As a history junkie, museums are a must-see destination whenever and wherever I travel. I can spend hours in a museum and read all the descriptions, follow the guide with a million questions and marvel at humanity's incredible intelligence, culture, and history.
If you are like me, I'm sure you had many complaints from your travel buddies that you got lost somewhere and took too much time at a particular section in a museum. So, be warned to choose your partner in crime wisely. Or, simply select a museum everyone will love.
London is a favorite destination of mine when it comes to museums. No matter how many times I go to this beautiful city, I always go to at least one museum. Considering they often change their exhibitions, there is always something new to admire and learn. Also, another thing I love is that most of London's museums are free. Hence why I often go out of my way to visit the museums again and again.
As a city with a long history, London has plenty of museum types. So there is definitely at least one that will pierce your interest. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic plaguing our world since last year, many museums were closed for an infinite amount of time. However, this year cases of COVID-19 are lower, and tourism is rapidly increasing again. London will probably never be the same because of COVID-19 in many ways, but some things can't change. Nobody can take away culture, history, or art.
Whatever's the case, continue reading on for the top must-see museums in London!
Are London's Museums Open for 2021?
London was affected by COVID-19 tremendously. As someone present during the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 in London, I assure you it was not a pleasant experience. Mainly because I got myself locked in a foreign country and only traveled back home almost two years later. Seeing the streets of London eerily empty felt like living in an apocalyptic movie.
For over a year, most attractions in London were closed. That included all the museums, theatres, galleries, gardens, and palaces. However, in spring 2021, most museums and London attractions opened again to the public. Needless to say, they are open, but they are still working according to the restrictions and measures taken by the British government against COVID-19.
Unfortunately, not all museums are open to the public yet, but many share their new exhibitions online for everyone. To make it easier for you, here is a list of the best museums in London that are open for 2021 and are free. Like many other tourist attractions, shops, and eateries, museums have a restrictive number of people allowed at a time. Thus, before going to a museum, it is best to book tickets in advance. Especially considering London is a popular destination, be sure to check availability. Nevertheless, these are the top five museums in London that I believe anyone would love.
The British Museum
Frankly, the British Museum is a heavenly land for museum lovers. This is the place to explore the most significant accomplishments of humankind, from a medieval Scottish chessboard with detailed figurines made by walrus ivory and whales' teeth to delicate wine jars from ancient Greece. The museum's exhibitions constantly change in order to showcase as many fantastic collections as possible. Furthermore, they often have a specific topic to marvel at humanity's transition from ancient times till today through art.
Currently, the British Museum exhibits the collection "Desire, love and identity" to show to the world LGBTQ+ stories from the beginning of time until today. It is the perfect collection to show to the world that love is love and diversity is integral to the human condition.
Natural History Museum
I always found nature extremely fascinating. There are millions of bizarre and often scary events happening in the environment. Thus, the Natural History Museum is definitely the best museum to understand and learn more about our planet and its complicated ways of functioning. It is a museum loved both by adults and children since it has terrific educational sections for all. Also, even though dinosaurs are usually loved by kids, I am beyond excited to learn more about the Jurassic period as an adult woman.
So, if you are like me, you bet you will love your time at this incredible museum. Furthermore, many other exhibitions showcase Earth's various periods, functions such as earthquakes and volcanoes, the evolution of animals and humans, and others. Currently, an exciting exhibition is Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature. It is an exhibition where the magical world intertwines with the real world. So, if you are also a fan of the Harry Potter series, you will surely love it.
Victoria and Albert Museum
For people with artistic interests, then V&A Museum is your top destination. The creative flavors of art, design, and performance of the museum are exquisite. Since the beginning of civilization, humans have favored art by creating incredible textiles, unique pottery, and later great dramas and theatres.
Here you will be able to explore permanent collections of more than two million pieces that have a span of five thousand years of human creativity. Some of the collections are resources and studies of architecture, furniture, fashion, photography, sculptures, jewelry, and books. So, whether you are interested in classical Italian opera, ancient Greek tragedies, or modern and alternative sculptures, you will definitely get immersed in this museum's exhibitions.
As a child, I loved chemistry classes for the simple reason all the experiments would leave me awed. It was so exciting to see how I could change the color of different liquids, how I could create fireworks or simply explode things. Nowadays, technology is getting better and better, and sometimes I feel children can quickly become experts in robotics. At the science museum, you will have the chance to get immersed in a world of codes, experiments, robots, medicine, or even our climate.
The museum has several exhibitions to represent the history of science and technology over the years. But it also has educational programs, presentations, and talks on environmental issues and climate change. It is the best choice for an adventure through the fascinating history of science and gaining new knowledge of current technological advances to make our world better.
Museum of London
The beauty of museums is getting the opportunity to gain new knowledge about new places, nations, extraordinary people, empires, or societies. When visiting a new city, I recommend visiting a museum that will allow you to learn more about the city's history, culture, and lifestyle. Thus, if you are a die-hard fan of museums and London, the Museum of London is a must-visit. The largest urban museum in the world will surely give you memorable experiences.
You will have a visual tour of London's greatest and worst moments throughout history. Starting from prehistoric events until recent events that shocked the entire world. Learn of the women's mighty fight for their right to vote, the stories of London's people during the great plague, and the industrial revolution in the 1700s that changed the world forever.
This is the perfect museum to get a better image of London's evolution.
Plan a museum-filled trip to London with Pilot!
Museums are an excellent way to gain new knowledge, understand humanity's history, and learn about other cultures. London is a massive city with beautiful landscapes and countless historical places to visit. Still, while traveling, they are certainly a good accompaniment with other tours to get a complete image of a city. Make sure you check out our London's hostel guide or places to stay in London while you're here!
Can't travel yet but would love to visit museums? Did you know that you can do just that in the comfort of your own home with virtual tours? Check out these top museums around the world offering virtual experiences to satisfy museum lovers!
In order to create the best plan for your visit to the beautiful capital of England, make sure you give Pilot a try!