The British Museum was founded in 1753 and shows the great finds of human history within its building from 1848. In this famous museum you can discover the Rosetta Stone and the Sphinx's beard. The colonial power Britain collected art treasures from all over the world, sometimes in a very questionable way. The relief of the Parthenon Temple from Athens, which the Earl of Elgin dismantled and brought to London, is very controversial. The British Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world and one of the highlights of London.
Admission is free, but you should reserve a ticket for the time you want to visit. For opening times and reservations check the link.
The Tate Modern was built in the former Bankside Power Station in 2000. The power plant was converted by the architects Herzog & de Meuron into one of the biggest museums for contemporary art. The large hall that extends over the entire length of the building is very impressive. In the Tate Modern you can find temporary art on different levels, which are connected by long roller stairs. On the top floor there is a cafe with a fantastic view over the Thames to the skyline of the City of London.
Live art is shown in the Blavatnik Building extension. The brick building was named after a wealthy donor and was also designed by the Swiss architects. Most exhibitions are free, but you should check the Tate Gallery website beforehand to see if time tickets are required. For current exhibitions in the Tate Modern and reservations check the link.
The sugar baron Henry Tate founded the National Gallery of British Art with his collection. He left his collection to the state, which in 1897 built the museum that is now home of the Tate Britain. The architect of the neo-classical building was Sydney Smith. The museum displays British art from 1500 to the present day. Here are the great works of William Turner, David Hockney and Sir John Everett Millais. Tate Britain is a major art museum with a large collection. You can see which pictures are currently being shown on the museum's website. Here you can also book a time ticket for your visit.
The house at Trafalgar Square has one of the best collections of paintings in the UK. The National Gallery has many famous works by William Turner, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Canaletto, Sando Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens and many other great artists. The National Gallery shows mostly international artists and organizes great temporary exhibitions. For temporary exhibitions and opening times and conditions check link below.
Prince Albert built the "Museum of Applied Art and Design" as an example for the population. Since 1852, the museum has built up the world's largest collection in this field. The Victoria and Albert Museum shows sculptures, paintings, architectural models, furniture design, and all kinds of objects from all over the world.
Hardly any other country in the world has such a glorious maritime past as Great Britain. The National Maritime Museum in the suburb of Greenwich shows maps, paintings and models from the time of the great voyages of discovery. The British did not always come to far away countries as peaceful explorers, but always had an economic interest in seafaring. This led to conflicts with other colonial empires. The museum also displays the coat that Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar. In the garden behind the museum is the Royal Observatory with the prime meridian.
The Whitechapel Gallery is not a gallery where you can buy art. High-class exhibitions of contemporary art have made the Whitechapel Gallery famous. The gallery was founded to bring art to the run-down east of London, there is a cafe, a bookstore and everyone is welcome. The famous Brick Lane begins to the right of the Whitechapel Gallery.
Museums in London
There are many great museums in London. The most famous are the British Museum, the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery. But the other museums on this list also have great collections that are well worth a visit.
Museums of the world: