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British Museum Tickets: prices, hours, etc.

If you have doubts about how you could visit the British Museum during your next flight to London, don't think twice. Here you can learn all the details of this experience, such as opening hours and the type of exhibitions you will find in this museum of history.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

11 min read

British Museum Tickets: prices, hours, etc.

British Museum | ©Paul Hudson

It is quite logical that you are planning to visit the British Museum on a sightseeing trip to this city, as it is one of the best things to see and do in London at any time of the year. However, as with any idea, it is best to do so based on facts that will help you get the most out of your visit to this famous British landmark.

Read on if you're interested in getting started on planning your visit to the British Museum in London thanks to the detailed informative account I've compiled just for you.

The most complete option

The British Museum London Private Guided Tour

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 a 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 important pieces in the vast collection of one of the most important museums in the Western Hemisphere.

With two hours of personalized lectures and explanations, you get to enjoy a historical learning and cultural entertainment experience like nowhere else.

Recommended if you like to discover even the smallest detail of the explosions of a museum and if you enjoy a personalized and exclusive treatment with guides who speak your language.

How much do tickets to the British Museum cost?

British Museum, London| ©Ed Webster
British Museum, London| ©Ed Webster

Admission to the British Museum, which contains one of the largest collections of world history in the world, is completely free for all ages. This without any kind of differentiation for foreign tourists or local visitors, as happens in other cities with a significant flow of travelers.

That means that no matter what time of the year you visit London, you can visit the British Museum for free to be amazed by its more than 8 million objects with origins in the 5 continents. These are connected to very diverse fields of human history such as ethnography, archaeology and art, both written and visual.

The fact that access to the British Museum is free is also convenient for planning your tourist budget. Since it is a plan that entertains everyone in your group, from the youngest to the oldest, without spending a single penny to enter the place.

That saving is very functional for you to invest in the payment of a private guide who would explain in detail all the information associated with the historical material exhibited in the magnificent building of the British Museum or to enjoy the best museums in London.

Book your guided tour of the British Museum

How to get tickets for the British Museum at the ticket office?

Entrance to the British Museum| ©Ed Webster
Entrance to the British Museum| ©Ed Webster

As tickets to the British Museum are free, there is no need to buy any at the ticket office of this gigantic historical establishment. It occupies an entire block in the picturesque and well-known neighborhood of Bloomsbury.

However, the best thing to do is to book your free admission ticket on the British Museum website in advance. This will save you from waiting in a long and uncomfortable line that characterizes this alternative among the top 10 museums in London.

If you pay for a tour with a private guide, you will have to adjust to the schedules in which this specialist can assist you. But it is common for them to manage the booking of your admission ticket.

Are tickets to the British Museum included in any city sightseeing pass?

British Museum Artworks| ©Konstantin Dankov
British Museum Artworks| ©Konstantin Dankov

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 of the tourist pass.

Anyway, what I can assure you is that the tourist passes to tour several iconic sites in London under the same rate is one of the best investments you can make to balance your pocket during the trip.

This is due to the fact that a fixed rate that is usually between 50 € and 180 € gives you access to a long list of paid attractions, without lines and with discounts that add up to 35 or 40% less than what you would pay with individual ticket purchases.

Take into consideration that these tickets are for days and the offers extend up to a full week. So it is preferable not to buy them for the same date 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.

Book the London Pass

Are there guided tours of the British Museum and is it worth it?

British Museum| ©James Petts
British Museum| ©James Petts

With the free tickets to the British Museum you have at your disposal, under a concept of reservations and specific schedules, the guided tours by the museum staff.

At the same time, you also have the alternative of booking a guided tour in Spanish for most of the permanent exhibits with a private agency, which is an even more convenient option, as they are private guides 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 are adjusted to the conditions proposed by the company you decide to hire.

In this museum, as well as in other of the best monuments in London, there are also thousands of infographics that can help you understand everything you have in front of you with the use of a simple translator on your mobile.

Interesting details

  • Price: prices for a guided tour of the British Museum are usually around 331 euros per group, but everything varies depending on the language chosen and the private or semi-private mode you are interested in.
  • Duration: the best private tours of the British Museum in Spanish usually last about 2 hours and a half. Which is more than enough for an intimate and in-depth look at the workings of this important historical institution.
  • Conditions: what are called semi-private tours are those that involve other clients, although groups do not usually exceed 8 people. The language chosen is also somewhat influential, as a tour in English is always cheaper than one dictated in Spanish.

Book your guided tour of the British Museum

How to get to the British Museum by public transport?

Holborn Station| ©Chris Sampson
Holborn Station| ©Chris Sampson

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 plenty of alternatives to get to the British Museum when you have planned your visit.

The specific address of this museum, which for many is the most important museum in the western hemisphere when it comes to historic preservation, is Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom. However, this information is of no use to you if you don't know the city.

That's why I tell you that the nearest London Underground stations are Holborn, Russell Square and Tottenham Court Road. All of them are a couple of streets away from this notorious and striking building.

