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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.
Located in London City Centre, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Piccadilly Circus. Hyde Park and London Eye are also within 2 mi (3 km). Goodge Street Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Warren Street Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Lyceum Theatre, The Strand, and Aldwych Theatre. Covent Garden Market and Royal Opera House are also within 5 minutes. Temple Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower of London. Tower Bridge and The British Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km). Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps from The British Museum and Oxford Street. Russell Square and Royal Opera House are also within 10 minutes. Tottenham Court Road Underground Station is only a 5-minute walk and Holborn Underground Station is 7 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Charing Cross and The Strand. Trafalgar Square and National Gallery are also within 5 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The British Museum and Oxford Street. St. Paul's Cathedral and London Eye are also within 2 mi (3 km). Holborn Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Russell Square Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps from Russell Square and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Bloomsbury Square and The British Museum are also within 10 minutes. Russell Square Underground Station is only a 5-minute walk and Holborn Underground Station is 5 minutes.