Free Museums In London

child's hand in dinosaur footprint

Looking for days out that won’t break the bank? London can be a pretty expensive place to take your family, so we’ve put a list together of the best free museums in London that your kids will love! From interactive exhibitions and multi-sensory experiences like ship simulator at the National Maritime Museum, to free acrobatic shows at the Royal Academy of Arts Museum, and so much more!

British Museum

What better place to learn about the history of the United Kingdom than in The British Museum! It’s a great place to visit if you are on a budget, with FREE entry for all ages and multiple activities for the little ones to get involved with.

The museum offers activity backpacks, which include puzzles, games and activities to do in the galleries that are available every day for free! Not to forget the Children’s Multimedia Guide where the kids can listen to Vid the Martian as he looks at Museum objects.

Why not try out the Hamlyn Family Trails while you’re at it? With 8 fun trails to follow around the Museum and free digital workshops too!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Great Russell Street. London. Greater London. WC1B 3DG
  • Price FREE
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The Natural History Museum

Located in Kensington, The Natural History Museum is one of the most famous and recognisable museums in the UK. The museum is home a vast collection of over 80 million amazing plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals, celebrating the history of life and all its diversity too.

Begin your exploration into by visiting their star resident: an amazing animatronic T-Rex! He’s definitely worth having a family snap with, that is before travelling through a giant suspended globe or testing your skills as a scientist in the education space.

Keep your eyes peeled for the enormous blue whale skeleton, it’s really hard to miss! Her name is Hope and she has been hanging in the heart of the museum for the last 127 years! the Natural History Museum has one of the finest collections of natural life in the country which you can see all for FREE!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Cromwell Road. Kensington. Greater London. SW7 5BD
  • Price FREE
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Museum of Brands

Located in Notting Hill, the Museum of Brands is truly a unique museum and a must visit! This museum is a treasure trove of retro design and memories including Rimmel cosmetics from the 1890s, First World War Oxo Cubes, Mars Bars, Rolos and KitKats from the 1930s and a shiny 1970s Chopper Bike.

The Museum’s gift shop sells a retro collection of items, many created from images in the collection, including vintage posters, homewares, old fashioned toys and games to old school postcards, gift wrap and cards.

There is also a gorgeous south-facing microclimate courtyard garden kept beautiful all year round by fantastic volunteer gardeners.

Info & Pricing

  • Location 111-117 Museum of Brands. Lancaster Road. Notting Hill. London. Greater London. W11 1QT. England
  • Price FREE
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National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum offers a great opportunity to discover 500 years of Britain’s history at sea in the world’s largest maritime museum.

This a family friendly place that is packed to the gunwales with fascinating galleries and intriguing objects and where kids of all ages can enjoy learning about discovery and adventure at sea. You can even see the uniform (complete with bullet hole), that Nelson was wearing when he was fatally shot! Learn how ordinary people became key historical figures that shaped Britain.

With multi sensory experiences on offer too, like Scott’s Antarctic Expedition, you can walk across the map’s surface and uncover the twisting tales of explorers, soldiers and female pirates! Put those sea-dog legs of yours to good use and become a captain on the Ship Simulator Gallery. Hand steer your vessel and fire cannons at the incoming pirate ships – will you make it of your sea adventure alive?

Info & Pricing

  • Location Park Row. Greenwich. Greater London. SE10 9NF. England
  • Price FREE
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Imperial War Museum

For an educational & fun day out with the kids, why not take a step back in time and uncover the rich history behind World War I and World War II at the Imperial War Museum!

Browse the largest collection in the world of Victoria Crosses in the museum’s free Stamper trail, or check out the colossal Harrier jet and Spitfire aircraft, plus a real T-34 tank! Your little historians will love this one, with so many more free activities to choose from. The Imperial War Museum is an excellent insight in maritime history and the British people.

Info & Pricing

  • Location IWM London. Lambeth Rd. London. Greater London. SE1 6HZ
  • Price FREE but make sure you book in advance!
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Grant Museum of Zoology

Showcasing the weird and wonderful nature of an old fashioned science museum, you will find Dodo bones, Anaconda skeletons, The Brain Skeleton and more! For science lovers and those who are intrigued by the curious world around them, there is lots to explore at the Grant Museum of Zoology, such as the 14000 different specimens of insects, which have been preserved in a variety of interesting ways. The kids will always remember this day out, as it is a trip out of the ordinary!

Info & Pricing

  • Location 21 University Street. Bloomsbury. London. Greater London. WC1E 6DE
  • Price FREE
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Saatchi Gallery

Eye catching and vibrant, the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea is perfect for kids and parents who love art. On Sundays, there are fun and informative Family Art Workshops which aim to encourage children to explore, develop and have confidence in their creative ideas in relation to art they have seen in the gallery. During holidays and half-terms there are always Free Family Days with messy workshops and activities for all ages too – what’s not to love about a messy workshop?

