British Museum

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Great Russell Street, London, United Kingdom

British Museum London Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
The Centre of Antiquity Aug 02, 2017
The British Museum was founded in the mid-18th century. It began in a former great house located on the same spot where it is now. The museum's 19th century Classical Revival facade is well suited to represent the treasurers it contains. The core of the British Museum's collection was assembled during a time of far-flung archaeological and exploring expeditions that excavated the wonders of the ancient world and brought them back to London for public display and scholarly study.

The British Museum was a must-see for us and should be on anyone's itinerary for London. As with any of the world's great museums, you can't see it all in one visit. There is much else to see on return visits.

Our visit began by seeking out what we wanted to see most: the Elgin Marbles. The Elgin Marbles are the remains of the Pediments and Frieze of the Parthenon in Athens. The sculptures had been dislodged from the Parthenon by the explosion of 1687. Lord Elgin wished to study and draw them, but ultimately received permission from the Turkish rulers of Greece to bring them to London. The 5th century BC sculptures are arranged around a large gallery as they would have appeared on the Parthenon. A visitor can admire them at eye level and gain an idea of what they might have looked like in place. They are quite amazing, conveying motion and human expression in solid stone.

On the way to the Elgin Room (Duveen Gallery), we stopped at the Rosetta Stone. I had to stop for a while and consider what I was seeing. This was the real Rosetta Stone! The triplicate script that provided to key to deciphering Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

Adjacent to the Elgin marbles is the Nereid Monument exhibit. The 4th century BC Nereid Monument is a temple tomb found in Xanthos in what is present-day Turkey. It demonstrates the extension of Greek influence over the Lycian culture of Asia Minor.

Nearby is the Assyrian exhibit. Two of the giant winged bulls with human heads that one always associates with the ancient Assyrians are on display. Along with the winged creatures is a display of 8th century BC cuneiform tablets telling stories and legends of great deeds and battles. The tablets form some of the oldest written primary sources we have.

We also had time to inspect displays of Grecian decorative arts: jewelry and red figure pottery. There is so much more, from a bust of Pericles to a sculpture of Venus meant to be observed from all four sides, each view conveying a different impression of the figure. Then there are the Egyptian exhibits down to a Moai from Easter Island.

The British Museum has a convenient cafe on the premises. The area where the Reading Room of the British Museum Library once stood (collections moved out to the new British Library in 1997) is now the Great Court and the gift shop.

There main entrance is on Great Russell Street. There is also a rear entrance through the King Edward VII galleries in Montague Place. (This entrance is primarily for tour groups, but individual visitors are directed there from time to time.) Bag inspections take place at both entrances.

Photography is permitted.
British Museum. Quadrangle Buildin…
Pediment above the entrance portic…
Elgin Marbles Room (Duveen Gallery)
Elgin Marbles. Dionysos and two c…
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
joseph98 says:
Definitely one of my favourite places in London. Quite agree that it’s an absolute must see for anyone visiting the British capital! :-)
Posted on: Oct 24, 2017
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Farmboy23662001 Farmboy2…
23 reviews
Must See Museum Jan 29, 2017
As far as Museums go, this is a must! A little bit of a hike to get there from the tube but worth it.

Wander you way from floor to floor and room to room. So may incredible exhibits from all areas of the ancient world including mummies, statues and the Rosetta Stone! A great place to experience history first hand.

Might be a little much for children but there are several exhibits (the mummies) that they will really enjoy.

If you are in London, I recommend taking at least a half day and experience and enjoy this museum. Well worth it.
Rosetta Stone
The British Museum
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
WalterC WalterC
389 reviews
Should not be missed, and it's free! Apr 18, 2015
Located near Russell Square, and the Tube stop of that same name, the British Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from different parts of the world, from different time periods. My focus was more on the ancient period.

When entering the museum, I recommend going through the front entrance, with its Greek columns. Just seeing the architecture of the building, I think it is a preview of what’s to come, as it looks very promising, and a good start.

Then you come across to the Great Court, which is nice to look in itself. But don't linger long, because there is just so much to see. Basically, an all-you-can-learn buffet for the mind. ;)

There are 3 floors of artifacts, so it definitely cannot be seen in one visit. You can do one or both of these things…

1. Pick 2 or 3 galleries, and focus on those. And if time and energy permits, you can add another one. But some of those galleries can take up a whole day to see, especially the Egyptian collection.

