The British Museum (London, England)

Off to the British Museum? See our insider advice for a queue-free visit as well as opening times and phone numbers!

Estimated Attendance

Closed Reopens Wednesday 20/09 at 10:00
Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon
10:00 11:00
11:00 13:00
13:00 15:00
15:00 16:00
16:00 17:30
17:30 20:30
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Our Tips

Top Tips

  • Saturdays are much busier than Sundays, prefer Sunday for the visit if you’re coming on a weekend.

  • During weekdays there are less people, though school groups are more common than on weekends.

  • Peak hours are in the morning, from 10am to 3pm. Come later in the afternoon, during the lunchtime or during Friday night.

  • Tuesday is the best day to visit, with a smaller number of visitors in general during the week. Monday and Wednesday are also good options to consider, as well as Friday night, when the museum has extended opening hours.

  • There is no real waiting line issue, the museum is free so you won’t need to queue to buy a ticket, but since it’s very popular there tend to be big crowds inside, especially in front of the main exhibits.

  • Avoid the UK school holiday periods, the British Museum is way more crowded at this time.

  • You can spread your visit over a series of mornings, or leave the Museum when crowds start to arrive and come back later in the day.

  • The entrance is free but donations can be given.

  • There are always less people inside on a sunny day compared to when it’s raining.

  • Some exhibitions at the British Museum tend to attract tons of visitors, check the current and upcoming ones in order to avoid visiting the museum on their opening and closing weeks.

The museum is closed on Good Friday.

British Museum

Photo credits to Nic McPhee via Flickr

Plan your visit

There’s a number of very popular objects in the museum that attract crowds at all times:

  • The Rosetta Stone (room 4)
  • The Parthenon Sculptures (room 18)
  • The Ancient Egypt collection, with its mummies (rooms 62-63)
  • The “Living and Dying” gallery with an Easter Island statue (room 24)
  • The Portland Vase (room 70)
  • The Lewis Chessmen (room 40)

At the same time some galleries tend to be almost empty even during peak hours, like the Japanese or the Prints and Drawings Galleries.

Keep this in mind to prepare your visit: if you arrive at the opening time - see the big sights first, then explore the galleries that interest you more than others and head to the lesser-known ones when the British Museum becomes overcrowded. If you arrive in the afternoon - leave the big sights for the end of your visit when there will be less people.

Guided Tours

  • Guided tours take place during different time slots, you can join the Highlights tour (on Friday and weekends) information is given on the most exciting parts of the museum in 90 minutes (book it here or free daily eye-opener tours that take place in different rooms during the day (check the timetable here).

  • Private guided tours can be booked here (around 2h, 23€).

British Museum

Photo credits to insunlight via Flickr

Tips for a few days in London

This page will give you many tips to avoid crowds in London as well as crowd schedules for top tourist attractions in order to plan your visits.

Telephone Numbers

Information Desk +44 (0)20 7323 8299 Exhibitions and events ticket booking +44 (0)20 7323 8181 Helpline & Online shop costumer service +44 (0)20 7079 0970 Helpline 2 +44 (0)20 7079 0970 Membership +44 (0)20 7323 8195

Address

📍 Great Russell Street
WC1B 3DG
London

By metro:

  • Tottenham Court Road (500m)

  • Holborn (500m)

  • Russell Square (800m)

  • Goodge Street (800m)

By bus:

  • lines 1, 7, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242 (New Oxford Street stop)

  • lines 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390 (Stop northbound on Tottenham Court Road, southbound on Gower Street)

  • lines 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188 (Stop on Southampton Row)

By car:

The nearest car park to the Museum is located at Bloomsbury Square, WC1A 2RJ.

Photo credits to Wikipedia Commons

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