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London's Best Museums

Updated on June 15, 2010

One of the best ways to get to know any travel destination is to take a tour of the city's best museums. This gives you an understanding of the history of the area an appreciation of the diverse cultures that may populate that area. It also gives you insight into the modern art and art history of the destination. And it provides an educational good time in the form of museums that are focused on science, technology and oddities. Any destination will have museums that can provide you with this thorough look at a city but almost no city is better for a tour of the museums than London.

Here are some of the museums that you'll want to make sure to see if you're taking a tour of the museums in London:

London's History and Cultural Museums

  • British Museum. This is the most comprehensive museum in the world devoted to the history of humans so you're not going to see a lot of interesting things here but you're going to learn a lot from a visit to the place. The artifacts here come from all over the world and reveal a myriad of different things about the history of people.
  • Imperial War Museum. This London museum shares the stories of the wars that took place around the world in the twentieth century. Learning about this can go a long way towards understanding world history.
  • London Transport Museum. What better way to get to know London than to go to a museum that will explain the history of transportation there to you?
  • National Maritime Museum. To understand the history of London, you need to specifically understand its maritime history.

London's Art Museums

  • National Gallery. This is one of the most well-known art museums in London and the one to check out if you're seeking to see a basic overview of terrific Western Art. It's free to visit this art museum so there's really no reason not to go.
  • The Tate. The art gallery was originally housed in one location but in 2000, the collection here was split in to four different art galleries. You can opt to visit the gallery with the time period of art work that interests you most or you can take a full tour of all of the galleries to get an overarching understanding of art history.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum. There are two different museums associated with this gallery and both are worth visiting. The first is the South Kensington Museum which is the art and design museum where you can study the history of people's aesthetic tastes. The second is the Museum of Childhood which has an extensive collection of children's toys and artifacts, a unique collection worth checking out during a stay in London.

London's Science and Technology Museums

  • Natural History Museum. This is a museum which provides a historical look at the plant and animal life that has existed alongside us humans over time. This information is divided into five sections - botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology.
  • Science Museum. Anything that you could possibly want to explore in relation to science and technology is featured at this London museum. There are historical artifacts that came out of airplanes and there are cutting-edge microchips that came out of computers.


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  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

    My son adores the London Transport Museum. The rest of us are sick of it!

  • embitca profile image

    Emma 9 years ago from Boston

    I really love the National Gallery and the Imperial War Museum. I have yet to go to the V&A, but I've promised myself that on my next trip to London I will make it there. Thanks for putting this together.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    I can't count the number of times I have been to the British Museum. Controversial place, too, with so many artifacts from other nations. Just the same, a repository of SO MUCH knowledge! A lot of people don't know that there are also hidden nooks and crannies where you can view ancient documents - I just love that part of it!

    When I go I always stop and see the Rosetta Stone, just to admire it again. It's like a translation book carved into stone.

    Thanks for the great hub!

  • seohowto profile image

    seohowto 9 years ago from Bay Area, CA