Do you like to visit museums whether they are about art, history or science? What’s great about London is that most museums are free, we’ve made a list of the best free museums for you to see.
The National Gallery is the museum with the most impressive collection of artwork, Degas, Da Vinci and many more. The opening hours are Saturday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, located close to the Charing Cross and Leicester Square tube stops. To visit this museum entirely on your own time count 3 hours. You can also take audio-guides for a more complete visit https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/visiting/floorplans/level-2/audio-guide-desks.
Tate modern: With 7 floors of exhibitions of modern artists on themes such as surrealism, abstract art, impressionism and many more… You also have special exhibitions which will be paid for between £15 and £20. Opening hours are Sunday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 are to 10 pm, located close to Southwark and Blackfriars underground stations. Don’t forget to visit the rooftop for a magnificent view of the city. For more information the official website is here https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern
Tate Britain: If you are interested in British art this is the place to go. With beautiful architecture as a bonus, you will have a great time walking through the galleries. You can find exhibitions on specific periods of British art and famous artists. Opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm every day and the nearest underground station is Pimlico. For more information, the official website is here https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern.
The National Portrait Gallery: British culture and history brought together in this museum through portraits. Opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Friday when the museum remains open until 9 pm. The nearest subways are like The National Gallery Leicester Square or Charing Cross. The two museums are in fact side by side so you can take them one after the other. You can find the official website here https://www.npg.org.uk
Victoria & Albert Museum: This museum contains one of the largest collections of art and design in the country, you can find paintings, sculptures, clothes from other times etc… Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm except Friday when it closes at 10 pm. The nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road. You can find more information here https://www.vam.ac.uk
Imperial War Museum: Very playful and suitable for people of all ages, this museum will teach you a lot about history. You will find exhibitions in the First World War and the Holocaust. It is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and the nearest subway stations are Elephant & Castle and Lambeth north. More information on the official website here https://www.iwm.org.uk.
National Maritime Museum: Where the Royal Navy is represented, explorations, discoveries, bravery you can see all the exhibits and learn more about the captains, sailors and technologies used. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, the nearest tube station is Greenwich. For more information please visit the official website here https://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum.
Royal Air Force Museum: Here you can find flight simulators and all important information about the history of aviation. Open daily from 10 is to 5 pm the nearest metro station is Colindale. For more information please see the official website here https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/plan-your-day/map-and-directions.aspx
Natural History Museum: The architecture of the building is impressive, but you won’t be able to see the most impressive part just by walking by. You will find skeletons of animals extinct for thousands of years, stones and fossils, dinosaurs, marine animals. You will never cease to be impressed by what this museum has to offer. If you come to London during the winter you can also enjoy the skating rink. The opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm every day. The nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road. More information on the official website here https://www.nhm.ac.uk.
Science Museum: Biology or astronomy, whichever you choose, you can learn more at the science museum. You’ll find interactive exhibits that remind you of all the progress we’ve made and all the things we’ll be doing in the future. Open from 10 am to 6 pm daily, located close to the Natural History Museum, the nearest subways are South Kensington and Gloucester Road. For more information please see the official website here https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk.
Grant Museum of Zoology: If you are interested in the evolution of animals this is the museum for you to visit. You will find skeletons of gigantic snakes, a collection of animal brains and other new items. Open from Monday to Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm. There are many subways close to the museum and you can choose between Euston Square, Warren Street or Russell Square. For more information the official website can be found here https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/grant-museum-zoology
Wellcome Collection: this museum will change your perception of health, wellness and science. Here you will find medical instruments and art collections to show you how art has affected medicine and health. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm and Thursday until 9 pm. Located next to the Grant Museum of Zoology you can access it by stopping at the following subway stations: Euston Square, Russell Square. For more information please visit the official website https://wellcomecollection.org.
Museum of London: If you want to know more about London, its history over the centuries is the place to visit. Medieval times, under Roman rule until how London became such an important international platform for trade. Open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, located between the Barbican and St Paul’s subway stops. More information can be found here https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london
British Museum: If you’re looking for a glimpse into the history of mankind, you’ll find items from ancient Egypt, ceramics from China and the famous Rosetta Stone. Open daily from 10 is to 5.30 pm and Fridays until 8.30 pm you can get there from Russell Square, Holborn, Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road stations. More information here https://www.britishmuseum.org
There are many, many more free museums in London so don’t hesitate to do your own research. If you would like to discuss museums or history with someone who has visited these museums you can contact native English speakers living in London on our Studenz website in the language exchange section.
Written by: Lisa Lambert, Staff Writer