50 Best Museums in London | 2024 (with Photos)

Mary Adelana

Mary Adelana - Travel Writer

Published: July 3, 2023

Hi there! I'm Mary, an avid explorer and lover of all things London. In my article, "50 Best Museums in London | 2024 (with Photos)," I share my top museum recommendations and expert insights to help you make the most out of your trip to this incredible city.

Best Museums in London, England

Steeped in history and culture, London has a lot to offer. One of the best ways to experience this is by exploring its many museums.

From the iconic British Museum to the very modern Science Museum, there is something for everyone in this breathtaking city. Whether you are interested in art, science, or fashion, London's museums offer a fascinating glimpse into the past, present, and future.

With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. So, we have compiled a list of 50 great recommendations.

The best part about London museums is that many of the exhibitions offer completely free entry.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit the British Museum.

Top Choice Hotel

The Ritz London

Our Top Choice Restaurant


Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife


Best Time to Visit

Spring and summer offer London's best weather.

Average Temperature

Moderate, ranging from 5-20 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

Transportation Options

Underground, buses, taxis, bicycles, ferries, trams, trains, walking.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

London is a city that truly captures the heart and soul of every traveler. The moment you set foot in this vibrant metropolis, you are instantly captivated by its enchanting blend of rich history and modern charm. One recommendation to truly immerse yourself in the essence of London is to wander through the streets of Notting Hill. As you stroll along the iconic Portobello Road, you are greeted by a kaleidoscope of colorful houses and quaint shops, each with its own unique story to tell. Indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of the Portobello Market, where you can find vintage treasures, delicious street food, and live performances that add a touch of whimsy to your experience. Don't forget to top off your visit with a visit to the picturesque Kensington Gardens, where you can relax amidst lush greenery and iconic landmarks, such as the enchanting Kensington Palace. Notting Hill offers a truly authentic and personalized London experience that will leave lasting memories.

Another must-visit recommendation is the world-renowned British Museum, a treasure trove of human history that will transport you across continents and centuries. As you step into the grand Great Court, you are greeted by the awe-inspiring beauty of the museum's architecture, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey. Explore the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece, marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of Chinese porcelain, and be captivated by the mysteries of the Rosetta Stone. Each artifact holds a story, a testament to the diversity and resilience of humanity. Take a moment to absorb the atmosphere and let your imagination wander as you stand before these magnificent relics of the past. The British Museum offers a deeply personal and enriching experience, as you connect with the collective human experience and gain a newfound appreciation for our shared heritage.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Travel adapter for electrical outlets
  3. Comfortable walking shoes
  4. Weather-appropriate clothing
  5. Local currency or credit cards
  6. Maps or navigation apps
  7. Local guidebooks or travel apps
  8. Travel insurance information
  9. Medications or prescriptions, if needed
  10. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories

What Not to Miss

  1. Buckingham Palace
  2. Tower of London
  3. The British Museum
  4. Big Ben
  5. The London Eye
  6. Westminster Abbey
  7. Covent Garden
  8. St. Paul's Cathedral
  9. Trafalgar Square
  10. The Shard

2nd paragraph

  1. Camden Market
  2. Notting Hill
  3. The National Gallery
  4. Hyde Park
  5. The Globe Theatre
  6. Natural History Museum
  7. The Tate Modern
  8. Borough Market
  9. The Victoria and Albert Museum
  10. Harry Potter Studio Tour

What to Avoid

  1. Avoid peak tourist seasons such as July and August when attractions can be overcrowded.
  2. Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas, especially in tourist hotspots like Westminster Abbey and Tower Bridge.
  3. Avoid relying solely on public transportation during rush hours as it can get extremely crowded.
  4. Avoid eating in touristy areas like Leicester Square and instead explore local neighborhoods for more authentic dining experiences.
  5. Be wary of unauthorized street vendors selling counterfeit goods, particularly around popular shopping areas like Oxford Street and Camden Market.
  6. Avoid driving in central London due to heavy traffic and expensive parking fees.
  7. Be cautious in certain nightlife areas, such as Camden and Soho, as they can get rowdy and overcrowded at night.
  8. When visiting historical landmarks, avoid obstructing other tourists by being mindful of your surroundings and following any guidelines or instructions from staff.
  9. Be cautious of booking accommodation too far from the city center, as it can lead to longer travel times and limited access to attractions.
  10. Avoid engaging with aggressive street performers or individuals trying to persuade you into unnecessary activities or services.

