Visiting the British Museum is one of the best things to see and do in London at any time of the year. It is one of the most visited museums in the world and has an incredible collection of pieces of history, ethnography, archeology and art. In addition, it is a low cost plan because the entrance is totally free.
Read on and we will give you all the details of how you can buy your tickets and avoid the queues, and the main schedules so you can make the most of your visit. Will you join us?
Visiting the British Museum
Take a trip around the world through its history, visiting the impressive British Museum, in the heart of the city of London, England.
With this private or semi-private tour of the British Museum you have exclusive access to a detailed account of the historical background of all the most relevant pieces of the extensive collection of one of the most important museums in the Western Hemisphere.
With 2.5 hours of personalized lectures and explanations, you will enjoy a historical learning and cultural entertainment experience like nowhere else.
Recommended if... you like to discover all the details of a museum and if you enjoy a personalized and exclusive treatment with guides who speak in your language.
How much do tickets to the British Museum cost?
Admission to the British Museum is completely free for all ages. So it becomes an ideal plan to entertain everyone in your group, from the youngest to the oldest, without spending a single penny.
That saving is very functional for you to invest it in the payment of a private guide who will explain in detail the history of the main exhibits.
Is it advisable to take a guided tour of the British Museum?
Without a doubt, the answer is yes, it is one of the best things to see and do in London at any time of the year. With a private tour of about 2 hours and a half with a specialized guide, you will know all the details of the pieces that houses the third most visited museum in the world after the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Louvre in Paris.
Your private guide will delve into the history of the most important objects of the museum among which are the Mummy of Katebet, Lewis Chessmen and Rosetta Stone, and if you have any questions you can solve it instantly. The best way to make the most of your visit. Are you in?
How to get tickets for the British Museum at the ticket office?
As tickets to the British Museum are free, there is no need to purchase them. However, it is advisable to book your free admission ticket on the British Museum website in advance. This will save you from waiting in the long and unnecessary queues that characterize one of the top 10 museums in London.
If you are paying for a privately guided tour, they will usually arrange the booking of your admission ticket.
Are tickets to the British Museum included in any city sightseeing pass?
The most common thing is that the best tourist cards in London do not include the British Museum among the activities included in their daily or weekly packages. Simply for the reason that access is free and it would not be fair to advertise it as an activity where you supposedly save money on an entrance fee that would never be charged outside the tourist pass.
Anyway, what I can assure you is that tourist passes to visit several iconic sites in London under the same rate is one of the best investments you can make to balance your pocket. A fixed rate is usually between 50 € and 180 € and gives you access to a long list of paid attractions, without queues and with discounts that add up to 35 or 40% less than what you would pay buying individual tickets.
These passes have a different cost depending on the days for which you buy it and can be valid for up to a full week. So it is preferable not to buy them on the same day of your visit to the British Museum, as you would be losing part of your money in the time it takes you to visit this gigantic museum.
Are there free guided tours of the British Museum and how do they differ from private tours?
With the free tickets to the British Museum you have at your disposal, upon reservation and at specific times, guided tours by museum staff. However, as we have mentioned, you also have the alternative of booking a guided tour in Spanish for most of the permanent exhibitions with a private agency, which is an even more convenient option, as they are specialists who are there to answer your questions with complete exclusivity, in your language and under your own terms.
Keep in mind that free tours usually require a minimum number of participants, while the paid tours that come with private guides adjust to the conditions proposed by the company you decide to hire.
Details of interest
- Price: prices for a guided tour of the British Museum are usually around 115 € per group, but everything varies depending on the language chosen and the private or semi-private modality you are interested in.
- Duration: the best private tours of the British Museum in Spanish usually last about 2 hours and a half.
- Conditions: what are called semi-private tours are those that involve other clients, although groups do not usually exceed 8 people. The language chosen also influences the price, as a tour in English is always cheaper than one dictated in Spanish.
How to get to the British Museum by public transport?
London is a city characterized by the quality of its public transport and the ease with which its citizens can move from one point to another relatively quickly. Therefore, you have several alternatives to get to the British Museum.
The museum is located in Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG and the nearest London Underground stations are Holborn, Russel Square and Tottenham Court Road. All of these are within a couple of blocks of this notorious and eye-catching building. Although if you are not familiar with the London Underground, you may want to check out a handy guide on how the London Underground works.
You also have other alternatives to get to the British Museum Street, as bus lines 8, 9, 19, 25, 10, 14 and 15 other different routes of the city's public bus system will drop you off at the nearby perimeter of the museum.
Also, if you decide to ride your bike, you can park right in front of the entrance on Great Russell Street. If it is rented from the city's public system, you will need to drop it off at one of the corners and then pick it up again when you finish your tour and want to return to your hotel.
