Discover the Best Museums and Art Galleries to visit in London

From ancient history to modern art, London offers a wonderful selection of museums and art galleries to explore. In fact, no visit is complete without checking out a selection of the best museums and art galleries in London, many of them being free for both residents and tourists alike. 

We hope that visitors can enjoy exploring the city with the help of our list below, with many of the best (big and small) museums and art galleries in London.

British Museum

The world-famous British Museum is known for its amazing collection of rare and historic artefacts from around the world, as well as the building’s outstanding architecture. Step into ancient worlds and be in awe of the many sights on offer here. 

Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies. A must-see exhibition is ‘Contemporary collecting, David Hockney to Cornelia Parker’, which is showing until the end of September and highlights a wide range of British-based artists’ drawings and prints on paper. 

Where: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Nearest tube stations: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn

The British Museum, London
British Museum, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

V&A Museum

Founded in 1852, the Victoria and Albert Museum (abbreviated to V&A) is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2 million objects. 

You will find examples of architecture, painting, sculpture, fashion, textiles and ceramics from around the world, so there’s plenty for all to see.

It is also in a great position in South Kensington with easy access to plenty of shops and restaurants, so great for a day out with friends or family.

Where: The V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Nearest tube station: South Kensington

V&A Museum, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Natural History Museum

To explore the most incredible of our planet’s living wonders, make sure to visit the Natural History Museum, also in South Kensington. 

Well-known for its dinosaur (known as Dippy) this was the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world when it was gifted to the Museum in 1905. It was a highlight to walk under this magnificent dinosaur, however it is now displaying a gigantic 25m-long skeleton of a blue whale, known as ‘Hope’.

Inside the striking building, favourites include a Dinosaurs’ gallery and the state-of-the-art Darwin Centre, where you can see hundreds of specimens as well as scientists at work. 

Where: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD

Nearest tube station: South Kensington

Natural History Museum, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Science Museum

Located just moments away from the Natural History Museum, this one area could keep you occupied for hours! 

There really is no end to the exploration kids and adults alike will be able to do here at the Science Museum. Get hands-on at the museum’s interactive galleries and simulators, where you can trace the journey of scientific breakthroughs, visit the in-house IMAX 3D cinema and take a trip deep underwater or zoom high up into space. 

Where: Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD

Nearest tube station: South Kensington

Tate Modern

Situated along the south side of the River Thames and next to the Millennium Bridge, don’t miss the iconic power-station-turned-art-gallery of the Tate Modern.

Housing modern and contemporary art from around the world, see the latest installations and admire works by Picasso, Bourgeois, Warhol, Rothko and more. The Tate Modern is free for entry to the art collection, but booking in advance is recommended for special exhibitions.

Where: Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG

Nearest tube station: Southwark

Tate Modern, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Tate Britain

With a collection displaying 500 years of British art and its many stories and voices, discover much-loved favourites alongside new contemporary artworks at the Tate Britain. From the Pre-Raphaelites to David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Lubaina Himid, Tate Britain is also home to the world’s largest collection of works by JMW Turner. 

Like most of the museums here, entry to the gallery is free and you don’t need to book, although pre-booking a ticket is recommended for special exhibitions.

Where: Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

Nearest tube station: Vauxhall

Tate Britain, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

London Transport Museum

Discover the history of the capital’s transport system at London Transport Museum. Explore the heritage of London and its transport networks, and the stories of the people who have travelled and worked in the city over the last 200 years. You’ll find old tube carriages and iconic Routemaster buses, while exploring the fascinating history of London’s main methods of public transport. 

Kids go free but for adults, a season ticket is required, which offers guests unlimited access throughout the year, before booking your free timed entry slot online.

Where: London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BB

Nearest tube stations: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Holborn

London Transport Museum, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

National Maritime Museum

Chart Britain’s rich naval history at the National Maritime Museum, from sea battles to voyages into the unknown. Among the museum’s free galleries, you can explore Polar Worlds, go on Pacific Encounters, see Turner’s Battle of Trafalgar Gallery, and find unique exhibits such as the uniform Nelson was wearing at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Where: National Maritime Museum, Romney Rd, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NF

Nearest tube station: Greenwich

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Go behind the scenes at Wimbledon, the home of tennis in the UK. Understand its layout by taking a tour of the famous grounds, including centre court, and learn about the players who found fame there. 

