Victoria and Albert Museum#15 in Best Things To Do in London
The palatial Victoria & Albert Museum, named in honor of the 19th-century royal couple, is known more commonly in its shortened form – the V&A. Located in South Kensington, this free museum is a compendium of applied art across a number of genres, disciplines and time periods. The collections are arranged by categories, such as architecture, textiles, furniture, drawings, jewelry, and so on, making it slightly easier to navigate this mammoth museum. Among the permanent collections, the V&A also offers diverse temporary exhibitions and free guided tours, along with free weekly public lectures.
Recent travelers praised the variety and sheer enormity of the art offered here, and were especially impressed with a recent special exhibit on Winnie the Pooh, but others were just as enthralled with its permanent collection, which many described as surprise around every corner. If you've only set aside a few hours to tour the museum, consider printing off a building map before you go, or buy one at the information desk upon arrival. Recent travelers attest a map will help you plan a route of the collections you'd like to see and maximize your visit.
The V&A is free to visit, though some special exhibitions and events will cost a fee. It's open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5:45, except on Friday when it remains open until 10 p.m. The nearest Tube stop is South Kensington. Along with restrooms and a gift shop, you'll also find three eateries on-site. For more information, visit the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website.
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#1 British Museum
The British Museum is both an architectural beauty and a trove of some of the world's most noted antiquities. In fact, many travelers it's the best museum in all of London. What's more, it's free to visit. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles to the Lindow Man, the British Museum is a history buff's dream containing artifacts in the millions. The immense collection can make an initial museum visit seem overwhelming: Pick the exhibits that most interest you, and plan return trips if you feel so inclined.
If you want a little help navigating the museum's 8 million objects, consider tagging along on a guided tour. Several, including the daily eye-opener tours and weekly lunchtime gallery talks and Friday evening spotlight tours are free. You can also book a highlights and special early morning tour for 14 pounds (around $20) and 30 pounds (less than $45), respectively. Audio guides, which cost 7 pounds (less than $10), are also available to rent daily.
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