The British Museum ★★★

Ancient World 101: The archeological wonders of London's British Museum

The Brits have quite possibly the world's greatest archaeological collection, spanning the globe and plumbing back to the very origins of modern civilization in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and others—and all of it free.

The treasures inside span the globe and history, from the Rosetta Stone—the key that cracked the code of Egyptian hieroglyphics—to the towering lamassus, winged bull/men that guarded the gates to Assyrian palaces in 880 BC; and from the 2,000-year-old Lindow Man, ritually strangled and drowned in a peat bog that preserved his shriveled body, to the famous Elgin Marbles, the grandest of the carved reliefs that once decorated Athens' Parthenon.

The kids are usually reliably fascinated by room after room of royal Egyptian mummies, there are Celtic treasures galore, and don't miss the moai (one of those giant stone heads from Easter Island).

Tips & Links

British Museum details


Great Russell St. (a block north of Oxford St.)

Tel. +44-(0)20-7323-8299


Sat–Thurs 10am-5:30pm, Fri 10am–8:30pm




Tube: Holborn, Tottenham Court Rd, or Russell Sq.
Bus: 7, 1, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 25, 29, 38, 55, 73, 98, 134, 242, 390
Hop-on/Hop-off bus: Blue

How long does The British Museum take?

Planning your day: I've been the British Museum roughly two dozen times, and there are still galleries in which I've never even set foot. Several days would not be enough to explore every nook and historical cranny of this fascinating museum.

Still, you can probably take a spin through the highlights in 2 to 3 hours.

My advice: Spend a couple of half-days here (followed by a pub grub lunch at the old Museum Tavern across the street from the main entrance). After all, it's free.

» London itineraries

British Museum tours

Guided tours of the museum's highlights costs £12 per person, but there are also some free tours: The daily "Eye Openers" tours of themed parts of the collections (30–40 minutes); Tues-Fri Lunchtime gallery talks (45 minutes)l and Friday evening Spotlight tours (20 minutes).

Here are other, more in-depth tours from our partners of The British Museum collections:

Useful links & resources
London tours

Top London tour companies

Top London tours


» more

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

Related Articles

This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in November 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

about | contact | faq

Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.