The British Museum - Bloomsbury, London

Museum

Address

Address

Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 3DG
britishmuseum.org

+44 20 7323 8299

Reviews

Reviews

4.7

Based on 201 reviews.

 

Agregated reviews (201) The British Museum - Bloomsbury, London

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The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury
area of London, United Kingdom, is a public
institution dedicated to human history, art and
culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8
million works,and is among the largest and most
comprehensive in existence[3] having been widely
sourced during the era of the British Empire, and
documenting the story of human culture from its
beginnings to the present.[a]

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, in Montagu House,
on the site of the current building. Its expansion over
the following two and a half centuries was largely
result of expanding British colonization and has
resulted in the creation of several branch institutions,
the first being the British Museum of Natural History
in South Kensington in 1881 (it is nowadays simply
called the Natural History Museum, and is separate
and independent).

In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the
library department from the British Museum, but it
continued to host the now separated British Library
in the same Reading Room and building as the mu
seum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental
public body sponsored by the Department for Digital,
Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other
national museums in the United Kingdom it charges
no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.

5 by PARTH JOSHI Review source

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8 million works,[3]and is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence[3] having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire, and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[a]

British Museum

The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane.[4] The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of expanding British colonization and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington in 1881 (it is nowadays simply called the Natural History Museum, and is separate and independent).

In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.[5]

5 by Kaleshvar Kendre Review source

Of all the main museums in London, this is most like a tourist attraction.

That's not to say it wasn't good, but the impression I got, was of a lot of visitors scurrying around trying to see everything in the shortest possible time.

Oddly, it reminded me most strongly of a visit to Grand Central Station in New York. Definitely a different ambience to other museums I've been in.

While there, I went to the African, Chinese and Korean rooms. All had much to recommend them. The 1700 pieces of Chinese pottery would probably benefit from a second visit to fully appreciate though.

The building itself is enormous, dominated by the Grand Court. Here were toilets, cafés and shops and the starting point to the various rooms.

Getting a free map is essential to finding your way around and also contains suggestions of what to see depending on the time you have available. Very useful.

All the different floors are easily accessible by wide staircases. There are also lifts available all over the building for those who need them, but they are certainly not the quickest way around.

Nearest tube is Russell Square (Piccadilly line). I prefer larger trains. Temple (District and Circle) was a 20 minute walk and Euston Square (Circle, H&C and Metropolitan lines) about 15 minutes. None are step free.

I liked my visit and will go again, but I have other museums I like more.

4 by Mark Pearce Review source

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8 million works,and is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence[3] having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire, and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.[a]

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, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of expanding British colonization and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington in 1881 (it is nowadays simply called the Natural History Museum, and is separate and independent).

In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.[

5 by vaghela ashok Review source

Visit date: Saturday 26th May 2018. On arrival at the British Museum, the first thing to prepare for is security checks. There is a separate queue if you have no bag, but if you present your bag open, it does speed up the process. The museum is free to enter, but there is a suggested donation of £5 which is not a lot for what you get. Maps are available for £2 and guide books are £6. If you only have a short time available, the map has a Top 10 things to see in an hour list, which is eminently manageable. The museum is massive and you could quite easily spend a full day in there, time allowing. It is logically laid out and has a massive amount of impressive displays from around the world. There are plenty of staff around if you need directions. The Elgin collection is particularly impressive and there are leaflets available explaining just what the position is with these pieces.
My particular favourite pieces wer the Egyptian statue of Amenhotep III as a lion and the Standard of Ur which is part of the Mesopotamia display, but there is plenty to get any history buff excited.
As with most of the big museums in London, there is the opportunity to buy food and drink inside and also stores stocking a wide range of products for kids and adults alike.
Would definitely visit again when I have more time available.

5 by Cathal Berney Review source

A fantastic day out for just about anybody, there are so many different exhibits from the history of England, the British Empire, as well as treasures from the ancient worlds of Rome, Egypt, Greece and more. There really is enough here to fill more than one day as you could take in one floor per day over a weekend, it makes for an exceptional jumping off point for learning about history.

