Skydiving – 25 Best Museums in London, UK

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London is a treasure trove of world-class attractions and activities, with a whopping 190 museums to explore. Now, while there’s no shortage of fantastic and free things to do in this bustling metropolis, the real challenge is fitting it all into your itinerary. Fear not, my friends, that’s where we come in. 

We’ve rolled up our sleeves, done the groundwork, and sifted through the myriad options to bring you the cream of the crop – the absolute best museums in London. This way, you can make sure you’re visiting museums that align closely with your specific interests. Whether you’re looking to kill time on a rainy day or you’re a history buff on a mission to visit all the top museums in the city, we’ve got you covered. These are the crème de la crème of museums in the capital of England, catering to all tastes and interests!

Best Way to See London’s Museums

Before we jump into all the beautiful and the odd on display in London’s museums, we first want to help you get the most bang for your buck! While several of the below-mentioned museums are free to enter, many of the museums still require you to purchase an entry ticket. However, if you’re planning on visiting several attractions in London (not just museums) during your holiday, then you may want to consider purchasing a tourist pass. The below passes offer discounted goodies and admission tickets with savings of up to 50% for some of London’s top attractions!

  • The London Pass: Also known as the GoCity All-Inclusive Pass, this is a great pass for tourists looking to visit multiple popular attractions. The pass includes 80+ attractions and museums, like Cutty Sark, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, the London Transport Museum, and Kensington Palace. The London Pass works on a credit system, meaning you purchase a pass based on the number of days you will use it. Passes can be purchased for a validity period of one day up to 10 days. Once you’ve chosen a pass, simply download the app and you’ll have a universal ticket that can be scanned and used at all the included attractions. 
  • GoCity Explorer Pass: This pass works differently than the London Pass. Instead of choosing how many days your pass will be valid for, you’ll instead choose how many attractions you want to be included in your pass. You can choose anywhere from two to seven attractions/tours and your pass will be valid for 60 days after your first scan. 

Best Museums in London

Now that you know how to save your wallet, let’s start scrolling and strolling through the top museums in London! 

The great court in the British Museum in London, UK
© The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum

The British Museum is easily the most famous museum in London and for a good reason. This public museum is dedicated to human history and boasts an incredibly impressive collection of over eight million objects, including highlights like the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures, and Grayson Perry’s The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman. Visitors could easily spend an entire day exploring all of the rooms and history offered in The British Museum. 

The British Museum is free to visit. 

Imperial War Museum

Travelers with an interest in World War I and II history should definitely add the Imperial War Museum to their London itinerary. This fantastic free museum focuses on the stories and history behind the Great Wars, recreating trenches and the Blitz so that visitors truly get an idea of what fighting in a world war looked like. It’s no secret that the Imperial War Museum has a seriously outstanding collection of tanks, naval guns, and aircraft, but some other highlights include children’s shoes from a liberated Nazi camp, spy tools like exploding suitcases and smoking pipes with hidden microphones, and WWII rockets. 

The Imperial Museum is free to visit. 

Royal Air Force Museum

Another great museum for military and aviation enthusiasts is the Royal Air Force Museum London. The museum is set in the former Henderson Aerodrome and sprawls across five buildings and hangars covering 100 years of flight history. Visitors will find plenty of cool artifacts, tanks, boats, and planes on display from the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and aviation history, including RAF uniforms, immersion suits, a Martin Baker Mk 2 ejection seat, a Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVIe RW393, the American North American B-25 Mitchell and Mustang, and over 60 aircraft from Avro Lancaster. There are plenty of interactive exhibits within the museum to explore, as well as an RAF Eurofighter Typhoon simulator and a 4D theater. Tourists can even sign up to sit shotgun in the cockpit of a Spitfire for a once-in-a-lifetime chance Spitfire flight experience! 

The Royal Air Force Museum London is free to visit. 

