≡ Menu

Free Guided Tours of London Museums and Galleries

Most major London museums and galleries offer free guided tours of their collections.

The tours are ideal if you don’t have much time and want to get the most out of your visit. Even if you have time to spare, most of them are worth doing anyway.

For most tours, you don’t have to book in advance — just turn up and wait at the meeting point. Tickets must be collected from the information desks for the Museum of London tour.

British Museum

Their eye-opener tours show you the highlights of some of the most important rooms in the museum.

No tours 12 December and 21 December 2016 to 3 January 2017

When: Daily
Times: Approximately every 15 minutes between 11am–3.45pm
Duration: 30-40 minutes
Meeting point: Meet at the room/gallery

Tate Modern

A 45-minute introductory tour of the collection’s highlights.

When: Daily
Times: 11am (Artists and Society), 12pm (In the Studio), 2pm (Materials and Objects), 3pm (Media Networks: Pop! Art Everywhere) , 4pm (How art became active)
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Meeting point: Varies according to tour. Details via the links above.

National Gallery

A 60-minute taster tour focuses on 5-6 paintings in the collection.

When: Daily
Times: 11.30am, 2.30pm (also at 7pm Friday and 4pm Saturday & Sunday)
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Sainsbury Wing Information Desk

Tate Britain

Four tours a day cover a different themes. The 3pm tour covers the Turner collection.

The Growth of British Art

When: Daily
Times: 11am
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Meeting point: Top of Manton Foyer stairs

People and places of the 19th century

When: Daily
Times: 12pm
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Meeting point: Top of Manton Foyer stairs

Becoming Modern: Art to the present day

When: Daily
Times: 2pm
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Meeting point: Top of Manton Foyer stairs

The paintings of JMW Turner

When: Daily
Times: 3pm
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes
Meeting point: Top of Manton Foyer stairs



V&A Tours

Introductory tour

The Victoria & Albert’s one hour introductory tour focuses on the highlights of the collection and the history of the museum.

When: Daily
Times: 10.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm & 3.30pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

Medieval and Renaissance Galleries tour

Introductory tour of the museum’s Medieval & Renaissance galleries – a collection of treasures telling the story of European art from 300-1600.

When: Daily
Times: 11.30am
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

Europe 1600-1815 tour

Tour of the recently opened 1600-1815 galleries.

When: Daily
Times: 12pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

Theatre & Performance tour

Tour of the museum’s theatre and performance collection including rock & pop posters, theatre & ballet costumes and stage sets

When: Daily
Times: 2pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

British Galleries tour

Tour of the museum’s British Galleries – a brilliant collection of British art and design.

When: Daily
Times: 2.30pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Meeting Point, Grand Entrance

Science Museum

The Science Museum offer 30-minute tours covering the history of flight, the Space Race and a tour of The Making of the Modern world gallery which houses 150 of the most important items in the collection

When: There’s usually a tour every day, but not all tours are offered every day. See the events calendar for details.
Times: The Flight Gallery tour, Exploring Space gallery tour, Making of the Modern World gallery tour
Duration: 30 minutes
Meeting point: Tours start in the relevant gallery. Check availability with staff at the information desk.

Museum of London

There are tours of the permanent galleries every day. The tours vary — check with the information desk in the foyer on the day.

When: Daily
Times: 11am, 12pm, 3pm, 4pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Museum foyer
Notes: Tickets need to be collected from the information desk

Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection’s highlights tour covers the history of Hertford House, its former occupants and the best pieces in the collection.

When: Daily
Times: Monday–Friday 2.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 11.30am & 2.30pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Front State room

Royal Academy

Free guided tours of the John Madejski Fine Rooms and selected works from the Royal Academy collection. Covers the history of the Royal Academy and Burlington House

When: Check website for days
Times: 12–1pm
Duration: 1 hour
Meeting point: Entrance hall

Last updated:19 September 2016