Info & Pricing

  • Location Duke of York's HQ. Kings Road. Chelsea. Greater London. SW3 4SQ
  • Price FREE
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London Mithraeum

Travel 2000 years back in time to the age when the temple to the god Mithras was built by the Romans, in the London Mithraeum. There are over 600 artefacts for you to explore and learn about the past! Watch history come to life in the small presentations of Roman soldiers, which will have your little explorers in awe! Take a bite out of history with this interactive, fun and FREE museum. Psst, Make sure to pre-book slots online too!

Info & Pricing

  • Location 12 Walbrook. London. Greater London. EC4N 8AA
  • Price FREE
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Science Museum

The most visited science and technology museum in Europe… so you know it will be brilliant for kids! A museum that tells the stories of extraordinary humans and their achievements, and technological advancements that have shaped the world we see today. What challenges they faced throughout history and how it was overcome.

Whether you have an interest in science or not, you’ll be blown about with the sheer fun that can be had here! With an impressive seven floors of hands-on exhibits, inventions and fascinating machines to look at, you’ll get lost in the moment!

It’s educational, it’s immersive and best of all…it’s just simply fun. Definitely, on my list for one of the best free museums in London – it’s a must-see attraction!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Exhibition Road. South Kensington. London. Greater London. SW7 2DD
  • Price free - but pre-booking is required
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V&A Museum

If there’s one free museum in London you should visit, make sure it’s this one – being one of the world and London’s most magnificent museums, the Victoria & Albert Museum hosts an amazing collection of artwork that is sure to blow you away.

With an impressive 150 grand galleries across 7 floors, there’s so much to explore. Whether you’re an art lover or not, you’ll find something that will call to you. Whether it’s the fascinating collections of paintings, textiles, furniture, sculptures, metalwork and more or innovative fashion and captivating artwork. The V&A has it all.

When a museum is named the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance – you know it’s worth every hour spent here.

Info & Pricing

  • Location Cromwell Rd. London. SW7 2RL
  • Price FREE (book online)
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Museum of London

A museum dedicated to the history of the magnificent capital city. Discover stories from all over London’s history, what it was like during the Victorian Times, even earlier than that like before it was even built at 450,000BC – AD 50! Then explore London throughout the impressive time periods that have shaped the city to what it is now – Roman and Medieval London for example.

Learn what the devastating impact of the Great Fire of London was and even encounter the London Cauldron from the 2012 Olympic Games!

One of the best free museums in London…about London!

Info & Pricing

  • Location 150 London Wall. Barbican. Greater London. EC2Y 5HN
  • Price FREE
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Tate Modern

An iconic museum and art gallery that was transformed from an old power station! It now houses modern and contemporary art from all over the world. From Caribbean-British Art from the 1950s till now or how artists developed unusual materials and methods to create art.

A place where you can get lost in a painting for hours. And with an extensive permanent collection of 78,000 artworks, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Bankside. London. Greater London. SE1 9TG
  • Price FREE (but book a timed ticket online)
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The Design Museum

A fascinating museum that is dedicated to contemporary design in every aspect, whether it’s temporary exhibits, pop-ups or bookable displays!

Discover past, present and future exhibitions, fashion, graphics, architecture and so much more. It’s a museum for creative minds and out of the box thinkers. It also holds a variety of learning programmes and activities for children to get involved in.

A world leader in contemporary art galleries, full of amazing collections and definitely one to add to your best museums in London list!

Info & Pricing

  • Location 224-238 Kensington High Street. Kensington. Greater London. W8 6AG
  • Price FREE
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The National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery holds more than 2,000 paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century! See works by western European masters of painting such as Da Vinci, Botticelli, Caravaggio and Van Gogh.

Muse away kids, muse away! Kids studio & drawing workshops are available for 5 to 11 year olds on Sunday sessions and holiday workshops! Maybe it’s time for Da Vinci,  move over… am I right kids? The National Gallery is one of many kid-friendly interactive exhibits in London.

The National Gallery welcomes children and offer Family Walk and Talk Guided Tours, 3 audio tours and 3 more printed children’s trails to really help keep kids entertained! Holidays get pretty special with crafty workshops and playful activities so there’s always loads to do at The National! There are also kids’ zones too.

Info & Pricing

  • Location Trafalgar Square. Greater London. WC2N 5DN. England
  • Price FREE
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Royal Academy of Arts

How do we feel about free acrobatic displays and other free family events? At Royal Academy of Arts there are free monthly family events, storytelling sessions and practical workshop to join in with all for FREE! Each practical workshop is based around each temporary exhibition on display in the galleries.

In each workshop families can explore creativity together using materials supplied by the museum to create their own little projects. You get your own family studio and if you have an SEN (special educational needs) child there are also dedicated sessions that suit your child’s needs.

