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The Best Free Museums in London

Updated: January 14, 2024

Here is our list of the best free museums in London, including science, military, history, and art museums. We also list the best kid-friendly options.

Visiting a free London museum is one of our picks for the top 10 things to do in London.  


London is a hub of international art and culture, which means that many of the city’s free museums are world-class art galleries and exhibits.

Many of these locations are national museums that are funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. This means they'll likely always be free no matter when you want to visit.

Here is our list of the best free art museums and galleries.

The National Gallery

One of the most impressive collections of art throughout the ages is right in London at The National Gallery and completely free.

The National Gallery in London houses an exceptional collection of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

You can see works from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Degas, Van Gogh, Botticelli, and Rembrandt all the way to more primitive stone sculptures.

This museum is located right next to Trafalgar Square, another famous and well-known landmark in London.

Museum open daily from 10am – 6pm and Friday until 9pm (Closed on 24th–26th December and 1st January) and admission to the museum is free.

Tips From Tourists

Users on our Facebook Group frequently discuss this museum as one of the best free attractions to visit in London.

One excellent tip we recently discovered is that this is an excellent spot to visit when it gets hot outside, because the National Gallery is climate controlled and has air conditioning during the warmer months.

Tate Modern

Get a look at modern and contemporary art from artists around the world at Tate Modern.

Tate Modern in London showcases an impressive array of contemporary and modern art from the 1900s to the present day.

They have both themed exhibits - such as examining the way media and modern society impact the world - to exhibits based on specific artists.

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 6 pm and admission to the museum is free.

Tips From Tourists

This is one of our favorite suggestions we've found on our Facebook Group, because it's a little-known secret about the Tate Modern: The 6th floor offers one of the best views of St. Paul's Cathedral in the entire city!

Tate Britain

If you’re interested in British art, Tate Britain is where you need to visit.

Tate Britain in London is renowned for its extensive collection of British art from the 16th century to the modern era, offering a comprehensive glimpse into the country's artistic heritage.

The museum presents an enriching experience with its diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and artworks that highlight the evolution of British artistic styles and narratives over centuries.

You can find exhibits on specific periods in British art history and on famous British artists such as Gainsborough, Hogarth, Bacon, and more. 

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 6 pm and admission to the museum is free.

Tips From Tourists:

Most people already know about this, but if you were unaware, there's actually a boat that travels between both the Tate Britan and Tate Modern, making travel between the two museums very easy!

The National Portrait Gallery

If you have a love of British culture and history or are interested in learning more, The National Portrait Gallery is a good choice.

The National Portrait Gallery in London celebrates the faces and stories of prominent figures in British history through an extensive collection of portraits, spanning from the Tudor period to the present day.

The collection includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other artistic representations, providing insights into the lives and achievements of notable personalities.

Admission to the gallery is free and it opens daily from 10 am - 6 pm.

Tips From Tourists:

Like the Tate Modern, the National Portrait Gallery also has a Cafe & Bar that offers some of the best views in all of London, including the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.

Victoria & Albert Museum

Also known as the V&A, this massive museum located in South Kensington has curated one of the largest collections of art and design in the country.

Its exhibits encompass a vast and diverse array of artifacts, including textiles, fashion, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and more, spanning centuries and cultures from around the world.

The museum's collection allows visitors to explore the evolution of design and craftsmanship, showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of human expression throughout history.

Admission to museum is free with some chargeable exhibitions and events. The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5:45 pm.

Tips From Tourists:

If you're interested in visiting multiple free museums in one day, the Victoria & Albert Museum is located close to both the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.

Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection was compiled throughout the 18th and 19th centuries before being gifted to the British Nation in the late 1800s.

It features exquisite paintings, sculptures, furniture, armor, and porcelain, providing a glimpse into the opulent world of European aristocracy and showcasing masterpieces by renowned artists like Fragonard, Rembrandt, and Titian.

The collection is displayed within the grand Hertford House, offering a unique blend of art and historical elegance.

It remains one of the most impressive collections of sculptures, furniture, armor, and paintings in the world.

The entry to the permanent collection is free and it opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm.

Tips From Tourists:

This museum isn't as big as some of the other locations on our list, so you probably won't need as much time to see everything. Most of the recommendations on our Facebook Group indicate 90 minutes should be more than enough for most visitors.

Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre

The Guildhall Art Gallery is a lovely collection of paintings and other artwork that rotate throughout the year, much of which is Victorian or pictures of London.

Adjacent to the Guildhall Art Gallery is the Roman Amphitheatre, an archaeological site that dates back to the Roman period.

Discovered during excavations, this ancient amphitheater offers a glimpse into London's rich history, providing visitors with an understanding of Roman life and entertainment.

The exhibits at the Roman Amphitheatre showcase artifacts and remains that shed light on the city's Roman past, enhancing the overall historical experience for visitors.

While admission to both Art Gallery and Amphitheatre is free, ticket booking is recommended.

It opens daily from 10:30 am - 4 pm with the last admission at 3:45 pm.

Whitechapel Gallery

The Whitechapel Gallery in London is a pioneering contemporary art space known for its commitment to showcasing innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art from both emerging and established artists.

Founded in 1901, it has a rich history of promoting modern art and engaging with a diverse range of artistic mediums, including painting, sculpture, video, installation, and performance.

You can find works from artists like Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Sophie Calle.

Whitechapel gallery opens everyday except Monday. Timings are 11 am - 6 pm on Tuesday -Wednesday & Friday - Sunday and 11 am - 9 pm on Thursdays.

Serpentine Galleries

The Serpentine Galleries are two separate galleries within Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, connected by a bridge over the Serpentine Lake.

Exhibits at the Serpentine Galleries typically encompass a wide range of contemporary art forms, including paintings, sculptures, installations, film exhibitions, Japanese architectural drawings, multimedia art, performance art, and more.

The galleries aim to provide a platform for innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art that engages with social, political, and cultural issues of our time.

The galleries open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-6pm.

Included in Tourist Passes:

If you have your eye on an art gallery that isn’t free, there is most likely a way to get a discounted or cheap ticket.

By buying a tourist pass, you get entrance to these museums included:

  • Queen’s Galleries
  • Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
  • Fan Museum
  • Werner Collection at Ranger House
  • Foundling Museum

Check out our article about London tourist passes here.

Honorable Mention:

Looking for even more free museums?


The UK has a long military history and gives great honor to veterans who served in the various branches of the armed forces.

Here is our list of free military museums in London - for a full military museum list, check out our post here

Imperial War Museum

The full Imperial War Museum is an organization of collections throughout London, with the namesake location holding everything from letters and firsthand accounts of war to machinery and recordings. 

Visitors can expect to learn about the history of London military actions from the first World War to modern times.

The exhibits are divided into various sections like First World War Galleries, Second World War Galleries, Turning Points, The Holocaust Galleries, Witnesses to War, Lord Ashcroft Gallery and Peace and Security.

The museum opens daily at 10am to 6pm and entry to the museum is free.

Tips From Tourists:

Some users on our Facebook Group recommend setting aside an entire day for this museum, as there is a lot to see and do here. They also suggest seeing HMS Belfast, but it must be noted that tickets for the floating museum are not free.

National Maritime Museum in Greenwich

The Royal Navy is represented in the National Maritime Museum.

From exploration and discoveries to feats of bravery, you can explore the exhibits and learn about sailors, captains, and technology from the UK’s maritime history.

The museum showcases a rich collection of ship models, maritime art, and historical artifacts, offering a fascinating journey through the world's maritime heritage.

From exploration and navigation to the legacy of Admiral Lord Nelson, its exhibits provide a captivating glimpse into centuries of maritime history and its impact on society.

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm. Entry to the museum is free but booking is recommended before visit.

National Army Museum

Learn about the stories of soldiers in the UK Army through historic paintings, films, and weaponry at the National Army Museum.

If you’re interested in the technology of the World Wars or the history of poppies as a symbol, this museum is for you. 

The museum showcases a diverse range of exhibits, spanning from ancient battles to modern conflicts, honoring the history, soldiers, and innovations of the British Army.

The displays offer insight into weaponry, uniforms, personal stories, and the evolving role of the army throughout the centuries.

The museum opens Tuesday - Sunday from 10 am - 5;30 pm.

Royal Air Force Museum

Aviation enthusiasts will love the RAF Museum in London.

