Science Museum

Museums , Science and technology Brompton Free
Critics' choice
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(74 user reviews)
89 Love It
Save it
1/10
© Science Museum
2/10
3/10
Planet Science in Space Gallery © Jennie Hills
4/10
Ototo robot © Dentaku
5/10
Kids Imax © Science Museum
6/10
Making the Modern World © Science Museum
7/10
© Science Museum
8/10
© Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
9/10
The Energy Hall © Science Museum
10/10
Media Space Cafe © Science Museum

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. The Wellcome Wing showcases developments in contemporary science, medicine and technology. The Medical History Gallery in the museum's attic contains a substantial collection of medical history treasures. Pattern Pod introduces under-eights to the importance of patterns in contemporary science and Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles. Exhibits in the Exploring Space galleries include the three-metre-high, 600kg Spacelab 2 X-ray telescope that was flown on British space missions and full-scale models of the Huygens Titan probe and Beagle 2 Mars Lander.

The Clockmakers' Collection, previously held at the Guildhall, will move to the museum on October 23 2015. It's the oldest display of clocks and watches in the world, with most of the 1250 exhibits dating from between 1600 and 1850.

The museum’s in-house IMAX cinema shows scientific films in 3D, allowing visitors to be surrounded by space or submerged in the depths of the ocean. Tickets start at £11 for adults and £9 for children, and booking is recommended. The shop is worth checking out for its wacky toys, while the Dana Centre is the Science Museum’s adults-only centre for free lectures and performance events on contemporary scientific issues (www.danacentre.org.uk). 

Read about our favourite exhibits in the Science Museum or see more of London's best museums

Venue name: Science Museum
Contact:
Address: Exhibition Rd
London
SW7 2DD
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
Transport: Tube: South Kensington
Price: Free (permanent collection); admission charge applies for some temporary exhibitions
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  • Exhibitions Until Sunday September 4 2016
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  • Photography Until Sunday September 11 2016
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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:58
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|74
1 person listening
Tamara B
Tastemaker

The science museum is just wonderful for so many reasons. We went recently to entertain my friend's 4 year old son. She and her family were visiting London over a long weekend. There's so much to see and do so we focused on first going to the bubble show and then letting him run around in various play areas in the basement. I learned something at the bubble show .. let's see ... No matter what shape of wand, the bubbles are always spherical because they're lazy. Bubbles made with helium gas will rise while bubbles made with carbon dioxide will sink to the floor. The people presenting the bubble show are blessed with levels of patience that seem superhuman and which I could never hope to match. It was a fun day out and my friend's little boy was very happy. He wants his parents to move to London now which I would only have the science museum to thank if it happens! 

Stellaville
Tastemaker

 One of my favourite museums in London-free, educational, interactive and fun! As a kid loved sleeping over and then having the museum to ourselves before the public were allowed in and as an adult love the late night events which is a great alternative to going clubbing with friends. Gift shop also stocks lots of fantastic gifts-some too good to give away!


I recently went with my partner to see the Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition which included models of some of his greatest inventions including an early example of a diving suit and webbed glove (in place of flippers)!

Alanna S
Tastemaker

For me, science was only good at school when the lesson involved something tangible - a flaming Bunsen burner, a bubbling test tube or building a replica human brain. Too often than not, as adults that want to grow our minds outside that of our day jobs, we get our learning online - podcasts, Twitter, YouTube. The Science Museum exists not only to entertain curious children, but to satisfy the most curious of grown-ups too. It's a tangible, interactive and fantastically curated place, consistently updating it's main exhibitions to keep the crowds coming backs. I haven't been here with a child but I can only imagine how fun it must be to watch them learn and play in a way that doesn't involve an iPad. In fairness, some of the non-exhibit stuff has been there a while, and like the National History Museum, there are parts that have started to feel a bit outdated and worn. But as long as they keep investing in the forward-thinking exhibitions they have been putting on over the last few years, I will keep returning. My only complaint applies to all London Museums in that Museum 'lates' can be pretty busy and crowded, but unless they become ticketed it can't really be avoided. So, rather than listening to a podcast about space or technology to grow your ageing mind - go and experience the tangible, curious and wonderful world of the Science Museum. (Pictured a shot I took from Cosmonauts exhibition last Summer)