Where: Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Church Road, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5AE

Nearest tube station: Southfields

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Charles Dickens Museum

See the building where the great writer himself lived, and the location for where Oliver Twist was written. The Charles Dickens Museum spotlights the real life of a man best known for his fiction, with carefully restored rooms showcasing the museum’s collection of letters, pictures and books, as well as temporary exhibitions.

Where: The Charles Dickens Museum, 48-49 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX

Nearest tube station: Russell Square, Chancery Lane

Fashion and Textile Museum

The pioneering centre of contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery, the Fashion and Textile Museum was founded by colourful British design legend Zandra Rhodes. As well as permanent and temporary exhibitions, it runs courses for creatives.

Where: Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF

Nearest tube station: London Bridge

The Wallace Collection

In the centre of Marylebone, you will find the delights of the Wallace Collection, a historic London townhouse. With 28 beautiful rooms decorated in outstanding art, marvel at 18th century paintings by Titian, Hals and Velázquez, and also 18th-century French treasures – some once owned by Queen Marie-Antoinette.

Where: The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Marylebone, London, W1U 3BN

Nearest tube station: Bond Street

The Wallace Collection, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Keats House

In a lovely position right by Hampstead Heath, Keats House is a Grade 1-listed building and garden, which was the home of the romantic poet John Keats, who lived here for two years. 

The house is now a museum with his paintings, prints, and other objects belonging to him and his peers, with changing exhibitions on Keats and his era.

Where: Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR

Nearest tube stations: Hampstead Heath Overground, Hampstead, Belsize Park

Keats House, Best Museums and Art Galleries in London

Luxury Apartments to rent in London

Kensington Court Apartment Five, W8

The stunning Kensington Court Five luxury apartment is one of six luxuriously private apartments located in one of the most prestigious addresses, directly across the road from Kensington Gardens and Palace and a short walk from the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A.

Accommodating two adults and up to four small children, or three adults and up to two small children, this luxury apartment to rent in London is located on the third floor. Combining the space and authenticity of renting a private home with the service, facilities and security of a five-star hotel, the building includes a gym, resistance plunge pool, and sauna, which are available for use by guests. Other hotel amenities which guests will want to enjoy during their stay include fine dining in the hotel restaurant, brunch or afternoon tea in the chic conservatory or a drink or light meal in the bar, as well as 24-hour room service.

Kensington Court Apartment Five, W8

Half Moon Street Townhouse, W1

Ideal for larger groups of friends or family, the Half Moon Street luxury Townhouse provides the opportunity to reside in your own private residence in the heart of Mayfair, yet enjoy the services of a 5-star hotel. Situated in a beautiful period building in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, on a peaceful residential street, it is just minutes from Green Park, Piccadilly Circus and New Bond Street. 

Converted from 13 Georgian townhouses dating back to 1731, the building also offers hotel rooms, as well as one and two-bedroom apartments, and a three-bedroom apartment. The three-bedroom apartment and the two bedroom garden apartment, together with two hotel suites, make up the Townhouse, which also has a separate entrance and lift access.   

Half Moon Street Townhouse, W1

Little Venice, W9

Little Venice holiday apartments are situated on a beautifully maintained, three acre, communal garden at the heart of Little Venice, one of London’s most desirable residential areas. It is an area which combines a charming ‘village’ atmosphere, with the convenience of being very close to all the main attractions of central London. Set just two streets back from the picturesque Regents Canal, with its colourful houseboats, there are several canal-side restaurants and pubs, and a regular boat trip to and from Camden Town, via Regents Park and the Zoo.

Most of these rental apartments have hardwood floors and are furnished in neutral colours, giving a great sense of space and light. Many directly overlook the gardens, and all have access to the gardens which also have a children’s playground. Extra beds and cots and high chairs for babies can be provided on request.

Little Venice, W9

Looking for the perfect place to stay in the capital? From modern penthouse apartments to central town houses, discover all that this city has to offer in our full collection of London properties to rent.

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