Main exhibitions not to be missed at the British Museum
The inventory of historical items preserved at the British Museum is impressively varied and extensive. These are distributed over the 5 levels available to visitors, which in turn are arranged over a site that covers 13.5 hectares.
On the lower floor levels, called Lower Floor's, you will find rooms with exhibitions that are dedicated to African culture, ancient Greece and the history of the Roman Empire, as well as its dismantling and subsequent restructuring.
On the Ground Floor, equivalent to what we know as the first floor, you will find exhibitions that are also dedicated to the foundations of Western society. These are complemented by several sections focused on the Middle East and the birth of the Islamic universe, along with others on the American continent.
Exhibitions oriented to Korean culture and the world of Chinese ceramics are other permanent installations that you can expect to find in the British Museum. However, the real highlight of the British Museum is the permanent exhibition of ancient Egyptian artifacts. In fact, it is the largest collection of historical items from that period of Egyptian civilization on public display outside of the city of Cairo.
The sum of all these rooms can keep you entertained for a good chunk of your day, making it a great plan to escape the heat if you're looking for things to do in London during the summer.
How much time do you need to tour the entire British Museum?
The time you can take to tour the British Museum depends on many factors. The first one would be the fact if it is a visit on your own or if you follow the tour of a guide. With the detailed explanations of the works combined with your own research and the guided tour it can take up to 3 or 4 hours.
When you visit it independently the panorama changes significantly, since you will most likely decide to take time for the objects that interest you, but skip others that do not catch your attention. In those scenarios the walkthrough can be reduced by up to 2 hours, and even 1.5 hours if you don't have any breaks or stop in detail.
However, knowing that it is a free activity, you can take advantage of it to entertain yourself to the maximum if your stay is extended for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, if this is one of your plans to see and do in London during a 7-day trip, then it is preferable that you book an afternoon to ensure peace of mind on your tour.
British Museum opening hours
The British Museum is open to the public on most days of the year. In fact, December 24th and 25th and January 1st are the only fixed dates when it is closed.
If you decide to visit in the morning you have to show up at least at 10:00 am, as it opens at that time every day of the week. Regarding the closing time is at 5:30 pm every day, unless there is a special event that is announced by the official means of the museum. Therefore, from 6:00 pm in the evening you can spend the rest of your sightseeing day discovering some of London' s best secret spots in iconic corners such as Soho or London Chinatown, both less than a kilometer away.
And if you want to have the maximum time ahead for your visit, on Fridays the museum closes at 8:30 pm, but keep in mind that the door will only receive visitors until 7:00 pm.
Tips for visiting the British Museum in high season
Like any other major spot on the London tourist scene, the British Museum tends to fill up with visitors during peak seasons. That is, December for Christmas and New Year's vacations, as well as all summer. If you want to avoid the crowds of tourists, it is preferable that you bet on an early visit, which means that you should be at the doors of the museum at 10 o'clock so that you can finish your tour at about 2 pm, just at the time when the rooms begin to fill up with too many visitors.
Note that there is a daily limit of access for security reasons. Therefore it is also recommended that you reserve your visit on the museum's official website for the time you wish to go on the specific date you have made time for in your planning.
Where to eat near the British Museum?
Bloomsbury, the neighborhood where the museum is located, has all kinds of restaurants ranging from pubs, very traditional in the English nightlife and gastronomic scene, to a very good range of culinary entertainment with Asian or Mediterranean atmosphere.
A couple of streets away is also Soho, one of the epicenters of the most eclectic and artistic nightlife and cultural scene in London since the second half of the last century. There you will also find London's Chinatown, which despite not having as much architectural allegory as other Western cities, it does have a very solid presence of restaurants and bars typical of Asian culture. If you go a little further in the direction of the River Thames and you would be in the Westminster area and there are plenty of restaurants for all tastes.
Any of the best tour buses in London could give you a tour of these areas when you have finished eating. Which can be a very good idea considering how exhausted you may be after walking for hours through the corridors of the British Museum.
What else is there to do near the British Museum?
The cultural diversity of the area is complemented by other iconic sites that are within walking distance of the British Museum. For example, Russel Square is directly opposite the museum and is a great place to marvel at the Georgian architecture that still persists in many parts of the city.
King's Cross Station and St. Pancras Station are other places to visit in the area near the British Museum. You will probably recognize both places, as the former is where the platform from which Harry Potter begins his journey to Hogwarts is located and St. Pancras Station is the place that was used for his exteriors. Check out the best Harry Potter tours in London and enjoy a magical experience.
Taking part in some of the London night tours is another good alternative to complete your day after leaving the British Museum. Especially since Soho and Westminster are very busy after sunset.