AME
Tastemaker

What I love most about the science museum is the lates. Every last Wednesday of the month the museum is open until late for adults to go in and explore particular themes. I’ve been to quite a few now and they are a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the scientific world without tons of kids running around, it is a very relaxed environment as you stroll around with your glass of wine and the best part is that at a difficult time of the month for most, it’s free!

LoveLondon
Tastemaker

Most underrated place in all of London. Why don't people come here more often? There's always something new to discover and learn. Great for adults, children, first dates and Sunday afternoons.

John C

When I was a schoolboy my parents would take me to the science museum each year. The exhibits presented a fascinating account of the history of technological innovation. I remember highly informative galleries devoted to steam engines, space exploration and aviation. I am sure the museum influenced my career choice and encouraged me to become an aeronautical engineer. Today I returned to the museum expecting to see those familiar galleries updared with the latest audio visual interactive technology.

At the entrance to the museum, I was shocked at being asked to make a £5 donation. Most London museums have a collecting box for donations, and I normally make a donation. But to have every visitor stand in line and ask for a donation is tacky.

The museum continues to house the treasures which I remember from my youth - Janes Watt's steam engines, Stevenson's Rocket, the Apollo 10 command module etc. but there was no coherent display, no thematic galleries, no informative storytelling. There was simply a confused and poorly presented collection of objects. Some information boards out of date, some so dark it was impossible to read. The confusion was evident right from the start where the famous entrance hall and collection of steam engines is now punctuated by a ticket sales desk, a space capsule made of Lego and a machine for commemorative coins. And of course a large brightly lit gift shop.

This should be one of London's great museums. It certainly has objects which would make a great museum. But this museum appears to have lost its way and is poorly curated. Britain is the birthplace of the industrial revolution and we deserve something better to tell that fascinating story to our children and visitors from around the world.

Paul Harman

Excellent museum with so many different exhibits to see. I took my 4 year old and she particularly liked the space exploration exhibit and the electricity exhibit on the mezzanine floor. Loads of interactive things to do and engaging for all ages.


A lot of effort has been put into making this place memorable.

Victoria B

Really fun museum and very educational! I used to come here on school trips but its just as fun as an adult. The majority of the museum is free too! They also have interesting temporary exhibitions which are always worth checking out.

Nadia T

I remember coming here when I was a kid, and it still hadnt lost its charm when I came back. So educational and super fun! Cant wait to bring kids when I have them myself.

Richard N
Tastemaker

Perfect for kids and adults alike; I've always loved science museums (not necessarily learning from them) but the science museum truly is a treat with countless exhibitions and lovely inventions everywhere, mixing history, technology and the future all in one. 

Tina
Tastemaker

To me, this is a symbol of what a museum should be: not imposing old building where you tiptoe through large rooms hoping something will catch your attention, but a modern place that presents information in an engaging, well structured and memorable way, ignites curiosity and even after the whole day leaves your hungry for more!

I love that Science Museum constantly innovates and really makes science accessible and cool!
I even came here for my Birthday - that tells a lot!

Ed. T
Tastemaker

NB - This review is specifically for Robots 3D


Robots 3D is one of the new IMAX film, which in itself is an experience, let alone the film! The screen is mind bogglingly large, and is almost imposing in how much it dominates your view and senses. The film itself was less impressive in my opinion: while interesting and offering some insight into some pretty cool robots in the world, it fails to deliver enough insight and information. It's a shame it doesn't really go in depth in the world of humanoid robots, failing to really show how they're being used in practical situations and sticking largely to just interesting test robots that are in labs. It also doesn't make particularly good use of 3D, and could've easily been a standard 2D film and lowered their price tag. Despite that, it's worth taking younger children to if robots are of some interest to them, and would be a fun side activity to do in conjunction with a visit to the museum as a whole.