2. Split your visits to the museum on different days. This is made possible, because admission to the museum is free. I ended up making 3 visits on 3 different days, on average of 2-3 hours for each visit. And I don’t think I barely scratched the surface, probably only seeing a ¼ of the collection. And that is probably overestimating on my part.

In my opinion, I think one of the must-sees include the Rosetta Stone, which is the first thing you see when entering the Egyptian gallery. This stone has 3 different languages on it, and made it possible to understand the ancient Egyptian language of hieroglyphics, by matching it with the other 2 languages. Another must-see is the Nereid Monument, in the ancient Greek gallery. Even if it is a reconstruction from a Greek temple, it is still amazing to look at. Also the nearby Parthenon Galleries is another must-see.

Needless to say, this museum is definitely a must-visit, as it does have a nice collection of artifacts, with most of the world represented in this museum. And a great place to spend the day, if the weather outside is not so good.

If I ever return to London (and I am sure I will), I would definitely make another visit to this museum, to see more of its collection. And probably have to revise this review by then. :)

I have included photos of the objects from galleries that I visited, and descriptions for some of the objects (but not all).
main entrance to museum
Great Court
Rosetta Stone
Egyptian statues
13 / 13 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
WalterC says:
Thanks Fergy!
Posted on: Mar 08, 2017
planxty says:
Very nicely written, I do like your literary style.

Posted on: Mar 06, 2017
jendara says:
Congrats on your featured review :)
Well done my friend!!!!
Posted on: Jun 27, 2015
paullovestrek paullove…
5 reviews
British Museum – the world in a building Nov 07, 2014
I went to the British Museum for the first time this June, specifically to see the Elgin Marbles.

On arrival, in front of the museum, I saw a replica of a Viking ship that really caught my attention: it splashed colour and dynamism on the overall Greek architecture scene. "Vikings" was a temporary exhibition that closed during my visit to England in June but I chose this photo as the main one for my page about the British Museum.

Inside, the heart of the Vikings Exhibition was a long Viking warship known as Roskilde 6, excavated from the Roskilde fjord in Denmark in 1997. Remains of the original ship were re-assembled in London to the full size and shape of the original, for display in a steel frame, Although regretfully, I couldn't visit "Vikings: life and legend", I took notes inside so that I could explain my main photo a bit.

Roskilde 6 has been dated to around AD 1025, the high point of the Viking Age when England, Denmark, Norway and possibly parts of Sweden were united under the rule of Cnut the Great (aka Canute). It was almost certainly a royal warship, possibly connected with the wars fought by Cnut to assert his authority over this short-lived North Sea Empire. Cnut the Great died in Shaftesbury, U.K., in 1035.
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
missandrea81 missandr…
147 reviews
Free of charge so very crowded, still worth a visit or two Aug 09, 2013
The British Museum is located on Russell Street, so getting here on the Tube or bus is easy. There are two entrances (Montague Place and Russell St), but you owe it to yourself to go through the front doors at least once. The columned entry way reminds of a Greek temple and definitely makes the building radiate importance.

I was here twice in my week to London, and noticed that both times the place was VERY busy even though the weather was nice. This is definitely one of the top attractions of London, so expect the worst hope for the best. If you're only stopping in to see the HIGHLIGHTS you'll be okay. For an extended visit I would recommend getting here early. There won't be a line for tickets as entry is FREE OF CHARGE, but donations are welcome.

I picked up a map and since I only had an hour on my first visit, I found the section of highlights very helpful. These include:

The Rosetta Stone, an Easter Island statue, Samurai armor, and of course the Parthenon sculpture, which have their very own wing.

The layout of the museum is fairly easy to navigate, but rooms on the upper floor get very crowded and during the summer very hot.

This museum lets you walk through history. There's is a section dedicated to every time period starting with finds from the Cradle of Civilization past the Egyptians, Greeks, Asian culture and artifacts, but also the Americas and Africa spread out over two levels.

The age of Enlightenment (18th century) has its own wing and most pieces inside came from the private collection of King George III. Between 11:00 and 16:00 select pieces can be handled at the "Hands On" desk.

Guided tours are also offered for a fee.

