For over two and a half centuries, the British Museum has been mapping the human footprint, presenting one of the most comprehensive pictures of our culture and history anywhere in the world. Containing countless priceless treasures and antiquities, the British Museum is a must-see for history buffs, art lovers and anyone with a natural sense of curiosity.
The British Museum is one of the most well established and enjoyed museums in the world, boasting an impressive collection of Egyptian, Roman, Middle Eastern and European relics. A visit to the British Museum can be as informative and interactive as you like, whether you choose to spend an hour or a whole day on site. Entry is free (some special exhibitions may be ticketed), with free tours and talks throughout the day, multimedia guides available for hire if you prefer to explore at your own pace and fun activity trails for those visiting with children.
Housed in a grand neo-classical edifice on the same grounds since its opening in 1759, the British Museum draws around six million visitors every year. The museum takes up the majority of Great Russell Street in central London's picturesque suburb of Bloomsbury. The British Museum was founded on a generous donation from Sir Hans Sloane, physician by day to the likes of the royal family and an avid collector in his spare time – his collections grew so much so that he had to buy the house next to his own for further storage. By the time of his death, Sir Sloane has amassed some 71,000 objects including natural specimens, coins, rare books and manuscripts and ancient artefacts.
With Sir Sloane's anthology, the Cottonian Library of books and manuscripts and the Harleian collection of manuscripts, the founding collection was ready for public display. Today, items of note at the museum include the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon Sculptures among many others. The closest tube stations to the museum are Tottenham Court Road and Holborn with Russell Square and Goodge Street also within walking distance. Friday night is a great time to visit with free mini-tours, food and drink in the open air forecourt and special up late exhibitions.