On of the exceptional exhibits in the museum is the Anglo-Saxon finds from Sutton Hoo – the remains of a large ship burial of a presumed Saxon king of Mercia which contained some of the best pieces of Saxon material even discovered including the outstanding full face war helmet pictured below.

Access is, of course, completely free and when you have had your fill of the eclectic collection you can avail yourself of the extensive gift shop area in the main concourse area. I would really encourage any visitors to make a donation to the museum or to spend a chunk of cash within the gift shops.

Even the building is a pleasant thing to look upon, the large courtyard out at the front of the building is a lovely place to sit and eat lunch during the summer months.

5 by Conor Hennessy Sykes Review source

What can I say?

I can't possibly write a comprehensive review of the British Museum in a few lines but what I can say is that I could spend days in endless fascination and awe in here.

Although it is often tempting to define areas of the world by who is chucking bombs at who, to learn something of the rich history and culture of these countries and regions is an eye-opener.

Even if you only have a passing interest in the world around you, you'll find something to interest you.

Dip in, enjoy what you find and keep coming back.

One word of warning. I don't know when quiet times are, or indeed if there are any, but try and find them. On my recent visit it was somewhat marred by coach loads of visitors (or, more accurately, photo collectors), who felt they had some right to barge their way to the front and obscure the view of everything with a wall of cameras pushed against the glass (no time spent looking, reading or understanding, just snap a photo and move on to the next one). The Egyptology section was pretty much a no go area if you didn't want to get trampled to death.

5 by Phil & Fran Gregson Review source

It was really nice but huge and got us tired from our first day in London. The collection was beautiful but nothing we haven't seen before to be completely honest. We didn't get an audioguide or any kind of tour so I imagine that with those everything becomes way more interesting. I particularly liked the American exhibition and the Ancient Egypt one. I loved seeing the Rosetta stone in real life and one of the main reasons I went there, the Japan exhibition with its famous Hokusai was now closed so that was pretty disappointing. But apart from that it was an interesting museum and I'm sure it is way more impressive if you've never seen this sort of thing before. I do recommend only choosing the exhibitions that you're interested in and go thoroughly through those because otherwise it's just impossible to see the whole thing and still feel your legs at the end of the day. I do recommend passing on this one and going for Victoria and Albert instead as there are a lot of similarities in the exhibits. Do your reasearch and don't tire yourself out for no reason.

4 by Andra Maciuca Review source

This is the greatest museum I've ever visited. They literally have stuff from as long as 8000 years back, from the first stone tools to more complex tools to clothing to agriculture and eventually to the last century and modern day examples. They have it all!

There's about 3 floors there, 2 floors alone will take you 7 hours or so, easily. When I visited here, the museum closed because I can see the rest of it, and I was already there for 4 and a half hours.

It's crazy how huge the place is.

Maybe small kids won't appreciate the place, they might not understand, but they'll definitely be in awe at the size of those of those things and statutes and relics in the museum.

They have multiple cafeterias which close at about 5:30 or sooner.

Words can't describe how amazing my visit was. I would recommend absolutely everyone to visit, even those who aren't that into history and relics, it's worth a try.

5 by Review source

Packed, popular, loads of tour options, beautiful building, fantastic pieces to view and it's all free. I should go on and on but I think you should just go and view it for yourself.

The reason I only give it 4 stars is that they are exceedingly defensive as to their right to continually keep possession of, what is unquestionably, stolen pieces from other countries and cultures even when those places have equal or better facilities to display their own art. The attitude of 'We saved this from destruction years ago and have taken very good care of it (yes you did, thank you very much) so we have a right to keep it because we don't trust you.' doesn't wash with me especially when the pieces come from incredibly stable countries with responsible governments. Otherwise 'Yes British Museum' hold onto the pieces from unstable counties and questionable governments.