Audio guides can be picked up free of charge and are available in 11 languages.

There are several cafes inside and food trucks outside. The prices are about average for London, and the bathroom lines are very long. Not your quick potty break locations.

The British Museum is definitely worth a visit even if you only go for the highlights. I most certainly enjoyed the variety of exhibits covering our human existence.
Gates at the British Museum
British Museum - The Great Court r…
British Museum -Easter Island stat…
British Museum -Easter Island stat…
14 / 14 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
missandrea81 says:
Thanks everyone!
Posted on: Oct 08, 2013
diisha392 says:
Congrats on your feature on a great place!
Posted on: Oct 07, 2013
the_bill says:
Congrats on the feature Andrea!
Posted on: Oct 07, 2013
Bojasem Bojasem
216 reviews
nice but not the best Sep 24, 2013
location Great Russell Street | Near Tottenham Court Road Tube Station, London WC1B 3DG, England. The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759.

The British Museum is a free attraction but it one of the important attraction in london ,thing

you should see in London

It stay in the museum 2.45 HRS & i like it especially Indian gods ,Indian sculptures,Ancient Egyptian ,Islamic area & japan area all fantastic.

The place was a lot bigger than I thought it was from the outside so if you do not have time

or you are not fit i advice you visit the museum two times every time 1.30 HRS.

The museum is OK,not one of the best I have been to, but it was nice to visit
me in the museum gate
Indian sculpture
Indian statue
asian crown
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
mebernier mebernier
30 reviews
Back in time... FOR FREE! Ancient Egyptian & Greek galleries are breath taking. Jul 02, 2013
Rosetta Stone: check!

Egyptian Sarcophagus: check!

Greek sculptures: check!

Egyptian gods: check!

Mystical hieroglyphs: check!

Anyone who is remotely interested with Ancient Egyptian times will be fascinated by this gallery. Those who are fascinated by those times will be amazed.

The condition of the artefacts and the limited amount of glass enclosures transform a visit into the Ancient Egyptian gallery into time travel.

In spite of me being sick like a dog, the quality of the exhibit and of the artefacts kept me wide-eyed for about 2 hours. I'm so glad I didn't miss a chance to visit this place.

Perfect for a rainy day and ideal for the whole family!

Such a fascinating place for free is a MUST !
The one & only Rosetta Stone
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Della Della
14 reviews
The British Museum Jun 02, 2012
The British Museum is a free attraction that is absolutely a must. I am normally not a person that loves museums but I love this museum. The Rosetta Stone is there and so is the sarcophagus of Cleopatra. I thought Cleopatra was older than she was when she died; I think it said she was only a teenager when she died.

Tips: Bring comfortable walking shoes, a lot of walking

Don't eat the food served outside by vendors--I did

and I was sick for 2 days. Mystery meat indeed.

I was later told that the they are not suppose

to sell food outside those venues but they do and

they run when the cops come.
frivolousat25 frivolou…
16 reviews
British Museum - Must see! Apr 15, 2011
There is so much history to everything in London. Its a small city packed with so much. Same applies to the British Museum. For something thats free it has so much you can see and do.

Walking your way from one exhibit to another you cant help but wonder at the beauty of the collection. It has flavors from all over the world ranging from very different time periods. The rocks, sculptures & artifacts from other cities in Europe was the highlight of my visit.

Do plan to spend a huge chunk of your day here if you wish to get a good look at everything. There are cafes inside to keep you energized!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
kotheman kotheman
1 reviews
Good for anytime of the year Apr 21, 2011
Some sections were closed for maintenance. Usually it could take up for months for you to seriously see and read through all the articles in the museum.

Watches section is particularly good. Some very nice articles there
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
LadyAnabelise LadyAnab…
11 reviews
The British Museum Mar 25, 2011
One of the very best museums in the world. It was my first time to see mummies and oh wow it was overwhelming. One visit is not enough for this place.
The mummy!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sesshi101 sesshi101
2 reviews
Great place to visit when in the UK Jul 09, 2011
Great open spaces and so much too see, plan on coming early and spending at least half a day for fun and enjoyment. The variety of art work and historical items is endless, and ensure you have some good walking shoes. Outside the museum are trinket shops which were very enjoyable to visit and get a few items to take home.
sylviandavid says:
Nice review...
Posted on: Jul 09, 2011
Glynnes Glynnes
125 reviews
Great Museum and The Great Court Sep 27, 2010
The British Museum ( was established in 1753, to house the collection of Sir Han Slone (1660-1753). Located in Bloomsbury, London, the British Museum is open from 10am to 5:30pm daily (except for December 24 through 26, and January 1) and is free to all visitors. The Museum is also open until 8.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays. The closest underground stop to the British Museum is the Tottenham Court Road tube stop on the Central or Northern underground line.

