Free culture on your doorstep
London is crammed with culture and heritage, so why not take a day to explore one of the many fantastic museums and galleries dotted around the capital?
Take a look at some of the best from all over the city...
Visit the Young V&A museum for imaginative play and design, not just for kids but for young people too. Located in Bethnal Green, the museum is reopening soon so you can explore the new collections and exhibits which are bound to inspire creativity. The first exhibit is Japan: Myths to Manga - embark on an immersive journey through Japanese history that delves into the impacts of landscape and folklore on the country's culture, technology, and design.
Opening 1st of July 2023!
This museum aims to look back at how we live our lives to live better together in the future. Check out the living habits of humans centuries ago and see the journey of how we managed to get where we are today. Currently on exhibit is Almshouse 14 Tours and see what it was like to live in Hackney 200 years ago. It's not just interiors either, there are the Gardens Through Time which shows off how city gardens have developed through the years.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10:00 - 17:00
The Natural History Museum is one of London's most popular attractions. There are plenty of collections to tickle every interest including dinosaurs, oceans, wildlife and much more! Entry is free but you do have to book in advance. You have to come here at least once!
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 17:50
Travel through a free one-way route through over 50 galleries giving you an insight into human history spanning 2 million years! Learn about different periods of cultural history including Ancient Greece, the Romans and the Egyptians. The British Museum also captures the stories of continents such as the Americas, Africa and Europe.
There are paid exhibitions that take place throughout the year too that are only available for a fixed time so make sure you don't miss out on those. Whether you're going to the free displays or paid ones you need to book in advance.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 17:00
Are you an art or design student looking for some inspiration for your projects? Or even just have a keen interest in the subject? Well, you NEED to visit the Victoria & Albert Museum. This is the world's leading museum for art, design and performance, housing a collection of over 2 million objects. Here you'll be able to see marvellous varieties of ceramics, fashion, designs, jewellery and much more. Entry is free - all you need to do is book in advance!
Opening hours: Weds-Sun: 10:00 - 17:45
The interactive galleries on offer at the Science Museum make learning about science fun, and give its visitors an immersive experience. You can have a go on huge friction slides, see lightning strike right before your eyes and even fly a red arrows plane in the 3D simulator. There's also an IMAX Cinema on site so you can watch a film on a massive screen too during your visit. Entry to the museum is free, but the interactive galleries are £9 for a day pass.
Opening hours: Term time - Weds-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
School holidays - Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 1800
The Tate Modern is Britain's national museum for modern and contemporary arts and displays works from all over the globe. The converted power station in Bankside is definitely a must-visit whilst in London, allowing you to see pieces by some of the world's most famous artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Dali and Warhol. You'll need to book a time slot in advance for both the free stuff and the paid exhibitions.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
The majestic exterior of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square sets the tone for the masterpieces you'll see inside, with historical paintings from household names of the art scene like Van Gogh and Rembrandt displayed. The Gallery showcases the best European pieces dating from the middle ages all the way up to the 19th century, and has over 2,300 paintings inside its doors. Book online for free.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
While the Museum of London is closed (due to refurbishment, opening back up in 2026), its sister site in the Docklands is open and has plenty on offer. One of the current highlights is a fascinating exploration of the often-overlooked history of Indian indenture in the British Caribbean, told through the compelling real-life stories of migrants who experienced it firsthand. You can also experience all of their permanent exhibits which cover the docks, nautical life in early London and the trade on which the city was built.
Opening hours: Weds-Sun: 10:00 - 17:00
If you're looking for a cost-friendly and fun day out then you can't go wrong with one of these museums!
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