4 by Ron Schroeder Review source

Arguably the largest museum on planet earth, this museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and show pieces. Located centrally , the museum is easily accessible by bus, tube or taxi. The grand hall or arena is breath taking and HUGE. The best part of the museum is most of the galleries - nearly 90% are free, the seasonal and special galleries are charged. There are countless 'have to see' exhibits , again they help here with a leaflet of most famous pieces with their significance and location. One of my visits - i just covered those, but in my opinion it is not fair and i would recommend multiple visits if you cannot cover all of it at one go- almost impossible I think. The most famous exhibits in my opinion is the original Rosetta stone and some roman sculpture and royal ornaments. Do not miss the Egyptian and African Art exhibits. Love the cafe and the shop as well.

5 by Niranjan Gummanur Review source

The first security guard wasn't very friendly at all, I waited behind a lady that was getting the best of customer service and I guess I expected the same, only to be greeted with a grunt and an argumentative guard. As I hadn't been to that particular museum for a while I saw there were two routes one for members and the another for 'every one else'. So I asked the guard if this long queue was a general admission queue or was the queing for a special exhibition that you had to pay for, he said 'no go this way' and pointed me to the same queue. So I said to him again, I was asking if you had to pay to get in he literally said no that's not what you asked as if I had been rude to him in a previous life, I was less than impressed. Enjoyed everything else but being greeted with that sort of customer service left a bad taste in my mouth.

2 by 0 Review source

I can never tire of visiting this marvelous museum though I would warn others to avoid it on Sundays when it is absolutely packed with tourists, even in the middle of winter. Don't miss the fascinating and free 25-minute 'spotlight' tours on Friday evenings when the museum is open late. There are also opportunities during the week to handle selected objects. Look out for children's events, daily free eye-opener tours and others, excellent exhibitions etc etc. My only complaint is that the self service Gallery Cafe, which I used to look forward to resting my feet in and which served good home-cooked food and salads has now been reduced to a pizza cafe. Good quality drinks lunches and cakes available in the Great Court though not a very comfortable place to eat (crowded, melamine tables, stools)

5 by Joanna McInnes Review source

One of the very best museums in the world - absolutely fantastic! Always striving for excellence - putting a roof over the Great Court was a master stroke. The permanent collection is great. The special exhibitions are uniformly brilliant - you always learn something and, without being preached to, you come away with a greater understanding of what it is to be human. Couple of tips. Don't go on a rainy afternoon in the Summer unless you're happy to jostle with the very many other people who think that's a good time to go. Also, there's a small gallery on the upper floor (Room 90) where they show Art exhibitions, often drawing on their superb collection of Prints and Drawings - and amazingly, it's free. So in a nutshell - the British Museum is superb! Go and enjoy!

5 by The Aardvark Arrives Review source

I visit the museum every week and I often attend the gallery talk and tours, which are indeed very educational.
My concern however, is regarding the 13:15 talks; I feel they are poorly organised.
Firstly, the theme of the talk sometimes does not relate to the content.
Recently, I attended a talk hoping to learn about the history and significance of a particular exhibit, as that was the impression that the theme gave (on the website). However, the speaker merely emphasized on the object's material. Perhaps, it would be more helpful to advertise the talk with a brief abstract about its content.
Secondly, there aren't enough headphones provided. Only 60% of the audience will be fortunate enough to get a headphone; The rest will struggle to listen.

3 by Nolan Trinidade Review source

An absolute must to visit place. Collection is obviously world class and the building is very impressive. Can get very crowded with big groups, especially in any of the Egyptian Galleries. The cafes now offer vegan options and the fancy cafe at the top of the rotunda is a lovely place to have a glass of wine. The cloakroom is relatively expensive and they've really struggled to find my belongings a few times. If you plan on visiting a few paid exhibitions over the year, I'd recommend getting membership. This way you don't have to book tickets (even if it's sold out), can go straight into the exhibitions, get a discount in the shop, have free use of a members' cloakroom and can use a members' room, which is a great place to work and relax.

