Everything about the British Museum – tickets, tours, hours, exhibitions and more

The British Museum, located in the heart of London, is an iconic monument to human history and culture. 

Founded in 1753, it is one of the world’s most comprehensive museums, housing a vast and diverse collection spanning over two million years. 

It is a world-renowned institution dedicated to human history, art, and culture and houses a remarkable collection of artifacts and artworks from different civilizations across the globe. 

From ancient Egyptian mummies to the Rosetta Stone, the museum’s exhibits offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of human heritage.

This article gives you all the information you need before you visit the British Museum.

British Museum Opening Hours

The British Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm.

On Fridays, the Museum is open till 9.30 pm. 

The Last admission to the museum is one hour before closing time. 

The Museum is open throughout the week and closed only from December 24 to 26. 

All the exhibitions, galleries, shops and restaurants follow the same museum opening hours. 

Admission to the British Museum

Admission to the British Museum is free for all visitors to enjoy the permanent collections. 

This inclusive approach allows people from all walks of life to access the museum’s treasures without financial barriers. 

However, visitors who want to explore the special exhibitions and events must pay a small fee to enter. 

Guided Tours of the British Museum

For a more immersive experience, guided tours of the British Museum are available.

Knowledgeable guides lead visitors through the museum’s highlights, providing insights into the historical and cultural significance of the displayed artifacts. 

These tours offer a deeper understanding of the exhibits and are an excellent option for visitors seeking a structured exploration of the museum.

The British Museum offers a variety of guided tours, including:

  • Highlights tour: A 60-minute tour of the museum’s most famous objects, including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles and the Egyptian mummies.
  • Thematic tours: These tours focus on specific themes, such as ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
  • Family tours: These tours are designed for families with children of all ages and include interactive activities and games

You can either book the tour at the venue or online in advance. 

Guided tours of the British Museum have high demand and will be filled soon. 

We recommend booking the guided tour online to secure entry and escape last-minute disappointments. 

Online guided tours cost £47 for visitors over 16 years and £39 for children between 4 and 15 years. 

Kids below 3 years old can join the tour for free.

How to reach the British Museum

British Museum lies in Central London, making it easily accessible by various modes of transportation.

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, UK. Get Directions. 

Here are some of the best means of transport to get to the British Museum.

By Metro:

The nearest London Underground station to the British Museum is Tottenham Court Road, served by the Central and Northern lines. 

It’s a short walk from the station to the museum, allowing visitors to travel efficiently from different parts of the city.

By Tube:

By Tube
Image: Reddit.com

London is well connected by Tube. 

Tottenham Court Road station is the closest Tube station, 5 minutes from the British Museum. 

Here are other Tube stations in the area and their distance from the museum.

  • Holborn: 7-minute walk
  • Russell Square: 7-minute walk
  • Goodge Street: 8-minute walk

By Bus:

By Bus
Image: Mylondon.news

Several bus routes pass near the British Museum, providing convenient options for travelers. 

Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford Street bus stops are the closest stops. 

Here is a list of buses you can take to reach the bus stops near the British Museum

  • New Oxford Street: 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242
  • Tottenham Court Road (northbound) / Gower Street (southbound): 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390
  • Southampton Row: 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188

By Car:

By Car
Image: Twitter.com

Driving is a fast way to reach the museum, but it could be tricky as the museum does not offer parking facilities. 

It’s important to note that parking in central London can be challenging and expensive. 

Additionally, the area around the museum is pedestrian-friendly, making walking the preferred choice for exploring the vicinity.

Hence, hiring a cab to reach the British Museum is better. 

British Museum Map

Upon arrival, visitors can obtain a museum map to navigate the extensive galleries and exhibitions effectively.

The map highlights key areas of interest, restroom facilities, dining options, and accessible entrances, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable visit.

Different Zones of the British Museum

One of the unique aspects of the British Museum is its organization into different zones, each dedicated to specific periods and regions of the world. 

Let’s take a detailed journey through these distinct zones, uncovering the treasures they hold and the stories they tell.

1. The Egyptian Galleries:

The Egyptian Galleries are among the most popular and iconic sections of the British Museum. 

Visitors here are transported back to ancient Egypt, exploring mummies, monumental sculptures, and intricate artifacts. 

The Rosetta Stone, a crucial artifact in deciphering hieroglyphics, is a star attraction, along with the colossal bust of Ramesses II and the beautifully preserved mummy of Katebet.

2. The Greek and Roman Antiquities:

This zone showcases the art and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. 

Visitors can marvel at the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon in Athens. 

The Roman sculptures, including the famous Portland Vase and the Warren Cup, offer a glimpse into the daily lives and artistic achievements of the Roman Empire.