You’ll find historic aircraft and flight simulators, as well as an in-depth look at the first 100 years of the Royal Air Force and its development.

Visitors can explore iconic planes, wartime relics, and learn about the courageous men and women who shaped the skies.

Discover the history of aviation in England in this huge and impressive military museum.

Museums open every day from 10 am - 5 pm. Admission to all areas of museum is free.

Museums included in Tourist Passes

London has a wide variety of military museums, paying tribute to the sacrifices made during wartime.

Here are some other museums throughout the city that require purchasing a ticket, but can also be visited for free or at a discount with the purchase of a tourist pass.

  • HMS Belfast
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Household Cavalry Museum
  • Tower of London with Beefeater Tours


If science and medicine are what you’re interested in, take a look at this list of museums. 

In London, you’ll find everything from natural history to medical marvels.

You can find even more medical museums on our full Medical Museums in London post. 

Natural History Museum

See skeletons, fossils, and wildlife photography to learn about the history of life on earth. 

The Natural History Museum is one of the main three museums on Exhibition Road and is a beautiful building on its own. 

The museum boasts popular exhibits like the iconic Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton "Dippy," a towering blue whale model suspended from the ceiling, and the captivating Earth Hall showcasing geological wonders.

Additionally, the museum showcases a remarkable collection of minerals, gems, and fossils, providing a fascinating glimpse into Earth's natural history and biodiversity.

The museum open everyday from 10.00 am - 17.50 pm with last entry at 17.30 pm. Entry to the museum is free.

TIP: If you are visiting London anytime between Mid-October to Mid-January, you can ice-skate at the Museum! See our post on ice-skating rinks in London.

Tips From Tourists:

One of the members of our Facebook Group has a few suggestions to keep in mind before visiting.

The most important tip is to make reservations so you can avoid waiting in line to get in.

They also note that the air conditioning is not very effective on the upper floors, so you might want to go during colder months of the year.

It's also worth noting that the museum can get crowded during school breaks, so you should avoid those time periods.

Science Museum

From biology to astronomy, the Science Museum on Exhibition Road is packed with objects, photos, and interactive exhibits that give you a peek into the scientific wonders of our world.

The museum features well-known exhibits such as Stephenson's Rocket, an emblem of the Industrial Revolution, the Apollo 10 command module, showcasing space exploration milestones, and the interactive Wonderlab, where visitors can engage with scientific experiments and demonstrations.

The museum offers a fascinating journey through the history of science, technology, and innovation, showcasing iconic inventions and their impact on society.

Admission to the museum is free and it opens daily from 10 am - 6 pm, with the last entry at 05:15 pm.

Tips From Tourists:

Some members of our Facebook Group indicate that kids don't like this museum very much, as it's far more focused on scientific facts and discoveries, requiring a lot of reading and a focused attention.

That said, if you're an adult, chances are you'll enjoy the experience!

British Dental Association Museum

If you’ve ever wondered what dentistry looked like in the 1700s and through the years until today, take a look at the British Dental Museum.

The museum features a fascinating array of vintage dental instruments and historic dentures, offering a glimpse into the evolution of dentistry and oral healthcare practices.

It provides a unique perspective on the progression of dental care and the tools used by dental professionals throughout history.

The museum holds dentists’ chairs, tools, dentures, and other dental objects.

Royal London Hospital Museum

Note: Museum is now closed.

Find the strange and fascinating in the Royal London Hospital Museum.

You’ll see everything from collections of historic surgical instruments to a replica skeleton of the Elephant Man.

It is housed in a former church crypt and has a display on Jack the Ripper, to make things a bit spooky.

Grant Museum of Zoology

From a frightening skull of an African Rock Python to their collection of animal brains, there are enough novelties in the Grant Museum of Zoology to keep everyone entertained for the afternoon.

The museum features a diverse array of preserved animal specimens, including rare and extinct species, offering a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating world of zoology and natural history.

Visitors can marvel at the intricate displays, from delicate skeletons to taxidermy specimens, providing insights into the biodiversity and wonder of the animal kingdom.

Museum is currently closed for improvement and will reopen in January 2024.

Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum in London is known for its eclectic collection, including an extensive anthropology exhibit featuring cultural artifacts from around the world, Butterfly house as well as an impressive aquarium showcasing diverse marine life.

This unique museum holds diverse collections of objects - from gardens and an aquarium to animal bones and instruments.

Visitors can immerse themselves in global cultures and natural wonders, making it a fascinating destination for anthropology and nature enthusiasts.

The Museum is open daily from 10am - 5.30pm.

Anesthesia Heritage Centre

If you’re medically-minded, a visit to the Anesthesia Heritage Centre would be a great way to spend a few hours in London.

The Anesthesia Heritage Centre houses an intriguing collection of artifacts and documents, chronicling the history and evolution of anesthesia and pain relief in medical practice.

Visitors can explore the journey of anesthetic techniques and equipment, providing valuable insights into the advancement of medical science and patient care.

The centre holds a rare book collection, historic anesthetic instruments, and biographies of important people to the practice.

The Heritage Centre is open Monday to Friday 10:00 am – 16:00 pm.

Wellcome Collection

If you want to change your perspective on health, wellness, and science, take a visit to the Wellcome Collection.

The collection showcases thought-provoking exhibits exploring the intersections of medicine, art, and culture, delving into topics such as health, disease, and human experience through various multimedia displays and contemporary art installations.

You’ll find medical instruments, architectural displays, and art collections as you discover how artwork affects medicine and health.

Visitors can engage with thought-provoking collections that challenge perceptions and promote understanding of the complexities of the human condition and medical progress.

The collection is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 18:00 pm with the exception of Thursday on which it is open from 10:00 am - 20:00 pm.

The Faraday Museum at the Royal Institution

The Faraday Museum at the Royal Institution in London celebrates the life and work of Michael Faraday, a pioneering figure in electromagnetism, featuring his scientific instruments and original research materials.

From experiments and technological advancements to the people who completed them, the Faraday Museum is a snapshot of British innovation.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of electricity, magnetism, and scientific discovery, gaining insights into Faraday's significant contributions to modern physics.

You can even find Michael Faraday’s lab, preserved as it was in the 1850s.

The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm.

Medical Museums Included in Tourist Passes

You can find more museums about all things science and medicine on the list of attractions included in several London tourist attraction discount passes.

Here is a list of some of the museums available:

Cheap Science Museums

These museums aren’t quite free, but they are affordable to enter.

Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum

  • Adults £4 | Children, Students, and Seniors £2

Hunterian Museum

  • Some archives available online

Honorable Mention:

There are even more medical and science museums in London. Here are our honorable mentions you might want to visit:


London has been a city for roughly 2,000 years.

That is a lot of time for people to live, move, and make exciting advancements, and that means this is the perfect city for museums about history.

Here is our list of free history-related museums.

And come along with us on one of our free walking tours to learn about the history of this great city.  We offer a WW2 London Blitz Tour

Bank of England Museum

What happened to the use of gold as currency? You’ll find out why the Bank of England switched to paper in the museum.

The Bank of England Museum in London offers a captivating journey through the history of British currency, featuring rare banknotes, gold bars, and interactive exhibits on monetary policy and the central banking system.

Visitors can explore the fascinating world of finance, understanding the role of the Bank of England and its impact on the country's economy.

You can also hold a bar of gold and get a picture with it! 

The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm. It is open until 8 pm on every third Thursday of the month.

Museum of London

Note: Museum is now closed. New museum will open for public in the year 2026.

How has London changed over the years?

Head to the Museum of London to learn about the city in Medieval times, under Roman rule, and how it became an international hub today.

The museum showcases the history and evolution of London, featuring exhibits on Roman London, the Great Fire, and contemporary urban development, providing a comprehensive journey through the city's rich past and vibrant present.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse stories of Londoners and the city's cultural, social, and economic transformations over centuries.

British Museum

For an interesting overview of human history, visit the British Museum.

The British Museum in London houses world-renowned exhibits like the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, showcasing ancient artifacts and art from civilizations across the globe, offering a glimpse into human history and cultural heritage on a global scale.

Visitors can explore diverse collections spanning millennia, from Egyptian mummies to Greek sculptures, fostering an understanding of the interconnectedness of civilizations and their contributions to humanity.