5 by Katy S Review source

Probably the best museum in the world. Free entry to see objects which represent key moments in history or changed the course of history themselves.

Often gets packed at weekends so try a mid week visit if you can.

If you’ve never been before then make sure you cross off the highlights including the Rosetta Stone, Ancient Egypt and the Parthenon sculptures.

If you’ve already seen the highlights the best thing to do is to lose yourself in a single room or small corner of the museum and really absorb what each display case offers.

My favourite room is the old library with the history of the enlightenment and the museum’s collection. In this room you will find treasures that unlocked whole branches of modern science.

5 by Dave Shaw Review source

If you have even a vague interest in how the world we live in came to be, consider the British Museum a must see. I work a short walk away and often spend my lunch times wandering around this breathtaking building, constantly blown away by what I'm seeing.

Unfortunately I couldn't comment much on whatever facilities or services they offer as I am far too busy looking at remnants of the Parthenon, samurai armors or Enlightenment trinkets to notice anyone other than the noisy American tourists. And to the guy who said it isn't well connected - there are four tube stations within 5 minutes walk, so I would say it couldn't be better connected.

This is the kind of place that makes London the best city in the world.

5 by Alex Lyster Review source

It's an amazing jumble of artifacts from all times and places, gathered under one roof. We spent 6 consecutive hours there and Id still consider that just the highlights reel. Free to the public (except for special exhibitions), I'm amazed more people in/visiting London don't spend all their time here.

There were a few moments when it seemed rather sad that the British Empire whisked away these things from their proper places, but that move may have saved some from destruction, damage, or loss over the years, so that may be the saving grace here.

All in all, if you want to journey through the history of the entire world in several hours, or just focus in depth in 1 exquisite example, this is the place for you.

4 by Carolyn Carnes Review source

An outstanding museum, huge, and packed with displays which you could spend days wandering around. Really, really wanted to show the Rosetta stone to my Egypt-mad daughter, as my dad showed it to me when I when I was wee - but absolutely no chance on the day we were there. We went on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend and the place was jammed (we had to queue round the block for 45 minutes just to get in) and the Rosetta exhibition was dangerously overcrowded - shoulder to shoulder with people, you couldn't walk through the crowd, you just had to be sort of swept along with it. People were coming out with claustrophobia and anxiety. You'd have been mad to take a child in. Other than that the place was as magnificent as always!

4 by stuart moffat Review source

Definitely one of the best Museums in the world. The Museum showcases world art and their collection of artifacts is extensive. One would quite easily spend a full day wandering around the amazing galleries of this Museum. The Egyptian galley being the most interesting. There are plenty of places to sit and a couple of nice coffee bars, but there is a distinct lack of toilets. There is no entry fee so a shame to miss this out on your London tour. Only downside is the high price of food in the museum. All in all, if you love history, you'll love this museum.

Pro tip : Do not queue at the main entrance like most people, these lines are very long. There is an entrance on the rear of the building which barely has any queue at all.

4 by Salil Natekar Review source

Fabulous museum but pity that the main exhibitions such as the recent ‘Living with Gods’ are held in such cramped spaces, given the amount of people visiting at any one time, making it difficult to see the displays and descriptions which are sometimes at waist level! I understand that you want the exhibition to finish at a gift shop but this one didn’t even have the exhibition catalogue and so therefore this space ought to be extended giving the public more breathing space. Last weekend, it was so crowded that we were 5 rows deep in some areas and it was uncomfortably hot.
Otherwise, the museum is beautifully designed and works well on so many other levels - a cultural gem and iconic attribute to London’s educational heritage.

4 by Review source

Our time in the British Museum was absolutely captivating.
We just got lost in time, looking at all the different periods in history and amazing sculptures that have been collected and all brought under the same roof.
You can be inspired to learn so much about history, and generally look at life in a different way. Especially when you see how strong personalities from the past have had a great influence on how we behave today.
The Museum itself is an outstanding building, with coffee shops, snack bars, and good toilet facilities.
I would highly recommend a couple of Visits, and to try and have a tour, for there are many different tour's you can in list in,
And different languages.

