London has no shortage of Museums and Galleries. It can be hard to choose which one to go to! Most Museums and Galleries are free in London so it’s also great for a rainy day, waiting for payday and any other excuse because why not… Here are nine museums you must visit in London.
1. The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is known for having a French 18th Century decorative arts genre and is the largest collection in the United Kingdom. A private collection that was created by Richard Seymour-Conway who left the house and artwork to his illegitimate son Sir Richard Wallace.
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Peyton and Byrne also run a restaurant in the gallery. A perfect spot for some afternoon tea and a break from wandering around the gallery.
2. The Wellcome Collection
The Wellcome Collection has medical antiquities, plus hi-tech modern displays and art. The collection was started by Sir Henry Wellcome who was fascinated by the historical development of medicine worldwide. He travelled lengths to gather the collection that is now on display.
Only a small selection of Wellcome Collection is on display in the ‘Medicine Man’ section of the museum.
3. National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery was the first portrait gallery in the world to open to the public back in 1856. The gallery hosts portraits of historic importance, sculptures, and drawings.
It has expanded the exhibits to a constantly changing selection of contemporary work and stages exhibitions of portrait art by individual artists.
4. Natural History Museum
You can just picture David Attenborough walking the halls and filming one of his documentaries through the grand building. It must be said that it is my favourite museum with the grand architecture, great exhibitions (for example the wildlife photographer of the year and butterflies’ exhibitions) and walking around the halls seeing the dinosaurs.
I recently purchased the yearly pass, it’s not something that I normally do but if you plan to go to exhibitions then it’s totally worth it. For £60 you get a year’s membership with 10 guest passes. When you pay for 2 exhibitions each then you already make your money back.
5. Horniman Museum
I like to think that the Horniman Museum is most famous for the overstuffed walrus. Back in the day when people didn’t really know that walrus have fat rolls…
Slightly further out than central London in Forrest Hill but still easy to get to by the Overground.
6. Museum of London
Learn the history of London from prehistoric to modern times. The museum is in the London Wall and conveniently near sections of the original London Wall. Once you’re done exploring the museum complete the London Wall walk and experience more of historic London.
7. Tate Modern
Tate Modern is one of the four galleries out of the Tate collection in the United Kingdom, the other galleries are Tate Britain, Tate St Ives and Tate Liverpool. As you can tell by the name of the gallery, the gallery displays modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present day.
8. Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
Viktor Wynd’s has an interesting collection and the only museum that has an entry fee on this list. Walking down the steps in the small crowded room you will discover skulls, taxidermy specimens and assorted oddities. The myths about mermaids are real in here with monkeys attached to the bodies of fish.
You can enjoy a cocktail sitting next to a taxidermy lioness with a hat on her head and all the weird cocktails they offer.
9. British Museum
The museum has been around for a while opening its doors to the public in 1759. The British Museum has an extensive collection something along the lines of 8m pieces in human history, art and culture.
What are your favourite museums in London? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian that moved to London in 2013 to start a new adventure. What a roller-coaster that was! I love helping others move to the UK and people explore the world! I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.