No entry fee: Your ultimate guide to London’s FREE museums and galleries

A trip to London doesn’t need to break the bank. The city may be pricey but don’t fret, many major museums and galleries offer free admission!

From Tate Britain to the National Gallery, you have countless choices to explore world-class art without spending a penny.

Our list of fantastic and free galleries covers every corner of the city. So, go ahead, soak up the culture and save those pennies for something else!

British Museum

People inside the British MuseumThe British Museum offers a world-class experience to all who visit, with a collection of over 8 million pieces. this iconic museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and present of civilizations from around the globe. From the Rosetta Stone to the Parthenon sculptures, the collections reflect the incredible achievements of humanity.

And with free entry, there’s no excuse not to go! So why not make plans to visit the British Museum today? You won’t be disappointed.

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National Gallery

The National GalleryIn the heart of London, the side-by-side National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are always showcasing must-see work, from Van Gogh to photography competition entries. The collection at the National Gallery features masterpieces from across the globe, including Italian Renaissance, French Impressionism and Dutch Old Masters.

This is definitely one for the bucket list – a must-see for anyone visiting London.

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Science Museum

Science Museum LondonFascinated by all things science-related? The Science Museum is the ideal attraction to top up your knowledge. There is so much going on here throughout the year, from some of the biggest events to family-friendly activities, incredible exhibitions and interactive galleries. There’s even an IMAX cinema – perfect for watching the latest shows and presentations.

And for thrill-seekers, there are multiple simulators to try out. Immerse in a 3D Red Arrows experience or discover what it’s like to fly in an RAF Typhoon jet. With 3.3 million visitors per year and free admission, this is definitely one of the top attractions in London.

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Wallace Collection

The Wallace CollectionPicture this: a jaw-dropping collection of French furniture, paintings and art from the 18th century. Who owned all this fabulous stuff, you ask? Well, it belonged to the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace. As you stroll through Hertford House, you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning furnishings and fancy porcelain. The Wallace Collection is decked out with masterpieces by big shots.

One painting you can’t miss is Franz Hals’s “Laughing Cavalier” (spoiler alert: he’s not laughing, and he’s not even a Cavalier!). Got little ones with you? No worries! The Wallace Collection’s got a spot where kids can try on armour and play around. They even host fun exhibitions and workshops led by artists!

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Royal Air Force Museum

The RAF MuseumThe Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum has over 80 aircraft on display, ranging from some of the most important RAF aircraft to world classics from the USA, Japan and France. There are activities and interactive exhibits for all ages. Challenge yourself with a pilot aptitude test (see if you’ve got what it takes to fly alongside Maverick and Goose!). And be sure to check out ‘Our Finest Hour’, a multi-media account of the Battle of Britain.

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British Library

As the largest library in the world, The British Library houses 170 million items such as books, manuscripts, and other materials, including some of the most significant literary and historical documents in existence. Visitors can see treasures such as the Magna Carta, original Beatles lyrics, and rare maps and manuscripts from around the world.

The library also hosts a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year, showcasing everything from contemporary art to ancient texts.

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Natural History Museum

Natural History MuseumIf dinosaurs are your thing, then the Natural History Museum is an attraction you simply cannot miss. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted by an abundance of skeletons suspended from the ceilings. Check out the incredible T. Rex, the titanosaur – one of the largest creatures known to inhabit the earth, and observe the spectacular Stegosaurus.

You can even see an array of birds, minerals including jaw-dropping gems, and real fossils from volcanoes and earthquakes. Whether you take a guided tour or explore the museum yourselves, there’s lots to keep everyone entertained. And when you’re ready for a sit down, just head to the on-site cafes!

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Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)Prepare to feast your eyes on some seriously cool 1930s architecture at the RIBA building, designed by the one and only George Grey Wornum. This Grade II-listed gem not only looks stunning, but it’s also a happening spot! They’ve got all sorts of talks and exhibitions going on, keeping the place buzzing with creative energy. But wait, there’s more!

If you’re in the mood for some shopping or need a caffeine fix, they’ve got you covered. Check out their shop and café, complete with an awesome outdoor terrace. You’ll also find one of the most incredible architectural libraries ever, housing a whopping four million items! Even if you’re not a member, you can still get in on the action for free – just bring some photo ID, and you’re good to go!

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Tate Britain

Tate Britain is a world-renowned museum that is home to an incredible collection of British art, spanning from the 16th century to the present day. From masterpieces by Turner and Gainsborough to contemporary works by Hockney and Emin, the Tate Britain offers something for art enthusiasts as well as those looking to discover something new.

With regular special exhibitions and events, there’s always something new to discover. And when entry to the gallery is free it’s a no-brainer!

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Sir John Soane’s Museum

Sir John Soane’s MuseumIf you’re a lover of architecture, a visit to Sir John Soane’s Museum is a must when you’re visiting London. Sir John Soane was an English architect who lived in the museum (formerly his home) almost 200 centuries ago until he died in 1837.

Inside, you can see a myriad of his finest works, from handmade furniture to architectural models and paintings. It was his wish when he died that his home would be preserved as an academy of architecture. Depending on when you choose to visit, you can immerse yourself in detailed tours, insightful workshops, or various clubs tailored to aspiring architects. Be sure to take your camera – Sir John Soane’s house truly deserves to be remembered.

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National Army Museum

National Army MuseumThe National Army Museum offers a unique insight into the military history of Britain, with an extensive collection of artefacts ranging from weapons and uniforms to paintings and photographs. But the National Army Museum is more than just a collection of relics. It is a place of learning and discovery, where guests can engage with the exhibits and explore the stories of the men and women who have served in the British army over the years.

You can immerse yourself in the lives of soldiers from different eras and conflicts, from the Battle of Waterloo to the Falklands War. Plus, the museum offers a selection of interactive and educational experiences for all ages, including hands-on exhibits, workshops and guided tours. You can even try on a replica uniform and step back in time to experience what it was like to be a soldier!

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The Library and Museum of Freemasonry

The Library and Museum of FreemasonryFreemasons’ Hall is a grand sight to behold, where Queen Street and Long Acre meet in Central London. The Library and Museum within hold a vast collection of Masonic material which you can access completely for free. So if you’re a curious soul, swing by Freemasons’ Hall to soak up the history and maybe even uncover some Masonic secrets!

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