London’s 5 best free galleries and museums

04 March 2019

A cultural hot spot packed with museums and galleries, London’s wealth of historical treasures and creative masterpieces is world renowned. Thankfully, you don’t have to dig deep to buy tickets to see some of London’s most prized collections, because many are free to access. From viewing a centuries-old painting of Queen Elizabeth I, to seeing uniforms worn by soldiers during World War One, and admiring a diamond ring once owned by Beyonce, London’s free museums and galleries are packed with treasures. Add these cultural institutions that have free entry to your London travel list:

Victoria and Albert Museum

It’s hard to believe that entry is free to this world-leading art and design museum. Home to a huge collection, you’ll find everything from ancient tapestries to designer wedding dresses, theatre props and jewellery once owned by celebrities in this sprawling museum located on Cromwell Road. It’s easy to spend a whole day getting lost in the exhibits here, so wear comfy shoes and plan breaks in the museum’s café to avoid getting fatigued.

Tate Modern

A giant of the contemporary art scene, the Tate Modern’s permanent collections are free to view. Featuring work from creative heavyweights such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock, a trip to the Tate Modern reveals some of the greatest art in the world – for free!

Imperial War Museum

London’s Imperial War Museum is dedicated to educating current and future generations about the conflicts that shaped the world. Over several floors, visitors can view war memorabilia such as uniforms, weaponry, flags, medals, posters, photography and art, while reflecting on the sacrifices made by the people who served. Children will love the interactive elements of this museum, with the opportunity to dress up in replica uniforms and walk through a reproduction of a World War One trench offering insight into what life was like during wartime.

Natural History Museum

Think natural history museums are cold spaces filled with old, dusty exhibits? Think again because South Kensington’s Natural History Museum is a multi-sensory experience aimed at getting adults and children alike excited about science. Ride an escalator up into the earth’s core, see some of the biggest mammals in the animal kingdom, walk beneath a gigantic blue whale skeleton and learn about nature in the Wildlife Garden – the Natural History Museum is the perfect place to spend a rainy day in London.

National Portrait Gallery

Located in St. Martin’s Place, this longstanding gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the entire world. Featuring portraits of famous historical figures from the political, literary, aristocratic and artistic worlds, you’ll find paintings of Jane Austen, Marcus Aurelius, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill here. Free to enter, be sure to visit the Portrait Restaurant and Bar for lunch and a glass of wine accompanied by great views of London’s skyline.


To book your trip to London, get in touch with your local Travel Counsellor.

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