London is one of the busiest and most interesting cities on the planet. It’s overflowing with history and culture, and there are few better illustrations of that than in its plethora of museums and art galleries, which can be found throughout the city. Let’s look at ten of the most noteworthy of them!
National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum covers a very important part of London’s (and Britain’s) history: seafaring. It’s packed to bursting with everything to do with ships and sailing. It’s based in Greenwich, which is an especially important place for the maritime world. It’s here that the Romans landed, and it’s been the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian since 1884. If you’ve the remotest interest in ships or sailing, then you should consider this part of the city a must-visit.
Museum of London
This London isn’t simply a museum that happens to be based in London, like the other entries to this list, but a museum that’s dedicated to the city itself. It’s currently based in the Barbican, but it’s to be moved to a nearby site in Smithfield Market. The project is estimated to be completed by 2021.
The British Museum is among the most extensive and impressive in the capital. It’s devoted to exploring human history, culture and art, and contains around eight million different pieces. It’s also among the oldest museums in the capital, having been first founded in 1753. The building was once home to an extensive collection of books, and so would draw researchers for more than a century before the collection was moved to the British Library in 1997.
Natural History Museum
This museum, as you might expect, is an exploration of the natural world. Right from the colossal diplodocus skeleton in the main hall to the outer fridges of the museum, you’ll find more things to see than it’s really possible to cover in a single visit. For this reason, it’s worth deciding in advance if you’re more interested in animals or rocks.
The Science Museum can be found in Kensington, on Exhibition Road. It’s here that you’ll find some of the most cutting-edge science presented in a format that almost everyone can enjoy. Things have gotten even more technologically-advanced in recent years, with virtual-reality experiences bringing the exploits of pioneering British astronaut Tim Peake so close that you can almost touch them.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum specialises in art and design, and is home to more than two million separate objects, which trace more than five-thousand years of human creativity. Inside the building you’ll find some of the most intricate and exciting furniture, fashion and photography – and a whole lot more besides.
The National Gallery is home to some of the finest paintings to be found on the British Isles. Here you’ll find works by Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt and the famous ‘sunflowers’ painting by van Gogh. There are myriad works to explore and uncover, and so if you’re a fan of painting, you should make this part of town a must-visit.
The Tate Modern is among the most famous place to view modern art in the world. It’s to be found in the Bankside area, in what used to be a power station. It contains the national collection of British Art spanning right from the turn of the 20th century to the present day.
If you prefer your artworks to be more on the traditional side, then a trip to the Tate Britain will probably be preferable. You’ll find it on Milibank in the City of Westminster. It’s the oldest of four galleries to bear the ‘Tate’ name, having been founded in 1897.
The Geffrye Museum is dedicated to an exploration of home life in Britain – exploring interior designs and garden as far back as 1600. Amongst the grounds you’ll find an entire restored alms-house, through which you’ll get a glimpse of what life was like for the poor and elderly in Victorian England.
What if I don’t like Museums?
Museums constitute just a fraction of what’s on offer in this part of the country. If you’re looking to spend the day out in the sun, then a spot of afternoon tea on the Thames is sure to hit the mark. Thames Cruises are inexpensive and run constantly – and offer a great chance to see the most important sights London has to offer up-close.