Force Museum London is a world-renowned museum dedicated to the history of British aviation. The museum is located on the former Hendon Aerodrome, which was once the site of the world’s first heavier-than-air flight.

Today, the museum houses an extensive collection of aircraft, artefacts, and displays that trace the development of British aviation from its earliest days to the present.

The museum is also home to a number of unique experiences, such as flight simulators and a 4D cinema. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or simply curious about the history of British flight, a visit to the Royal Air Force Museum London is sure to be an enriching experience.

14. Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection is a museum in London that explores the connections between medicine, life and art. Visitors can learn about the history of medicine, the human body and disease. The museum’s collections include medical artefacts, paintings, sculptures and interactive exhibits.

Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection also hosts temporary exhibitions on topics related to health and science. Admission to the museum is free, making it an affordable and educational outing for the whole family. Whether you’re interested in history, science or art, the Wellcome Collection has something to offer everyone.

15. The Docklands Museum, East London

The Docklands Museum is one of the most unique and interesting museums in London. Located in an old warehouse on the banks of the River Thames in Canary Wharf, the museum tells the story of London’s docklands and its people.

Visitors can explore exhibitions on the history of the docks, see how ships were built and unloaded, and discover what life was like for the workers who lived and worked in this vibrant community.

Museum of London Docklands

The Docklands Museum is also home to a large collection of art and artefacts from the docklands, making it an ideal place to learn about London’s rich maritime history. Whether you’re interested in history or simply want to explore a different side of London, the Docklands Museum is well worth a visit and is one of the top museum in East London.

16. Kenwood House

Kenwood House is a historic home in London that is open to the public for tours. The house was built in the 17th century and has been owned by several different families over the years. Today, it is owned by the English Heritage organisation.

Kenwood House is known for its beautiful gardens, which contain a variety of plant life from all over the world. Visitors can also see an impressive art collection that includes works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough.

Kenwood House is a great place to visit if you are interested in history or gardening. Guided tours are available, or you can explore the grounds on your own. Either way, you are sure to enjoy your visit to this London landmark.

17. Queen’s House

The Queen’s House is a stunning museum at the heart of Greenwich and a must-see for any visitor to the area. Built in the early 1600s, it was the first classical building in England and is considered one of Inigo Jones’s finest works.

The house was designed as a residence for Anne of Denmark, the wife of James I, but she died before it was completed. It later became a hospital for sick and injured sailors before being opened to the public as a museum in the late 19th century.

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Today, it houses an impressive collection of paintings by some of Britain’s most famous artists, as well as a number of fascinating maritime artefacts. Whether you’re interested in history or art, the Queen’s House is well worth a visit.

18. Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Museum of Zoology is a must-see for anyone with an interest in natural history. Housed in an elegant building on the University College London campus, the museum contains more than 68,000 specimens, ranging from dinosaurs to rocks and minerals.

The collection is particularly strong in mammal fossils, with highlights including the skeleton of a quagga (a zebra-like mammal that was driven to extinction in the nineteenth century) and the remains of a thylacine (a marsupial predator that was last seen in 1936).

In addition to its scientific value, the Grant Museum is also a fascinating glimpse into the history of zoology, with many items dating back to the eighteenth century. Whether you’re a budding scientist or simply curious about the natural world, the Grant Museum of Zoology is sure to amaze and enlighten.

19. Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens is a fantastic place to visit, especially if you’re interested in anthropology or natural history. The Museum boasts an incredible collection of anthropological artefacts from all over the world, as well as a world-class aquarium and hands-on displays about evolution and ecology.

Horniman Museum and Gardens

Meanwhile, the 16-acre Gardens are home to a beautiful water garden, a wildflower meadow and an excellent café. Whether you’re a local looking for a new place to explore or a visitor to London, the Horniman is definitely worth a visit.

