Best Museums In London For 2024

Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, or simply curious about the world around you, it's safe to say that London reigns supreme when it comes to cultural institutions, showcasing everything from ancient relics to quirky curiosities galore. With over 170 scattered across the city and a hefty portion offering free admission, it's safe to say we've got a museum for every interest under the sun. Here's our rundown of the best museums in London that will leave you inspired, enlightened, and maybe even a little wiser. 


The British Museum

The British Museum is a beacon of human history, art, and culture, boasting a permanent collection of a staggering eight million works which bring in millions of visitors annually. Don't let the name fool you, this colossal institution isn't just fixated on British history; instead, it offers a deep dive into the entirety of human achievement, spanning from prehistoric times to the glory days of Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Beyond the breathtaking atrium lies a treasure trove of galleries with artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone, Pantheon Marbles, and over 120 mummies. Looking for a restaurant nearby? Head to Bloomsbury Street Kitchen to indulge in Mediterranean and Japanese tapas as well as an imaginative aperitivo hour in a chic setting.

British Museum London | DesignMyNight

The British Museum is a true titan of history that is free to enter, so you can save your extra pounds for souvenirs.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The ultimate playground for fashionistas and design aficionados, the Victoria and Albert Museum houses a heap of global art, heirlooms, and sculptures. From ancient Chinese ceramics to South Asian and Middle Eastern treasures, its collections span centuries and continents. Venture through its seven floors, housing over 150 galleries, each brimming with unique goods to spend hours exploring. While general admission to the permanent collections is free, there's a fee for special exhibitions; but trust us, they're worth it. P.S. Don't forget to recharge in cosy Kensington pub (and Jack The Ripper's favourite drinking spot) Hereford Arms – perfect for an afternoon booze break. 

Victoria & Albert Museum London | DesignMyNight

Prepare to be amazed by a collection that traverses the globe and the ages at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Tate Modern

As one of the world's premier contemporary art galleries, Tate Modern draws millions of visitors annually, offering a priceless artistic experience that won’t cost you a penny. A mecca for creativity and innovation, this cultural institution stands as a sanctum for global artistry. It spans over five centuries, showcasing everything from Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces to Henry Moore's sculptures and an invaluable picture library housing rare sketches. The sprawling Turbine Hall sets the stage for incredible installations featuring works by renowned artists like Cézanne, Picasso, and Warhol. Craving something red after all that art? The Boot And Flogger is the perfect afternoon spot with an excellent selection of wine and nibbles.

Tate Modern Museum London | DesignMyNight

No trip to the capital is complete without a tour of Tate Modern, one of the best free museums in London.

The Wallace Collection

We can't think of a better day out than one immersed in art, and what other place than The Wallace Collection to satisfy your cultural cravings? Founded by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, this national museum showcases a treasure trove of centuries-old European, Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, as well as French art from the 18th and 19th centuries. Decked out with elaborate gilding and wall silks within Hertford House in Manchester Square, its 28 rooms feature an impressive array of paintings, sculptures, furniture, armour, and porcelain. Highlights include classics by renowned artists such as Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, and Velázquez. On the lookout for a stunning eatery nearby? Ping Pong St. Christopher's Place is a dim sum delight serving delicious dumplings and unique Asian beers.

The Wallace Collection Museum London | DesignMyNight

Open to the public and free to enter, The Wallace Collection is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Natural History Museum

Nestled in South Kensington's free museum district, the Natural History Museum is renowned as London's leading museum of nature, boasting a staggering 80 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, rocks, and minerals. Have a snoop around its halls and encounter animatronic dinosaurs, a life-sized foetus model, a dodo, a giant sequoia tree, an earthquake simulator, glow-in-the-dark crystals, and various other captivating exhibits. Hungry? There are plenty of great restaurants nearby. Grab a bite to eat over at The Duke Of Clarence on Old Brompton Road; we'd recommend a sizzling plate of one of their juicy steaks.

Natural History Museum London | DesignMyNight

As a top-tier research institution, the Natural History Museum offers unparalleled insights into the natural world.

