The Top 5 Museums in London you Have to See

Written By: The Planet D

If you’re making your way across the pond this summer, don’t forget to plan the cultural aspect of your trip. Check out the top 5 most popular museums in London, for an edifying, enjoyable experience.

The Best Museums in London

london museums portrait gallery

Since its founding in 1856, the National Portrait Gallery has aimed to honor the individuals who have shaped and are shaping British history and culture.

With collections spanning from Tutor and Elizabethan, Stuart and Civil War, Georgian and Regency, and Victorian and Edwardian eras, to the 20th century and Contemporary time periods, the National Portrait Gallery works to promote the appreciation of portraiture in all media. This includes photographs, caricatures, paintings, drawings, and sculpture.

  • Note: If you purchased the London Pass, many museum entries are included.

4. Victoria and Albert Museum

statue at the victoria and albert museum

Founded in 1852, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a vanguard of art and design. Collections include Architecture, Asia, British Galleries, Ceramics, Childhood, Contemporary, Fashion & Jewellery, Furniture, Glass, Metalwork, Paintings and Drawings, Photography,

Prints and Books, Sculpture, Textiles, and Theater. The museum strives to promote the practice of design and its appreciation and understanding of the world.

statue at the victoria and albert museum

The National Gallery has the third highest annual attendance of all museums in England, with nearly 5 million visitors each year. This gallery, founded in 1824, houses the national collection of Western European paintings from the 13th-19th centuries. The collections from the 13th-15th centuries include Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, and Bellini.

The 16th-century collection includes Leonardo, Cranach, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, Bronzino, Titian, and Veronese. For the 17th-century paintings, the gallery houses Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, and Vermeer.

Finally, the 18th- to early 20th-century paintings boast pieces by Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, and Van Gogh.

2. Tate Modern

tate modern museum

The Tate Modern is the English gallery of international modern art. It is part of the Tate museum family, comprised of Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St. Ives, and Tate Modern.

The museum houses many classic masterpieces, from artists like Picasso and Matisse, as well as an exceptional Surrealist section, with Dalí, Ernst, Magritte and Mirò.

The American Abstract Expressionism boasts major works by Pollock and Rothko. Pop art includes major works of Lichtenstein and Warhol. Other collections pertain to Minimal, Abstract, Sculpture, Conceptual and Contemporary Art.

1. British Museum

travel photography of the british museum

With over 5.8 million annual visitors, the British Museum is the most popular in all of England. Founded in 1753, this museum has a spectacular collection of art and antiquities, from ancient and contemporary culture.

Housed in a British architectural landmark, this collection spans two million years of human history. Collections range from society or time-specific-Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Greece and Rome, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Americas, Europe, Prehistory-to area-specific, Drawings, Coins and Medals, Conservation, Scientific Research, and Libraries and Archives.

Make sure to check out our Local’s Guide on Where to Stay in London for some great ideas!

If you are planning a trip to England, make sure to check out our UK Travel Guide

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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6 thoughts on “The Top 5 Museums in London you Have to See”

  1. It is unfortunate that the photo accompanying the Victoria & Albert Museum shows a woman shoving her hand in the mouth of a sculpture. This is just the sort of disrespect from foreign visitors that we see so much of in London. If you are going to see our museums, please keep your hands off the exhibits!

  2. As a Londoner I have to say, I love the V&A. Even if you’re not interested in art, just go there to see the building – equally rewarding. The same goes for the Natural History Museum right across the street. And if you’re looking for a present, visit the V&A gift shop – it’s brilliant.

  3. I think this post is very important for every people who are want to take a tour at London. These 5 museums are great for every tourist. Thanks for this nice and informative post.