Let’s just start this post by clarifying, most of the museums in London are free. I think this is incredible, because art & culture should be shared with everyone. I’ve skipped many of the major museums of the world, for fear of seeing ONE famous panting and being bummed I spent $25 to do so (cough, cough…. Mona Lisa at the Louvre). But I digress.
London is chock full of museums, more than you could ever see during a week-long visit. And in my opinion, it has some of the best, most diverse museums in the world! Even if you’re not a museum person, keep these on your radar if you’re caught in a storm or need to warm up.
Here are five (technically six!) of my favorites & they’re all free.
Location: Charring Cross tube station (Trafalgar Square)
This might be my favorite “traditional” museum in the world. It has so many different paintings from the 13th-19th century, and a little something for everyone. I also love the National Gallery because of the beautiful fountains out front in Trafalgar Square. It’s a great place to sit and drink a coffee while you people watch. Some noteworthy artists include Monet, van Gogh, Rembrant, Michelangelo, Botticelli, da Vinci, and more.
Location: South Kensington tube station
A little less traditional, the V&A is focused on fashion and design. They have famous fashion designers collections displayed from time to time and they’re so cool! If you aren’t one for paintings but also don’t understand modern art, this is a museum you can get behind.
And I included the Natural History Museum because it’s right next door. Anyone who is into dinosaurs, bugs, butterflies and more will love this. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, it’s really interesting and worth a browse! I’ve never been to the AMNH in NYC… but I don’t think I’ll pay the price tag, because the NHM is great.
Location: St Paul’s or Blackfriars tube stations & walk across the Millennium Bridge
To be completely honest, I don’t always understand modern art. At all. What really sold me on this museum was its location (at the end of the pedestrian bridge & looks down over St Paul’s Cathedral, just gorgeous!), and the paintings Rothko was commissioned to do for the Four Seasons & instead, he donated to the pieces to the Tate Modern. So cool.
Location: Tottenham Court Road tube station
The British Museum is going to offer a lot of ancient history – truly. Instead of paintings, think of specially curated artifacts from all over the world. History at its finest.
Location: St Paul’s tube station
If you’re into London or British history at all, this is the place for you. There’s so much cool stuff here, as well as rotating pop culture exhibits (currently it’s Sherlock Holmes & Pattington Bear). It’s a favorite.
I might be a little bias, but London is the BEST! These museums are so well done, and don’t rely on ticket sales. Amazing!
Have you visited any of these museums during your travels? Which one is your favorite? Did I leave any of the greats out?