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The British Museum
Vacation Travel Guide

The British Museum featuring heritage architecture, a square or plaza and a city

Originally created as a “cabinet of curiosities,” Britain’s oldest museum has grown into a treasure house of humanity’s greatest achievements.

With a collection of nearly 8 million artifacts gathered from every continent, it’s unlikely even the most seasoned museum-goer can absorb the British Museum in a single day. But don’t let the museum’s size deter you even if you only have a few hours. It’s well worth the visit.

The museum’s vast collection was originally built up from the donated and acquired collections of well-traveled, wealthy British adventurers during the heyday of the British Empire. Continually expanding to this day, the collections are now arranged along geographical lines. Marvel at monumental relics like the mysterious Easter Island statue and Elgin Marbles. And, join history lovers from around the world as you stand before the Rosetta Stone and the Head of Rameses.

Step beyond the must-see attractions and explore the quieter galleries that celebrate Oceanic, Middle Eastern and Babylonian beginnings. Hold history in your fingertips in one of the many object handling sessions throughout the various galleries. There’s no need to make reservation in advance, simply drop in to the “hands-on” rooms where staff are available to provide information and answer questions. For those interested in politics, don’t miss the Reading Room where Karl Marx penned The Communist Manifesto.

Merely walking up the broad steps and through the 44 neoclassical columns of the museum building is an experience in itself. Once inside, use the Great Court as a navigation point to the museum’s major galleries. Since its opening in the 1750s, the British Museum has consistently been the country’s most visited museum. It averages 6 million visitors annually and allows research access to its highly sought-after stock of relics.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or pressed for time, take one of the free, 30 to 40-minute eyeOpener tours held throughout the day. The museum has cafés, picnic areas and offers fun, educational giveaways for children. The museum is open daily, excluding December 24, 25 and 26, and January 1.

The British Museum is located near the Bloomsbury Gardens and Russell Square Gardens. The nearest Underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Russell Square.

Top things to do in The British Museum

Top Hotels Close to The British Museum

NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
4 out of 5
50-60 Southampton Row, London, England
The price is CA $193 per night from May 19 to May 19
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The British Museum and Oxford Street. St. Paul's Cathedral and London Eye are ...
5/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)
"Fantastic hotel! Great job with the refurbishment what a great transformation, loving it! Very friendly and helpful stuff."

Reviewed on Oct. 17, 2020

NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
Thistle Piccadilly
Thistle Piccadilly
4 out of 5
Coventry Street, London, England
The price is CA $142 per night from May 31 to May 31
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. Big Ben and Hyde Park are also within ...
4.3/5Excellent! (853 reviews)
Surpassed our expectations
"I was really impressed by the room in particular. A massive and comfortable bed, lovely big and modern bathroom and quality shower. We also had a great view of Leicester Square that we weren't expecting! It was extremely good value and a great experience. The staff were friendly and helpful too."

Reviewed on Dec. 17, 2020

Thistle Piccadilly
The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
Free cancellation
The price is CA $149 per night from May 23 to May 23
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and HMS Belfast. The Shard and Excel Exhibition Centre ...
4.2/5Excellent! (2,685 reviews)
"Lovely hotel with great staff. Would highly recommend."

Reviewed on Dec. 14, 2020

The Tower Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near The British Museum

NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
4 out of 5
50-60 Southampton Row, London, England
The price is CA $193 per night from May 19 to May 19
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
Thistle Piccadilly
Thistle Piccadilly
4 out of 5
Coventry Street, London, England
The price is CA $142 per night from May 31 to May 31
Thistle Piccadilly
The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
The price is CA $149 per night from May 23 to May 23
The Tower Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
4 out of 5
60 Pentonville Road, Islington, London, England
The price is CA $135 per night from May 21 to May 21
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
Thistle Holborn
Thistle Holborn
4 out of 5
Bloomsbury Way, London, England
The price is CA $129 per night from May 31 to May 31
Thistle Holborn
The Royal Horseguards
The Royal Horseguards
5 out of 5
2 Whitehall Court, London, England
The price is CA $235 per night from May 23 to May 23
The Royal Horseguards
The Resident Covent Garden
The Resident Covent Garden
4 out of 5
51 Bedford St, London, England
The price is CA $192 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 1
The Resident Covent Garden
The Hoxton Holborn
The Hoxton Holborn
4 out of 5
199 - 206 High Holborn, London, England
The price is CA $240 per night from Jun 13 to Jun 13
The Hoxton Holborn
The Savoy
The Savoy
5 out of 5
Strand, London, England
The price is CA $707 per night from May 18 to May 18
The Savoy
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.