Visit some of London’s top museums for free

A visit to the city of London is never complete without a visit to its many tourist attractions. From its grand palaces to historic landmarks, London is replete with an abundance of places to see and explore. Besides the prominent tourist attractions there are scores of events that take place all year round.

Tourists flock to London all through the year, with summer being the season when there is the largest influx of visitors to the city. The city offers excellent places to stay at like The Montcalm Luxury Hotels, which offer luxury and comfort at a reasonable cost, while being centrally located in the city. For those who are on a tight budget there are ample free places to visit and explore. For those who are nostalgic about the past and are keen to learn more about foreign cultures, it is recommended to visit the free museums in London.

The many free museums in the city offer an eclectic variety of subject matter that captivates the interests of all those who visit. A few of them are:

V & A (Victoria & Albert Museum):

The V&A is one of the world’s finest museums built in honour of Queen Victoria and her royal consort Prince Albert. Its foundation stone was laid by Queen Victoria in 1899. With a stunning 150 galleries spread across seven floors its immense collection features countless objects and items which include, art, paintings, furniture, ceramics, sculpture, textiles and dresses and lots more. Each exhibit is displayed on the basis of age, theme or origin. Prominent among its collection are the Ardabil Carpet, the Luck of Edenhall (13th century glass beaker from Syria), works of Raphael, Italian Renaissance sculpture and much more. Its famous Fashion galleries house royal costumes from the eighteenth-century court to contemporary times; the Photography collection has over 500,000 images and Architecture gallery features plans, models, videos etc. of diverse styles.

The Medieval & Renaissance Galleries are completely refurbished and absolutely stunning to look at. There’s more to come. One of the newest additions is the museum’s ‘Rapid Response Collection’ in Gallery 74, which exhibits contemporary items of architecture and design.

British Museum:

The British Museum is out of the oldest museums in the world. It has a collection that runs into millions of artefacts and objects with only a fraction of them on display at any time. Some of the main attractions are the Lewis Chessmen, The Rosetta Stone, The Elgin Marbles, the colossal granite head of Amenhotep III, Egyptian mummies and the Sutton Hoo ship burial among countless others. The exceptional medieval collection can be seen in the Ruddock Gallery, which features the Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo helmet, the Lycurgus Cup (it changes colour depending upon the light), late Roman mosaics and the Kells Crozier (holy yew wood staff), besides an abundance of other relics.

Enlightenment is a permanent exhibition of life in the 18th century that showcases close to 5,000 objects, which educates visitors about the life and times in the period (mid 18th century to the early 19th century). It was a period when great discoveries were made and also was the time the British Museum came into existence.

Horniman Museum & Gardens:

Frederick John Horniman who was a tea merchant in the Victorian era, had a deep fascination with history and culture. He built up an enviable collection of relics in his lifetsime and in 1901 opened the Horniman Museum. It is an impressive collection of cultural relics, musical instruments and natural history. Since then there have been significant additions to the collection, which is now a whopping 350,000 objects with Horniman’s personal collection being just around 10% of the exhibits. This anthropological treasure trove has over 16 acres of landscaped gardens. There is an aquarium, a permanent gallery exhibiting Brazilian, African and Caribbean art and culture, a natural history gallery with a full size stuffed walrus overlooking it and an interesting collection of approximately 1600 musical instruments. The museum authorities have provided an area where visitors may play some of the instruments. There is an interesting display “At Home with Music”, where there is a collection of historical keyboards displayed, starting from 1555 onwards. There is a nature trail, a hands-on experience for kids to touch objects and regular weekend workshops organized for visitors to the museum. The museum also houses a Nature Base with exhibits which include Horniman’s beehive.

Science Museum:

For those that are of a scientific temperament and want to learn more about the progress of science through the ages the Science Museum is the place to visit. The museum is home to over 300,000 items in its collection which include some very famous items like the first jet engine, a replica of Francis Crick and James Watson’s DNA model, Stephenson’s Rocket, Charles Babbage’s Difference machine, Puffing Billy (the oldest surviving steam locomotive), a collection of the earliest steam engines, the first model of the 10,000-year Clock of the Long Now, among an assortment of other scientific instruments and models. The Science Museum also features hundreds of interesting interactive exhibits.

Wallace Collection:

The 4th Marquess of Hertford Sir Richard Seymour Conway left the house and his personal collection to his illicit offspring Sir Richard Wallace. After Sir Richard’s death his widow handed over the collection to the government. In 1900 the Wallace Collection, as it came to be known opened to the general public in Hertford House, and has remained there permanently since. It is an invaluable collection of an assortment of items which include arms & armour, decorative arts (15-19th centuries), porcelain, Old Masters artwork including French 18th Century paintings and furniture etc. It has 25 galleries where it exhibits its remarkable collection permanently, with there being a stipulation that no object will be taken away from the house.


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