On the days are there no special events, you can help yourself to a free worksheet called the Art Detectives Family Trail. It’s a written trail created especially for families! If you have teens they will love the annual Summer Exhibition. See new and recent art created by everyone from emerging artists to the biggest names in contemporary art and architecture. Immerse yourselves in the RA’s impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photographs.

Info & Pricing

  • Location Burlington House. Piccadilly. London. Greater London. W1J 0BD. England
  • Price FREE
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London Film Museum

For those witches and wizards that love Harry Potter, this is something they’d want to swoop on their brooms too.

Venture behind the cameras to capture the magic that created the Wizarding World. With hundreds of behind-the-scenes images taken throughout the Harry Potter series and rarely seen production photographs! From iconic scenes such as Harry Potter’s first trip from Platform 9 3/4 and the Battle of Hogwarts, and so many more.

ake a selfie in front of an oversized Acceptance Letter or within a phonebox stationed outside of the Ministry of Magic! And gain more insight into how the magic was made offscreen.

A magically memorable museum for kids (and Potterheads!). All at the London Film Museum!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Exhibition Rd. South Kensington. London. SW7 2DD
  • Price FREE - but pre-booking is required
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Royal Air Force Museum

How about venturing to a museum that offers an entertaining day of family fun! It’s THE place to take the kids who love planes and vehicles. After a couple of hours exploring what the RAF museum has to offer, with a variety of different planes from various years – like the mighty Hurricane or the Spitfire Mk1 – have your kids let some steam off on the outdoor playground!

With climbing walls, slides, plane wings, cockpits, helicopters with a parachute slide and so many more climbing frames that are RAF themed – your kids won’t want to leave!

museum for children that is full of sky adventure that will get them soaring with excitement and thirst for knowledge!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Grahame Park Way. Colindale. Greater London. NW9 5LL
  • Price FREE!
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The National Portrait Gallery

If you are looking for a free museum in London that has an eclectic collection of portraits then the The National Portrait Gallery is for you!

Explore an incredible 200,000 portraits crafted between 16th Century and the present. The current exhibitions showcase drawings, miniatures, negatives, paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures and much more!

Regular events and activities on offer include drop in Sunday Sessions to re bookable Art workshops. Activities from hands-on activities including drawing and painting to full multi-media animation are also on offer, so there are plenty of things to keep small fingers, as well as all eyes, busy!

Info & Pricing

  • Location St Martins Place. London. Greater London. WC2H 0HE. England
  • Price FREE
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Bank of England Museum

Located within the historic walls of the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, right in the heart of the City, the Bank of England Museum explains the History of the Bank since its foundation in 1694 to the present day and its vital roles at the centre of the economy.

Grab yourselves and activity sheet (suitable for all ages), have a crack at the banknote jigsaws, join in with a roller ball game, get tappy with touch screens and take a stab at some safe cracking!

One of the Museum’s most popular exhibits allows visitors to take control of a virtual hot air balloon to learn about inflation. You can also handle a real gold bar, although, weighing 13kg, it will take many people by surprise! It’s easily one of the most unique free museums in London!

Info & Pricing

  • Location Bartholomew Lane. London. Greater London. EC2R 8AH. England
  • Price FREE
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The Cartoon Museum

For those families looking for quirky, cool and comedic – we recommend heading to The Cartoon Museum!

You’ll be surrounded by a world of whimsy and creativity, with the museum’s huge collection of British cartoons, comics, and caricatures spanning many decades! Enjoy classic comic strips like “Beano” and “Dandy” to contemporary graphic novels. There’s something for everyone to enjoy!

From original cartoons and original artwork to dedicated areas for beloved children’s characters like “The Beano” and “The Bash Street Kids.” The Cartoon Museum offers a delightful journey down memory lane for parents and grandparents while introducing younger generations to the timeless humour of these comics.

This year is special because The Cartoon Museum is celebrating Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers turning 30 this year! With a brand-new, never-seen-before exhibit featuring the iconic animated duo – Wallace and Gromit. You can even make your own piece of plasticine history!

Info & Pricing

  • Location 63 Wells Street. London. W1T 3PZ
  • Price Child (0-18) FREE
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FAQS

Are all museums in London free of charge?

No. Although there are lots of free museums in London there are also quite a few that will charge you. Here is a list of some of the museums that charge an entry fee:

How many museums in London are free?

There are 20 museums in London that are free entry.

Do you have to book museums in London?

As London is a busy city is always advised to book your free tickets or time slots before attending the museum. However, not all museums require booking. Always check the website in case.

Found a free-entry museum that tickles your fancy? Whether it’s one London museum or ten London museums you want to cover during your day out or short break in London, we hope we’ve helped you save your pennies and add to your list of things to do in London!

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