Museums in London
There are over 45 museums in London with no entry charge; both major world class museums and lesser-known quirky museums. Many of these are open 7 days a week (including public/bank holidays).
Whether you are here on vacation or live in London permanently, this page will provide you with an endless array of museums you can visit for free.
The Museum of London
The Museum of London is one of the world's largest urban history museums and cares for over two million objects in its collection. The Museum holds the largest archaeological archive in Europe of this wealth of information.
The Museum of London has nine permanent free galleries, which explore the story of London from prehistoric times to the present day.
The galleries include; London before London, Roman London, Medieval London, Medieval Gallery, War Plague & Fire, Expanding City: 1666-1850s, People's City: 1850s-1940s, World City: 1950s-today, The City Gallery, The Sackler Hall.
Closed 24 to 26 December
Location: 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
The British Museum
The British Museum is one of the worlds greatest museums, showcasing the works of human history and culture from prehistoric to modern times.
The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. From the beginning it granted free admission to all 'studious and curious persons'. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to nearly 6 million today.
The Museum is closed on 1 January, 24, 25, 26 December. The Great Court: Saturday to Thursday, 9am-6pm, Friday 9am-8.30pm (except Good Friday).
Location: Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG
Royal Air Force Museum London
Opened in 1972 by Her Majesty the Queen and situated on the historic site of Hendon's London Aerodrome in Colindale, our North London Museum is the only London attraction to house over 100 aircraft from around the world including some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern day jets and military aircraft.
With free admission plus free interactive and fun activities, including 3D Cinema and Our Finest Hour, this London museum offers entertaining and educational days out for all the family just 30 minutes from Central London.
Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed (last entry 5:30pm)
Location: Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL
Museum of London Docklands
From Roman settlement to Docklands' regeneration, this former sugar warehouse reveals the long history of London as a port through stories of trade, migration and commerce
You can find all sorts of objects from whale bones to World War II gas masks, and galleries including Sailortown, an atmospheric recreation of 19th century riverside London; and London, Sugar & Slavery, which reveals the part the capital played in the transatlantic slave trade.
With ancient finds, unusual objects, fascinating tours and walks, as well as an extensive archive and library, the Museum of London Docklands is one of the capital's hidden gems.
Opening times: (including bank holidays) Closed: 24 to 26 December
The Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is a collection of childhood-related objects and artefacts, spanning the 1600s to the present day. There's lots of things for families and adults to do every day at the Museum.
The collection includes toys - including dolls, dolls' houses, puppets and teddy bears - games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. In addition, the Museum runs a dynamic programme of temporary exhibitions and displays, a wide variety of activities, events and workshops for adults and families, outreach projects in hospitals and the local community, and an award-winning programme for schools.
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December and 1 January every year
Location: Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA »
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology.
Opne Bank Holidays, vut closed 24-26 December.
Location: Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD »
The Science Museum
The Science Museum was founded in 1857 as part of the South Kensington Museum, and gained independence in 1909. Today the Museum is world renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and inspirational exhibitions.
Open bank holidays except 24 to 26 December. Last entry 5:15pm
The National Army Museum
Visit the National Army Museum and find out how Britain's past has helped to shape the present and the future. Discover the impact the British Army has had on the story of Britain, Europe and the world, and see how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many.
Opening times: (including bank holidays), closed 24 - 26 December & 01 January.
Victoria and Albert Museum
As the world's leading museum of art and design, the V&A enriches people's lives by promoting the practice of design and increasing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world.
Opening times: and (Closed 24, 25 and 26 December)
Location: Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL »
The National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum is the world's largest maritime museum, filled with inspirational stories of discovery and adventure at sea. Explore the vast collection and steer a ship into port and fire a cannon at a dastardly pirate ship.
The National Maritime Museum comprises three sites: the Maritime Galleries, the Royal Observatory and the Queen's House. Together these constitute one museum working to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people.
Opening times: (including bank holidays)
Location: Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF »
The Ragged School Museum
The Ragged School Museum is housed in a group of three canalside buildings which once formed the largest "ragged" or free school in London.
The museum was founded to make the history of the Ragged Schools and the broader social history of the East End accessible to all. Within the original buildings, an authentic Victorian Classroom has been set up where each year some 14,000 children experience a school lesson as it would have been taught more than 100 years ago.
The museum has several gallery areas, a reconstructed Victorian Classroom and a Victorian East End Kitchen displaying its own collection of historical artefacts, all designed for hands-on inspection. This is a museum where you can sit at the school desks, use the tin bath and experience what life was like for the Victorian poor of the East End of London.
Location: 46-50 Copperfield Road, London E3 4RR »
The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the wonderful works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. It was bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, in 1897.
Displayed at Hertford House, the main London townhouse of its former owners, the Wallace Collection presents its outstanding collections in a sumptuous but approachable manner which is an essential part of its charm.
It is probably best known for its paintings by artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Hals (The Laughing Cavalier) and Velèzquez and for its superb collections of eighteenth-century French paintings, porcelain, furniture and gold boxes, probably the best to be found anywhere outside France.
Open 7 days a week, including bank holidays, (except 24-26 December).
The Chocolate Museumis an independent museum located in the vibrant area of Brixton.
There are some amazing old images on the wall, some great chocolate moulds, some beautiful chocolate boxes and great images. Sculptures of cocoa goddesses, who the Mayans and Aztecs praised, sit pensively in glass cabinets.
It is a budding organization, half-exhibit and half-shop, that adds another element to chocolate lovers' obsession with the food: the history.
Opening times: and
Location: 187 Ferndale Road, Brixton, London SW9 »
The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
The Petrie Museum houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world.
It illustrates life in the Nile Valley from prehistory through the time of the pharaohs, the Ptolemaic, Roman and Coptic periods to the Islamic period.
Opening times: (closed over Christmas and New Year, Easter and public holidays)
Location: Malet Place, London WC1E 6BT »
The Grant Museum of Zoology
The Grant Museum is the only remaining university zoological museum in London. It houses around 67,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom. Founded in 1828 as a teaching collection, the Museum is packed full of skeletons, mounted animals and specimens preserved in fluid.
Many of the species are now endangered or extinct including the Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine, the Quagga, and the Dodo.