MooseInLondon
Tastemaker

I am not sure why the queues are not longer to get into this amazing museum-- but to be honest I am glad because it means I can get in without a hitch. I love love love this place. So much to learn about and see! I really love seeing how far humans have come in terms of tech, medicine, etc. One of the exhibits right now, Churchill's Wizards is especially amazing if you are a a 'war buff'. 


There always seems to be something going on, be it a talk or exhibition, so the limit really is your time and money. It's always good to get there early to avoid any possible 'rushes'. The cafes are fine for snacks and what not, but I would go outside if you want a full meal. 


And don't forget to donate--- yes its free but come on guys!! 

Kate H
Tastemaker

A few years ago i'd have easily given 5 stars to this museum but sadly of late it seems to be going the way that many others are - moving in corporate and theme park technology. There used to be loads more free shows and wonderful actors cropping up as anythiung from scientists from bygone days to pregnant men! They're still here - so i'm told - but lost in the vastness of the museum. I believe 1 actor performance a day with 2 opportunities to see them which is often left off the information boards. There are explainer shows which can be hit and miss but the museum is a fabulous building and will take several days to explore! Currently there seems to be plans afoot to close off certain galleries in order, i presume, to update them? I hope this is the case and that they won't lose much of what is great already. The cafes are ok but too expensive for me hence i take a packed lunch in with me and just buy a coffee - very good by the way. I'm looking forward to the next wonderful science late - a regular adult only evening opening with some fantastic free events (last Weds in every month). I've heard the surreal but hilarious Cockroach tours have disappeared but am hoping not for good. I've not laughed as much in a long time at the sight of my partner running around the museum calling 'Scuttle' dressed in an oversized giant cockroach costume! And all with a serious message about global warming/environmental issues. More of this craziness please!

Luisa G
Tastemaker

Great museum, especially if you are visiting with kids. It's great to see all the weird and wonderful sciencey things on show for people to enjoy - a great way to get kids more excited by science.

Kritt N
Tastemaker

I absolutely love the Science Museum because of the way it brings science to life. There are seven floors to explore to your curious minds content. The museum is divided into wings, all showcasing a broad range of topics from contemporary science to technology. The museum shop is also worth a visit for it's wacky gifts and there is an in-house imax cinema showing scientific films in 3D so adults and kids can immerse themselves in the world of science.  The museum is is easily reachable from pleasant South Kensington tube station. The Science Museum is a great place for everyone of all ages but even more so for kids. If you're spending time with your kids, there is no place better than the Science Museum to get them inspired.

Maxibuoy

This has to be my favourite museum in London. It was so exciting to take my kids and they loved even more than i did.

Noel
Staff Writer

Such a great place to spend time with the family. There is something for young kids to adults, a great journey through history and workings of science. From the energy hall to exploring space. A must is the kids area where they and you (the grown ups) can have some simple but highly rewarding fun through interactivity. The shows and exhibitions continue to grow and delight. Our kids remember it and as do we each time we go. 

Daniele T
Staff Writer

On a rainy day this is one of the best spots to take your children. Start from the Launchpad on the top floor with its games/experiments, a good ice cream bar, and space for your packed lunch. Then head down to the ground floor and visit the space section and trains and cars. Finally, head down for the basement, where you will find more playing/experimenting in the children play area. In the basement they also do regular free children shows, including the bubble show - always a hit.

Llewellyn
Staff Writer

Fantastic place to take your kids, always discover something new when we go

Warwick W

Love this museum - I went as a child myself and have fond memories of the space exploration and kids area. It's great to see my own children now building memories that will last a life time. Simply awesome and magnetic

Paulina L

Great place to spend weekend with your children. Not only they will learn about science through interactive exhibitions and objects but also you will discover scientific facts you had no idea about. The admission is free and the average time to enjoy all that Science Museum has to offer is 2 to 3 hours. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop, lots of great ideas for original gifts.

