London is my favourite place for visiting museums. First of all, there are lots of them. Even with all my passion and eagerness I hardly visited quarter of them. Secondly, many of them are free. Here is my ultimate list of my favourite museums in London that I am ready to visit every weekend (and recommend to do so as well).
The National Gallery
The absolute treasury of fine art in London (and very central that makes it a very easy destination). Even though the collection is really big, it doesn’t take enormous time to wonder around the whole museum. However, I always prefer to drop in for up to 1 hour and explore just a segment. Any rooms are worth visiting but to start with the most pleasure I’d get studying Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian and any temporary exhibitions. Free admission.
Marvellous collection of fine art, applied art and curious one of armoury, located few steps from Oxford street. Gem of French painting school. Free admission.
National Portrait Gallery
Originally I would never be interested in this gallery as earlier in my life I never felt any interest in watching at people I never knew. However, with broadening my knowledge in the British history it all became to make sense to me. Besides, I like to show up in the gallery on Friday late night when some performances and drawing workshops take place. Special atmosphere and a good chance to learn of British monarch history. Free admission.
Impressive impressionist collection. Starting with the concise medieval art you’ll proceed to Renaissance galleries and then to impressionist and post-impressionist artists. This gallery hosts awfully sound names and inappropriately recognisable paintings. £7
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Located in a Dulwich village and frequently attended mainly by local residents. This is the first purpose built art gallery, erected by Sir John Soane. It is a very small collection and at first you might question time spent on travel but don’t be fooled by the gallery’s size. Once having a proper look you’ll see works of the most eminent artists like Reynolds, Gainsborough, Murillo, Poussin, Van Dyck and others. Each time I reveal more and more pearls. £7
This museum will take you for a tour of 500 hundred year history of British fine art. Brilliant collection and must see for understanding the British soul. Free admission.
Outstanding approach of this museum managed to combine the ancient archaeological discovery at the lower level in a form of the Roman Amphitheatre and the unusual presentation of their collection of Victorian art dividing everything into themes: love, faith, work, family, home etc. Free admission.
Royal Academy of Arts
Lack of permanent exhibition is compensated a brilliant temporary once, that go one by one. The Academy is a trendsetting in the art world so make sure to at least know what’s on in there. Most important exhibitions are about £20.
It takes time to adjust to modern art but that’s a process of teaching yourself. This museum is the place of education in questions of contemporary art. Lots of remarkable artists and artworks. Free admission.
Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
The museum of artistic artefacts created within 5,000 years. Giant collection of such any fine and applied art you can think of. Curious place to visit. Free admission.
One of the most significant museums in the world so no need to think of an excuse to jump in for an hour or too. Walking in this museum, you travel through time and from continent to continent. Free admission.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
It looks like this house has thousands of various historic and artistic artefacts. Originally, it was a house of architect Sir John Soane, who collected all the current exhibits. This man was creating his house with education purpose and during his life bequeath to preserve his house at the exact same condition turning it into a museum. Free admission.
Leighton House Museum
Another historic house by an Victorian era painter and sculpture The place is magical from every single pattern to the whole impression of the interiors. Each room represents something new and fresh, bright and juicy. Of course, in this house you can find artworks created by the owner and other prominent artists as well. £9
Two Temple Place
Victorian house of Waldorf Astor that he built as his office. One in a year this place is opened for the public during a temporary exhibition (usually from January to April). Visiting this house is like being on the Titanic – it looks as fascinating and magnificent as the interiors in the famous film. The history behind this house is absolutely exciting so make sure to ask galley assistants to tell you about it. Free admission.
Royal Academy of Music Museum
This place is special to me because there you can see the history of harpsichord and piano that I love so much. Is it often that you can see Stradivari violins? There you can see several. Each level is accompanied by instruments workshop where you can watch work in progress. Very unusual and exciting. Free admission.
Handel & Hendrix in London
Unique place that provides a good idea of life of two Londoners and musicians who lived in the next door houses separated only by the wall and 200 years between them. Frederick Handel, German, who built his career in the UK and Jimi Hendrix became famous performing around in London clubs. This museum is filled with their music. Many musicians often rehearse there during admission hours that creates an incredible atmosphere. £10
Charles Dickens Museum
Unforgettable experience of visiting the the only publicly open house where the greatest British writer lived in the beginning of his writing career. You can see his original pieces of furniture, explore his study where he completed the Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. You didn’t know Dickens until you visited his house and dived into his personal life. £9.50