4 of London’s Top Museums & What You Can’t Miss When You Visit Them

London is often lauded as one of the best cities in the world, and for good reasons. London is home to countless world-class museums covering everything from evolution and science to fashion and literature. This guide will give you a taste of the things you can expect from the country’s capital.

The British Museum

Walk through human history and culture in the British Museum. Founded in 1753, it has since accumulated over 8 million works from every corner of the world.

Since 1816 the museum has housed the Elgin Marbles. These marble sculptures were originally part of the Parthenon and were acquired by Thomas Bruce at the end of the eighteenth century. The sculptures are beautifully preserved, and are a fascinating way to discover classical Greek culture.

Perhaps the most famous exhibit in the museum is the Rosetta Stone. Written in three languages, (hieroglyphics, Egyptian and Greek) the discovery of the stone acted as the key to unlock the mysteries of hieroglyphics and allowed researchers to understand more of ancient Egyptian culture.

Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road

Natural History Museum

While the British Museum handles the history of human beings, the Natural History Museum tackles the giant task of everything else. Established in 1881, the museum has steadily gathered life and earth science specimens from around the globe. Today the museum contains around 70 million items.

The museum’s Tank Room houses an eight metre long colossal squid that shows exactly what you can find under the waves. The colossal squid is even more elusive than the giant squid so seeing such a perfect example is a real experience.

With so many interesting exhibits on the ground it might seem strange to ask you to look up, but if you do you will find a work of art and science. The building itself is used to tell the story of evolution, and the ceiling is decorated with painted panels detailing our evolution from plants, through animals, to humans.

Nearest tube station: South Kensington

Science Museum

For those interested more in the present than the past, try the Science Museum. Founded over 150 years ago, this museum has constantly exhibited cutting edge science and technology to the public.

If you are interested in space exploration, make sure to check out the Apollo 10 command module, and, if you are feeling brave, try piloting it for yourself in the flight simulator.

The Medical History Gallery really puts healthcare into perspective. If you want to understand the long road to modern hospitals you should definitely check this out.

Nearest tube station: South Kensington

Design Museum

The Design Museum is the youngest museum on the list only opening in 1989, but since then the museum has exhibited the best in contemporary fashion, graphics, architecture and media.

The small size of the museum means exhibits change regularly, but permanent installations include the large sculpture Head of Invention by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. This giant fractured head is an excellent example of Paolozzi’s intricate style of sculpture and is found between the museum and the Thames.

Nearest tube station: London Bridge

So there you go, four of London, and the world’s, best museums. Whether you are looking to explore the world of early mankind or understand exactly how man set foot on the moon, London has something to keep you interested.