If you want a narrated tour, we lead one!

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm and on Fridays till 8:30 pm.

Tips From Tourists:

In addition to the museum itself, you can also enjoy a nice afternoon tea at the Great Court Restaurant inside!

This is a very big museum, and you can easily spend an entire day here, so you might want to take a break for tea while you're here.

British Library

Written histories, maps, and illustrated manuscripts from over 3,000 years of civilization sit in the British Library.

One of the most impressive artifacts is none other than the Magna Carta, original manuscripts by Dickens and Austen, but they also house Shakespeare's first Folio.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the world of literature and scholarship, exploring rare texts and significant documents that have shaped the course of human knowledge and culture.

You can even view one of the world’s earliest printed books!

For opening hours and other information, click here.

Tips From Tourists:

If you're a Beatles fan, make sure to stop here just to see their permanent exhibition of handwritten Beatles lyrics!

Burgh House & Hampstead Museum

Find 300 years of local neighborhood history in the historic Burgh House in Hampstead.

This Museum features local history exhibits, showcasing the heritage and culture of Hampstead, including artworks, photographs, and artifacts, providing insight into the area's evolution over time.

Visitors can explore the vibrant cultural identity of Hampstead through the museum's collections, offering a window into the neighborhood's past and present.

The museum opens Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday & Bank Holidays from 10am to 4pm.

London Mithraeum

Also known as the Temple of Mithras, this museum is an ancient Roman temple left from the days of Roman rule.

It was discovered during a fairly recent excavation in the 1950s and now displays artifacts left by the first Londoners.

The London Mithraeum showcases the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras, offering a glimpse into ancient Roman religious practices and architecture in London.

Visitors can experience an immersive historical journey through multimedia displays, revealing the mysteries of this ancient cult and its significance in Roman society.

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday – Saturday 10.00 am – 18.00 pm
  • Sundays 12.00 pm – 17.00 pm
  • Wednesday during term time 12.30 pm – 18.00 pm
  • First Thursday of the month 10.00 am – 20.00 pm
  • Closed Mondays, Christmas & New Year bank holidays

Royal Academy of Music Museum

Discover collections of unique instruments, including instruments that have been played by or for famous historical figures.

The Royal Academy of Music Museum presents an extensive collection of musical instruments, manuscripts, and memorabilia, featuring items owned and used by notable musicians, providing a rich narrative of musical history and innovation.

Visitors can explore the world of classical music and its evolution, gaining insights into the lives and legacies of renowned composers and performers.

This small museum is run by the Academy, so check out the cheap (or sometimes free) concerts given by students.

The museum is currently open on Fridays from 11am - 6pm.

Tip: If you go to the basement-level bar during intermission, you might catch some musicians!  

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

This university-run museum is home to 80,000 artifacts of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology, and it one of the best in the world.

The museum boasts a diverse collection of ancient artifacts, offering a glimpse into Egypt's rich history.

From intricately detailed pottery to mummies and ancient jewelry, it showcases the fascinating evolution of Egyptian civilization.

If you’ve ever wondered how people from the Nile Valley lived, visit the Petrie Museum.

The museum opens Tuesday - Friday from 1pm - 5pm and Saturday from 11am - 5pm.

Museum of London Docklands

How did rivers shape London society through the ages? Find out at the Museum of London Docklands.

The Museum of London Docklands presents a captivating exploration of London's maritime and trade history, showcasing artifacts and stories of its bustling docklands.

Visitors can delve into the city's past, from the slave trade to the Industrial Revolution, through immersive exhibits and interactive displays.

You can even visit an exhibition about the lost rivers that we can no longer see.

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm.

Museum of Freemasonry

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the Freemasons, this museum is for you.

Discover 300 years of Freemason history, with literature and saved artifacts.

The Museum of Freemasonry in London offers a unique insight into the history and symbolism of Freemasonry, displaying rare artifacts, regalia, and Masonic literature.

Visitors can explore the intriguing world of Freemasonry, uncovering its traditions, rituals, and contributions to society over centuries.

There are even 5 free tours per day - depending on whether or not the meeting house is in use - so check the schedule!

The museum opens Monday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 17:00 pm and First Thursday of month from 10:00 am - 20:00 pm.