4 by Stephen Butler Review source

This place is amazing! Free to enter, the Museum has such a diverse array of artifacts on display.
As you enter the main grounds there is a security tent where your bags are checked. If you have a membership pass you can skip the line and save upto 10-30mins
As you enter the museum itself the gallery is split over two floors (with lift access).
Egyptian, Persian & Babylonian on predominately downstairs with Greek and Roman on the upper level.
The Rosetta stone, a must see is on the lower floor to you left.
In the center of the museum is a gallery (usually pay to enter that changes regularly)
This is a great place to take children although expects longer cues on weekends.

5 by Jonathan McConnell Review source

Well, the review of all reviews for a museum buff - the British museum is home to one of the largest collections of historical artifacts in the world, and it shows.

From the moment you walk into the atrium and take in the incredible size and grandeur of the structure there is no mistaking you will see some of the most fascinating history you’ll ever see. From the Aegean Sea to the Zulu tribe, there is an artifact from that region or those people or that culture, it truly is a sight to behold and a must see for anyone who goes to London with the time - take note, a day will not be enough. Bring your camera and have a blast, it’s the experience of a lifetime if you’re a fan of history!

5 by Brendan Pidgeon Review source

The finest museum in the world. Far more than any mere mortal could see in a day. For me, the best approach is to choose either a couple of galleries or three or four particular objects you want to see (there's a very helpful plan in the Great Hall to help you or you could recce online first). On your route, you are bound to be diverted by other fascinating things. Trying to see too much in one visit will leave you exhausted. Entry is free (donations welcome). My only quibble is that food and drink is currently in the hands of Benugo - very expensive! £2.75 for a cup of tea! I'd bring a packed lunch or use one of the cheaper cafes nearby. Lots of nice parks within a few minutes walk.

5 by Claire Calman Review source

Wonderful place to spend the day. The museum is very well maintained, the shops offer great deal of mementoes and cafes offer a delightful range of cakes and coffee. Toilets are hard to find and are often closed, one thing that needs to be checked. The main attraction that is the Exhibits are fascinating. The hands on guides do a remarkable job in explaining things. One might get confused while roaming in the rooms and galleries as they all are interconnected and there is not much help available to navigate through them apart from few sign boards and the navigation books which one needs to buy from the reception desks. Cleanliness was superb. I would definitely like to go back again.

4 by Haider Ali Review source

There was a lot that went on here. I had two servings of spicy curry last night and felt a movement that wasn't going to wait. I used the second floor handicap bathroom so a lot of perks, remote, quiet, lots of railing for support during turbulence. But it was also a bit weird because the only way a wheelchair could get up there was a tiny elevator.

There was sufficient TP but very low quality. And the ventilation was ok, not great as my brother fired one off right before me. Also very poor acoustics which certainly lowers the entertainment value.

Overall, it certainly got the job done but I'd never go through the security check to here. ¯\\\\_(ツ)_/¯

3 by Dalton Wooley Review source

Maybe the best museum in the world. Fantastic range of exhibits from all ages and free entry.
The British Museum is located in the Bloomsbury area of London and is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of over 8 million items is among the largest and most comprehensive in anywhere and comes from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present day. The Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane.
Really a must if you are visiting London and even if you are a local.

5 by Mike Mannan Review source

One place to see all of human civilizations. We can see how our ancestors progressed/regressed from where it all started. Kudos to the highly sophisticated plunderers (The Erstwhile British empire) that manged to nicely *bubble wrap* every country's rightful possession all the way to theirs. Moving Pantheon columns, Buddha statues of gigantic proportions.... And reassemble them in London : it takes more than plunderers, murderers, political might. As tharoor quotes, the sun never sets in the British empire as even Gods won't trust them in the night. That said, one brilliant plane for history/archeology aficionados.

5 by Srikrishnan Ananth Review source

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