20. Hogarth’s House

Hogarth’s House is a historic house in Chiswick, England, that was once the home of the 18th-century artist William Hogarth. Today, the house is open to the public as a museum and gallery, and it is well worth a visit. The museum contains a wide variety of Hogarth’s work, including paintings, prints, and illustrations.

The gallery hosts rotating exhibitions of works by other artists. But what makes Hogarth’s House truly special is its connection to the past. Walking through the rooms of the house, you can imagine Hogarth himself working on his latest project.

Stepping into the garden, you can picture him relaxing with friends. A visit to Hogarth’s House is an opportunity to step back in time and experience the world through the eyes of one of history’s great artists.

21. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is one of London’s hidden gems. Tucked away in a corner of University College London, the museum holds over 80,000 artefacts, making it one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world.

The museum is named after its founder, Flinders Petrie, who was one of the pioneers of modern archaeology. Today, the museum houses an incredible range of objects, from everyday items to rare and precious works of art.

A visit to the Petrie Museum is a journey through time, providing a fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient Egyptians. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something different to do on the weekend, the Petrie Museum is well worth a visit.

Victoria and Albert Museum

22. London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space

If you’re looking for an unusual and interesting place to visit in London, the Mithraeum Bloomberg Space is definitely worth a visit.

This impressive and interactive museum tells the story of the Roman occupation in Britain. The museum is situated on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras, and visitors can explore the reconstructed temple as well as see numerous artefacts from the Roman period.

The museum also features a variety of interactive exhibits, making it a great place for both adults and children to learn about Roman history.

In addition, the London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space is located in the heart of the City of London, making it easy to reach from anywhere in the city. Whether you’re interested in history or just looking for a fun day out, the London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space is definitely worth a visit. This are one of the more unusual museums in London.

23. Imperial War Museums London

The Imperial War Museums London are a must-see for anyone interested in World War history. The museums cover everything from the outbreak of the war to the lasting impact it had on the world. Visitors can see artefacts, documents, and film footage that bring the events of the war to life.

The museums also offer interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what life was like for soldiers and civilians during the conflict. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking to learn more about this significant event, the Imperial War Museums London are sure to provide an enlightening and unforgettable experience.

24. National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is one of the United Kingdom’s leading tourist attractions, and for a good reason. Located in Greenwich, London, it is home to over 2 million maritime artefacts, making it the largest maritime museum in the world. Visitors can explore the history of naval warfare, learn about the lives of famous sailors, and see firsthand how ships have changed over time.

The museum also boasts an impressive collection of paintings and prints, as well as a library with over 60,000 books. Whether you’re a maritime enthusiast or simply looking for a fun day out, the National Maritime Museum is sure to impress.

25. Tate Britain

The Tate Britain is one of London’s most iconic museums, and for a good reason. Housed in a stunning former hospital building, the Tate Britain is home to a world-renowned collection of British art spanning centuries of creative output.

1 BritishMuseum

From early portraits and landscapes to cutting-edge contemporary works, the Tate Britain has something to offer everyone. And best of all, entry to the museum is free! Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply looking for a new cultural experience, a visit to the Tate Britain is sure to be memorable.

26. Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts is one of the United Kingdom’s foremost institutions devoted to the arts. Founded in 1768 by George III, the Royal Academy plays an important role in promoting and curating British art.

Each year, the Royal Academy hosts a prestigious exhibition that showcases the best of British art. In addition, the Royal Academy offers a variety of educational programs and events that are open to the public. Whether you’re an art lover or simply looking for a day out, the Royal Academy is well worth a visit.

27. Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre

The Guildhall Art Gallery is a must-see for any fan of art. Located in the heart of London, it houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from across the centuries.

The Roman Amphitheatre is another fascinating attraction. Built more than 2,000 years ago, it was once the site of gladiatorial fights and other public spectacles. Today, it stands as a reminder of the city’s rich history. If you’re looking for a taste of culture, be sure to add the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre to your list of places to visit.

