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Best London museums and top art galleries you can explore for free

London museum

   Main View of London

When it comes to London museums, there are plenty of options on offer for visitors. You will readily find famous museums in London that offer the right blend of history and culture across fascinating exhibitions and artefacts. 

Of course, some of London’s biggest streets and cultural destinations are located conveniently in the heart of the city, offering access to family-friendly tourism attractions and other sightseeing hotspots as well. Here’s looking at the best free museums in London that you can consider (including art galleries). 

Explore the 11 best free museums and top art galleries in London

Here are some of the London museums worth exploring if you were wondering what to see for free in London. 

1. British Museum

Front Image of British museum in London

British Museum in London

One of the biggest landmarks in the city, the British Museum is where you can easily view free exhibitions in London. The iconic attraction traces humankind’s history throughout the world, with its permanent collection including the Parthenon sculptures and the Rosetta Stone among others. 

Location: Bloomsbury (Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG)

Timings and Ticket Prices: 

  • Daily- 10.00-17.00 (till 20.30 on Friday)
  • Tickets are free for museum entry 

Getting There: 

  • Bus routes- New Oxford Street (1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242), Southampton Row (59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188), Tottenham Court Road/Gower Street (14, 29, 24, 73, 134, 390)
  • Tube- Tottenham Court Road (5 minutes walk), Russell Square (7 minutes walk), Holborn (7 minutes walk), Goodge Street (8 minutes walk)

Nearby Attractions: Natural History Museum, Westminster Abbey 

2. National Gallery

main building of National Gallery in London

National Art Gallery of London

There is always a huge rush for national galleries in London, with this landmark containing 2,000+ paintings from the Middle Ages till the 20th century. You can view fascinating free art exhibitions in London along with works of masters like Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Van Gogh and Botticelli. 

Location: Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN

Timings and Ticket Prices: 

  • Entry is free to view the collection. 
  • Daily timings- 10 AM to 6 PM (till 9 PM on Friday)

Getting There: 

  • Westminster station is the nearest tube station on the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. 
  • Buses connecting to the landmark are 12, 24, 453 and 88. 

Nearby Attractions: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, British Museum, Tower Bridge

3. Natural History Museum

the building of Natural History Museum in London

National History Museum

The Natural History Museum is a one-stop landmark to see stunning architecture and free art exhibitions in London. It houses 80 million items across five major collections, mainly mineralogy, botany, entomology, zoology and palaeontology. It is a research hub that specialises in identification, taxonomy and conservation. The exhibits in the collections date back billions of years. It is a child-friendly attraction that is worth exploring for tourists. 

Location: Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Timings and Ticket Prices: 

  • Opens daily from 10.00-17.50
  • This London museum ticket prices are free, with members getting access to paid exhibitions and other discounts 

Getting There: 

  • South Kensington is the nearest tube station, just 5 minutes away on foot from the main entrance. Trains from the District, Piccadilly, and Circle lines stop at South Kensington. 
  • The Gloucester Road station is only 12 minutes away on foot from the entrance on Cromwell Road. 
  • Multiple bus routes are passing near the museum along with a drop-off point for coach travel outside the Cromwell Road main entrance. 

Nearby Attractions: Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Clockmakers’ Museum

4. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussads

Madame Tussauds Museum

One of the biggest landmarks that you can visit with a London pass, Madame Tussauds is one of the world’s most famous museums, housing 150+ lifelike figures that are amazingly lifelike. The collection spans leading figures, including the Royal Family, celebrities, cultural and music icons and more. It is home to seven zones with attractions like the Marvel Universe 4D, Chamber of Horrors and more. It is one of the best child-friendly museums near me that you will discover in London. 

Location: Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LR

Timings and Ticket Prices: 

  • The daily timings are 10 AM to 3 PM
  • Ticket prices are around £33 per adult 

Getting There: 

  • The Baker Street tube station is two minutes away on foot
  • The Marylebone station is a 10-minute walk away
  • Bus routes include 2, 13, 27, 18, 30, 113, 74, 139, 205, 189, 453 and 274

Nearby Attractions: SEA Life, London Eye 

5. Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria Albert Museum

  Victoria and Albert Museum 

One of the top things to do in London for free is at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum. It contains 145 galleries with collections covering 5,000 years of art. This encompasses the entire timeline from ancient history till today, spanning North America, Europe, North Africa, Asia and more. The museum started its journey in 1852 as a Museum of Manufactures, while the foundation stone was laid in 1899 by Queen Victoria. 

Location: Cromwell Road, London SW72RL

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • Daily timings are 10.00-17.45 (till 22.00 on Friday)
  • Admission is free

Getting There: 

  • South Kensington is the nearest underground station (5 minutes on foot), along with Gloucester Road (10 minutes on foot). 
  • Multiple bus routes pass through the area, while bike-hire facilities are available at Thurloe Place and Exhibition Road. 

Nearby Attractions: Westminster Abbey, British Museum, Buckingham Palace 

6. Guildhall Art Gallery London

Guildhall Art Gallery London

GuilHall Museum

One of the finest London museums and art galleries, it showcases the stunning collection of the City of London. It is situated in the Moorgate area showcasing an attractive semi-Gothic architectural style. Free guided tours are easily accessible, including the Roman Amphitheatre and exhibits that showcase London’s past and Pre-Raphaelite works. 