London Sewing Machine Museum

Sewing enthusiasts might enjoy a short trip to the London Sewing Machine Museum.

There are 600 machines on display, many of which are rare or have historic significance.

The museum features a remarkable collection of antique sewing machines, showcasing their evolution and impact on textile craftsmanship.

Visitors can explore the ingenuity and craftsmanship of these historical machines, from early treadle models to ornate Victorian designs.

Their opening hours, however, are restrictive. For more details about the hours, click here.

Looking to visit as many museums as possible? Interested in some that aren’t free? An easy way to do that is by purchasing a London tourist pass.

They offer bulk discounts and sometimes include entrance to attractions for free. Check out our article about London tourist passes here.

Here is a list of museums that are included in some tourist passes:

  • Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
  • Charles Dickens Museum
  • Rugby Museum
  • Cartoon Museum
  • Jewish Museum
  • London Bridge Experience
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not
  • Benjamin Franklin House
  • London Canal Museum
  • Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
  • Twining Tea Shop and Museum (with the Turbo Pass)

Cheap or Almost-Free Museums

Not all the museums in London are free, unfortunately, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t affordable!


It is entirely possible to have a fun and educational trip when you add in some of these great family-friendly museums to your itinerary.

Here is a list of free and cheap museums in London that are great for kids.

The British Museum

The British Museum in London offers engaging kids exhibits, allowing young learners to discover ancient civilizations through interactive displays and hands-on activities.

From Egyptian mummies to Greek mythology, children can embark on an educational and entertaining journey through the past.

Kids will love exploring history through statues of pharaohs, ancient board games, and a large, mummified bull.

The British Museum holds artifacts from every continent - including the famous Rosetta Stone.

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm and on Fridays till 8:30 pm.

Museum of London

The Museum of London offers exciting kids exhibits, bringing the city's history to life with interactive displays, dress-up opportunities, and immersive experiences.

Children can step into the past, exploring London's diverse past and engaging with its vibrant culture through a child-friendly lens.

Learn about the events that shaped London in the Museum of London.

The whole family will enjoy discovering the remains of exotic animals that used to live in the capital, like hippos!

Note: Museum is now closed. New museum will open for public in the year 2026.

Natural History Museum

One of the most exciting museums on this list is the Natural History Museum, thanks to their huge dinosaur skeletons assembled and standing high overhead.

The Natural History Museum provides enriching kids exhibits, allowing young minds to delve into the wonders of the natural world through interactive displays and hands-on activities.

From dinosaur skeletons to live insects, children can explore and learn about the fascinating biodiversity that surrounds us.

You can also discover present-day animal life with insect and wildlife photography exhibits.

The museum open everyday from 10.00 am - 17.50 pm with last entry at 17.30 pm. Entry to the museum is free.

Science Museum

Discover how the world works at the Science Museum.

The Science Museum in London offers captivating kids exhibits, inviting young learners to engage with interactive displays and exciting experiments that unravel the wonders of science and technology.

From space exploration to robotics, children can discover the marvels of the scientific world in an entertaining and educational manner.

Any future astronauts in your family can enjoy the gallery dedicated to space exploration, with a full-sized model of the lander that put the first men on the moon!

Admission to the museum is free and it opens daily from 10 am - 6 pm, with the last entry at 05:15 pm.

V&A Museum of Childhood

This branch of the V&A Museum is filled with wonder and whimsy. There are collections of children’s books and literature and a small city of working dollhouses.

The museum provides delightful kids exhibits, featuring a diverse array of toys, games, and childhood memorabilia, allowing children to step into the enchanting world of play and imagination.

From vintage dolls to interactive displays, it offers a charming exploration of the history and evolution of childhood.

Check the Museum of Childhood schedule for free activities to join in on, too!

The museum opens daily from 10.00 am – 17.45 pm.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Get a glimpse of just how many different species share the planet with us at the Grant Museum of Zoology.

The museum presents engaging kids exhibits, offering a chance for young explorers to discover a diverse collection of fascinating animal specimens and skeletons, sparking curiosity about the natural world.

Children can observe and learn about the incredible variety of creatures that inhabit our planet, fostering a love for science and biology.

You can find a collection of brains and bisected heads as well as participate in family art activities that change monthly!