28. National Army Museum

The National Army Museum in London is a must-see for anyone interested in British military history. The museum tells the story of the British Army from its earliest days to the present through a series of interactive exhibits and displays. Visitors can learn about the Battle of Waterloo, the Crimean War, and the two world wars, as well as more recent conflicts such as the Falklands War and the Iraq War.

The museum also has an extensive collection of weapons and equipment, from ancient swords and shields to modern tanks and helicopters. And for those who want to see something truly unique, the Roman Amphitheatre is also worth a visit.

This ancient structure was built over 2,000 years ago and is one of the only remaining examples of its kind in Britain. Today, it is used as a venue for events and performances, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past.

30. The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection is one of the most important collections of art and objects in the world. Housed in a grand London townhouse, the collection includes paintings, furniture, ceramics, and other objects from across Europe. The Wallace Collection is particularly renowned for its Old Master paintings, which include works by Titian, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

However, the collection also includes an extensive array of furniture, porcelain, and other decorative objects. A visit to the Wallace Collection is a chance to see some of the finest works of art and craftsmanship from across Europe.

In addition, the Wallace Collection offers a wonderful opportunity to see how different art forms can be combined to create a cohesive whole. Whether you are interested in Old Master paintings or French furniture, the Wallace Collection is sure to have something to catch your eye.

London Tate Modern

Are Museums Still free in London?

Yes, many museums in London are still free. The Tate Britain, Natural History, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, and the National Army Museum are all free to visit, and the Wallace Collection is free on Sundays. So if you’re looking for a cultural experience on a budget, London is a great place to visit.

Benefits of visiting free museums

There are many benefits to visiting free museums in London. First and foremost, free museums are a great way to learn about history and culture without breaking the bank. In addition, London’s free museums offer a more relaxed and informal atmosphere than traditional art galleries or history museums.

This makes them perfect for families or people who want to take their time exploring the exhibits. Finally, free museums are a great way to support local artists and cultural organisations. By visiting free museums, you’re not only getting a great experience, but you’re also helping to keep culture alive in the community.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit to a Free Museum in London

– Give yourself enough time to explore the museum. Don’t feel rushed – take your time looking at the exhibits and reading the information panels.

– Talk to the staff – they can often give you more information about the exhibits and answer any questions you may have.

– Ask children to look for specific objects or animals in each exhibit to keep them occupied.

– Use audio guides or apps to learn more about the exhibits.

– Take pictures and videos to remember your visit.

– Buy a souvenir from the museum shop to support the organisation.

Pros and Cons of Visiting Free Museums

Pros:

– Free for visitors

– Range of different museums to choose from

– Relaxed and informal atmosphere

– Perfect for families or people who want to take their time exploring exhibits

Cons:

– Often smaller than traditional museums or art galleries

– Some exhibits may not be as comprehensive as you would like

– May not be suitable for people who want to learn a lot about specific topics

London Victoria and Albert Museum

Top Free Museums in London

  • The British Museum
  • The National Gallery
  • The Tate Modern
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The Science Museum
  • The Natural History Museum
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • The Geffrye Museum of the Home
  • Pollock’s Toy Museum
  • Bank of England Museum
  • London Postal Museum
  • The Transport for London Museums 
  • Royal Air Force museum London
  • Wellcome Collection 
  • The Docklands Museum, East London
  • Kenwood House
  • Queen’s House 
  • Grant Museum of Zoology
  • Horniman Museum and Gardens 
  • Hogarth’s House
  • Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
  • London Mithraeum Bloomberg Space
  • Imperial War Museums London
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Tate Britain
  • Royal Academy of Arts
  • Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre
  • National Army Museum
  • The Wallace Collection

Conclusion for Best Free Museums in London

London is home to some of the world’s best museums, and many of them are free to visit. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or culture, there’s a museum for you. As you can see there are many things to do in London for free.

By visiting one or more of London’s many free museums, you’ll get the opportunity to learn about some of the city’s most fascinating and important topics without spending a penny. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your museum tour today!


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