Shelley G

Something for everyone! A fantastic place with so much to see and do! The fact that it is free is a bonus, we'd be happy to pay.

Lauren S

Slightly underwhelming as wasn't as interactive as I was expecting, or indeed as interactive as it could be. It was interesting nonetheless though.

Laura V

Absolutely brilliant. Great for a day out and I must say, the food was fantastic too. Fabulous gift shop where you can easily spend too much! 

Laura V

Absolutely brilliant. Great for a day out and I must say, the food was fantastic too. Fabulous gift shop where you can easily spend too much! 

kimberley d

Fantastic!

Great for the family or with friends, great as a date idea too!

Pack a lunch as food a little pricey and get there early to avoid a long wait!

usha

This is a perfect museum for science lovers and for whole family as well. It is made for all kind of people from kids to old no matter u will have fun

anand nair

My suggestions for a must-visit in London include: British Museum - The most notable items in its collection include the Parthenon sculptures, the Rosetta Stone and the Ancient Egyptian mummies. 

Ashley Campbell

Its great because you can go back so many times and see something new every time, lots of fun interactive and educational things.

N. Colaco

Great place to spend the day! I have been there over 5 times and i never get bored, this museum it is an amazing place!

Kathryn

Not just a fun day out for this science geek, but a brilliant and diverse collection of things to get your mind going. Interactive exhibits are absolutely wonderful, and our visit took hours upon hours as we got absorbed in playing with things. Great fun!

Violet

Great fun to visit. I went with someone who believes that what doesn't say "Don't touch" you can touch it...well not every time so when you hear the alarm you definitely put your hand on something which you shouldn't. Whether you visit with kids or friends it is just a nice place to be and have some fun to wonder about things and see objects which you didn't even know exist :)

Anna dobie

The science museum is a fantastic place for a day out - children of all ages will love the interactive element and so much to see and do - you will need more than one visit to cram everything in,

Anna Goedeke

I went to the Science Museum with my nephew and niece and must say that it is a wonderful day for a fun day out. Each of the kids decided on one section to see, we went to one of the bubble shows for kids and then the kids played in the play area. They loved it and want to go again next time they visit!

Diana B

This is one of my favourite London Museums. It makes me feel like a kid again - really fun and interactive. I especially love all the 'Lates' events they have on the last wednesday of every month. Highly recommend it.

ROSALIND BARCLAY

THE SCIENCE MUSEUM IS A WONDERFUL DAY OUT FOR ALL AGES...AND IT IS THE PLACE TO VISIT MANY TIMES...THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW ON DISPLAY,ALWAYS AN AREA OF THE MUSEUM THAT YOU DID NOT SEE ON YOUR FIRST VISIT...THE SCIENCE EXPERIENCE TO EDUCATE AND TO ENJOY...AND HAVE FUN.

Olivia Russell

I'm embarrassed to admit I wasn't overly impressed with the Science museum, I thoroughly enjoyed the 4D space experience, it was an extra cost but it was worth every penny. The space exhibition (free) was also great. However, otherwise I found it not to live up to my expectations - I thought it would be more interactive and encourage fascination, unfortunately it didn't and I will be sticking to the natural history museum in future.

Sarah

A fun and interactive museum, with lots of free exhibits. The only downside is that it closes too early for an after work visit!

nausher

Went for the lates...it was so cool!! What an experience Silent disco was the best

George A

The science museum is one of the better museums in London.. You go in knowing a little about the science in the world then you come out knowing 100% more , Fantastic for families and anyone who loves science!! Highly recommend..

Andrea Miller

An amazing Museum made all the better for being free to enter. When you arrive it is necessary to file past museum staff who ask for your donation so, up to you if you want to contribute. Exhibits and content are wonderful and it is great for kids. So much so, that during school holidays it is chaotic, so if you don't like hoards of children grabbing your legs and running amok then best avoided during those periods.

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