Museum is currently closed for improvement and will reopen in January 2024.

Burgh House & Hampstead Museum

Burgh House is a historic house dedicated to local history in the Hampstead neighborhood.

The museum offers delightful kids exhibits, providing a glimpse into the history of Hampstead with interactive displays and activities tailored for young visitors.

Children can engage with the neighborhood's past, stories, and artifacts, making history come alive in an accessible and engaging way.

The kids will have great fun trying on available old-fashioned clothes and playing with interactive displays.

The museum opens Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday & Bank Holidays from 10am to 4pm.

Museum of London Docklands

This is a branch of the Museum of London dedicated to the history of the London docks on the River Thames and how trade impacted the city’s history.

The museum offers engaging kids exhibits, letting young explorers discover the maritime history of London through interactive displays and immersive experiences.

Children can step into the past, from the age of pirates to the industrial revolution, and uncover the city's maritime legacy.

Kids will love the model ships and walking through Sailortown.

The museum opens daily from 10 am - 5 pm.

Horniman Museum

The Horniman Museum has an eclectic mix of music and natural history artifacts.

Located in Forest Hill, one of the most noteworthy things to see here is their collection of musical instruments.

There are plenty of exhibits and activities to keep the kids entertained from the gardens and butterfly house to animal specimens and storytimes on specific Sundays.

The Museum is open daily from 10am - 5.30pm.

Bank of England Museum

Learn about the history of banking and how the Bank of England works today at the museum.

While here, you can take a photo in the gold vault corridor, see banknotes through the years, and hold a solid gold bar!

The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm. It is open until 8 pm on every third Thursday of the month.

Included in Tourist Passes

There are family-friendly museums all over the greater London area, so there is sure to be something you’ll find interesting.

If you want to see a museum that isn’t free you can save by purchasing a London city pass that includes entrance!

Here is a list of museums that are great for kids and included in a tourist attraction discount pass:

  • HMS Belfast
  • London Transport Museum (Children are always FREE!)
  • Old Operating Theater Museum
  • Royal Mews
  • London Canal Museum
  • Charles Dickens Museum
  • Foundling Museum
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not
  • Cartoon Museum

Affordable Kid-Friendly Museums

Here is a list of museums that are both cheap and great for the family!


Not all of London’s museums are free, but you can get free entrance included in the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass.

You can save up to 55% off of retail ticket prices.

Here is our list of paid museums that are free with an all-inclusive tourist pass.

  • Tower of London with Jewel Tower
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Tower Bridge
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Kensington Palace
  • Windsor Castle
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • HMS Belfast
  • Kew Gardens
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • The Cutty Sark
  • Handel & Hendrix London
  • The Queen’s Gallery
  • Household Cavalry Museum
  • Fan Museum
  • Freud Museum London
  • Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
  • The Guards Museum
  • The Royal Mews
  • Beefeater Gin Distillery Tour
  • Twickenham, Chelsea, and Emirates Stadium Tours
  • Banqueting House
  • London Transport Museum
  • Jewish Museum London
  • Apsley House
  • London Canal Museum
  • Benjamin Franklin House
  • Keats House
  • Florence Nightingale Museum
  • London Museum of Water and Steam
  • Pollock’s Toy Museum
  • Wellington Arch
  • Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
  • The Old Operating Theatre Museum
  • Wernher Collection at Ranger’s House
  • Cartoon Museum
  • Eltham Palace
  • Golden Hinde
  • Charles Dickens Museum
  • Science Museum IMAX
  • Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Westminster Abbey
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • National Army Museum


About The Author

Jessica O'Neill

I'm Jessica O'Neill, and I am an expert in London's museums and culture. I love sharing my knowledge with my tour guests and my viewers on my YouTube channel, The Museum Guide. Read More... I first moved to London more than a decade ago to complete an MA in Cultural Heritage Studies at UCL, and continued my studies in memorials and contested heritage at the PhD level. I specialise in private tours of the East End, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and all kinds of oddities, medical history, and macabre history. I run the London Urban Oddities Facebook group. I hope to see you there! You can arrange a private tour with me by getting in touch with , or visiting my website at The Museum Guide.
Updated: January 14th, 2024
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