We were only able to see a handful of museums in London, but I wanted to share about them with you.
But first, I’m going to mention a few places I would not recommend, and I hope to thus save you time or at least help you make better choices.
The first is the British Library. If you Google British Library you will get stunning images of what seems to be a must visit place for every book nerd. Its surroundings are gorgeous, the building itself impressive, but it is an academic library and thus much is closed off except to VIPs, scholars with name tags, or anyone except tourists with their grubby little hands.
If you add it as a stop just to visit, expect to find yourself in the way of frantic students or at the end of piercing stares from serious academics. Don’t ask for a public computer with internet access, even though you’ve called ahead to check they had some available. They’ll roll their eyes so strongly you’ll likely be flattened. “We’re an academic library. Go away. Peasant.” Don’t ask me how I know. Also, I’m not bitter, what are you talking about?
The second place is the Science Museum. I do not mean it isn’t worth the visit, after all, it’s not even a stone’s throw away from the Museum of Natural History (worth it), but it’s not a museum I would visit again or sacrifice any other museum on this list in order to visit. I was expecting something like Science World in Vancouver–interactive, busy. It was pretty disappointing.
Last, Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market. The market is closed Sundays. Guess what day we went. The fixed shops opened late. The houses are pretty, but there are other things worth spending time on instead. If you decide to go, check this link out.
Now to the recommendations and favorites!
Natural History Museum
You can get lost here. I know because I did. Vini and I separated to go to the washroom (they’re right beside each other) and the story about how we found each other involves a family of Brazilian tourists, 40 minutes of panicked jogs up stairs and down corridors, bird’s eye view montage of Larissa turning in circles in the middle of moving crowds, and visions of spending the night inside the museum by myself. Let’s leave that story for another time though. The point is, it’s a beautiful museum with so much to see. Don’t miss the earthquake exhibit, the whale hall, and remember to take photos outside. It’s a stunning building.
Entrance fee: by donation
Museum of London
This is a museum I would return to in a heartbeat. A fan of period dramas and English Literature, this museum was one of my favorites. Vini is a lover of history in general, so it was a hit with him too. We need to go back to see the rest as we only had about an hour (barely enough for a taste).
Entrance fee: by donation
Tower of London/Tower Bridge
The Tower of London was the only paid attraction we visited in London, and if you ask Vini, he will tell you it was 100% worth it. Me? I’m still haunted by its stories.
We spent six hours here, and we didn’t even get in line to see the crown jewels. We took the tour first, then wandered and explored for hours. There is an incredible amount of history within those walls. The interactive exhibits make it fun and easy to lose track of time.
We bought tickets upon arrival, but you can get them here. There are bathrooms inside. Don’t forget to use them before leaving!
Entrance fee: £24.70 adults
This wraps up our London trip! I hope you have a wonderful time in London, friend! There’s so much to see, but plan some free time for aimless wandering too. Enjoy London Town. We sure did.