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The British Museum

Holiday Travel Guide
The British Museum featuring a square or plaza, heritage architecture and a city

Explore the history of humanity with this unparalleled collection of world artefacts and treasures from across the millennia.

Climbing the grand steps to the 44 columns that front this neoclassical landmark, you know you are in for a cultural experience. With nearly 8 million artefacts, the British Museum houses a collection of astounding breadth and depth. This is more than anyone can take in in one day, but don’t let this deter you. A visit of just a couple of hours will introduce you some of the finest treasures from around the world. This is precisely why the British Museum has always been the most popular museum in the country with an average of 6 million visitors per year.

The British Museum traces its origins to the will of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician, naturalist and collector who died in 1753. His collection of over 71,000 items, including manuscripts, natural specimens and antiquities was displayed in Montagu House, where the British Museum was first opened to the public in January 1759. The original collection was continually expanded over the centuries, and the building that the museum occupies today was constructed by 1857, designed by Sir Robert Smirke.

Among the must-see exhibits is the Rosetta Stone dating back to 196 BC, the key to our understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Take in the beauty of the Elgin Marbles of the Parthenon, a 75 metre-long frieze of classical Greek sculptures. Nothing can quite prepare you for the thrill of standing directly in front of the colossal carving of the head of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II, a 7.25 ton granite statue from around 1250 BC.

The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court in the centre of the building is the best place from which to plan the route of your visit. Designed by Lord Foster and opened in 2000, this stunning glass-covered courtyard is the largest covered public square in Europe. At its centre is the original circular reading room, where Karl Marx composed the Communist Manifesto.

The museum is open daily except on 24-26 December and 1st January, and free tours are available throughout the day. There is no charge for admission to the main collections, but look out for the amazing temporary exhibitions. You can but tickets for these on the official website or at the entrance.

Situated near both Bloomsbury Gardens and Russell Square Gardens, the closest Underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Russell Square.

Top activities in The British Museum

19199 Cheap Hotels Near The British Museum

Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
4 out of 5
61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, England
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$220 per night from 15 Aug. to 15 Aug.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aldwych Theatre, Royal Opera House and The Strand. Lyceum Theatre and Covent Garden Market ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (954 reviews)
"Ideally positioned. Very friendly. Excellent value."

Reviewed on 14 Jul. 2021

Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
4 out of 5
50-60 Southampton Row, London, England
The price is NZ$269 per night from 30 Aug. to 30 Aug.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The British Museum and Oxford Street. St. Paul's Cathedral and London Eye are also ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (29 reviews)
"Interesting hotel with funky interior. Goodsize room, comfy bed, ideal location."

Reviewed on 26 Jul. 2021

NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England
The price is NZ$243 per night from 12 Aug. to 12 Aug.
Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and ...
4/5Very Good! (3,148 reviews)
"Cleanliness and Location, did not eat-in or use facilities"

Reviewed on 28 Jul. 2021

The Strand Palace Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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The British Museum

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Top The British Museum Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Yotel London City
Yotel London City
4 out of 5
96-100 Clerkenwell Road, London, England
The price is NZ$149 per night from 22 Aug. to 22 Aug.
Yotel London City
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
4 out of 5
50-60 Southampton Row, London, England
The price is NZ$269 per night from 30 Aug. to 30 Aug.
NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels
Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
4 out of 5
61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, England
The price is NZ$220 per night from 15 Aug. to 15 Aug.
Club Quarters Lincoln's Inn Fields
The Strand Palace Hotel
The Strand Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
372 The Strand, London, England
The price is NZ$243 per night from 12 Aug. to 12 Aug.
The Strand Palace Hotel
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
4 out of 5
200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
The price is NZ$256 per night from 30 Aug. to 30 Aug.
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
The Hoxton Holborn
The Hoxton Holborn
4 out of 5
199 - 206 High Holborn, London, England
The price is NZ$265 per night from 2 Aug. to 2 Aug.
The Hoxton Holborn
Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London
Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London
4 out of 5
9-13 Bloomsbury Street, London, England
The price is NZ$285 per night from 29 Aug. to 29 Aug.
Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London
Rosewood London
Rosewood London
5 out of 5
252 High Holborn, London, England
The price is NZ$869 per night from 6 Aug. to 6 Aug.
Rosewood London
The Resident Soho
The Resident Soho
4 out of 5
10 Carlisle Street, London, England
The price is NZ$197 per night from 30 Aug. to 30 Aug.
The Resident Soho
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.