Although if you don't know how to use this subway system, it would be wise and necessary for you to inform yourself with a practical guide on how the London Underground works.

You also have other alternatives to get to the street of the British Museum, as lines 8, 9, 19, 25, 10, 14 and 15 other different routes of the public bus system of the city leave you in the nearby perimeter of the museum.

Also, if you arrive on a bike you can park right in front of the entrance on Great Russell Street. If it is rented from the city's public bus system, you will have to drop it off at one of the corners and then pick up another one when you finish your tour and want to return to your hotel.

Main exhibitions not to be missed at the British Museum

African Art at the British Museum in London| ©Paul Hudson
African Art at the British Museum in London| ©Paul Hudson

The inventory of historic items preserved at the British Museum is impressively varied and extensive. These are distributed throughout the 5 levels available to visitors, which in turn are arranged over an area of 13.5 hectares.

On the Lower Floor's basement levels, you will find rooms with exhibits 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 in Latin America, you will find exhibits 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 focused on Korean culture and the world of Chinese ceramics are other permanent installations you can expect to find at 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 stage of Egyptian civilization on public display outside the city of Cairo.

The sum of all these rooms can keep you entertained for a good chunk of your day and therefore it is an excellent plan to escape the heat if you want to look for things to do in London during the summer.

Book your guided tour of the British Museum

How much time do you need to visit the British Museum?

British Museum, Reading Room| ©miclan42
British Museum, Reading Room| ©miclan42

The time you can take to tour the British Museum in its entirety, or at least what is on public display, depends on many factors.

The first one would be whether it is a visit on your own or you follow the tour of a guide. For with the detailed explanations of the works it can take up to 3 or 4 hours combined between your own inquiries and the guided tour.

When you tour it on your own terms independently it changes the picture significantly, as you will most likely decide to take time for the things that interest you, but skip others that are not appealing to your perspective.

In those scenarios the tour can be reduced by up to 2 hours, and even 1 and a half if you don't have any breaks or slow down to detail anything on site.

However, knowing that it is a free activity, you can take advantage of it to entertain yourself for several days of your visit if your stay is extended for a couple of weeks. On the other hand, if it is one of your plans to see and do in London during a 7-day trip, then it is preferable that you reserve an afternoon to ensure tranquility in your tour.

British Museum opening hours

British Museum| ©José María Mateos
British Museum| ©José María Mateos

As the British Museum is one of the most important cultural institutions in all of Great Britain, it is logical to know that it is open to the public on most days of the year. In fact, December 24 and 25, as well as New Year's Day, are the only fixed dates when it is known to be 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. It closes at 5:30 pm, every day, unless there is a special event announced by the museum's official media.

Fridays is the only day that is designated weekly for a longer closing, so you can stay until 8:30 pm touring its wide corridors. But take into consideration that at the door they will only receive visitors until 7:00 pm.

Therefore, from 6:00 pm you can spend the rest of your day discovering some of the best secret places in London in iconic corners such as Soho or London Chinatown. Both are less than one (1) km away from this English Neoclassical building.

Tips for visiting the British Museum in high season

British Museum, London| ©Gary Bembridge
British Museum, London| ©Gary Bembridge

Like any other important point of the London tourist scene, the British Museum is usually filled with visitors during peak seasons. That is, December for the Christmas and New Year vacations, as well as all summer for the break of students from all over the northern hemisphere.

If you want to avoid the crowds of tourists, it is preferable that you opt for an early morning visit. This means that you should be at the doors of the museum at 10 o'clock so that you can finish your tour around 2 pm, just at the time when the halls begin to fill up with too many visitors.

Keep in mind that there is a daily access limit for security reasons and for the integrity of the artifacts exhibited there. Therefore it is also recommended that you make sure to 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, London| ©Ewan Munro
Bloomsbury, London| ©Ewan Munro

The British Museum is located in an area of London that is undoubtedly privileged both for its cultural and gastronomic offer.

Bloomsbury, the neighborhood to which the museum belongs, has all kinds of restaurants ranging from pubs, very traditional in the English nightlife and gastronomic scene, to a very good culinary entertainment offer 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 towards the River Thames and you would be in the Westminster area and there are plenty of restaurants for all tastes. That's taking into account that Big Ben and the British Parliament building are a magnet for tourists who come to the city in search of history and architectural beauty.

Any of London 's best tour buses could give you a tour of these areas when you're done eating. Which can be a very good idea considering how exhausted you may be after walking the corridors of the British Museum for hours.

What else is there to do near the British Museum?

Russel Square Fountain| ©Martin Monroe
Russel Square Fountain| ©Martin Monroe

The cultural diversity of the area is complemented by a host of other iconic sites that are within walking distance of the British Museum. For example, Russell Square is directly opposite the museum and is an excellent 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 you can 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 its exteriors.

Participating in some of the night tours of London is another good alternative to complete your day after leaving the British Museum. Especially since Soho and Westminster are very busy after dark when it comes to tourist entertainment.