1. British Museum

British Museum

In the heart of Central London, the British Museum hosts a vast collection of global art and artifacts spanning two million years of civilization.

Its exhibits include world-famous pieces like the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon Sculptures, as well as Islamic and Asian art.

When you visit the British Museum, you can enjoy its prime location near the bustling shopping district of Oxford Street, making it an ideal stop on any London itinerary.

2. Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Beyond any doubt one of the best museums in London, the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is world-renowned.

This London museum should be on every tourist's list, whether you are interested in nature and science or you just want to have an incredible experience.

With fascinating exhibits and specimens from around the globe, the Natural History Museum is a true marvel to behold.

From the huge whale skeleton in the central hall to the smaller specimens, you are sure to be impressed.

3. The Harry Potter Museum

Harry Potter Museum

All Potter fans will want to get tickets for this fantastic attraction. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is a magical experience. 

Learn about the making of Harry Potter on this behind-the-scenes tour of the film franchise with sets, props, and costumes on display.

4. Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is a top-rated military museum in London. The museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into the world of war and conflict through its vast collection of exhibits and artifacts.

With its fascinating displays and interactive exhibits, the Imperial War Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in military museums and the history of conflict in general.

Starting with the First World War, the museum takes you on a journey that leads to the Second World War and explores the political events and historical figures that shaped our history.

5. Science Museum

Science Museum

One of the best museums in London to the present day, the Science Museum in South Kensington is offering interactive exhibits, educational programs, and a vast permanent collection full of scientific artifacts.

This amazing building boasts seven floors of mind-bending exhibits. This is a great pick for families with kids.

6. Tate Modern

Tate Modern

London's Tate Modern is a world-renowned museum and a part of the museum chain Tate Group, alongside the Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives.

If you love modern and contemporary art, the Tate Modern is unbeatable. Boasting Picasso, Miro, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Dali, Rothko, and Turner paintings, this museum is a haven for art lovers in the UK's capital.

Taking place of the old Bankside Power Station it features in the exhibition space a vast collection of contemporary artworks and modern art by prominent artists from around the globe.

National Gallery

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is a prominent art museum in London, showcasing an extensive collection of British art and serving as a complement to the British Museum.

Check their website to see what's on now before you head to the National Gallery. 

No matter what temporary exhibits they have waiting for you, their permanent collection is also striking, so you cannot be disappointed.

8. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the best Victorian-era museums in London, renowned for its vast collection of decorative art and of industrial design from around the world.

The Victoria and Albert Museum boasts over 3000 years' worth of artifacts from around the world.

9. Museum of London

Museum of London

The Museum of London, located on the London Wall, is a fascinating museum that tells the story of the city from prehistoric times to the modern day.

Explore British art and history at the Museum of London and get to know this incredible city on a deeper level.

10. Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms

A branch of the Imperial War Museums, the Churchill War Rooms is offering a unique opportunity to explore the underground headquarters used by Winston Churchill during World War II that are still standing today.

The Churchill War Rooms are located beneath the streets of Westminster, close to number 10 Downing Street.

11. Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts

For fine art lovers, the Royal Academy of Arts in Burlington House is a perfect choice in London. You will discover works by the likes of William Turner and Tracey Emin.

From its entry hall, the museum exhibits temporary exhibitions of a diverse range of artworks, including contemporary art, sculpture, and historic pieces. Here, you can also enjoy the annual summer exhibition.

12. Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands

The Museum of London Docklands tells the story of London's connection to the River Thames and the history of its docklands. The museum exhibits include interactive displays, artifacts, and works of art that showcase London's rich maritime history.

13. Wallace Collection

Wallace Collection

A stunning museum showcasing a vast array of artworks, the Wallace Collection includes renowned pieces by Titian, Rembrandt, and Velazquez.

Located in Hertford House in Manchester Square, this museum boasts paintings, porcelain, arms, and armor, as well as old furniture and sculptures. Don't miss the opportunity to admire its impressive collection of decorative arts and furniture.

14. Sir John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane's Museum

The Sir John Soane Museum in London is a hidden gem, showcasing the eclectic collection of one of Britain's most famous architects. From ancient artifacts to contemporary artworks, this museum is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture and design.

Sir John Soane designed the Dulwich Picture Gallery and many London buildings.

15. Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising is a museum in London that showcases the history and evolution of branding, packaging, and advertising.

