10 Best & Free Museums in London You Can't Miss! [2024]

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10 Best & Free Museums in London You Can't Miss! [2024]
Admission costs often keep people from visiting museums and art galleries while traveling. But what if I told you they were free? There are several London museums to explore—all at no cost! Save this guide to the best free museums in London for your next trip to the UK!
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Plenty of free museums in London offer many no-cost exhibits, so you won't need to spend a single penny to explore them! Save your money for other experiences because visiting London museums is one of many free things this city offers.

Whether you're into art, natural history, or something else, you'll discover why London is rich with cultural heritage. The city is filled with surprises! Visiting museums is just one of the many things to do in London during your stay. This city also knows how to have fun, so hit up these nightlife destinations and pubs for something to do after gallery hopping.

Top 10 Free Museums to Visit in London

One of the things to love about visiting London is that many of its world-class museums and galleries are free to visit. Add the following free museums to your London travel plans:

10. Tate Modern

Tate Modern is among the premier art museums in London. The current location of the museum is a former power station. It's where you'll find the best collection of modern and contemporary art from artists across the globe. You'll see exhibits from various art movements, such as cubism, surrealism, and post-war sculptures and paintings.

The must-see items in this exhibit include works by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso. You can visit the museum's official website for updated opening hours and exhibit schedules. 

Tate Modern exhibit
Image Courtesy of Tate Modern

9. British Museum

The British Museum is an attraction you cannot miss! It's the OG of free museums in London, so you can't miss it if you love visiting museums.

The sprawling museum building is dedicated to showcasing artifacts and historical mementos of British history. It traces British history from the prehistoric era to the modern era. Surprisingly, it's free to visit, so grab the chance to check out the exhibits! 

The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Head to the official website to check for any changes to their opening hours before your visit. You can also book a guided tour if you'd like to learn more about the exhibits at the British Museum. 

Ripon Minster, York
Image Courtesy of British Museum

8. Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum in London is one of the best museums to visit with kids. Though, even if you don't have a kid in tow, it's a must-visit museum, particularly if you're fascinated with natural history.

It's impressive that this museum is available to the public for free, given the quality of the displayed items. The most notable feature of the museum is the suspended skeleton of Hope the Whale. The museum is divided into sections, showcasing different aspects of natural histories, such as flora, fauna, and geology.

There are some paid exhibitions, but the free exhibits in this museum are well worth the visit! The Natural History Museum is located in South Kensington, London. 

Prefer exploring the museum in a private group? Skip the line with this tour

7. National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery makes it to the list of the best free museums in London. It's known for the best collection of paintings from the 13th to the early 20th century. 

When you visit the National Gallery, take the opportunity to see famous artwork. Among the must-see pieces are Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers,' Da Vinci's 'The Virgin of the Rocks,' and Renoir's 'The Umbrellas.' 

If you'd like to learn more from a guide about the highlights of the National Gallery, this guided tour might be worth a look!

National Gallery exhibit
Image Courtesy of National Gallery

6. Science Museum

The Science Museum is another free museum in South Kensington. It's a kid-friendly museum, but any science-loving adult will also enjoy it!

The museum is about the wonders of science. The galleries feature the best scientific discoveries throughout the years. The Wonderlab area in the museum is where you can do hands-on experiments. 

The museum also features IMAX screenings of some of the current exhibits. So, unleash your curious inner child when you visit one of the best free museums in London!

5. Victoria & Albert Museum

Completing the trilogy of free museums in South Kensington is the Victoria & Albert Museum. Although free, this museum showcases over 5,000 years of art and design artifacts. You'll find many historical art pieces here, such as intricate mosaics, ancient sculptures, ancient jewelry, and outfits from bygone eras.

The exhibits and collections inside the Victoria & Albert Museum are constantly changing. So even if you've been here before, there's always something new to see on your next visit. The museum's open daily from 10 AM to 5:45 PM. 

Victoria & Albert Museum exhibit
Image Courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum

4. National Maritime Museum

Are you curious about British maritime history? If you answered "yes," book your visit to the National Maritime Museum! It's free, so you can come without spending a dime.

The National Maritime Museum features artifacts and historical items that retell British naval history. Whether the British naval expeditions were for battle or exploratory, the museum takes you on an exciting walk through that part of history. 

Some of the must-see items in this museum are ship models and ancient naval maps.

National Maritime Museum exterior
Image Courtesy of National Maritime Museum

3. Museum of London Docklands

After exploring the naval history of Britain, here's another free museum in London that's worth your visit. The Museum of London Docklands walks you through London's past as a port city. Over many centuries, the city's been home to sailors and merchants relying on its ports to run their business.

While the Museum of London Docklands is one of the free museums in London, there are also paid exhibitions. It's an exciting glimpse into the life behind the docklands and the personal stories that go with it.

2. Imperial War Museum

Learn about the human impact of war when you visit one of the best free museums in London. The Imperial War Museum explores the human conflict that has affected Britain for centuries, particularly in the two World Wars. It's the best museum to visit if you'd like to learn about the stories of people who went through the war. 

If you're interested in learning more about the war history in Britain, this Churchill War Room tour is a must! 

You can visit the Imperial War Museum for free, and it's open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Imperial War Museum exterior
Image Courtesy of Imperial War Museum

1. Wellcome Collection

Rounding off this list of the best free museums in London is one of the most unique and interesting ones. The Wellcome Collection is a museum dedicated to exploring and understanding the human body.

The free museum features permanent and seasonal exhibits. It showcases anatomical objects that play on the senses. It also features a blend of quirky and Insta-worthy exhibits. You'll learn about the human body, life, medicine, and science. 

Healing Space At The Wellcome Collection
Image Courtesy of Wellcome Collection

Plan a London Museum Hopping Adventure with Pilot!

London is the best place to go if you've got a thirst for learning and culture. Need help building your travel itinerary to London? Use a reliable travel planner like Pilot!

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Collaborate stress-free with your travel companions and have all the features you need all in one place with Pilot. It’s completely free and ready for you to try it out now!

Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Abigail Sinsona Blogs
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Abigail Sinsona
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