If this is your first visit to the British Museum, I recommend the Multimedia Guide that offers visitors a clear insight (along with images) into the various galleries and 200+ objects. The Multimedia Guide is available in several languages, can help you to navigate through the museum’s galleries at your own pace and without you becoming frustrated or overwhelmed. Or you can take one of the many free eye opener gallery tours that are led by volunteer guides, takes about 45 minutes each and introduces visitors to several of the collections at the museum.

The first place I usually begin my visit when at the museum is in the Concourse Gallery of the British Museum’s Great Court where several large-scale sculptures can be found. During my visit to the British Museum this time, I was determined to spend time studying the exhibitions: Egyptian Mummies (ancient Egyptians preserved their dead in expectation of an afterlife and animals believed to have sacred powers were also mummified) in room 62, Parthenon Sculptures (brought to the UK by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon in Athens) in room 18, Portland Vase (made before the birth of Christ) in room 70, Sutton Hoo Treasure (recovered in 1939: the burial ship of a 7th century Anglo-Saxon King, the helmet and shield) and Lindow Man (the skin of a 2,000 year old human was preserved by the acids in Cheshire) in room 41, Money in room 68, Clocks in room 38-39, and Impressions of Africa, Money, metals and stamps that looks at money in pre-colonial Africa.

The museum has a Court Restaurant, Gallery and Court Cafes as well as a Family Picnic Area. Several shops are located throughout the museum. To get the most of your visit to the British Museum, make a plan of which galleries you would like to visit and take breaks.

Go and enjoy!
Garden at the British Museum
Garden at the British Museum
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
missandrea81 says:
How did I miss the garden? Where was it?
Posted on: Oct 08, 2013
dolcetlb says:
Thank you for your review. Next time I go to London, I must give myself enough time to visit this museum.
Posted on: Oct 13, 2010
osgoodst says:
do they still sell their own special beer?
Posted on: Oct 09, 2010
Vipin Vipin
691 reviews
Iconic, essential viewing Aug 16, 2010
Housing some of the nation’s best treasures, it’s amazing that the entrance is free.

The collection is extensive and includes artefacts from all corners of the world. I particularly liked the section from South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The range from middle east and Africa is also very good; I had never seen such work from countries such as Ethiopia and Iran.

Apart from the main features, there is a café and a plan of the museum is available too. Although the contents are impressive, I really liked the glass roofed Great Court too. If possible, I’d recommend you focus on just a couple of sections once you get there. The museum is vast, and it’s better to have a specific game plan rather than trying to fit in all at once.

If you are in London, this must be the one museum that you have to visit.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
montecarlostar says:
ok excuse accepted ;)
Posted on: Jan 03, 2011
Vipin says:
exactly, i amaze myself these days! we did loot a lot for sure, but we are keeping it very safely and it's free for all to see!!
Posted on: Jan 03, 2011
montecarlostar says:
hahaha your work has got some good results now! ;)

in a way I am interested to see all the valuable objects that the brits have stolen from the rest of the world ;)
Posted on: Jan 03, 2011
Willy2009 Willy2009
12 reviews
Unique British Museum Jan 04, 2010
I have been at the British Museum several times, and every time I come back I find something new or different that did not see in my previous visit.

In addition to the permanent exhibitions, which are unique in the world, are the additional temporary exhibitions .

I have 2 favorite sections in the museum :

- The Egyptian Room

Here you can find an incredible number of mummies, sarcofagus, and plenty of unique pieces from Egypt. This room only compares to the Cairo Museum.

- The Partenon Section

There is a big debate about the marbles from the Partenon, but in the mean time, you can admire the unique marbles from the Partenon here. Absolutely a worth experience.

