The British Museum, one of the most important museum of antiquities in the world, is a fascinating collection. However, there’s so much to see, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
If you want to see as much as possible or only the highlights, there are several ways to get the most out of your visit.
There are bags searches and security checks at the British Museum. Be prepared to queue. The line at the Montague Place entrance, at the back of the museum, may be shorter.
Take a guided tour
British Museum Tour
The British Museum run a 90-minute guided tour of the museum’s highlights runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11.30am and 2pm.
£12 per adult. The tour is not recommended for children under 12.
Buy tickets from the information desk in the Great Court or book online
British Museum – London Walks tour
London Walks, the walking tour company, has a 2-hour tour of the museum on Monday at 2.30pm and Wednesday and Saturday at 2.15pm.
£10 for adults, £8 for seniors and full-time students. Children under 15 accompanied by parents go free.
No need to book, just meet the guide outside Russell Square tube station.
Do a self-guided tour
1 or 3 hour self-guided tour
Their website suggests two tour routes:
- See a selection of the museum’s highlights in 1 hour
- The 3 hour itinerary shows the variety of objects held at the museum
Pick up a museum map (£2 suggested donation). It lists some of the most important things to see in 1 hour or 2-3 hours.
Buy a guide book
The British Museum shop sells visitor guides and souvenir guides in various languages from £5. They post worldwide and offer free postage in the UK for British Museum Publications.
The audio guide gives you a detailed insight into over 200 objects in 61 galleries.
£6 concessions, under-19’s
Commentary is in English, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin.
Available from the Audio Guide desk in the Great Court.
Free gallery talks and tours
eyeOpener gallery tours
Listen to a free 30-40 minute eyeOpener gallery tour – daily talks inspired by themes from the collection. Tours run between 11am–3.45pm. No need to book. Just meet at the room/gallery.
Lunchtime gallery talks
Free 45-minute gallery talks with a guest speaker or curator. Tuesday–Saturday 1.15pm. No need to book. Meet at the relevant gallery/room.
Visit in the evening
The British Museum is open until 8.30pm on Fridays. Take one of the free 20-minute Spotlight Tours.
- The Parthenon – 5pm and 5.30pm
- The Enlightement – 6.30pm and 7pm
- The Rosetta Stone – 5pm and 5.30pm
- Death in Egypt – 5pm and 5.30pm
Luggage Storage at the British Museum
The British Museum has a cloakroom where you can leave cabin-sized bags and handbags while visiting. They are very strict on the size and weight of luggage that can be stored. Suitcases with wheels, of any size, are not allowed inside.
Visit the British Museum website for details of all tours and talks.
Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
Open: Daily 10am–5.30pm (open 8.30pm on Fridays)
Transport: Tottenham Court Rd, Holborn or Russell Square tube