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Museums

Discover some of the world's best museums and exhibitions

Museum lates: late-night events in London
Museums

Museum lates: late-night events in London

The nights are drawing in, so get out the house and into the museums. Here's our guide to the best 'lates' happening across the city

14 weird but wonderful museums in London
Museums

14 weird but wonderful museums in London

From the British Museum to the V&A, London's a world-leader when it comes to big name cultural institutions. But did you know it's also home to a multitude of a smaller, quirkier and more unusual museums too? Read our guide to the weirdest museums our city has to offer.

Best museums for kids
Museums

Best museums for kids

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

Free museums in London
Museums

Free museums in London

No money? No problem

Five things to see at the National Army Museum
Museums

Five things to see at the National Army Museum

Armies are expensive and so are museums devoted to them. Chelsea’s National Army Museum (next to the Royal Hospital) has just reopened after a three-year, £24 million redesign. A huge atrium has been carved out of the middle of the building, and the whole place is much lighter and less gloomy than before. 

Must-see museum exhibitions in London

Buddhism
Museums

Buddhism

It can be hard to see sometimes, but there are other ways to live. We’re all so focused on trudging through the swamp of our everyday lives – on our careers, families, stresses, hobbies and drinking habits – that it can feel like that’s all there is. But this in-depth, absorbing show about Buddhism at the British Library is here to smack you around the head a bit and make you see that there are other paths (eight of them, actually). 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh
Museums

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

From its Discovery Channel-style intro to its blingy sort-of catalogue, this show of 150 artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun feels like it would be more at home in the Bellagio in Vegas than in the venerable British Museum. And that’s okay. There’s not a whole lot of new scholarship here: this is the greatest hits. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
2 out of 5 stars
Moving to Mars

Moving to Mars

Holland Park is pretty special right now. Pale pink cyclamens, deep red acers, crispy leaves just starting to fall. Hell, I even saw a peacock on its morning stroll. But Earth’s Edenic charms have never been enough for the human race. We want more: we want Mars. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Buy
Tim Walker: Wonderful Things
Museums

Tim Walker: Wonderful Things

Fantastical. Fairytale. Magical. Lot of words are used to describe the photography of Tim Walker, but rarely this one: sex. Yet as this exuberant solo exhibition at the V&A proves, the British photographer’s special brand of surrealism, honed over decades working for fashion magazines, is far from saccharine innocence. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics
Museums

Designed in Cuba: Cold War Graphics

Here’s Richard Nixon as a kind of Nazified American Eagle, his bloody talons digging the heart out of Indo-China. Here’s a woman dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, boredly smoking a fag. Here’s an Egyptian hieroglyph made of bullets and hand grenades. There’s savagery and savage humour in this remarkable show of 100 posters and 70 magazines  produced between 1966 and 1992 by Cuba’s state-run OSPAAAL, the snappily named ‘Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America’. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Find more recommended museum exhibitions in London

New exhibitions in London

Costume at the National Theatre
Museums

Costume at the National Theatre

The National Theatre costume department is a land of absolute marvels. Housed on-site at the Southbank theatre, it sources, sews, alters and dresses performers for 20 new productions per year (and bear in mind that the NT is one of the few London theatres to use large casts). It also loans costumes from its 90,000 strong hire department to theatres all over the country. The wizard-like people who work there are able to magic blood out of costumes, whip an actor into a corset in under 60 seconds and just, well, perform magic basically. You can now see some of their treasures for free on display in the National Theatre's Wolfson Gallery. There are costumes from 'Follies', 'Antony & Cleopatra', 'Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom', 'wonder.land', 'Dara' and 'War Horse', and the displays will take you through the entire costuming process from start to finish. 

Es Devlin: Memory Palace
Museums

Es Devlin: Memory Palace

Travel through time and across the globe with this immersive installation by the massively talented Es Devlin. Measuring 18 metres across, the mirrored sculpture celebrates key historical moments when human perception shifted track. Visitors will be whisked to the southern African caves where the earliest drawings remain right through to the Swiss birthplace of the internet. As fans of Sherlock will know, a memory palace is a technique used to recall precise information by mentally placing it around an imagined house.

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous
Museums

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Years of Fabulous

Iconic British fashion designer, Zandra Rhodes, gets a retrospective at the Bermondsey museum she founded. The show covers 50 years of Rhodes' flamboyant designs and famously OTT way of dressing. Expect lots of pink, lots of red, and lots and lots of gold. 

Impatient! Stories of Service User Advocacy
Museums

Impatient! Stories of Service User Advocacy

Service user advocacy groups fight for the rights and representation of patients accessing mental health services. This exhibition charts the history of these groups, looking at their different forms and the various challenges they have come up against. Running alongside this exhibition is Art and Protest: What's there to be mad about? at the Bethem Art Gallery.

See more upcoming museum exhibitions

See what's on at...

Science Museum
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
Geffrye Museum
Museums

Geffrye Museum

Housed in a set of 18th-century almshouses, the Geffrye Museum offers a vivid physical history of the English interior. Displaying original furniture, textiles and decorative arts, the museum recreates a sequence of typical middle-class living rooms from 1600 to the present. It is a fascinating way to take in domestic history. The Geffrye Museum also has an airy restaurant overlooking the gardens, which include a herb garden and a series of period garden 'rooms' with period seating (open Apr 1 to Oct 31, during museum opening hours). Tours of the restored almshouses take place regularly, as do children's activities and workshops (see the website for details).

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
British Museum
Museums

British Museum

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

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Natural History Museum

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
Book online
Design Museum

Design Museum

Opened in 1989 (following its original incarnation as the Boilerhouse established in the V&A by Terence Conran), the Design Museum by Tower Bridge encompasses modern and contemporary industrial and fashion design, graphics, architecture and multimedia. The smart Blueprint Café has a balcony overlooking the Thames. You can buy design books in the museum shop, as well as products related to the exhibitions. Exhibitions are usually accompanied by a programme of workshops for children.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
V&A
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
5 out of 5 stars