The British Museum's iconic geometric glass ceiling.

  • The British Museum is open from 27 August 2020 with new safety measures in place, including mandatory face coverings, implemented in response to the latest government advice.
  • Journey through 2 million years of history, art and culture at one of the UK’s most esteemed national museums.
  • Download a British Museum map and embark on a host of family-orientated gallery activities, travelling through Ancient Egypt and Greece right through to Mexico and around Africa.
  • Become an expert in the history of the world by traversing the Museum’s permanent collections. 


The British Museum London is one of the must-see museums in London for any family, bursting to the brim with unparalleled exhibitions and collections, and with a wealth of family-focussed activities and events for you and your kids to discover. Best of all - it’s free to enter!

Play detective by following a 12-object trail designed specifically for families, discovering the most inspiring objects the Museum has to offer; try to spot the Aztec snake and pieces preserved from the Sutton Hoo burial. Take one of eight museum explorer trails and find your family on a fascinating journey around specific museum collections, with download-at-home packs designed for ages 3-5 and 6+. These include gallery sheets that you can download at home and bring to the museum, full of activities and ideas to inject your visit with even more opportunity to learn and have fun. Don’t miss out, too, on the themed backpacks that burst with intriguing items and activities. There’s one specifically for under-5s, and also for kids over 6, encouraging children to get hands-on with history and culture; themes include African Adventure and Alfred the Explorer.

Looking up at the British Museum's geometric glass ceiling.
Image © British Museum

Founded in 1753 as the world’s first free, national, public institution, the museum officially opened in 1759, with the aim of expanding and sharing knowledge to all those driven by curiosity and a desire to know more about other cultures and countries.

The British Museum is still one of the best-known and most-visited museums in the world, and one of the capital’s hotspots for any budding historian. There are more than 60 free galleries that await your exploration, all full of different historical periods and cultures. Learn about the wars and political turmoil of the medieval period, and deep-dive into the myths, lore and artefacts of Ancient Greece. The British Museum exhibitions are also always of exceptional quality, packed with learning potential for kids and full of objects and activities to pique their interests and set their curiosity alight. Past exhibitions have included A History of the World in 100 Objects and Mummy: The Inside Story. Some of the best things to see at the British Museum date from the Ancient Egyptian period. You and your kids can marvel at the practice of mummification - don’t forget to look for the mummified cat!

Take home a keepsake from the British Museum shop, and inspire further curiosity and learning, with children’s books, historical games, and children’s stationery all available.

If you’re looking for further ideas for what to do around the British Museum, and where to go in London, why not consider Coram’s Fields, a seven-acre playground and park? Plus, if you’re planning a visit to another museum in London, look no further than the Museum of London and the Natural History Museum, both of which will complement your day out at the British Museum superbly.

What to know before you go

  • In line with the latest government guidelines regarding COVID-safety measures, tickets must be pre-booked and face masks are mandatory. British Museum opening hours are currently 10am-5pm Wednesday-Sunday, and 10am-3pm on the first two reopened days of Thursday 27 August and Friday 28 August. The Museum will remain closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • The museum has multiple eateries on site, including the Court Café or Coffee Lounge for lighter refreshments, the Great Court Restaurant for a fancier meal or afternoon tea, the Pizzeria for Italian food, Montague Café for a hot drink or a quick bite to eat or hot drink.
  • There are plenty of other food options near the British Museum. Should you visit on a Thursday, the Bloomsbury Farmers Market will be in full swing nearby; if not, there’s a Waitrose for on-the-go options, a Wagamama on Streatham Street or a Pizza Express on Coptic Street.
  • Accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities and baby-feeding areas are dotted around the Museum. You'll find some in the Ford Centre for Young Visitors (level -1), the Great Court (level 0) and East stairs (level 0).
  • There are free BSL and audio descriptive guides to be found from the Great Court information desk: these are available between the hours of 10am-4.30pm.
  • Wheelchairs can also be borrowed but must be pre-booked.
  • For guests with buggies or wheelchairs, there’s an easy access route that can be used to enter the museum. 

Getting there

  • The British Museum is in Bloomsbury. Its entrance can be found at Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG, and its exit at Montague Place, London WC1E 7JW. 
  • It's within easy reach of several London Underground stations. Russell Square (Piccadilly line), Holborn (Central and Piccadilly lines) and Goodge Street (Northern line) stations are all under a 10-minute walk away.
  • There are various bus routes within walking distance of the Museum. Buses 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98 and 242 run along New Oxford Street. Routes 14, 24, 29, 73, 134 and 390 also pass within walking distance, heading northbound to Tottenham Court Road and southbound to Gower Street.
  • There are bicycle racks available inside the gates of the main entrance on Great Russell Street.
  • Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.
  • If visiting by car, there are no parking facilities offered by the Museum unless you are a guest with access requirements.
  • Blue Badge Parking spaces are available on Montague Place, Montague Street, and Coptic Street but must be pre-booked.

Images © British Museum

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