If you decide to visit, you can explore over 150 years of British consumer culture through a collection of over 12,000 items, including iconic brands and their packaging designs.

16. Charles Dickens Museum

The charming Georgian townhouse where the Charles Dickens Museum resides offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and works of the beloved author.

In these very rooms, Dickens wrote some of his most famous novels in the 1830s, including Oliver Twist.

17. Geffrye Museum of the Home

Geffrye Museum of the Home

This is a free London museum located in an 18th-century Grade I-listed former almshouse on Kingsland Road in Shoreditch.

The period rooms, gardens, and exhibits of the Geffrye Museum of the Home offer a unique insight into the history and evolution of domestic life in London.

18. The Cartoon Museum

Cartoon Museum

The Cartoon Museum showcases the best of British cartoons, comics, and caricatures, with a collection spanning from the 18th century to contemporary works.

If you love cartoons and animations, this is a great stop on your London museum tour.

19. Royal Observatory Greenwich

Royal Observatory Greenwich

In the heart of Greenwich, the observatory offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of astronomy and discover the history of timekeeping.

You can also explore the Peter Harrison Planetarium, gaze at views of the River Thames, and learn about how astronomy and navigation go hand-in-hand.

Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery showcases a world-renowned collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.

Located in the lovely Somerset House in Central London, this gallery is world-renowned as an educational and cultural center for arts and learning. Once you've finished exploring the gallery, there are plenty of things to do in Central London.

21. The British Library

British Library

Home to over 170 million items, the British Library preserves rare manuscripts and boasts a historic map room. Beyond that, it includes the world-famous King's Library, assembled by George III.

22. The Jewish Museum

 Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum in London explores Jewish heritage, history, and identity through a unique collection of art, cultural artifacts, and personal stories.

Located in Camden Town, North London, this is a great stop on your way to Camden Market.

23. The Florence Nightingale Museum

Florence Nightingale Museum

Celebrating the life and legacy of the pioneering nurse and healthcare reformer, the Florence Nightingale Museum showcases her contributions to modern nursing and public health in general.

24. The Handel and Hendrix Museum

Handel and Hendrix Museum

A musical bridge over more than two centuries, the Handel and Hendrix Museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into the lives of two musical giants who lived in the same house but at different times.

25. Museum of Freemasonry

Museum of Freemasonry

Exhibiting regalia and artifacts from around the world, the Museum of Freemasonry showcases the history and traditions of the Freemasons.

Based at the Freemasons' Hall in London, the museum houses various Masonic ceremonial objects, jewelry, regalia, ceramics, and more.

26. The Bank of England Museum

 Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England Museum offers an insight into the history of one of the world's oldest central banks, with exhibits on banking, economics, and currency.

27. The Museum of the Order of St. John

Museum of the Order of St. John

The Museum of the Order of St. John explores the history of the order and its work in healthcare, with temporary exhibitions, on medical care, charity, and international humanitarian aid.

28. The Guards Museum

Guards Museum

The history and services of the five regiments of Foot Guards are highlighted in the Guards Museum, featuring exhibits on military campaigns, ceremonial duties, and personal stories.

29. The Garden Museum

Garden Museum

For those of you with a green thumb, the Garden Museum is one of the best museums in London. It celebrates the art, history, and design of gardens and landscapes, with temporary exhibitions both on garden design as well as the people who shaped them.

30. The Foundling Museum

Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum in London celebrates the history of the Foundling Hospital and its role in caring for abandoned children

This museum features artworks donated by famous benefactors, including William Hogarth and Thomas Gainsborough.

31. The Horniman Museum and Gardens

Horniman Museum and Gardens

Situated in Forest Hill, the Horniman Museum and Gardens is a delightful destination for all ages, with extensive natural history exhibits, an aquarium, and an award-winning garden

Don't miss the musical instrument collection!

32. The Wiener Library

Wiener Library

The Wiener Library is a leading research institution dedicated to the study of the Holocaust and the Nazi era

Visitors can explore its vast archive of materials and attend events and exhibitions.

33. The London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden offers a fascinating look into the history of transportation in the city, with interactive displays, exhibits, and vintage vehicles. 

This is a must-visit for transportation enthusiasts.

34. The Household Cavalry Museum

Household Cavalry Museum

The Household Cavalry Museum showcases the ceremonial role of the British Army's two senior regiments, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals

Highlights include the Changing of the Guard ceremony and the opportunity to meet the horses.

