Museums

Discover some of the world's best museums and exhibitions

Museums

Free museums in London

You needn't worry if you're sightseeing on a budget – plenty of London's top museums are free

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Museums

Best museums for kids

Looking for ways to keep the kids amused? This lot'll get you started

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Museums

Top 10 museum exhibitions in London

London's top museums are showcasing an abundance of cracking exhibitions

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Museums

Top 10 museums in London

Overwhelmed by the number of museums in London? Let Time Out point you in the right direction

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Museums

Museum lates in London

Have a poke around the capital's finest culture spots after-dark

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Time Out loves...

Things to do

Wellcome Collection

The temporary exhibitions at this recently revamped space are often brilliant

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Foundling Museum

Tells the story of the Foundling Hospital and houses a fine collection of paintings

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Hunterian Museum

Exhibits include the skeleton of the 7ft 7in tall ‘Irish giant’, and the tooth of a megatherium (an extinct giant sloth)

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Popular exhibitions in London

Things to do

Play at Wellcome Collection

Designers, scientists and playful members of the public can choose to go head to head or work together at Wellcome Collection's July Friday late spectacular. After the museum closes for the day experts in the culture, science and history of games will gather to discuss what play means to them and to showcase their latest creations.  Games will be grouped in themed areas reflecting the venue's spaces. Visitors can head to the Reading Room for a collection of word and text based games or to the atrium for a series of challenges. Down in the basement the games will all be about intimacy, including 'Sext Machine' where players will put a computer's pornography-detection skills to the test by sending in pictures of innocuous body parts and group game 'An Encounter in the Woods' where teamwork is required to draw two converging paths on a paper map. New commissions for the evening include Block Stop, which will take place all over the building as players control an actor's movements and 'Shadow Photocopier' created by George Buckenham (a game designer whose previous gaming inventions include 'Punch The Custard' and ‘Glitch Pigeon’). There will be digital games as well as physical ones, with three that have been created specially for the event, inspired by the Welcome Collection's digital archive. The evening is free but some talks and larger games may require tickets, which can be reserved on the night.

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Shopping

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

The V&A’s summer blockbuster exhibition is all about shoes – and we aren’t talking ballet flats, cosy boots or erm… Crocs. Pleasure and Pain focuses on the transformative power of extreme footwear, exploring the agony and ecstasy that a shoe might inspire. Over 200 pairs of shoes past and present have been gathered from all around the world, from ancient Egyptian sandals decorated in pure gold leaf to hi-tech shoes created using a 3D printer. Shoes worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria, Sarah Jessica Parker and Daphne Guinness will be on display, alongside iconic shoes from popular culture. Across two floors, you’ll find everything from the covetable to the truly toe-curling. The ground floor gallery explores ‘Transformation,’ discovering how the concept of empowerment has been tied in with footwear through folklore, ‘Status,’ showing how impractical shoes represent privileged and leisurely lifestyles, and ‘Seduction,’ which investigates shoes as objects of fetishism. Upstairs, the first floor gallery dissects the processes of designing and creating a shoe.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art

The Ancient Greeks were a force to be reckoned with when it came to their creative vision of the human form. Featuring exquisite works from the British Museum’s world-renowned collection along with international loans, breathtaking marble and bronze sculptures will celebrate the figure in all its – nude – glory. Highlights include a bronze athlete recently discovered in Croatia as well as the exceptional works by three of the greatest Ancient Greek sculptors Myron, Polykleitos and Phidias. SEE OUR GUIDE TO THE SHOW

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Things to do

David Attenborough’s First Life

Natural history buffs keen to learn more about the prehistoric oceans of 520 million years ago. should head to this immersive experience where visitors don a virtual reality headset to get a real flavour for the earliest forms of complex life. Using the kit designed by Samsung which allows for 360 degree viewing of the show, guests will be guided through a virtual version of the Museum's collections with Sir David Attenborough narrating the journey. The experience is suitable for children 13 and over, and pregnant women, elderly people and those suffering from a heart condition should consult a doctor before taking part. 

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Things to do

Drawn from the Antique: Artists & the Classical Ideal

Examining the importance of antique sculpture from Greece and Rome as a source of inspiration for Western artists, this exhibition brings together the largest international loan the museum has presented to date. A mix of iconic and rarely seen artworks will be on display with standout pieces from the likes of Rubens, Fuseli, Turner and Zuccaro. Covering the Renaissance period through to the nineteenth century, the exhibition focusses on the practice of drawing from sculpture as a tool used by artists to understand and appreciate European art, and as a teaching method utilised for over half a millennium. Arriving in London following a hugely successful run at the Teylers Museum in the Netherlands, the show boasts thirty-four drawings, prints and painted never before seen in the UK. Last entry is at 4.30pm. 

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British Museum

One of the world's oldest museums, the British Museum is one of London's greatest cultural treasures

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Natural History Museum

The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

V&A

The V&A houses one of the world's greatest collections of decorative arts, in such varied fields as ceramics, sculpture, portrait miniatures and photographs

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Science Museum

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Museum of London

Soak up the history of London, from prehistoric times to the present

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

London Transport Museum

Among the vehicles on display at the London Transport Museum is the first underground electric train

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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