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People from outside England believe that London is an expensive place to visit. This is a fallacy. London's 240 major museums and art galleries offer free admission. Here's a list of the best of the big names you can visit for free all year round. There are lots of free museums and galleries in London, from the large-scale to the single room type. This list also focuses on the best of the small free London museums that are certainly worth a visit.

Bank of England Museum

The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the United Kingdom's central bank.

British Museum

  • Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms

Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery is displayed in Somerset House, a stunning 18th century Neoclassical palace. The Courtauld Gallery's art collection covers the 14th century up to today.

Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery - Free on Mondays

The Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery at Somerset House in London is free every Monday from 10am to 2pm.

Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye Museum in east London gives an insight into how Londoners have lived over the years. It's a museum of English domestic interiors and has room sets from 1600 right up to today.

Grant Museum of Zoology

The Grant Museum of Zoology has about 55,000 specimens, covering the whole Animal Kingdom. It's small and spooky and lots of fun, and it's free so you can pop in regularly.

  • HMS Belfast – 258,941

Horniman Museum

Hunterian Museum

The Hunterian Museum is at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. The Museum is inspired by the life and work of the surgeon John Hunter (1728-1793).

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is unique in its coverage of conflicts, from the First World War to the present day. It seeks to provide for, and to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and how it affects our lives.

L. Ron Hubbard's Fitzroy House

Fitzroy House, in the 1950s, was the London home and office of L. Ron Hubbard the founder of Dianetics and Scientology. The public can visit for free and see the restored building and exhibits of his life and works.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry

The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London contains an extensive collection of objects with Masonic decoration including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture and clocks, jewels and regalia.

Museum of Childhood

Find out about the Museum of Childhood including history, contact details, and a review.

Museum in Docklands


Museum of London

National Army Museum

The National Army Museum has five floors of exhibits showing the history of the British Army and its impact on others. There are four permanent gallery displays and an extensive program of exhibitions, events, and activities.

National Gallery Visitor Information

The National Gallery in London takes up the entire north side of Trafalgar Square. Its masterpieces include: Botticelli, Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Cezanne, Hogarth, and Gainsborough. Here's all the information you need to plan your visit.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of the big three museums in South Kensington, London. It is a wonderful Victorian building housing the weird and wonderful of the natural world. World famous for its dinosaur skeletons.

  • National Maritime Museum – 1,765,814

  • National Portrait Gallery – 1,645,680

Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology has 80,000 objects but only has space to display a small percentage. They welcome children and have activities available.

Prince Henry's Room and Samuel Pepys Exhibition

Prince Henry's Room in Fleet Street is one of the few houses in London which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Royal Institution

It's free to visit so find what to see at the Royal Institution in London.

Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery moved to its new home in Chelsea in 2008. The 70,000 sq.ft. gallery in the Duke of York HQ building on King's Road, Chelsea offers free admission to all shows as part of the Saatchi Gallery's aim to bring contemporary art to the widest audience possible. Plus you're allowed to photos everywhere in the building.

Science Museum

The Science Museum was founded in 1857 with objects shown at the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace. The permanent displays are free and they have exceptional temporary exhibitions for all the family.

Sir. John Soane's Museum

Sir John Soane was an architect and avid collector of antiquities and art. He merged 3 houses on Lincoln's Inn Fields to be his home and museum which he left to the nation in 1837.

Smythson of Bond Street

Smythson of Bond Street is a luxury stationers and leather goods retailer and their main store is on Bond Street in London. At the back of the store there's a small museum, which though small, is worth seeing.

Tate Britain Visitor Information

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to today. Each room is organized around a theme. Displays change regularly.

Tate Modern Guide

Tate Modern is the UK national gallery of modern art from 1900 onwards. Tate Modern is housed on a converted power station next to the River Thames, opposite St. Paul's Cathedral.

Theatre Museum

  • V&A Museum of Childhood

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

The Vault

The Vault is the rock memorabilia museum in the shop at the Hard Rock Cafe in London.

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection in London is a national museum displaying eighteenth and nineteenth century European paintings and French objets d'art.

Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is a modern museum and gallery bringing together science and art. Sir Henry Wellcome enthusiastically collected over a million medical objects and Wellcome Collection displays as many as possible to help visitors discover more about the development of medicine through the ages and across cultures.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry Museum

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry made the Big Ben bell for the Houses of Parliament and the original Liberty Bell. They have a free museum you can visit on weekdays to find out more.