Museum Of Brands

Taking you on a journey through time, the Museum of Brands is conveniently located just around the corner from Portobello Road Market. Founded in 1984 by Robert Opie, the museum's Time Tunnel exhibition dives into the evolution of well-loved brands over the past 150 years through a maze of cabinets brimming with multicoloured relics. With over 12,000 items on display, including vintage cereal boxes, classic Coca-Cola bottles, British staples like Cadbury and Marmite as well as nostalgic toys, this unique experience offers a captivating glimpse into the history of branding in Britain. And when you want to take a break from museum-hopping, make your way to When Abby Met Claud for a French toast-induced brunch coma in gorgeous surroundings.

Museum Of Brands London | DesignMyNight

Visit the Museum of Brands and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of branding in Britain.

National Portrait Gallery

Best London museums, you ask? Sitting snugly on the corner of Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery is home to the world's most extensive collection of portraiture. Founded in 1856, this iconic museum brings Britain's history to life through art. Showcasing over 220,000 works, with paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, and prints dating from the 8th century to today, visitors can explore the rich tapestry of British culture and heritage, from extravagantly adorned Tudor royals to contemporary snapshots of celebrities. Afterwards, swing by The Admiralty afterwards to refuel with a pint of Guinness and maybe a steaming plate of fish and chips to munch on overlooking the iconic London square.

National Portrait Gallery | DesignMyNight

Discover the stories behind the faces at the National Portrait Gallery, where each image uncovers a chapter of Britain's history.

London Transport Museum

Whether you're a transit enthusiast or simply curious about London's rich travel history, dive into the world of transportation at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. From vintage red Routemaster buses to the earliest tube carriages, immerse yourself in a journey through time. Marvel at iconic vehicles, including the world's first underground steam train, and explore the intricacies of design with exhibits showcasing pioneering advertising posters and artworks. For a well-deserved post-museum treat, head to The Petersham, a serene oasis adorned with fresh flowers offering a luxurious dining experience focusing on the finest seasonal produce.

London Transport Museum London | DesignMyNight

Onne of the best art museums in London, London Transport Museum offers all visitors a fascinating and interactive experience.

Imperial War Museum

Nestled in the historic grounds of the former Bethlem Royal Hospital stands the Imperial War Museum. Here, naval guns flank the entrance, setting the scene for a journey through the tumult of British conflicts across generations and nations. From the trenches of World War I to the horrors of the Holocaust, the museum's permanent galleries paint a vivid picture of the human cost of conflict. As you traverse its six floors, encounter a gold mine of artefacts, from uniforms and photographs to vehicles, each with a poignant tale to tell. Need a breather? Make your way to The Hercules on Kennington Road to revel in a gorgeous range of craft beers and spirits to revitalise and recharge.

Imperial War Museum London | DesignMyNight

Imperial War Museum's exhibits delve into the human experience of battle from World War I to the present day.

Fashion and Textile Museum

Founded by iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes, the Fashion and Textile Museum is housed in an architecturally stunning building designed by Ricardo Legorreta. Unlike traditional museums, it doesn't house permanent exhibits; instead, it offers a rotating roster of temporary displays curated to shed light on various aspects of contemporary fashion and textiles. Past showcases have explored themes such as knitwear and Riviera fashion while also celebrating the work of influential designers like Orla Kiely, Mary Quant, and Terence Conran. And if you fancy making a day of it? Head to The Breakfast Club London Bridge for delicious home-cooked pancakes and a full English breakfast date with your gal-pals.

Fashion & Textile Museum London | DesignMyNight

Drenched in a vibrant shade of neon orange, the Fashion & Textile Museum is a lively hub for creativity and learning.

Science Museum

A playground for the curious and one of the best museums in London for kids, the Science Museum was founded in 1857 and packs a punch, boasting seven floors with hands-on exhibits, quirky inventions, and shiny gadgets galore. Dubbed the ultimate science and tech hotspot in Europe, it houses over 15,000 super cool objects, including astronaut Tim Peake's space module and a real chunk of the Moon. And guess what? Entry is completely free. Lightning strikes, giant slides, and a Red Arrows jet simulator await. Plus, once you've had your fill of all the gizmos, Steak And Company Gloucester Road is a no-brainer for succulent pieces of meat served in a low-lit, swanky setting.

Science Museum London | DesignMyNight

Ever seen a slice of a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet? Now's your chance; head to the Science Museum for all that and more.

Looking for more cultural fun in London? This guide to immersive art exhibitions should give you some inspiration. Otherwise, sign up to our newsletter to get all the latest sent straight to your inbox.