London might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but there is no lack of things to do and, yes, some of them are free! On the good side there are plenty of flights going to London and many of them low cost, which makes traveling here quite cheap, yet price tags are generally significantly high. This city is known to offers many historical attractions, however it also has a large number of museums that you can explore and a good number of them are free. Here you have a list of 25 free museums in London that will keep you busy and your wallet full::
The British Museum has some of London’s most impressive and best known collections. Among its thirteen million artefacts are Egyptian antiquities and the Elgin Marbles taken from the Parthenon in Athens.
Museum of London
The Museum of London focuses on the history of the UK’s capital city with exhibits focusing on Roman and medieval London and London’s Burning, a special exhibition about the Great Fire of 1666.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington is the world’s biggest museum of decorative arts and design with a collection of over four million items including ceramics, prints, photographs and drawings.
The Science Museum, also in South Kensington, houses more than three hundred thousand items including Stephenson’s Rocket and Puffing Billy, two of the world’s first steam locomotives. The museum also has medical items collected by Henry Wellcome including medical instruments and a life size iron lung.
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich is housed in the former Royal Naval School and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its collections reflect England’s history as a maritime power with maps, drawings, models of ships and navigational instruments.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum in South Kensington opened in 1881 and now has over seventy million items related to Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology, many of them collected by Charles Darwin. The cast of a dinosaur skeleton in the museum’s central hall was donated by the American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Imperial War Museum
The Imperial War Museum in Lambeth, South London has artefacts from modern British military history from World War I to the present day, including World War II tanks and a piece of the Berlin Wall.
Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London includes hundreds of items related to childhood such as toys, games, dolls houses and rocking horses.
Royal Air Force Museum
The Royal Air Force Museum in Colindale, North London charts the history of Britain’s branch of the armed services. The museum has a programme of activities for all the family throughout the year.
Sir John Soanes Museum
This is one of the most popular museum with tourists visiting London. It is housed in the former home of the architect John Soanes (1753-1837) and contains architectural models and drawings related to his life and work.
Bank of England Museum
The Bank of England Museum charts the history of the institution from its establishment in 1694 to its financial role as part of today’s City of London. The museum has interactive and audio visual displays as well as a gold bar which you can pick up.
Fitzroy House is a Georgian residence built in1791. It is the former home of the writer George Bernard Shaw.
British Dental Association Museum
The British Dental Association Museum in Wimpole Street charts the history of dentistry in Britain.
The Cuming Museum in Southwark, South East London is based on the Cuming Family collection which began in 1782. Its seven hundred items include rare coins.
The Dana Centre in South Kensington is a wing of the Science Museum with public events that bring modern science to life.
Foundation of Chinese Art
This is a collection of 1,700 pieces of Chinese porcelain. It is the biggest outside China.
The Geffrye Museum is a fascinating insight into British middle class life from the seventeenth century to the present day. Its rooms have furniture and textiles from each era.
Grant Museum of Zoology
The Grant Museum of Zoology at University College London has twenty thousand items, including a rhino skeleton and the bones of a dodo.
The Guildhall was the seat of London local government for over eight hundred years. Rebuilt after the 1666 Great Fire and 1941 Blitz, it has monuments to Wellington, Nelson and Churchill.
Hampstead Museum in North London focuses on the writers and artists who have lived in the area since the eighteenth century. It also houses the Helen Allingham Collection of fine art.
Hogarth’s House is the former home of the cartoonist William Hogarth who lived here until his death in 1764. It has the biggest collection of his prints on public display.
The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, South London opened in 1901. Its collections include exhibits on anthropology, natural history and musical instruments.
This medical museum is housed in the Royal College of Surgeons. It includes skeletons and organs in jars.
Kenwood House is a white stuccoed house on the edge of Hampstead Heath. It houses a collection of paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough.
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
The Petrie Museum illustrates life in the Nile Valley from Pharaohs to Roman and Islamic rule. Its collection includes decorative art from Akhenaten’s famous city of Amarna.
London might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but as you can see there is also plenty of free entertainment to enjoy. If traveling in a group London holiday rentals are an excellent alternative to hotels and with all the historical sites to visit you are bound for a great vacation.
[Photo @ Flickr by JJGardner3]
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