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Top 5 museums in London that won’t cost you a thing

19th Rhagfyr 2022

by Lucia Olaizola

London is home to amazing cultural attractions, and the best thing about it is that many of these are free for you to visit. We’ve rounded up five of our favourite National Lottery-funded museums in London that won’t cost you a penny to enter.

Looking for inspiration outside of London? National Lottery players support some of the most unique museums in the UK.

© Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world. We recommend you visit this venue with a lot of time and comfortable shoes. It is home to a collection of international art and culture discoveries that tell the history of humanity.

In the museum there are more than seventy galleries divided by continents: Africa, America, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In their permanent collection, you can find some of history’s most important pieces, like the Rosetta Stone, which helped to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The museum received a grant of more than £15.1 million from National Lottery players to build an Education and Information Centre in the Great Court. This allowed the museum to provide group space to schools for educational activities, as well as five multipurpose seminar rooms and a 500-capacity lunchroom.

© Photo by Laura Leonard/VisitBritain

Victoria & Albert Museum

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design. Its collection spans several centuries and includes more than two million pieces of furniture, ceramics, sculpture, paintings, posters, jewellery, metalwork, glass, and textiles.

During your visit, treat yourself to a break in the V&A's café and its superbly preserved XIX century refreshment rooms. Want our insider tip? Every Friday, the café offers a Victorian Afternoon Tea inspired by Queen Victoria, served on traditional British crockery – the ultimate teatime experience!

The National Lottery Heritage Fund gave the museum a grant of £15 million to do a major renovation of its British Galleries. The investment allowed the V&A to display their British collection in a new and more accessible setting.

© Photo by The Trustees of the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum

One of the capital’s most popular museums for Londoners and tourists alike is the National History Museum. The museum showcases the evolution of different forms of life, and has an amazing collection of animals, fossils, rocks, minerals and plants.

The central hall of the museum will impress you with its architecture and the huge blue whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. Don’t forget to stop at the dinosaur gallery, where you can take a selfie with the spectacular Tyrannosaurus Rex, the star of the museum!

Last year, thanks to National Lottery Players, the museum received a grant of £3.2 million for its Urban Nature Project. This project will support wildlife in cities across the country by developing new monitoring techniques and a school programme, as well as creating a welcoming green space in the museum entrance that is easily accessible for all visitors.

© Photo by Bruno Martins on Unsplash

The Science Museum

The Science Museum is a place where you can learn more about the mysteries of the universe and see how technology has changed over the centuries in a fun and interactive way. The museum has more than 15,000 objects in its permanent collection, including the legendary Apollo 10 capsule.

The Science Museum has been awarded multiple National Lottery grants, including a £6.3 million grant in 2010 to build the Information Age Gallery, which was the first permanent gallery in the UK dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies.

© Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is connected to the Tate Britain and is considered one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world. The museum has 88 galleries and seven floors, where it exhibits works by famous artists such as Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko and Warhol. As part of your visit, stop by to see the ‘Fountain’ from Marcel Duchamp and draw your own conclusions about modern art.

The museum received a grant of £4.9 million from the National Lottery Heritage fund in 2012. The grant supported a major archive digitalisation project that integrated Tate’s rich archival collections with the online Collection of British art.