Location: Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • The timings are 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Admission is free 

Getting There: 

  • The nearest subway station is 13 minutes away (Cannon Street station circle)
  • There are bus routes via Trafalgar Square/Charing Cross 
  • Trains are available via Charing Cross

Nearby Attractions: City of London Police Museum, London Wall 

7. National Army Museum

National Army museum

National Army Museum 

The National Army Museum is one of the famous museums in London and the central landmark of the British Army. It is situated next to the Royal Hospital in Chelsea and offers fascinating tours for visitors. It has the world’s biggest and most important collection of items related to the British Army and other British Crown Land Forces. There are 100,000+ archives, 58,000 printed books and periodicals, 10,000 photographic collections and more. 

Location: Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HT

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • The timings are 10 AM to 5.30 PM (timings maybe 4 PM or 4.30 PM on some days)
  • Entry is free for visitors 

Getting There: 

  • The Sloane Square tube station is a 10-minute walk away
  • The Victoria train station is a 20-minute walk away 
  • Visitors can avail the 170 bus route outside the museum
  • A 15-minute walk will take you to the Battersea Power Station Pier

Nearby Attractions: Churchill War Rooms, Imperial War Museum, Westminster Abbey, HMS Belfast 

8. Tate Museum London 

Tate Museum London

Tate Museum in London

Tate Modern is one of the best places to view free exhibitions in London and is an iconic art gallery with the national collection of contemporary art of the United Kingdom. The timeline is after 1900 onwards and the museum is part of the reputed Tate Group, which includes Tate Liverpool, Tate Britain and Tate St Ives. You can view works by masters like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Yayoi Kusama. 

Location: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • Admission is free for visitors 
  • Timings are 10.00-18.00

Getting There: 

  • The 40, 63, 100, 381 and 344 bus routes pass nearby
  • The Blackfriars station is 300-800 metres away, depending on the exit while other nearby stations include Waterloo, Cannon Street and London Bridge
  • Nearby tube stations include Southwark (600 metres), St Paul’s (1,100 metres) and Blackfriars (800 metres)

Nearby Attractions: Westminster Abbey, Lambeth Palace, Parliament Square 

9. Sir John Soane’s Museum London

Sir John Soane's museum in London

Sir John Soane's Museum in London

Sir John Soane’s Museum is one of the best London museums with a fascinating collection of the noted architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837). Key attractions include a limestone sarcophagus of Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I and a Picture Room showcasing magnificent artwork. 

Location: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • Entry is free for visitors 
  • Timings are 10 AM to 5 PM (Monday and Tuesday closed)

Getting There: 

  • The nearby tube stations are Holborn and Temple
  • Bus routes passing nearby include 68, 59, 1, 168, 243, 188, X68 and 521
  • Nearby bike docking stations for Santander Cycles are Portugal Street and Sardinia Street 

Nearby Attractions: British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey 

10. Churchill War Museum London

Churchill War Museum London

Churchill War Museum in London

One of the most famous museums in London, it is known for its historic Cabinet War Rooms underground complex. It once had a command centre of the British Government during the Second World War and for the Churchill Museum as well. This is a biographical landmark that explores Winston Churchill’s life and incredible journey. The War Rooms are a part of the Imperial War Museums and give you a chance to view the wartime bunker that gave shelter to Churchill and his team at the time of the Blitz. 

Location: King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • Daily timings are 9.30 AM to 6 PM
  • Entry is free for visitors 

Getting There: 

  • The London Charing Cross station is 12 minutes away on foot
  • The nearest tube station is Westminster which covers the Circle, District and Jubilee lines

Nearby Attractions: Westminster Abbey, British Museum, Tower Bridge 

11. National Science Museum

National Science Museum

National Science Museum in London

One of the popular museums in London is the National Science Museum which is located in South Kensington and was founded in 1857. It draws millions of visitors every year.

Location: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

Timings & Ticket Prices: 

  • Daily timings are 10.00-18.00
  • Visitors can expect free entry to the museum 

Getting There: 

  • South Kensington is the nearest tube station (5 minutes away on foot) while the Gloucester Road tube station is a 15-minute walk away 
  • Nearby bus routes include 74, 70, 49, 14, 414, 360, 345, 430 and C1
  • A coach drop-off point is situated on Exhibition Road with nearby coach parks at Bayswater Road, Warwick Road and Park Lane. 

Nearby Attractions: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace 

There are numerous London museums and art galleries that you can visit for free on your trip. They are well-connected to several nearby landmarks in the city and some of them are also great options for children. Check out the list above and plan your visits accordingly. For the best options, consider booking through TheSqua.re, which offers a diverse selection of rental apartments in London. Begin planning your dream getaway today by securing a furnished apartment with TheSqua.re, and get ready to enjoy all the excitement and beauty this vibrant city has to offer. To learn more, check out TheSqua.re London serviced apartments

 

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2 Comments

timothyferriss
timothyferriss
Exploring these museums and galleries will provide a deep dive into history, art, and retro bowl science, making your London visit enriching and memorable.

Timothy Ferriss
Timothy Ferriss
Exploring these museums and galleries will provide a deep dive into retro bowl history, art, and science, making your London visit enriching and memorable.

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