No matter what city we travel to, we’re always up for a lazy afternoon spent perusing through a museum, brushing up on arts, culture, fashion and history. With London’s rich history, it’s no wonder it has a bevy museums and galleries to ponder. You could honestly do a trip just dedicated to museums, but since most of us like to mix it up, here is a selection of museums we recommend you see while stopping in London (best of all, they’re free, with the exception of donations and fees for special exhibits).
The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
Calling all fashion and design lovers – the V&A is like a haven for those interested in knowing the details behind Victorian dresses, Princess Diana’s wedding gown and up-and-coming designers. Dubbed as the world’s greatest museum of art and design, the special exhibits are top notch (like this summer’s The Cult of Beauty – you will never be disappointed.
The National Gallery
If Western European paintings are more up your ally, then you’ll need to get in touch with your inner-fine arts buff and stop by this museum. Housing one of the biggest Western European painting collections from the 13th to 19th centuries it officially opened its doors in 1824 in a townhouse. Today it is in the heart of London’s Trafalgar Square and has over 2,300 pieces to analyze. Plus they have live music every week.
Museum of London (London Wall location)
Don’t know much about the Brit’s history? Don’t fret, a stop by the Museum of London will get you up to snuff on all the important dates, facts and figures in the city’s inventive, bloody and inspiring history. Trace London’s past from prehistoric times to the present day and see just how this cosmopolitan, urban area has remained one of the best in the world. Our best pick for exhibits? Until the end of September 2011, check out the London Street Photography exhibit – detailing city life from 1860 to today.
Science pods rejoice! OK, even if you’re not, this museum is a must-do. With hundreds of science and history collections, from aircraft to medical-wonder inventions, to exhibits on clocks and telephones, in this museum (whose origins date back to 1851), you’ll find loads of things to enlighten your mind. Don’t think it’s just for kids – the museum really does have something for everyone.