10 museums and art galleries in London that are free to visit

London ranks among the most expensive cities to live in. This means that any tourist visiting the capital of England must have a fairly large budget. Traveling on the London Underground can quickly burn your money; the city is famous for being home to extravagant bars and restaurants that cost a pretty penny, and admission tickets to the city’s top-rated attractions can cause a major dent in your wallet. That photo on the London Eye you need to show off your British vacation? It’s not exactly cheap.



Fortunately, however, everything in London doesn’t have to cost you money. In the spirit of free access to art and history, several museums and art galleries in the city let people in for free. No matter the time of year or the day of the week, visiting these museums and art galleries is completely free.

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Saatchi Gallery is not only one of the most prestigious art galleries in London, but it is also a famous name all over the world. The gallery operates as a registered charity that provides a platform for emerging artists to showcase their art in front of an audience that doesn’t have to shell out a few dollars to get in. Travelers can view Saatchi’s exhibits on their website and save their money on admission tickets to purchase artwork. Given that the art gallery has a reputation for showcasing the works of top artists before they shot to fame, you might very well stumble upon the next Andy Warhol here.


9 London Museum

For those who really want to know the history of the city they are visiting, how it got here today, and the illustrious people who call the city home, the Museum of London should be high on the list of places . to visit. The museum records London from prehistory to the present day, showcasing over 450,000 years of London’s history through a mix of permanent and temporary exhibits that feature milestone events in London’s history. The museum is open seven days a week and visitors can enter at any time during their opening hours.


8 National Science Museum

The National Science Museum is located in South Kensington on a lane known as Exhibition Road, home to great museums and art galleries, some of which are free to enter. Considered one of the largest science and technology museums in the world, the National Science Museum features artifacts and exhibits related to the fields of chemistry, medicine, space, mathematics, technology, astronomy and robots, but in a fun and engaging way. . Sometimes visitors may even come across staff members conducting live experiments. Tickets are free, but the museum asks visitors to pre-book their time slots online.


seven Imperial War Museum London

Spread over five different sites in the UK, the Imperial War Museums have three branches in London. Among these, the Imperial War Museum London serves as a memorial for the First and Second World Wars. The museum’s permanent exhibits include a Holocaust gallery, an exhibit of artifacts from both World Wars, as well as separate galleries devoted to World War I and World War II. The museum also regularly offers events and temporary exhibitions, all of which are completely free for visitors.

For those who can never choose between spending the day in an art gallery or a history museum, the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square is the perfect day out. Founded in 1824 with a collection of 38 paintings, The National Gallery is an art museum displaying the UK’s collection of European paintings. Anyone with a flair for art history will spot the important works of Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian displayed on the gallery walls.


5 English Museum

Dedicated to documenting human history, art and culture, the British Museum houses an impressive collection of manuscripts, sculptures, Egyptian hieroglyphs and archaeological artefacts from the ancient world. The museum also distributes an object trail map for visitors to jump to its most popular exhibits based on different themes. Although visiting the British Museum is free, the museum requires you to book your timeslot in advance to guarantee entry. Visits without an appointment, although authorized, are subject to the reception capacity of the museum.

4 National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum is located in a beautiful complex which previously housed the Greenwich Royal Hospital School. The museum sits on the banks of the River Thames and showcases England’s maritime history through model ships, maritime instruments, photographs and artwork, and a library that houses more than 100,000 books devoted to the maritime history of the country. A trip to the National Maritime Museum can always end with a short hike to Greenwich Park, which offers stunning views of the museum and the London skyline, and a stroll through Greenwich Market.


3 Tate Modern

Let’s be honest: most would make a trip to the Tate Modern even if the art museum charged expensive admission tickets. The iconic Tate Modern is one of London’s top attractions, and the fact that entry to its gallery is completely free is just a huge bonus! While the art museum houses paintings and sculptures by Pablo Picasso, the Tate Modern is particularly famous for its state-of-the-art art installations. Although the museum charges admission fees to a few of its exhibits (unless you’re a member), access to its galleries is free for everyone.

2 Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A as the locals call it, houses more than 2.8 million works of art over 5,000 years of history. The art, design and performance museum features some of the country’s largest collections of ceramics, textiles, furniture, jewelry, photographs, books and paintings, among others. The museum charges fees for its workshops and a few select exhibits, but access to most of its collections and events remains free for visitors.

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1 Natural History Museum

For anyone who grew up watching Jurassic Park and dreamed of a world full of dinosaurs, the Museum of Natural History is a wonderland. Not only is the building the museum occupies an architectural marvel, but it houses an even more impressive collection in the departments of Botany, Paleontology, Mineralogy, Entomology, and Zoology within. Giant dinosaur skeletons hang from high ceilings, collections display fossils of extinct mammals, and several exhibits document the history of human evolution. In winter, the open gardens of the Natural History Museum transform into a dazzling skating rink surrounded by Christmas trees.

Mildred D. Field