Space exhibition at the Science Museum in London, UK
© Science Museum Group

Science Museum

If you’re looking for a family-friendly science museum in London, then look no further than the Science Museum. This interactive science and technology-based museum is known for its excellent immersive exhibits aimed to excite and educate visitors about scientific achievements. Visitors can enjoy displays on a range of topics like engineering, flight, modern medicine, video games, weather, and more. In the Wonderlab, kids can join in on experiments and create light art or watch lightning strike before their eyes. There is also an interactive careers gallery that allows visitors to actually perform different jobs and get a taste of different industries. For example, kids can hop on a replica set of Shuri’s Lab from Black Panther and try their hand at working as a film-set lighting technician, or welding a roller coaster track using a robotic arm! 

The Science Museum is free to visit, but you will need to book a timeslot ticket in advance.

Entrance to the Museum of Brands in London, UK
© Museum of Brands – registered charity number: 1093538. Robert Opie Collection

Museum of Brands

The Museum of Brands is a quirky niche museum and we are here for it! Visitors can walk through over 100 years of advertising history, seeing items, adverts, and packages from familiar brands all the way from the Victorian era to today’s modern marketing ads. There are two sections of the museum, the Time Tunnel and the Branding Hall, and both offer nostalgic childhood brands that will send tourists back in time to their childhoods. 

The Museum of Brands is included in The London Pass and the GoCity Explorer Pass, or you can purchase an individual ticket with skip-the-line access here.

Jack the Ripper Museum

The story of Jack the Ripper has fascinated the minds of detectives and serial killer aficionados alike for over a century. For those who aren’t familiar with the story of this notorious London murderer, Jack the Ripper was a serial killer in the late 1800s who preyed on the women of London, specifically prostitutes in the East End. He killed five women in 1888, although there is debate that the killer struck earlier than this in 1882. Jack the Ripper was never caught, but many professionals and amateur sleuths have their theories and suspicions as to who the killer was. Today, you can learn all about this infamous killer, his victims, and the potential identity of Jack at the Jack the Ripper Museum.

You can purchase tickets to the Jack the Ripper Museum here. Tickets booked in advance are cheaper than at the museum’s ticket office! 

Natural History Museum interior in London, England
© Pen_85 /

Natural History Museum

Ever seen a robotic dinosaur? We haven’t either, but you can meet one up close and personal at the Natural History Museum in London! This fabulous free museum in London covers all things natural (and naturally mechanically advanced), from biology and wildlife to dinosaurs and volcanoes, you’ll find it here. Some of the highlights of the museum include the animatronic dinosaurs, Charles Darwin’s work on evolution, and a blue whale skeleton hanging from the roof! 

The Natural History Museum is free to visit. 

Interior view of the shelter which housed the Cabinet War Rooms during WW II. Today is part of the Churchill War Rooms Museum in London, UK
© David Herraez |

Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are a unique London attraction to visit for those with an interest in wartime history. While the attraction is more widely known as the Churchill War Rooms, which refers to the specific areas within the secret underground bunker where the former prime minister worked and lived, the entire complex is known as the Cabinet War Rooms. This massive underground complex provided a safe place away from air raids, where the British Government, the prime minister and his advisors could run parliamentary duties and plan strategic military moves. Inside the collection of dimly lit rooms and corridors, visitors will find an assortment of wartime artifacts along with secret rooms and the personal items of then Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Since the underground complex is so large, tourists should expect to spend two hours inside. 

You can purchase tickets to the Churchill War Rooms online or combine a World War II walking tour with an admission ticket. 

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Sherlock Holmes once said, “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” and for us, the obvious fact is that this fantastic London museum should be on your itinerary. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a museum dedicated to the adventures of one of the greatest detectives and intellectual minds to come from pen and paper, Sherlock Holmes. The character hails from a series of short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Appropriately, the museum is located at 221B Baker Street in London, the actual residence of Sherlock Holmes in the stories. Fans and literary enthusiasts alike will be transported back in time as they walk into the Victorian-styled home and museum, which impeccably follows details from the stories to recreate the iconic home and workspace of our favorite detective and his companion Dr. Watson. Visitors will find a treasure trove of items, like manuscripts, rare editions, and props from the stories. 