3. The Middle Eastern Galleries:

The Middle Eastern Galleries
Image: Twitter.com

This section of the museum houses artifacts from Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Levant. 

Among the treasures are the impressive Assyrian winged bulls and the renowned Cyrus Cylinder, considered one of the earliest human rights declarations. 

These artifacts provide insights into the rich civilizations of the ancient Middle East.

4. The Asia Galleries:

The Asian Galleries encompass many artifacts from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia.

 Visitors can admire the intricate Chinese porcelain, Japanese samurai armor, and the exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities from India. 

The collection highlights the diverse artistic and cultural heritage of Asia.

5. The Africa Galleries:

This section showcases the cultural heritage of Africa, featuring sculptures, masks, and textiles from various African civilizations. 

Visitors can explore the artistry and symbolism behind African masks, learn about traditional rituals, and appreciate the craftsmanship of different African regions.

6. The Americas Galleries:

The Americas Galleries house artifacts from indigenous cultures of North, Central, and South America. 

Visitors can view Aztec and Maya sculptures, Inuit artifacts, and intricate textiles from the Andean civilizations. 

These exhibits shed light on the diverse and complex cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

7. The Enlightenment Gallery:

This unique gallery takes visitors back to the 18th century, exploring the intellectual and cultural movement known as the Enlightenment. 

It displays artifacts from the Age of Enlightenment, including scientific instruments, manuscripts, and artworks. 

The gallery provides a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual pursuits of the time, emphasizing the importance of knowledge and reason.

Special Exhibitions:

In addition to its permanent collections, the British Museum hosts special exhibitions throughout the year. 

These exhibitions focus on specific themes, historical periods, or civilizations, allowing visitors to delve deeper into particular subjects. 

From ancient civilizations to contemporary art, these exhibitions provide museum enthusiasts with a dynamic and ever-changing experience.

Some of the upcoming exhibitions include:

  • Hieroglyphs: Unlocking Ancient Egypt (13 October 2023 – 16 February 2024)
  • Manga Jiman: the art of manga (21 July 2023 – 21 January 2024)
  • Alphonse Mucha: in search of idealism (23 June 2023 – 18 February 2024)
  • Ice Age art: the arrival of the modern mind (23 February – 26 May 2024)
  • Leonardo da Vinci: a life in drawing (24 May – 13 October 2024)

Briths Museum FAQs

1. What is the British Museum, and where is it located?

The British Museum is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned museums in London, England, in the Bloomsbury area. 

Its full address is Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG. Get Direction.

2. What are the museum’s opening hours?

The British Museum’s opening hours can vary, but it is generally open from 10 am to 5.30 pm daily.

On Fridays, the museum is open from 10 am to 8.30. 

The Last entry is one hour before the closing time. 

3. Is the British Museum free to visit?

Entry to the British Museum is free for all visitors. However, there may be charges for special exhibitions and events.

4. How much time should I plan for a visit?

Visitors should plan to spend two to three hours to tour all the parts of the museum. 

Allot more time if you wish to attend any current exhibition or event. 

5. Are there guided tours available?

Yes, the British Museum offers guided tours led by knowledgeable guides. 

These tours can provide deeper insights into the museum’s collections and history. 

You can book the British Museum guided tours online and in advance.

6. Can I take photos inside the museum?

Generally, you can take non-flash photographs for personal use in most museum areas. 

However, there may be restrictions in certain special exhibitions, and it’s essential to be respectful of any signs or guidelines.

7. Is there a place to store coats and bags?

Yes, the museum offers a cloakroom where you can check coats and bags for a fee. 

Large bags and backpacks are not permitted in the galleries, so using the cloakroom is advisable.

8. Is there a café or restaurant inside the museum?

The British Museum has several dining options, including cafés and a restaurant. Visitors can enjoy a meal or refreshments during their visit.

9. Is the museum accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes, the British Museum is committed to accessibility.

 It offers services and facilities for visitors with disabilities, including accessible entrances, ramps, and wheelchairs. 

There are also sensory spaces for those with autism.

10. Can I buy souvenirs at the museum?

Yes, the museum has several shops where you can purchase souvenirs, books, and gifts related to the exhibits and collections.

11. Are there any specific rules at the British Museum?

Visitors are expected to be respectful of the exhibits and other visitors. 

This includes not touching artifacts, refraining from speaking loudly, and following any posted guidelines.

12. Is there a specific order I should follow when exploring the museum?

There is no set order to explore the museum, but many visitors start with the iconic exhibits like the Egyptian Galleries or the Rosetta Stone.

The museum’s map and signage can help you plan your visit according to your interests.

Featured Image: Britishmuseum.org

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