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The British Museum

Originally created as a “cabinet of curiosities,” Britain’s oldest museum has grown into a treasure house of humanity’s greatest achievements.

With a collection of nearly 8 million artifacts gathered from every continent, it’s unlikely even the most seasoned museum-goer can absorb the British Museum in a single day. But don’t let the museum’s size deter you even if you only have a few hours. It’s well worth the visit. 

The museum’s vast collection was originally built up from the donated and acquired collections of well-traveled, wealthy British adventurers during the heyday of the British Empire. Continually expanding to this day, the collections are now arranged along geographical lines. Marvel at monumental relics like the mysterious Easter Island statue and Elgin Marbles. And, join history lovers from around the world as you stand before the Rosetta Stone and the Head of Rameses. 

Step beyond the must-see attractions and explore the quieter galleries that celebrate Oceanic, Middle Eastern and Babylonian beginnings. Hold history in your fingertips in one of the many object handling sessions throughout the various galleries. There’s no need to make reservation in advance, simply drop in to the “hands-on” rooms where staff are available to provide information and answer questions. For those interested in politics, don’t miss the Reading Room where Karl Marx penned The Communist Manifesto.

Merely walking up the broad steps and through the 44 neoclassical columns of the museum building is an experience in itself. Once inside, use the Great Court as a navigation point to the museum’s major galleries. Since its opening in the 1750s, the British Museum has consistently been the country’s most visited museum. It averages 6 million visitors annually and allows research access to its highly sought-after stock of relics. 

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or pressed for time, take one of the free, 30 to 40-minute eyeOpener tours held throughout the day. The museum has cafés, picnic areas and offers fun, educational giveaways for children. The museum is open daily, excluding December 24, 25 and 26, and January 1. 

The British Museum is located near the Bloomsbury Gardens and Russell Square Gardens. The nearest Underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Russell Square. 


Guide to Exploring around The British Museum


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Map

Lodging Near The British Museum

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The Strand Palace Hotel $101
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London
     
    4.0
    of 5, from 8,943 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and King's College London. Royal Opera House and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras $71
    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras

    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras

    324 Gray's Inn Road, London
       
      3.8
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      2.5 out of 5.0

      Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras places guests a 5-minute walk from Kings Cross St. Pancras Tube Station, and 3 minutes more to the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras International. From these hubs, guests can reach most corners of central London within 15 minutes, not to mention Paris in just over 2 hours.

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London $161
      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
         
        4.4
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        4.0 out of 5.0

        This fantastic new hotel is located on the South Bank, near London Eye. Waterloo and Westminster stations are within 5 minutes walk, making easier to travel and ideal choice for city break or business trip.

        Grange St. Paul's $141
        Grange St. Paul's

        Grange St. Paul's

        10 Godliman Street, London
           
          4.3
          of 5, from 1,522 reviews
          5.0 out of 5.0

          Located in The City of London, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Museum of London and Old Bailey are also within 10 minutes.

          Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel
          Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel

          Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel

          97 Great Russell Street, London
             
            4.0
            of 5, from 1,531 reviews
            4.0 out of 5.0

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            St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel $107
            St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel

            St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel

            Bedford Avenue, London
               
              3.6
              of 5, from 3,636 reviews
              3.0 out of 5.0

              Located in Bloomsbury, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The British Museum, University of London, and Russell Square. University College London and Leicester Square are also within 15 minutes.

              Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel $125
              Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

              Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

              130 Tottenham Court Road, London
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 1,891 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel enjoys an excellent location in the heart of Fitzrovia, on the famous Tottenham Court Road. Located near many popular spots in London including the Eurostar and St. Pancras, the hotel is also close to Regent's Park, Oxford Street, and the West End. Warren Street tube station is around the corner, with connections on the Northern and Victoria lines.

                Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel $156
                Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel

                Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel

                9-13 Bloomsbury Street, London
                   
                  4.2
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                  4.0 out of 5.0

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