Visit London’s best museums to learn about the city’s rich culture and history
London is home to some of the best museums in the world and can be proud of its culture and heritage. There are a wide range of museums to visit covering almost every theme; from wartime and history museums, to toys and advertising there really is something for everyone included in the London Pass.
Free museums in London
Victoria and Albert Museum
As one of the most beloved art museums in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum holds a special place in many people's hearts - both locals and tourists alike. With a permanent collection spanning sculpture, furniture, photography, jewellery and more, you can pay a little more to get access to its limited exhibitions such as the BALENCIAGA and Winnie the Pooh exhibits just gone.
It's one of the top museums in London and with good reason. With two million years' worth of history showcased within its walls, this popular tourist attraction is completely free if you stick to their permanent collection. From ivory Parthenon sculptures to real Egyptian mummies, it'll take you beyond the United Kingdom to discover some of the greatest wonders of the world.
Natural History Museum
Whether you're on a date or with the kids, this is one of the best free museums in London to spend a whole day in. Every inch of this grand building is packed with fascinating exhibits, from the gigantic towering skeleton of a blue whale in its main hall through to the rows upon rows of rock formations towards the back. You will have to pay to keep your things in the cloakroom though.
Sick of all the classical art? Head to the Tate Modern, where contemporary and modern art is the name of the game. With a sprawling permanent collection including works by masters such as Warhol, Picasso, Dali and more, it's all housed in a former power station right on the bank of the River Thames.
Museums in central London
Churchill War Museum
One of the most popular London museums is the Churchill War Rooms which are dedicated to the representation of Churchill’s war efforts and his leadership as Prime Minister during WWII. This underground bunker looks at the secrets and espionage that went on below ground during those tense few years in the early half of the 20th century. The Museum explores both Churchill’s personal life and his political decisions and is a fascinating museum for anyone interesting in wartime history.
Charles Dickens Museum
If you’re a fan of literature and British literary heritage then a visit to the Charles Dickens Museum is a must. With over 10,000 items on display from Dickens’ personal artefacts, to early manuscripts and even his furniture, his old apartment on Doughty Street is said to have been the place in which he wrote two of his best loved masterpieces; Nicholas Nickelby and Oliver Twist.
Pollock's Toy Museum
This independent museum is dedicated to the original toy theatre – a great place to take your kids to let them appreciate old fashioned entertainment! With ancient Monopoly boards, toys from World War 2 and old Punch and Judy theatres, it's a fascinating ride that may occasionally put your hair on end. For those looking for a quirkier date, it's also a great shout though steel yourself for the eerie room full of aging dolls. Access included with the London Pass.
Florence Nightingale Museum
The Florence Nightingale Museum is dedicated to one of the most influential women of Victorian Britain who inspired so many people who have followed in her footsteps. Access included with the London Pass.
London Transport Museum
Lively exhibitions explore the powerful link between transport and the growth of modern London, its culture and society since 1800. It's tucked away at the back of Covent Garden, which is always well worth a stroll through to see its shops and the street performers wandering about. Access included with the London Pass.
Freud Museum London
The final home of Sigmund Freud, the Freud Museum offers insight into the famed psychoanalyst. Enjoy attraction access with your London Pass®. Free with the London Pass.
The Old Operating Theatre Museum
The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is one such London museum offering a fascinating insight into the medical profession of the past. Access included with the London Pass.
Cool museums in London
Looking to go a little more niche? Here's some of the top museums in London that are more off the beaten track…
Handel and Hendrix Museum
Have some eclectic musical tastes? The Handel and Hendrix museum is one for you. Hidden on a single street in London are the homes of two of history’s most significant musical artists. Travel back in time to the worlds of baroque composer Handel and his legendary neighbour, Jimi Hendrix. Access included with the London Pass.
Forget Cartoon Network, this museum is jam packed with distinctly British cartoons that you'll spend hours poring over. From old 18th century illustrations through to today's satirical newspaper cartoons, you'll find something to put a grin on your face - plus, access is included with the London Pass.
There are also some great London museums dedicated to various British sports such the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Twickenham World Rugby Museum, both set within their world-famous spectacular sporting grounds. Tour behind-the scenes and get to see the players changing rooms and get exclusive access into these iconic venues. Access included with the London Pass.
The museum is set in two grade II listed buildings dating from the 1720s that have been sensitively restored to their original grandeur in order to exhibit these wonderful items in suitably lavish surroundings.
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
Live out your Mad Men fantasies at this unique museum, which features over 12,000 original items: household and global brands, toys, sweets, fashions, posters and magazines. Access included with the London Pass.
The Guards Museum
The London Guards Museum is a fascinating insight into the history of the military in the capital and is unique among London museums as it was not originally intended for public view. Access included with the London Pass.
Household Cavalry Museum
Household Cavalry Museum is unlike any other military museum because it offers a unique ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the work that goes into the ceremonial duties and operational role of The Household Cavalry. Access included with the London Pass.
Jewish Museum London
The Jewish Museum in Camden, North London, is a celebration of Jewish life, culture and heritage. Access included with the London Pass.
London Canal Museum
The London Canal Museum tells the story of London’s canals from the days when they were a vital part of the city’s industrial and commercial life through years of decline and abandonment to today’s more leisurely pursuits.Normally £5.00
London Motor Museum
The Museum has a unique collection of classic American Cars that relate to the story of the early motoring experience. Access included with the London Pass.
London Museum of Water and Steam
The London Museum of Water and Steam is recognised as one of the most important historic sites of the water supply industry in Britain. Access included with the London Pass.
Science Museum IMAX
~As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects. Access included with the London Pass.
The Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum was originally one of the first houses in London for abandoned children and housed over 27,000 children before its closure. Access included with the London Pass.