The British Museum is home to some 8,000,000 works of history, art and culture. From Egyptian mummies to Ancient Greek sculpture, this institution is home to a truly dizzying variety of artefacts. You can find this iconic landmark in the Bloomsbury area of London, south of Russell Square.

    Though many come for the stunning collections, the museum itself is worth seeing. With an imposing neoclassical exterior, the inside of the museum revolves around the super-modern great court. At the centre of this is the Reading Room, a hugely impressive book-lined space that was once home to the British Library.

    The British Museum is a must-visit attraction for anybody even remotely interested in history, culture and art. The most visited museum in the UK, more than 6 million people flock to the British Museum annually to take what is commonly seen to be the most exhaustive collection of artefacts on the planet.

    British Museum in London - one of the highlights of 4 Things to See at the British Museum and 8 Places to Learn Something New in London (Read all about London here)

    What are the highlights of London's British Museum?

    With incredibly extensive exhibitions that chart the journey of human existence, choosing just a few highlights from the collection at the British Museum is a tough task. However, it is true that some works do stand out from the crowd.

    Perhaps the most famous of all items housed in the museum’s permanent collection is the Rosetta Stone. Dating from 196 BC, this ancient Egyptian artefact was key in unlocking the meaning of the civilisation’s hieroglyphic script in 1822. With this came the possibility of a wholesale understanding of the history, culture and customs of one of the ancient world’s most advanced civilisations.

    There is also the exquisite Sophilos Vase, a wine-drinking vessel which dates back to 580 BC and offers a rare glimpse into ancient Athenian life. The vase is a fine example of the nimble skill of artists at the time. It's adorned with scenes of the arrival of guests to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, parents of the hero Achilles. 

    Other highlights of the British Museum include the Parthenon sculptures, the hulking Bust of Ramesses the Great and the hauntingly beautiful Aztec Serpent.

    Where to eat at the British Museum?

    There are many dining opportunities at the British Museum. You can grab a quick coffee in between exhibitions at many excellent cafes or enjoy a full meal at excellent gourmet restaurants within the complex.  

    The Court Café is on the museum’s ground floor and remains the best place for people watching in the building. You'll find freshly made sandwiches, snacks, salads and cakes, as well as a range of hot and cold drinks.

    The Great Court restaurant offers an altogether more refined dining experience. Set beneath the stunning roof of the Great Court, the menu is geared towards classic British cuisine. Highlights include grilled squid, rump of lamb, and apple and blackberry crumble served with clotted cream. For those seeking a taste of the best of British during their time at the museum, this is the place to be.

    Other dining options include the British Museum pizzeria, a family-friendly option offering hand-tossed pizzas, salads and desserts, including some of the best gelato in the city.

    Good to know about the British Museum

    The British Museum is free if you're only there for the main collection. Prices for special exhibitions vary, and you can easily purchase tickets at the museum entrance. Note that queues can get particularly long at peak times, so visiting outside of these hours is advisable for those who are able to. Peak times are between 11 am and 3 pm, with weekends especially busy.

    Getting to the British Museum is easy, with the closest London Underground station located a short walk away at Tottenham Court Road.

    British Museum in London

    Location: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)20 7323 8000

    James Connolly | Guest Writer

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