The British Museum claims to be the world's oldest museum, and is home of some of history's most prized artefacts.
Whether you are interested in the ancient Egyptians or more recent European history, there will be a gallery worth visiting.
First things first. The museum is free. Signs will suggest you make a donation. But you do not have to if you do not want to. There are audio guides in a number of language which you have to pay for.
The British Museum was founded in 1753. It started off when Sir Hans Sloane handed over his personal collection of artefacts. Nowadays it houses treasures from all over the world.
Why visit the British Museum:
The museum has some incredible exhibits, such as the Egyptian Mummies. It really is worth seeing how the ancient Egyptians tried to preserve their dead for the afterlife. This is possibly the most popular part of the museum.
You can also see the Rosetta Stone, which provided a "missing link" by having the same words written in two Egyptian languages as well as Greek. This was a breakthrough in our understanding of ancient languages.
Most controversial are the Elgin Marbles. Lord Elgin took these from the Parthenon in Athens in the 1800's. Some believe these sculptures were preserved because of this move, while others think they should be returned to Greece.
There are 90 minute tours you can pay for, as well as Free Eyeopener gallery tours which are around 45 minutes. These start at different times in different galleries. But one will normally be starting somewhere within 15 minutes of your arrival.
There is so much to see that it is worth getting the free map and deciding what you are most interested in. You could spend days wandering around, but without research or a tour to explain what you are seeing you may find it simply becomes a series of rooms with glass cabinets.
Did you know?
The impressive Reading Room, in the centre of the museum, has been popular in the past with many well known looking to do some research. These names include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Karl Marx.
10.00am – 5.30pm (Daily)
How to get there:
Tottenham Court Road, Russell Square and Holborn Underground Stations are within a 5-10 minute walk away from the British Museum.
Routes that stop within a close radius to the museum include:
- 1, 7, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98 and 242 (Stop on New Oxford Street).
- 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134 and 390 (Stop on Tottenham Court Road, Northbound and on Gower Street, Southbound).
- 59, 68, X68, 91, 168 and 188 (Stop on Southampton Row).
Great Russell Street,
London, WC1B 3DG.
020 7323 8000/8299