Visit London’s best museums to learn about the city’s rich culture and history
London is renowned for hosting some of the top museums in the world, each one a testament to the city’s vast cultural and historical tapestry.
Whether you're intrigued by wartime history or the evolution of toys and advertising, the London Pass boasts an extensive list of museums in London, ensuring there's something captivating for everyone.
Explore the Best London Museums with the London Pass®
The London Pass® is your gateway to explore the rich diversity of museums across the city. From the museums in central London to those that are uniquely cool museums in London, this pass is your all-access ticket to cultural enlightenment and historical discovery.
To make the most of your visit, consider planning your itinerary with a comprehensive London museums list, ensuring you don't miss out on hidden gems and celebrated institutions alike.
With the London Pass®, you can curate your own personal museum trail, taking you from the heart of London's history to the forefront of modern art and beyond.
Museums in central London
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.
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.
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.
The final home of Sigmund Freud, the Freud Museum offers insight into the famed psychoanalyst. Enjoy attraction access with your London Pass®.
Cool museums in London
Looking for something unconventional? The following are some of the coolest museums in London, offering quirky and engaging exhibits off the typical tourist trail.
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 Chelsea FC Museum, the Arsenal FC Museum and Twickenham World Rugby Museum. 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. Access is included with the London Pass.
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 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 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.
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. Access is included with the London Pass.
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.
~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 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.
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.
As one of the best London museums, the British Museum presents an unparalleled historical journey, housing artefacts that span two million years of human history.
Access to the permanent collection is free, offering a window into global cultures and ancient civilisations.
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.
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.
5 Interesting Facts About Museums in London:
1. The Museum of London is made up of three separate museums: the main museum at the Barbican complex, the Docklands Museum, and the Museum of London Archaeology.
2. The British Museum is the oldest museum in the world, founded in 1753.
3. The British Museum has over eight million artifacts from every continent in the world.
4. The Museum of London was created by an act of Parliament in 1965 and brought together the collections of two well-established museums, the Guildhall Museum and the London Museum.
5. London has many unique museums beyond the popular ones like the British Museum and the London Transport Museum, such as the Vagina Museum and the London Canal Museum.
The diversity and richness of London's museum scene, from the history of the city itself to the many unique and specialized museums that can be found throughout the city.