Do not miss the British Museum when visiting London
Entrance to the British Museum
Egyptian Mummy
Egyptian Sarcofagus
Egyptian Mummy
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sylviandavid says:
Nice review.... I would like the British Museum and the Acropolis museum to start talking to arrange to get the marbles home again.... Sylvia
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
dedch dedch
17 reviews
A great collection, a must see in London Mar 14, 2010
This museum is so huge, there is no way you can see it all in one day. The exibitions are all worth seeing. And the best thing is, that the entry is absolutely free. We went on two days and still did not see everything. The courtyard has a glass roof that is quite impressive. That alone is worth seeing.

The egyption section is my favourite and should not be missed.

The museum can be found in the burrow of camden. And there are some great hostels close to it.
Stone relief in the british museum
The roof of the courtyard at briti…
Egyptian bust in the british museum
What a happy fellow
simmyolla simmyolla
1 reviews
"Excellent Museum" Dec 21, 2010
British museum is an excellent collections of different times in history from around the world and it is free. Currently hosting a special exhibition on Ancient Egyptians which it has cost.
0 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
aditany aditany
14 reviews
Free - a must go for the egyptian room Apr 18, 2009
The British Museum is very well-curated, and its long history means that there are plenty of exhibits to keep you occupied. most notable (for me anyway) is the collection of mummies. even in a packed room (with the usual group of european school children), you can feel a certain shiver up your spine as those sacrophagus denizens stare back at you. apart from the usual how-to-mummify manuals, there are interesting notes on the burial rites and offerings. also history on the egyptian nobility.
sylviandavid says:
Nice reviw... sylvia
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
travelman727 says:
I agree; I love the British Museum :-D
Posted on: Apr 18, 2009
minerva3333 minerva3…
37 reviews
Amazing collection of world artifacts Jul 11, 2008
The British Museum is an exceptional collection of artifacts from throughout the world. While controversy over the museum’s possession of Lord Elgin’s Parthenon marbles has raised other concerns whether the museum has the right to keep artifacts from around the world or should return them to the original locations, it currently has the largest, best preserved, and most complete collections of antiquities. Of course, most tourists come to see the Parthenon collection, the Rosetta stone or the Egyptian mummies, the museum is home to impressive Asian, Middle Eastern and ancient British collections. Visits to the museum are on a donation basis, and are well worth the trip if for no other reason than to see the impressive lobby and the major attractions. However, those wishing to give a bit more time will be rewarded by finding their own personal favorite among the collections.

The museum is accessible from the Holborn tube station (Picidilly and Central lines), but make sure you look at a street map beforehand, as the street level signs for the museum are rare and confusing.
British Museum exterior
British Museum exterior
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sylviandavid says:
I would like to see the parthanon marbles go home to Greece... hopefully they are working on that as they do continue to get bad press regarding the way the marbles were taken.... sylvia
Posted on: Jan 04, 2010
sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Feb 01, 2008
The British Museum is The British Museum. Depending on how right on you're feeling, or whether or not you're Greek (because of the marbles), it is either one of the finest collections of antiquities in the world, or a horde of stuff that the Victorians knicked off of each other. Either way, it's huge, fascinating, and totally baffling be turns. Some of the rooms are still quite traditional, which I prefer, with articles linked by geographical region and age and loads of fascinating displays. My particular favorite of that kind was the Asian collections. Then you have the newer kind, which frankly, I don't always like. The amazing Maya stuff is partially obscured by enormous signs likning things thematically but which don't always tell you what the objects actually are. WHich is frustrating, but the quality of the artifacts can outweigh the irritation. I've been about three times and found entire floors I'd never seen before each time!

There is also a cafe, but I'd skip it and have a coffee in the cafes across the road myself. The shop is good.

The museum itself is free, but special exhibits are chargeable and given that the museum doesn't get all of its costs from the government, I think you ought to put something in the donations box. They ask for three pounds, which is less than you'd pay for the equivalent in the US or mainland Europe.
sylviandavid says:
nice review.... Sylvia
Posted on: Jan 04, 2010
strategos says:
im greek! hehehe... no matter if the antiquities r british or not, the museum is great! countless things to see from all over the world! & the building is huge & beautiful!

nice review sarah! ;)
Posted on: Feb 26, 2008
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