A Guide to the Best Free Museums in London
While England’s capital city is better known for how expensive it can be, there are a number of free things to do. In this post, I’m going to share some of the best free museums in London.
Not only are they free, they’re incredible. Seriously just visiting museums is one of my favorite things to do in London. I’ve never seen such beautiful museums as in this city. Since I lived here for the better part of a year, I’ve had time to visit and compare nearly all of them!
Best Free Museums in London
Museum of London
For those interested in London’s history
The first museum I visited in London was the Museum of London. I’ve since visited twice more. I always recommend this museum to anyone who asks me for tips, as it reflects the history of London in such a fun, interactive way and you really get a feel for the city. There’s even an exhibit where they’ve recreated Victorian London. Highly, highly recommend.
V & A Museum
For antiquity lovers
Things that Englishmen were pretty good at throughout history: building colonies, spotting art treasures and then taking them as souvenirs and putting them in their own museum. The V & A Museum was the last of the major museums I visited, but it is so big that I could return a few times.
National History Museum
For natural history buffs
The National History Museum is not only located in a beautiful building (all London museums are), it’s also just as impressive inside. Nature lovers can enjoy themselves here. I especially liked the dinosaur exhibition. Try to avoid the holidays because then the lines go on forever.
For those interested in old art and history
Even if you don’t have time to explore the whole museums, you have to visit the British Museum for a little bit just to see its incredible, modern architecture. While the collections are pretty similar to the V & A Museum, its interior is so unique and looks nothing like its exterior.
To skip the lines at the British Museum, check here, and for a highlights tour, check here.
For modern art lovers
Well, you have to love it. Personally, it is not my thing, but I have been there. Some exhibitions in this museum are paid for, but there are always some for free. There’s also a nice café with a view over London.
Imperial War Museum
For war history buffs
If you’re interested in history, especially wartime history, then you’ll find this museum fascinating. It starts at the entrance where you see several broken cars, and come very close to seeing what war was like for Londoners. This museum has several floors and exhibits about the various wars England was involved in throughout history. I found it very interesting, and will definitely be back again.
Free Museums I Have Yet to Explore
For science lovers
This museum is quite similar to Nemo in Amsterdam. It’s is very interactive, allowing visitors not only to see but also feel what science is, and what it does for our planet.
For art lovers
This museum is not to be missed, because it’s located in the famous Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery has one of the largest collections of paintings in the world if that’s your thing. You’ll find well-known names like Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Vermeer among others.
For a guided tour of the National Gallery, check here.
National Maritime Museum
For those interested in shipping
You just have to go to this museum for its location! It’s in the beautiful Greenwich, one of the nicest districts of London. The National Maritime Museum is the largest marine museum in the country, and possibly even in the world.
For a tour of the National Maritime Museum, check here.
National Army Museum
For those interested in the British army
This museum highlights the history of the British army and the armies of the colonies. In contrast to the war museum, which focuses more on the impact of war on society, this museum focuses mainly on the army.
V&A Museum of Childhood
For those interested in toys
This museum is great for children (and also adults in touch with their inner child!). The museum has one of the largest collections of children’s toys in the world. It is also in Bethnal Green, which is quite close to Shoreditch, another lovely London neighborhood.
What are your favorite free museums in London?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe.