Top Tips for the British Museum

We are huge museum people so the British Museum was one of our first stops in London. Our son is really into history and visiting the British Museum was on the top of his wish list. There is a ton to see at the museum, which can feel a bit overwhelming.

Location

The world-famous British Museum is located in Central London, and is within walking distance of several London Underground stops. There are also multiple bus lines that have stops close to the museum. Use GoogleMaps or the CityMapper app to find out the best way to get there from your lodgings. There is no dedicated parking at the museum, so go with public transportation, a London black cab or ride share, such as Uber.

The Details

Admission to the British Museum is free, though certain exhibits may require an admission charge. The museum’s operating hours are 10 am – 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm. Hours could vary for special events, so check when you book your tickets(https://www.britishmuseum.org/visit). I went online a few days before to get our tickets and they were emailed to me – but no one actually asked to see them on our way in. There was a quick bag check. Strollers were allowed, but luggage isn’t (you can store it at some of the larger tube stations if that’s an issue)

Our Visit

We visited in July 2022. We got to the museum a bit before it opened, and there was a long line down the street. However, once the museum opened, the line moved pretty quickly. It can get crowded, especially around the big exhibits like the Rosetta Stone, so you may want to plan to see that later in the day. Crowds were much more manageable in other galleries.

 
Easter Island statue at the British Museum
British Museum Rosetta Stone
Gallery at the British Museum

The Highlights

Too many to list! For us, it was the Rosetta stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and statues of ancient Greece and Rome. I really enjoyed seeing the ancient jewelry exhibits. My advice is to get a map or go online before you arrive and pick your top “must-see” exhibits. There’s so much to see, you should really prioritize so you don’t run out of time. 

How long to allow

It really depends on your interest level. We spent all day (from 10-5) and probably could have spent a few more hours exploring if we could. Little ones might get bored a few hours in. If you’re with someone who has a particular interest – such as Egyptian mummies, visit that one first and then wander and explore until you’ve had your fill. If you’re limited on time, you may want to book a guided tour to make sure you get in all of the highlights. There is also an audio app you can purchase – which would be great to browse the galleries at your own pace.

S with fist bump of statue at British Museum

Food & Drink options

There are a variety of food options in the museum, both quick service and sit-down. We ate in the pizzeria, and we were pleasantly surprised. It’s tucked in the back Greece exhibits, and wasn’t terribly crowded. The pizzas were very good, and they had some very yummy-looking desserts available too. A great place to rest your feet is the coffee cafe in the main hall. I was impressed by how many of the cafe offerings appeared freshly-made, and not the standard pre-packaged, vending machine-type fare. My coffee and snack cake were the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Notes

British Museum Pinterest Image

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