At London's museums you can see one of the world's finest collections of Ancient Egyptian artefacts; examine a 26-metre-long dinosaur; find out what it was like to live in medieval London and get up close to a human torpedo.
London is also full of wonderfully eccentric museums and bizarre historic collections.
These unique London museums offer an ideal way to discover lesser-known artefacts, learn more about the history of the stranger sides of London, and to delve into some the city's quirkier corners.
Take a look at the Top 10 Attractions in London, not to miss
The Anaesthesia Museum
The Anaesthesia Museum is a medical museum with a collection containg over 2000 objects relating to the story of anaesthesia. The collections date from 1774 to the present day and provide a detailed insight into the history of medicine relating to anaesthesia and anaesthetic equipment as well as pain relief and resuscitation. Free entry
Address: 21 Portland Place, Marylebone Public transport:: Regent's Park, Underground
The British Museum
Established in 1753, housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks, the museum spans two million years of human history. It has one of the most comprehensive collections of the world. The museum is based on the collections of the physician, scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The British Museum houses the world's most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities.
The Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities has over 100,000 objects, ranging from about 3200BC to the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine I in the 4th century AD.
Department of the Middle East has collections from the Islamic World and the Department of Asia has collections of over 75,000 objects of the Asian continent.
Admission: Free. Special exhibitions require tickets. Opening Time: Every day 10.00 - 17.30
Open late Thursday, Fridays Nearest tube station: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square
This unique museum houses the world's finest collection of fans including exquisite examples from the 18th and 19th century. Exhibitions are changed every 4 months.
The Fan Museum's beautifully restored houses date from 1721 and provide a superb and elegant setting, together with the landscaped Japanese-style garden, the spectacular orangery with its much-admired mural and fascinating gift shop.
The Fan Museum offers something to appeal to the widest possible range of tastes and interests.
Opening Times: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 17:00. Sunday 12:00 - 17:00 Admission: Free entry to The Fan Museum with a London Pass
Normal Ticket Price: Adult: £4 Child: £3 Address: 12 Crooms Hill Greenwich, London SE10 8ER Public transport: A short walk from the Greenwich overground / DLR station and the Greenwich, Cutty Sark DLR station. The museum is located on Croom's Hill, opposite the Greenwich Theatre.
An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum has a traditional natural history gallery – dominated by a bizarre, overstuffed walrus – where the exhibits are displayed in traditional cases with no computer touch-screens in sight.
There's a state-of-the-art aquarium, a collection of around 1,600 musical instruments and an area where visitors can play some of them and a permanent gallery dedicated to African, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian art.
Opening Times: Daily 10.30am-5.30pm. Closed 24-26 Dec
Gardens: daily 7.15am-dusk Closed 25 Dec Admission: Free. A charge is made for the Aquarium. Address: 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ Public transport: Bus: 176,185, 312, P4, 63, 122, P13 bus; Rail: Forest Hill rail By train / London Overground: The Horniman is a five to ten minute walk from Forest Hill station and is signposted from the platform 1 exit .
Forest Hill is on the London Overground line between Highbury and Islington and West Croydon / Crystal Palace line which offers a high frequency service.
The station is also well served by trains from Central London, Croydon and Surrey. Direct train services run from London Bridge (approx every ten minutes, journey time 13 minutes) linking with the Northern and Jubilee lines, London Victoria linking with the Victoria, Circle and District lines, East Croydon, West Croydon, Sutton, Purley and Caterham.
Filled with 14 exciting, interactive zones and the amazing Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie experience, Madame Tussauds London combines glitz and glamour with incredible history.
Get face-to-face with scary serial killers in our live fear experience SCREAM. After a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at how our World-renowned sculptors create the figures, relax in our taxis and relive the rich history of London.
Then step up to your favourite Marvel Super Heroes before getting ready to experience the spectacular and exclusive Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie, where our Marvel Super Heroes battle it out to save London from impending doom.
Opening Times: Daily 09:30 – 17:30 Admission: Adult £22.50 to £28.80 Child £16.00 to £24.60 Book online to save. Address: Marylebone Road London NW1 5LR Nearest tube station: Baker Street
Museum of London
Discover prehistoric London, see how the city changed under Romans and Saxons, wonder at medieval London and examine the tumultuous years when London was ravaged by civil wars, plague and fire.
venture into the Galleries of Modern London where you can walk the streets of Victorian London, take a stroll in recreated pleasure gardens and marvel at the magnificent Lord Mayor’s Coach.
Opening Times: 10:00 to 18:00 daily Admission: FREE Welcome to London tour (Saturdays at 11:00, £8.50 per person) Address: 150 London Wall London EC2Y 5HN Nearest tube station: St Pauls / Barbican / Moorgate. Barbican/Moorgate
Natural History Museum
Hundreds of exciting, interactive exhibits in one of London’s most beautiful landmark buildings. Highlights include the popular Dinosaurs gallery, Mammals with its unforgettable model blue whale and the spectacular Central Hall, home to the Museum’s iconic Diplodocus skeleton.
The Museum offers a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions and events including chances to join experts,
Opening Times: daily 10.00 - 17.50. Last admission 17.30. Open late on the last Friday of each month. Admission: FREE charges for some of the special exhibitions and events Address: Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD Nearest tube station: South Kensington
The National Gallery displays over 2000 Western European paintings from the middle ages to the 20th century. Discover inspiring art by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh. The pictures in the collection belong to the public and admission to see them is free. There are special exhibitions, lectures, video and audio-visual programmes, guided tours and holiday events for children and adults.
One of the world's greatest maritime museums, the National Maritime Museum contains models, paintings and trophies from every continent. Find out about the traditions of maritime London, recall the romance of great ocean liners, and study the controversial history of trade across the Atlantic.