35. The RAF Museum

RAF Museum

The RAF Museum showcases the history of British aviation and the heroic efforts of the Royal Air Force. 

Admission is free of charge, though the museum states that donations are always welcome.

36. The National Army Museum

National Army Museum

The National Army Museum showcases the history of the British Army and its role in global conflicts. This museum is located in Chelsea and it also boasts free entry.

37. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret

The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is a unique museum showcasing the history of surgery in a restored 19th-century operating theatre.

38. The Fan Museum

Fan Museum

The Fan Museum in London houses a fascinating collection of decorative fans from around the world, dating back to the 11th century.

39. Design Museum

Design Museum

The Design Museum hosts a dynamic program of exhibitions and events in Holland Park that explore the power of design to shape our world and influence our daily lives.

This is the world's leading museum in contemporary design. From furniture to graphics and everything in between, you can explore the world of design in their permanent and temporary exhibitions.

40. The Royal Mews

Royal Mews

The Royal Mews is a working stable and home to the royal carriage horses and historic carriages used by the British royal family. Located at Buckingham Palace, this truly is a royal attraction.

41. The London Dungeon

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon in the South Bank is a thrilling and interactive attraction that takes visitors on a dark and immersive journey through London's sinister history. This is one of the best London museums for kids.

Clink Prison Museum

Nested in a quiet side street, the Clink Prison Museum is a fascinating attraction that explores the history of one of England's oldest prisons.

Visitors can learn about the conditions of the prison and the stories of its inmates through interactive exhibits and guided tours.

43. The Ragged School Museum

Ragged School Museum

The Ragged School Museum offers a unique and immersive experience of the harsh realities of Victorian life in London's East End.

Visitors can step back in time and explore the recreated classrooms and workshops, as well as learn about the social reformer Dr. Thomas Barnardo who founded the school.

44. The Postal Museum

Postal Museum

The Postal Museum offers a fascinating journey through the history of the postal service in the UK, with exhibits ranging from vintage postboxes to a ride on the underground Mail Rail.

45. The Cinema Museum

Cinema Museum

The Cinema Museum celebrates the history of cinema in the UK and around the world, with displays of film posters, props, and memorabilia, as well as screenings of classic films.

46. The Brunel Museum

 Brunel Museum

The Brunel Museum is dedicated to the work of one of the greatest engineers in history, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Visitors can explore the original Thames Tunnel and learn about Brunel's many innovations.

47. The London Canal Museum

London Canal Museum

The London Canal Museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of London's canals and the boats that once navigated them. This is a hidden gem in London and worth the visit if you have the time.

48. The Grant Museum of Zoology

Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Museum of Zoology is home to over 68,000 specimens from the animal kingdom, including rare and extinct species.

49. The Freud Museum London

Freud Museum London

The Freud Museum London is the former home of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, offering an intimate look at his life and work.

50. The Benjamin Franklin House

Benjamin Franklin House

The Benjamin Franklin House was the London residence of the American founding father. In this museum, visitors can learn about his life, inventions, and diplomatic work.

Now, let's take a look at some frequently asked questions about the best museums in London.

What is the most visited museum in London?

The most visited museum in London is the Tate Modern. After that, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum are the next most frequented museums in London.

Which is better: the British Museum or the Natural History Museum?

The British Museum and the Natural History Museum are two of the most popular museums in London. Which is better depends on what are you looking for. If you want to have an in-depth look into human history, art, and culture, the British Museum is the one for you. Whereas, the Natural History Museum focuses on specimens from various periods of time.

Is the National Gallery in London worth it?

Yes, the National Gallery in London is worth it. With works by Da Vinci, Turner, Picasso, Van Gogh, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, among other greats, the National Gallery is sure to impress any art lovers in London. You might even get to see Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

What is Leighton House, London?

Leighton House was the house of Sir Frederic Leighton, a Victorian artist who was fascinated with Orientalism. The interior of the house resembles a Moorish palace, making this a striking tourist attraction in London.

Summing Up: The Best Museums in London

As you can see, London is a treasure trove of museums and art galleries that offer visitors a glimpse into the city's rich cultural heritage.

From the most famous museums in London, like the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern to hidden gems like the Sir John Soane's Museum, there are endless opportunities to learn about history, culture, and art in the UK's capital city.

So, book your London vacation today, and remember to make time for several museum visits. This is the best way to get out of the rainy weather in England.