You can purchase a ticket to the Sherlock Holmes Museum here. 

The Design Museum in London, UK
© Gareth Gardner / The Design Museum

The Design Museum

The Design Museum is an excellent London attraction for those with an eye for architecture, fashion, graphic design, and décor. Visitors will find expansive displays covering a range of topics that lead the observer on a journey from the designer’s mind to the user’s experience. There are a plethora of objects that document the historical advances made in product innovation and consumer trends. While the Design Museum’s permanent collection is free to visit, none of the temporary exhibits are. The museum often hosts incredible temporary exhibits that you may want to see, and you may need to book tickets in advance due to their popularity. For example, they have held exhibits on Amy Winehouse, Fashion, the evolution of EDM music, and much more.

The Design Museum’s permanent collection is free to visit, but temporary exhibits do require visitors to purchase a ticket. 

The Renaissance City in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK
© / Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

This massive London museum is the world’s largest museum dedicated to applied arts, decorative arts, and design. The Victoria and Albert Museum first opened its doors in 1852 and now houses a collection of over two million artifacts and objects that speak to an array of topics like fashion, photography, ceramics, glass, textiles, furniture, book arts, jewelry, and more. Some of the highlights of the museum include Evening Coat by Elsa Schiaparelli and Jean Cocteau, Samson Slaying a Philistine by Giambologna, and the Japanese Mazarin Chest.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is free to visit. 

Exhibit at the National Gallery in London, UK
© National Gallery, London

The National Gallery

If you want to experience historic European artwork up close and personal, then make your way to The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. This massive museum houses over 2,300 paintings dating from the Gothic style of the mid-1300s all the way to the Expressionism movement of the early 1900s. You’ll find plenty of familiar artists’ names inside the museum, including masterpieces by notable artists like Titian, Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt. After wandering through the works, you and your group can head on over to the on-site café or restaurant for a bite to eat. 

The National Gallery is free to visit, but it is highly recommended you book your free tickets in advance to avoid long queues at the museum.  

National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is a great museum for families or those with an interest in naval history. There are several engaging interactive exhibits to explore on subjects like slavery and the British Navy, along with naval oddities and a ship simulator. Some highlights from the collection include the jacket that Lord Nelson was wearing when he was shot in Trafalgar and JMW Turner’s large oil painting Battle of Trafalgar. Visitors won’t just be blown away by the architecture of the building and its impressive collection, but also by the expansive grassy grounds of Greenwich Park in the museum’s backyard. 

The National Maritime Museum is free to visit.

Cutty Sark

Speaking of Greenwich Park, this is a fantastic museum located just behind the National Maritime Museum in the park and it is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Cutty Sark is the only surviving extreme clipper from its time. Clipper vessels were noticeable by their narrow design as they were built with a sharp bow, streamlined hull, limited cargo space, and huge sail area. Cutty Sark was a fast clipper, but more importantly, a tea clipper, meaning this fast ship was packed with crates of Chinese tea that whizzed the beloved leaves back to London in no time during the Victorian era. This large historic vessel has now been transformed into a museum that visitors can learn all about. Tourists can wander the ship with an audio tour and see how 936 tonnes of tea was transported, explore under the hull to see the craftsmanship, tour the cabins to see how sailors lived, book afternoon tea under the hull, and meet live Cutty Sark character actors. There is even a brand new Cutty Sark rig climbing experience which allows visitors to pull up their boots and climb the rig like a real sailor back in the day! 

Cutty Sark is included in The London Pass and the GoCity Explorer Pass. Visitors can purchase tickets to Cutty Sark with free cancellation here.

London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is the world’s leading museum on urban transport and the complexities that come along with it. The museum focuses on sharing the powerful connection between London’s ever growing city and transportation, with an emphasis on how it has impacted London’s culture and society since the early 19th century. Visitors will find over 500,000 objects inside, including trams, riverboats, carriages, trains, buses, and more. Highlights of the museum include a steam engine from the world’s first underground railroad, a 1950s Routemaster double-decker motor bus, and an exhibit on wartime transportation. 

