London’s Top 10 Museums
London is renowned for its plethora of museums dedicated to innovation, exploration and the high arts. Nowhere else in the world is there such a varied and awe-inspiring collection of antiquities and inventions that invite you to explore the great indoors.
With so much on offer in our fabulous city, it was tough to select the best of the best. Below you’ll find just a sliver of the exceptional houses of art and design peppered throughout London.
1.Victoria & Albert Museum
With more than 2.3 million objects in this magnificent museum, you could easily while away a whole day learning about the spectacular pieces. The museum has a specific lean towards design and decorative arts, you will find everything from furnishings and interior crafts to tapestries, jewels and trinkets through the ages.
Fashion exhibitions set up shop here at different points throughout the year, and are especially exciting during London Fashion Week (15-19 February 2019).
2. British Museum
One of the world’s most visited and most loved is the British Museum. Its colonnaded frontage is an illustrious sight, and a trip to London without dropping in is practically criminal. Housing such famous works as the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and the largest collection of ancient Egyptian treasures outside of Cairo, you could spend hours admiring the pieces on display here.
If ancient works aren’t your thing, however, we are sure you’ll be seriously impressed by the vast, modern glazing over the central courtyard - an architectural masterpiece that brings together the sumptuous 18th-century wings of the museum under one exceptional contemporary roof.
3. National Portrait Gallery
This was the world’s very first portrait gallery upon completion in 1856, intended to house the most important pieces of wall portraiture in world history. Housing works from infamous names such as Turner, Monet and Van Gogh, there’s a surprise around every corner as you’ll spot the world’s most well-known paintings we all remember from school textbooks.
Set in the very heart of London, the National Portrait Gallery’s imposing facade overlooks Trafalgar Square that teems with all walks of life - the perfect place to sit down for some people-watching after your fill of portraiture.
4. London Design Museum
This contemporary museum displays works of significant architectural, industrial and graphic interest. Its temporary exhibitions are as quick-changing as fashion trends and show the most up-to-date marvels set to become praised the world over.
The Design Museum is situated right next to beautiful Holland Park which is ideal for a relaxing stroll, especially in the tranquil Kyoto garden.
5. Fashion & Textile Museum
Created by award-winning fashion and costume designer Zandra Rhodes in 2003, you won’t miss the bright yellow and pink former warehouse front, which gives a tantalising taste of the artworks inside, bursting with colour and style. Dedicated to fashion pieces, materials, designers and their artistic processes, this museum showcases the very best of in-vogue clothing and jewellery in the contemporary age and gives a hint of fashion’s unchartered future.
In the fabulous gift shop, they sell items made by designers who are little known now but on the road to stardom. If you pick up a trinket here, you never know, it could become something of an heirloom in the future.
A stone’s throw from the glittering Shard and the banks fo the Thames, Bermondsey is also a great area to visit for boutique shopping, weekend markets and quirky bars and pubs.
6. Natural History Museum
Britain’s heritage of scientific exploration and explanation is condensed into this fascinating museum. If you can draw your eyes away from the scintillating architecture that houses the pieces, you’ll be transported on a journey through time, exploring species of flora and fauna from the world over. Famous for exhibiting creatures now extinct, the Natural History Museum also continues to expand its collection with ever newly discovered species. Guaranteed, on every visit you’ll spot something different and fascinating.
7. Science Museum
Found in the innovative quarter along with the V&A and the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum is a contemporary implant in this historic area. Taking the escalator from the entrance hall up through the solar system is just as exciting as an adult as it was on your first school trip to the capital!
The interactive exhibitions are constantly updating and innovating, designed to educate and inspire, whatever your age. The focus here is on technology and space, and the human race’s ever-expanding knowledge and relationship with the world around us and beyond.
8. Tate Modern
Taking residency in the former Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern is a cathedral of contemporary arts. The old turbine hall plays host to temporary works of kinetic sculpture, immersive cinema, sound technology and much more, and is always filled with curious patrons looking to truly experience the most current examples of modern art. Outdoors, you’ll find performances on the riverbank of dance, movement, song and more which wow passers by and and museum-goers alike.
Making the scenic journey over the Millennium Bridge from St. Paul’s to the Tate is a recommended route for hedonistic art-lovers.
9. Tate Britain
A celebration of British talent, the Tate Britain houses works exclusively by the greatest minds in the country and is the parent museum of the the Tate Modern and two other locations up and down the country.
Exhibiting a substantial collection of works since the Tudor times, each galleried wing of the museum is dedicated to a different era, catering to all tastes. Its principal halls show constantly updating contemporary pieces in the form of sculpture, lighting and craftwork that change every few weeks. Located on the bank of the Thames is just a short stroll from Westminster, or alternatively, Millbank Millennium Pier is just outside if you fancy arriving by boat!
10. Saatchi Gallery
Founded by advertising magnate Charles Saatchi in 1985 in the glamorous neighbourhood of Chelsea, the Saatchi Gallery is renowned for displaying groundbreaking pieces from international creatives that spark media sensations. The careers of countless celebrated artists have taken off from this exceptional gallery, particularly those whose works have shocked, excited and even appalled both critics and the public. A stop in the Saatchi is certain to be an afternoon well spent.