Museum of London
- Journey through London’s past at the Museum of London, near St Paul’s and Barbican.
- One of the best free museums in London, history buffs big and small will love exploring the wonderful stories of the world’s greatest city whilst uncovering hidden treasures of the collections.
- You will find some of the best London museum exhibitions, along with permanent galleries like Roman London, Medieval London and War, Plague & Fire.
Are you looking to visit the best London museums with your family? Take an unforgettable family journey through the capital’s turbulent past. Venture back almost half a million years ago, marvel at Roman coins and see a mammoth jaw, which was found in the mid-19th century, and attempt to put out the Great Fire of London yourself! Discover what life was like in Medieval London, from the collapse of the Roman city to the succession of Queen Elizabeth I.
Wander around the recreated streets of Victorian London and marvel at the toy shop windows full of curiosities or see where a gentleman might have got a beard trim at a real Victorian barbershop! Are you brave enough to take a peek at the Wellclose Square debtors’ cell, where people who owed money were imprisoned until they could repay their debts? Examine the remarkable wooden walls of the cell, which still have the graffiti of prisoners who stayed here.
In the Playtime Gallery, younger children can experience and explore how little ones of bygone eras played, as well as watch 1950s kids’ TV shows in black and white.
Kids and adults alike will love exploring the recreated Saxon home. With glowing embers and sheepskin blankets, you will be able to experience and imagine what it would be like to live in medieval London. With so much history to enjoy and lots of interactive fun, your family will leave with a greater understanding of London’s unique past.
Kidadler Alison recommends a day out here: "There are quite a few interactive areas, definitely worth a visit if you're nearby. Went with a 3 and 5-year-old and they both enjoyed it." Museums in London don't get much better than this!
Whilst you are visiting London, make sure you check out these quirky facts about the capital that kids will love. Or if you've got older kids who are into history, why not head to the London Dungeon for a darker look at London's past.
What to know before you go
- Museum opening times are 11.30am until 3.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
- The Museum of London has a series of events running throughout the year at the museum including walks, talks, children’s workshops and tours.
- Looking for more places to go in London? The Barbican Centre is a few minutes’ walk away. Wander round the art gallery and conservatory and afterwards take a stroll to St Paul’s Cathedral.
- There is plenty to see at the museum so at least expect to stay a couple of hours or more there.
- There is full disabled access to all public areas, including the galleries, learning rooms, shop, café and Weston Theatre.
- The museum is accessible for buggies. Currently, there is no buggy park facility available so you will need to bring yours around the museum.
- Baby-changing facilities are available in the toilets.
- You'll find two cafés and a family-friendly restaurant in the museum. If you'd prefer to bring food from home you can eat it in the designated lunch hall or on the grounds outside. Please note that the museum will only be accepting cashless payments.
- The museum will be moving to a new museum in West Smithfield in the future, so make the most of this location while you can.
- For even more educational fun, sister museum the Museum of London Docklands reveals the incredible history of London as a port. It is situated at West India Quay in East London.
- You will find the museum's entrance located on a pedestrian high walk, which can be accessed by stairs, escalators or lifts from Aldersgate Street, London Wall or St Martin's-le-Grand.
- The nearest Tube stations are Barbican (Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines) and St Paul's (Central line) which are both a 5-minute walk.
- Bus routes 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 172, 242, 388 and 521 all stop nearby.
- If you're driving, you can use the City of London car park below the museum or the NCP car park on Aldersgate Street.