The Best Free Museums in London for Art Lovers

Bell   |   02 September 23

London is an art-lovers heaven, with endless galleries, museums and new exhibitions popping up weekly. But did you know that you can see some of London’s best art pieces for completely free? 

London certainly isn’t the cheapest city, however, there are so many things to do for free if you are on a budget. This includes a large variety of different museums, which is the perfect afternoon activity on a rainy day.

As a design graduate and general art-lover, I’ve put together this list of my favourite free art museums. Art should be accessible to anyone and this city makes it possible! There are also a ton of free art galleries, which I will cover in another post.

The British Museum is completely free and houses pieces of art, graphics, statues and more from all over the world

To ensure entry at busy times, you can book tickets ahead of time. I would schedule around 2 hours to get a good feel of the museum and see most of the major pieces.

The British Museum also often hosts exhibitions from specific artists. I highly recommend checking what exhibition is currently on here

Sir John Soane is one of the greatest British architects in history. The museum is in his own house, arguably one of his greatest creations, and has been kept as it was at the time of his death in 1837.

Entry is free and you do not need to pre-book. The museum is truly unique and definitely worth a visit for any art-lovers. The artifacts displayed are one of a kind and every room is a masterpiece in itself.

Victoria and Albert Museum - traveloffscript

The V&A museum is one of the most well-known in London and for good reason. It has an incredible collection of art, design and performance pieces as well as stunning architecture and interior design. 

Admission to the V&A is free and there is no need to pre-book. There are also always special exhibitions on that you need to pay for, you can find the current ones here.

The permanent, free collections spans over 2.3 million objects and spans centuries, different art forms as well as a variety of countries.

The Wellcome Collection is a truly distinctive museum. It explores health and science and our perception of it through art, exhibitions, broadcasting and so much more. 

Again, entry is free and you can just turn up on the day. 

Images displayed here span centuries, dating as far back as the 1400s. A truly unique approach to the world of art.

The Design Museum is one of my all-time favourites in London (though I am a design graduate so may be slightly biased). It has an incredible free exhibition and sometimes even special exhibitions that are also free. On top of that, they always have interesting paid guest exhibitions, featuring amazing artists, singers, creators and more. 

It’s beautifully located, right by Holland Park and the architecture alone is worth studying. 

Queens House

The Queens House is impressive both in- and outside, from the stunning architecture to the unbelievable art collection within.

Entry is once again free but you do need to book a ticket online.

Make sure not to miss a photo of the famous Tulip Stairs, a masterpiece of geometry. Located in Greenwich, it is close to one of London’s best viewpoints too – the perfect day out in London.

Tate Modern Exhibition - traveloffscript

While technically an art gallery, I have decided to include it on my museum list as it often hosts exhibitions, performance art and motion art that goes beyond your traditional art gallery.

They have a free collection which you can just walk into and often special free installations in the main area like the one shown above (the flowing robots by Anicka Yi).

They also host end of month “Tate Modern Late” nights with artist-led workshops and talks. Entry is free but I recommend booking online early as they sell out.

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Hi, I'm Bell

Bell from Travel Off Script

My blog is here to show you that there isn’t one correct way to travel the world. Together, we can figure out what that means for you. Learn more about me here!

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