London Transport Museum

  • Museums
  • Transport
Critics' choice
119 Love It
© Heike Bohnstengel / Time Out
Main hall © Michelle Grant / Time Out
The Trooping of the Colour by Margaret Calkin James, 1932© London Transport Museum
© Michelle Grant

London Transport Museum

Michelle Grant
© Michelle Grant / Time Out
Michelle Grant
© London Transport Museum
Covent Garden

The history of our world-famous transport system is traced in an interactive museum that is fun for vehicle (and London) enthusiasts of all ages

From the entertaining entrance, where audiovisual recordings of transport systems in New York, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai and New Delhi, as well as London, are shown on screens, you are whisked by lift to the second floor – and back to 1800. The capital's first licensed public transport was the sedan chair, an example of which is on show, but the gorgeous horse-drawn omnibus, from 1805, its painted, flower-bordered designs announcing still-familiar routes, is a bigger draw. Progress leads you ever onwards, to the building of our first passenger railway – from London Bridge to Greenwich in 1833.

The first floor of the London Transport Museum holds perhaps the most exciting displays, including the first underground engine (steam-powered) and a wooden Metropolitan Railway coach (converted to electricity in 1901); one of several exhibits you can board. Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character and ensuring the emblematic bar and circle logo became an intrinsic part of London's visual identity, to the extent it now signifies 'tube station' without the need for words, is the focus of the design display. London Transport's posters – by the likes of Abram Games, Graham Sutherland and Ivon Hitchens – are on show throughout museum. Many are design icons, though none is greater than Harry Beck's original tube map.

A family play zone for children aged 0-7, All Aboard, features a fleet of mini vehicles to climb into and play on. Kids can repair a little tube train, sail the 'Thames Nipper', play in the lost property office and try musical instruments on busking spots. The Baby DLR features an interactive wall and building blocks to keep infants entertained. Visitors of all ages get the chance to sit in the driver's cab of a red bus and guide a Northern Line simulator through tunnels and up to platforms, so big kids will have plenty of fun, too.

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Venue name: London Transport Museum
Address: Covent Garden Piazza
Opening hours: Mon-Thur, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm (last admission 5.15pm); Fri 11am-6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
Price: £16, £13.50 concs, under-18s free; tickets valid for one year
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  • Exhibitions Until Sunday April 10 2016
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  • Film events Tuesday December 1 2015
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:9
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Nadeem U

A lively atmosphere that successfully unites the culture, history and evolution of transport creating a fun experience for all ages!

Nikolas C

I am very interested in London's efficient transport system & I really enjoyed learning about its history... London Transport Museum is an interactive musuem which is worth going while in London!

Charlie S

Wonderful for children - my 2 & 4 year old LOVE it. And massively appeals to the transport geek inside me. The various design-oriented exhibitions e.g. old posters are utterly fascinating as well. Not to mention the endless historical anecdotes, and insights behind-the-scenes of London, and... so much great stuff!

Roshan A

Shows that if you want a decent museum experience, you need to pay. Took my toddler (2yrs old) to both the science museum and this one. This museum REALLY captured his attention in a way that the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum did not. Plus you don't get the huge crowds. My toddler spent the first minutes saying 'oh choo choo train' on the top floor, he ran to see all the trains, ran into the old carriages, followed all the model train sets as they moved. He also enjoyed the actually decent children's play area, where the adult can sit down and relax.

As for the adults, this museum does everything I've ever wanted a museum to do; it takes you back to in time and builds up a picture of what London/London transport was like.

Your ticket gives you yearly access, under 17's (!?) go for free.

And to think I put off visiting this museum because you had to pay.....

Colin R

A very good cross-section of London's fantastic transport history and much to keep children interested. Plenty of hands-on items.

Candice J

Great place to learn about London's transport history, see classic buses and great vintage posters.

Kate H

Definitely the place to go if you love all things transport in the city. The iconic red buses include the WW1 hero Ole Bill - currently on loan from the Imperial War Museum. Look out for the actors that are present during the middle part of the day - usually 11.30-3.30. You never know where they might be but expect to be entertained and informed if you meet the Fireman on the original underground steam train, or the chirpy cockney B-type bus cleaner who'll either try to get you to join the womens movement or do your bit for King and county. There are others to be found but with only 1 actor a day and no announcements you'll have to take your luck with who's there on your visit. Loads to do and interact with for all ages - note to those with very young families - keep your eyes on them at all times and get there early in the school holidays when it's a tad manic. A fabulous place to go with granny and grandad and to see how the commute in London has changed.

Martin C
Staff Writer

You don’t need to be a bus, train or tram nerd to get a kick out of visiting London Transport Museum. While there’s plenty of machinery on display – including the first, steam-powered underground engine and, of course, the iconic Routemaster bus – it’s as much about the urban history of the city, how it grew and evolved by getting stuff to and from the place and getting us around, as the hardware. And the integral role of design in that history is, rightly, given prominence. You’ll see classic posters and designs by the likes of Abram Games and Ivon Hitchens as well as Harry Beck’s original tube map. The shop’s surprisingly good, not just for models and memorabilia, but for cushions and rugs in some of London Transport’s classic fabric designs.

Daniele T
Staff Writer

My children love it, but it is quite expensive if you only go once (the ticket is yearly). Very interactive.

Sarah S

I took a 9 and a 7 year old and we had a lot of fun and really enjoyed this museum. Very hands on and interactive. Recommended!

Victoria A

Lovely to see some of the old transport in London. the display of the trams and the horse drawn carriages were lovely.

Flozz 1

This is a fantastic museum to take young children. I took my godson (age 5) and he was entertained by this museum for at least an hour and a half. Free entry for children under 16 I think is very fair, especially considering the location.  


It is really lovely to look at some of the old London transport system. I really enjoy the visit. Lots of lovely of lovely exhibits.


In this museum (in a very central location) you get an idea of London's (public) transport and how it has evolved over the many years. What I found particularly fun where the old tube carriages! As a Londoner, using the underground system daily, I really did wonder if the old carriages weren't more spacious than the ones we use today! You can get a 'stamp card' (I think its aimed at kids - but no less fun for adults!) and go around the museum getting a stamp at the different 'stations' / interesting points inside the museum. The evolution of the tube map is impressive! Going up and down the old buses is fun! :) Go check it out! (your ticket is valid for 1 year - great for Londoners, not so much for tourists..)