The London Transport Museum is included in The London Pass and the GoCity Explorer Pass. 

The Wallace Collection

This beautiful art museum in London is definitely one for the bucket list. The Wallace Collection is a museum showcasing one of the finest art collections in the world collected by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace over the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors will find an array of awe-inspiring pieces inside, from arms and armory to porcelain, paintings, and furniture. Some of the most notable pieces in the collection include oil paintings from renowned European artists like Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, and Canaletto, and medieval and Renaissance objects. After roaming through the works, visitors can enjoy afternoon tea in the courtyard.  

The Wallace Collection’s permanent collection is free to visit. 

Rehang of 2023 at the Tate Britain in London, UK
© Tate (Eugenio Falcioni)

Tate Britain

Not only is Tate Britain located in an architecturally stunning building, but it also boasts an incredible collection of British artworks from the 16th century to the present day. Visitors will find inspiring and memorable works inside, such as David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash, Carnation Lily, Lily Rose by John Singer Sargent, and Ophelia by John Everett Millais. The Tate Britain is also home to the largest collection of pieces by JMW Turner. 

Tate Britain is free to visit.

Dinning room at the Charles Dickens Museum in London, UK
© Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens was a 19th-century English novelist who wrote many popular stories that are still widely renowned today. The author produced well-known works such as Great expectations, A tale of two cities, and A Christmas carol. Fans and literary enthusiasts alike can see over 100,000 items related to Dickens inside the Charles Dickens Museum, like rare editions, manuscripts, paintings, and Dickens’ personal items. The museum is set across five floors in the author’s former home where he famously wrote Oliver twist. Visitors can tour the museum using a free audio guide as well as by scanning QR codes to learn more about the objects on display. 

The Charles Dickens Museum is included in The London Pass. 

Chelsea FC Museum

Footy fans, or soccer as we call it in North America, should definitely add this museum to their London itinerary. The Chelsea FC Museum is located in the Stamford Bridge Arena and is filled with loads of football memorabilia, uniforms, and information on legends of the sport. Visitors have the choice of booking a regular museum ticket or adding on a stadium tour with a live guide to explore the dressing rooms, pitch, player’s tunnel, press room, and more. While you can learn a lot about Chelsea FC’s championships, trophies, and 100-year history in the museum, a live stadium tour is the ultimate way to gain insight into your favorite team. 

The Chelsea FC Stadium tour and museum package are included in The London Pass and the GoCity Explorer Pass. You can book individual tickets for the museum and stadium tour here.

Couch at the Freud Museum in London, UK
© Freud Museum London

Freud Museum

This famous 19th-century neurologist is known as the father of psychoanalysis – a clinical method for helping patients by digging into the relationships between their unconscious and conscious minds and bringing fears and problems of the unconscious into the conscious using a variety of techniques such as dream interpretation. Sigmund Freud had many groundbreaking theories that helped to shape modern psychology and you can learn all about them and the famous Austrian at the Freud Museum in London. The museum is located in the former home of the Freud’s. Although Freud lived most of his life in Vienna, when Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, the Freud’s had no choice but to flee to London – especially since Freud had Jewish parents. Unfortunately, Freud died of oral cancer only a year later. Today, you can see several of Freud’s personal items and work items in the museum, such as Freud’s famous psychoanalytic couch (we’ve all seen patients who lie down on therapy couches in the movies, and Freud was the first to introduce this tactic). You can tour the home with an audio guide or on a guided tour and see highlights like Freud’s work desk, his personal library of over 1,600 books, and his personal collection of over 2,000 ancient artifacts. 

The Freud Museum is included in The London Pass and the GoCity Explorer Pass. You can purchase a fully refundable ticket to the museum here. 

