Know before you go: The British Museum in London

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

Dedicated to human history, arts and culture, The British Museum is home to over eight million works of art and is the first national public museum in the world. It was established in 1753, but the original collection has grown to over 13 million objects that are now housed at The British Museum, Natural History Museum and British Library. The commanding facade of The British Museum, fashioned in Greek Revival style, has 44 columns and is decorated by sculptures that depict the progress of civilization. Though the exterior is impressive, it’s what inside that counts. Here you’ll find Egyptian antiquities, Chinese collections of Buddhist paintings, ancient coins and so much more. Here are a few things to know before you go:

  • Admission is free.
  • It’s open daily from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Fridays until 8:30 p.m.
  • The museum is located on Great Russell Street. The underground tube has the following stations that are close: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square and Goodge Street. Bus stops close to the museum are 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242
    on New Oxford Street, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390 northbound on Tottenham Court Road,
    southbound on Gower Street and 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188 on Southampton Row.
  • Car parking is available at Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2RJ.
  • There are multiple free tours, including eye-opener tours, gallery talks and spotlight tours or an around the world in 90 minutes tour for 14 pounds.
  • The galleries are divided into the following areas: Africa, Americas, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Themes.
  • Current special exhibitions include The Citi exhibition- I object: Ian Hislop’s search for dissent and The BP exhibition- I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria.
  • Family fun includes trails you can follow with your kids that allow you to experience history from around the world. Info can be collected at the Families Desk in the Great Court.
  • Restaurant options include the Great Court Restaurant, the Court Cafe and the Pizzeria.
  • For everyone’s safety, all bags may be searched before entry. Storage for luggage is not available on site.

With so many priceless antiquities on display at this museum, it’s a great place to get a visually stimulating history lesson. The whole family can enjoy this museum, as it is kid friendly and has food available. Be sure to add The British Museum to your itinerary in London!

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