Opening Times: daily 10.00 – 17.00 Admission: FREE some exhibitions require tickets Address: Romney Road Greenwich Public Transport: Rail – Greenwich (zone 2) DLR – Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich By boat – from most central London piers
Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret, London Bridge
The little-known and one of the most unusual museums in London, is a museum of surgical history and one of the oldest surviving operating theatres. The Old Operating Theatre museum harbours a gruesome past. At this site some 150 years ago, (occasionally) life-saving operations were performed in rudimentary style and without anaesthetic. The patients were mainly poor people who were expected to contribute to their care if they could afford it. Rich patients were treated and operated on at home rather than in hospital. The patients at the Old Operating Theatre were all women.
Note: The museum does not have visitor toilet facilities or any cafe. They donot accept credit or debit cards.
Opening Times: Daily 10.30am to 5.00pm. Closed from 15th Dec - 5th Jan. Admission: Adult £6.20, Child (under 16) £3.50 Address: 9a St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY Public Transport: Northern and Jubilee lines (London Bridge), Buses: Bus station and taxis in concourse at London Bridge Station.: 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521, RV1
2 minutes walk from London Bridge Underground Station and a few minutes walk from the rebuilt Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Clink Prison and other attractions in Southwark.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
With over 700 authentic artefacts and astonishing interactive exhibits spanning across 6 floors, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London celebrates the weird, wonderful and bizarre in all its’ forms in the heart of the Capital’s West End. From a life sized knitted Ferrari to an 8ft Transformer, a Mirror Maze and the Impossible Laser Race. Step into the oddly world of the legendary Robert Ripley, an intrepid world traveller, cartoonist, reporter, adventure and seeker of the most bizarre and unusual.
Opening Times: Every Day 10:00 – midnight. Last entry at 22:30. Admission: Adult £26.95 Child £21.95 Senior £24.95 Address: The London Pavillion 1 Piccadilly Circus Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus Station Exit 4
Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts, founded in 1768, is the oldest fine arts institution in Britain. Situated in the heart of London's West End on Piccadilly, it is universally renowned for hosting some of the capital's finest temporary and touring exhibitions. Its annual Summer Exhibition, running since the institution first opened, displays select work from up and coming artists and by academicians.
Opening Times: 10:00 - 18:00 every day except Friday. 10:00 - 22:00 Friday Admission: Ticket prices variable depending on exhibition Address: Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus/Green Park
The Science Museum is the most visited science and technology museum in Europe. There are over 15,000 objects on display, including world-famous objects such as the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket.
Our interactive galleries bring to life first scientific principles and contemporary science debates. Plus, you can experience what it’s like to fly with the Red Arrows or blast off into space on an Apollo space mission in our stunning 3D and 4D simulators or watch a film on a screen taller than 4 double-decker buses in the IMAX 3D Cinema.
Opening Times: 10.00-18.00 daily Admission: FREE charges apply for the IMAX 3D Cinema, simulators and some special exhibitions. Address: Exhibition Road London SW7 2DD Nearest tube station: South Kensington
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Welcome to 221B Baker Street, the London home of Sherlock Holmes.
In this Grade II listed building you can see Holmes apartment, an exhibition featuring life size waxworks from Sherlock Holmes most famous adventures and pick up some souvenirs and antiques in the shop.
Opening Times: Every Day 9.30am-6.00pm Admission: Adult £6 Child £4 Address: 221B Baker Street Nearest tube station: Baker Street
Sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames is Tate Modern, Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art. Its unique shape is due to its previously being a power station. Inside you'll find temporary exhibitions by top artists from Damien Hirst to Gauguin. The gallery's restaurants offer fabulous views across the city.
You can see amazing work for free by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois.
Opening Times: Sunday – Thursday, 10.00–18.00 Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00
Open as normal on bank holidays. It closes on 24, 25 and 26 December but opens on 1 January. Admission: FREE charges for events/special exhibitions Address: Bankside London SE1 9TG Nearest tube station: Southwark or Blackfriars
Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to today. There are four 'Tates': Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, Tate Liverpool, and Tate St Ives in Cornwall, in the south-west of England. The entire Tate Collection is available online.
The rooms are arranged in chronological order, often with a theme or a focus on a particular artist. Displays are changed annually.
Main Display Themes:
British Art 1500 -1900 (Historic Art)
British Art 1900 - 2008 (Modern and Contemporary Art)
You can see old masters and Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the same building as work by modern and contemporary artists, such as Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Rachel Whiteread. Highlights include Millais's Ophelia, Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott and Norham Castle by Turner.
Become a Tate Member or Patron and get free entry to special exhibitions.
Opening Times: 10.00–18.00 Daily
Open as normal on bank holidays. It closes on 24, 25 and 26 December but opens on 1 January. Admission: FREE charges for events/special exhibitions Address: Millbank London SW1P 4RG Nearest tube station: Pimlico (Victoria Line, 600 m approx), Vauxhall (Victoria Line, 850 m approx), Westminster (Jubilee, District and Circle Lines, 1200 m approx) By Bus: Route 87 at Millbank, Routes 88 and C10 at John Islip Street, Routes 2, 36, 185, 436 stop on Vauxhall Bridge Road
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's greatest museum of art and design, representing over 3000 years of human creativity, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity.
In recent years the V&A has undergone a dramatic programme of renewal and restoration. Highlights include the Medieval Renaissance galleries containing some of the greatest surviving treasures from the period, the breathtaking Jewellery gallery and the stunning British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the nation’s art and design. In addition to its outstanding free permanent collection, the V&A offers a programme of temporary exhibitions and an extensive events programme.
Opening Times: 10.00-17.45 daily, Friday 10.00-22.00 Admission: FREE Address: Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL Nearest tube station: South Kensington, Knightsbridge