The Postal Museum

The history of postal service in London might not sound like a top-rated attraction, but trust us, it’s well worth a visit. The Postal Museum showcases displays and interactive exhibits with over 400 years of postal heritage objects, like cryptic Victorian Valentine’s cards, posters, British stamps from the 1840s onwards, historic mail bins, and much more. If this seems like an odd museum to you, just wait until you see the beautiful oddities inside! The highlight of this museum is that you and your group will get to ride on the Mail Rail – an underground mail train that used to run mail across London 22 hours a day. During the ride, you’ll experience an audio-visual show projected on the walls of the tunnel that explains the history of this now-retired way of delivering mail. Other highlights of the museum include a children’s playground and the pneumatic tubes. 

The Postal Museum is included in The London Pass and GoCity Explorer Pass. You can purchase individual tickets for the museum that are fully refundable here.

View of HMS Belfast in London
© Kiev.Victor /

HMS Belfast 

The HMS Belfast is another ship-turned-museum that offers a great outing for the whole family. Permanently moored on the Thames, the HMS Belfast is a WWII warship with nine decks, naval guns, and basically all the bells and whistles of a first-class warship. The HMS Belfast had an interesting career. Commissioned by the Royal Navy in 1939, the ship only served in the war for four months before detonating a German magnetic mine. The boat underwent heavy repairs and was able to set sail to the sea again in 1942, where it was sent for 18 months to the Arctic to protect the Arctic convoys and deliver supplies to Russia from Iceland. After enduring the Battle of North Cape, HMS Belfast wintered in the Orkney Islands before being drafted and refitted to fight in Operation Overlord, also known as D-Day. The British warship then went on to serve in the Korean War and in peacekeeping operations until she was decommissioned in 1963. Today, visitors can tour the HMS Belfast, which is the largest Royal Navy surface combatant ship to survive World War II. Visitors will learn how brave soldiers and animals lived on a battleship, how the ship protected the Arctic convoys, and much more on an audio guide tour. 

You can purchase tickets to the HMS Belfast here.

Queen’s House

Art, architecture, and activities; that’s the three A’s of the Queen’s House, if you’re not counting how Awesome it is! The Queen’s House, built in the early 17th century, served as the home for a revolving door of eccentric and royal characters. From artists to future royal brides and even mistresses, there were many interesting people who called this mansion home, and according to folklore, a ghost that still does! The large royal villa was built by Inigo Jones, who made his mark by designing this masterpiece in a brand-new architecture never before seen in Britain, classical Georgian style. The Queen’s House is now a converted museum showcasing the home’s breathtaking collection of art along with its historic architectural design. Highlights of the museum include the Tulip Stairs, the geometric Great Hall, The Burning of the Royal James at the Battle of Solebay tapestry, and the ‘Armada Portrait’ of Elizabeth I. 

The Queen’s House is free to visit. 

Sir John Soane’s Museum

This London art museum showcases the impressive collection of paintings and sculptures of eccentric 19th-century neoclassical architect Sir John Sloane. Visitors will find a large collection of works by recognizable artists such as Canaletto, Turner, and Hogarth, all housed in the architect’s former home. There are hundreds of eye-catching objects, paintings, antiquities, furniture, sculptures, and architectural drawings and models on display, with highlights like the Sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I, Antonio Canaletto’s Views from Venice, and a cork model of Pompeii. 

Sir John Soane’s Museum is free to visit. 

Frameless in London, UK
© Frameless


If you or one of your travel companions isn’t normally a museum fan, this next museum might change that. Frameless is the largest permanent multi-sensory experience in the United Kingdom, meaning that the museum focuses on creating a sensory experience rather than educating. You’ll experience famous artworks and paintings in a brand-new immersive way, making you feel as if you are inside the artworks. So if you’re interested in seeing world-renowned art come alive with music and digital motion graphics, this is the museum for you. 

Frameless is included in The London Pass. You can purchase an individual ticket to the museum that is fully refundable here.

Well, there you have it – the best museums in London! Now all you have to do is figure out how many of these fabulous museums you can pack into your itinerary.

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