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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

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk
Museums

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk

The V&A does an excellent line in fashion exhibitions that are bright, brash, frothy, OTT madness – a mirroring, perhaps, of the atmosphere surrounding most major fashion weeks. So it comes as a surprise, initially, to step inside ‘Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk’ and absorb a calming scene of cool mint walls, plain white ceiling drapes and a fairly traditional layout of glass exhibition cases. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Genders: Shaping and Breaking the Binary
Art

Genders: Shaping and Breaking the Binary

Gender is big news. And, like everything that’s ‘big news’, it solicits big reactions. This exhibition at the Science Gallery aims to go beyond the most strident, shouty responses to the topic, showing instead that the very concept of gender is as messy and ungraspable as toothpaste blobbed into the sink. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Museum of Neoliberalism
Museums

Museum of Neoliberalism

Whatever you take away from the Museum of Neoliberalism, you definitely won’t forget the display ‘Bottle of Amazon employee urine’. According to the museum, it came from a worker in one of the company’s fulfilment centres who passed up a toilet break in order not to fall behind on work targets. It’s just one of the ways this place confronts you with how modern economic structures have trickled down into people’s everyday lives.  Tucked between a laundrette and a hairdressers in an unassuming post-war shopping centre in Lewisham, the museum explains its purpose in a window sign: ‘to look back on neoliberalism, what it has done to our world; and what might lie beyond it’. Turns out, it’s quite scary stuff.  The exhibition, which begins with a display setting out the main players of twentieth-century neoliberalism, has been created by satirical artist Darren Cullen and Gavin Grindon, a lecturer at the University of Essex who curated parts of Banksy’s Dismaland.  Like the suspects board of a detective on the edge, it’s covered in a criss-cross of red string connecting  images of Margaret Thatcher, George W Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Boris Johnson.  You’re then exposed to the ways capitalism has seeped into our lives, from Scouts badges embroidered with oil company logos to a replica of the cladding and insulation at Grenfell Tower.  Regardless of your political persuasion, it’s hard not to be moved. The museum admits that it ‘may seem dispiriting’, but it’ll stoke a

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Troy: Myth and Reality
Museums

Troy: Myth and Reality

Troy vey, this show is seriously big. I mean huge, grand, ambitious, sweeping, in-depth, enormous. But take a deep breath and set an afternoon aside because it’s more than worth your time. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’
Museums

‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’

Coming out of this show, I was nearly run over on that weird road that runs past the V&A which looks pedestrianised, but all drivers treat like a regular street. There’s a metaphor there. For more than a century, the world has been in thrall to the car, and it’s still out to kill us. 

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

New exhibitions in London

Muff Busters
Museums

Muff Busters

It's time we stopped fannying around and got real about gynaecology. The opening exhibition for London's brand new Vagina Museum (currently more sparkly than a freshly applied vajazzle) tackles the myths and legends surrounding the 'downstairs area' of roughly 50% of the world's population. Along with debunking a load of basic fibs, it also shows the shocking variety of **really quite weird** things widely taken as vuvla-related truth.  

Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles
Museums

Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles

London's historic Two Temple Place only stages one exhibition per year. For 2020, they're showcasing a plethora of gorgeous, ornate textiles from across the globe, and the pioneering female collectors who catalogued them. The show includes items from Edith Durham's expansive collection of textiles and clothing from the Balkans, and pieces from Olive Matthews' archive, begun when the collector was only 12-years-old. It's also a good opportunity to see inside this delightfully preserved historic building. 

The Real Thing
Museums

The Real Thing

Logo fans rejoice: this exhibition looks at the power of bootleg fashion, from the mass appeal of branding to how imitation products disrupt the industry. A timely exhibition, given the return of the nineties wear, the show will deliver a refresher on everything from slogan tees to knock-off bags. 

The Clash: London Calling
Museums

The Clash: London Calling

Sharif might not like it, but it’s good news for London music fans: the Museum of London is putting together a free exhibition dedicated to our city’s greatest punk band, The Clash. ‘What about The Sex Pistols?’ you ask. No, it’s The Clash, obviously, and this show looks like could be seriously good. Opening in November, the museum’s pulled together over 100 items from the band’s archive relating to the ‘London Calling’ album, including the bass Paul Simonon is smashing on the cover and Joe Strummer’s personal typewriter. One Time Out staffer apparently lost their virginity to The Best of The Clash, but we’re not allowed to say who. Should you stay or should you go to this exhibition? Of course you should go, just check the opening hours so you don't get the train in vain. 

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