5 FREE London Museums Not To Skip

January 8, 2018 24 comments

London is known for being very expensive, and to be honest, it is. When I’m in Europe, London is one place where I end up spending more than most other cities. Not only is the cost of living higher, the Pound is stronger than both the Euro and the Dollar, meaning that my money goes a lot less far. And while this is true, it never stops me from going to London because there is so much to see and do – a lot of it affordable. In fact, one of the best things about touring the city are all of the free London museums!

But, when you have so many museums, all free, how do you choose which ones to go to? Well, lucky for you I have been to most and have all the details so that you can save time from having to research for yourself.

inside the Victoria & Albert Museum London - Free London Museums
From inside the Victoria & Albert Museum

Note:

I’ve based my recommendations on the average vacationer. If you are a lover of some topic in particular (like war) then there are other free London museums better suited to your interests (in this example, you could try the Imperial War Museum or Churchill War Rooms). I’ve also put some variety in my suggestions because if you are going to see 5 museums, you don’t want to see the same thing over and over.

Free London Museums:

Victoria & Albert Museum

This museum of art and design is ginormous! There are 5 floors to explore, and exhibits trace history from all over the world from all different genres. We started in ‘Asia’ seeing pottery, jewelry and rugs. We went on to see fashion, religious art and marble structures from Europe and America.This museum seriously has the most variety in a museum that I’ve ever seen. Fun fact, this museum has the worlds largest collection of decorative arts. I’d also recommend checking out the garden/terrace, it’s beautiful and a nice visual break.
Open 10am-545pm everyday – open late on Fridays until 10pm
Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Victoria & Albert Museum London Free London Museums

 

Sir John Soane’s Museum

This is probably one that you won’t find on most other ‘must see’ lists, but Dan and I absolutely LOVED this house turned museum. It once was owned by an architect, and it contains a remarkable library, model room, sculpture and paintings room. It even has a crypt with an Egyptian Sarcophagus in the basement. That was awesome, and one of the highlights – it was something we had never seen before. Unfortunately, this museum does not allow photography, so you will have to take mental notes of anything you don’t want to forget.
Open Wednesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
Address: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

Egyptian Sarcoghogus like that in SJSM Free London Museums

 

Natural History Museum

Another huge 4 section museum that could take you all day (especially if you are with little ones who want to spend extra time at some of the exhibits). Learn about Earth, science, animals, gems and more through hands-on exhibits. The museum also has interactive volcano and earthquake exhibits that looked amazing! Unfortunately they were under construction when I was there, so I can’t give you a first hand account. I can just imagine my little one being fascinated by those rooms!
Open 10am – 550pm everyday
Address: Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
 Natural History Museum London Free London Museums

 

British Museum

This museum has something for everyone and is one of the world’s greatest museums. From prehistoric to modern art, it houses about 4 million exhibits from all over the world. Some of the highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the Roman and Greek exhibits in general, the Egyptian mummies, Easter Island Moai, and the Elgin Marbles. It’s a museum that can make you stop in your tracks and marvel at the sights.
Open daily 10am – 530pm – open late Fridays until 830pm
Address: Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

The British Museum in London Free London Museums

 

Tate Modern

Fun and funky, this museum is a nice change up from the typical museum. The building is built on an old power plant and is an interesting piece of art to see in itself. You can find pieces from pretty much almost every modern artist that you could think of (think Dali, Monet, Picasso, Matisse etc….). The restaurant is give or take in my opinion, but it does have a really good view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, so going up is worth it for that. The museum is also right along the river Thames, so I enjoy taking a little walk outside after exploring inside.
Open 10-6 Sun – Thurs; 10-10 Fri and Sat
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
Tate Modern London Free London Museums

Final Note:

If you are on a European tour, visiting the free London museums will get you your fill of museums and then you don’t have to spend money at expensive museums in other cities. This will allow you to spend your money on other attractions that might interest you. (Unless you are going to France, then still spend your money at the Louvre and try these other free things in Paris to save a dime).
I hope you enjoy visiting some of these museums! I’d love to hear which one you like the best. If you want more suggestions on places to see in London and elsewhere, make sure to subscribe to my blog!


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24 Comments on “5 FREE London Museums Not To Skip

  1. Great list! There are so many free activities to do in many cities, especially London. We loved visiting the British Museum and Natural History Museum as well. We will have to check out the others when we return. Great blog post! I like that you also included the hours and location.

  2. I intend to visit London one of these days, but I will have to keep to a strict budget. These museums are stellar, and I’m so happy they’re free! Thanks for this post!

  3. Great budget friendly post! Now I can get the hubby to multiple museums and he can’t say we’re spending “too” much money on them! (He’s not a museum fan)

  4. All of these museums sound like a good take (free is for me!), but I especially love the idea of seeing the modern artists and St. Paul’s Cathedral/River Thames in one fell swoop at TATE Modern. How strange that it’s built on an old power plant! I’ve added this one to my London bucket list. Thanks for the tip!

  5. This is totally on my bucketlist and Pinned to my bucketlist list!!!! Thank you so much for this! Steven and I can’t wait to travel 🙂

  6. I didn’t know there were so many free museums in London. Good to know for my trip there. I’m gonna pin it for later.

  7. What a great list!! We didn’t have much time to hit the museums when we were there, but I’m definitely saving this list for when we go back!!

    1. Exploring the city itself is definitely important so I can understand not getting to the museum. London does have some great museums though, so if you have a rainy day next time you’re there, you should check one out!

  8. Wow! It’s so cool that they have so many different types of museums. Definitely adding a couple of these to my list for when I visit!

  9. Good list! I even lived around London for months and I never ran across Sir John Soane’s Museum. Be sure to check that one out next time I’m passing through!

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