Museum Of London
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Mon-Sun 10:00 - 18:00
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Recommended Reviews for Museum Of London
62 reviews in English
Review from Stefano P.
Review from Mike D.
- 50 friends
On our first trip to London we were wandering around getting a feel for the city like we do most places we visit, and happily we wandered into the vicinity of the museum and decided to stop in. We've been back to London three times since then and have made a point of coming here each time. If you like history, you'll love this place--incredible array of archaeological finds, a view of a Roman section of the wall outside one of the windows, and coverage from pre-history through modern times.
On our most recent trip we saw the new 20th/21st century wing, which I felt was wedging too much into too small of a space, so I didn't really care for it... except for the Mayor's coach, which is spectacular to behold... esp. since they still use the thing! Still I love this place so much that the remaining exhibits still make it add up to five stars in my book.
Review from Susan L.
Yet another review I neglected to write two years ago, when we visited this museum for the second time....although it's not a huge building, the permanent collection is very interesting & informative and the temporary exhibits are quite interesting. When we were there in 2011, the temporary exhibit was entitled "London Street Photography 1860-2010" and it was terrific (in fact, the exhibit traveled to The Museum of the City of NY a year later).
The museum has a small but very good bookstore - and best of all, admission is free.
Review from Yinnie C.
This area reminded me so much of Hong Kong, and the museum is hidden between high rise buildings! It's pretty cool, it's like a little oasis of knowledge in the city.
I actually came here to hear a lunch time lecture that my former lecturer was giving about crystal palace dinosaur structures and how it incorporated the works of scientists and engineers and how science was transformed into a theme park. (in crystal palace) (I'M A GEEK I KNOW.) Anyways, the stewards WERE super helpful, they immediately get to you once you enter the building and they're so smily. LOVE IT.
Anyways, if you do have a free afternoon or want to hear an UCL lunch time lecture. I think it's mainly STS (Science techology studies) ones this month, I highly recommend it!
Review from Josie C.
Review from Michelle P.
I paid the £9 extra fee for the Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men exhibit (which sadly allowed no photography; the rest of the museum is no flash photography). The exhibit did not disappoint and provided some fascinating historical tidbits and artifacts about body snatching and murder for anatomical teaching specimens. The exhibit runs through 14 April 2013.
I wanted to get out for a run before work, so I sped through the remainder of the museum, pausing only to read the details on the black plague. The collection was fairly well organized with a ton of artifacts. There was a discrepancy in information about the source of the black plague (one sign said there was debate as to whether the cause was a virus or the more traditionally accepted view of Yersinia pestis; the other said definitively the bacteria). I studied infectious diseases in grad school so I notice these sorts of things. At any rate it's an amazing resource, especially with free admission to the general collection.
- The main floor cafe has decent, reasonably priced paninis.
- I was here mid-wk in low season. Not sure I would be motivated to visit during peak season or weekend crowds.
Review from Care B.
- 1 friend
Santa Clara, USA
Very informative museum about London history. It's free. You should skip what's not interesting to you and spend time on what you like. Tons of information and great video on the Great fire, Black Plague, WWII, and working conditions for kids in the past. Very kid friendly place, and they have computers that kids enjoyed clicking through. I love the time lines, exhibits, artifacts, and videos. I got to know London better this trip from this museum.
This is not your typical 'art museum', so if you're looking for that, skip this.
Review from Danielle S.
What a great museum to go to if you're a visitor to London, or even better, if you're a londoner.
It traces the history of this city and it is a wonder of rich stories and artefacts. I love the Victorian street, and the special exhibits that they have on.
It never seems to be insanely busy (like the natural history museum) which is delightful, and best of all, it's free!
Review from Mark K.
Great museum about London from the Roman era to modern times. So many cool artifacts and exhibits, giving the flavor of life in each era. Plus some oddities like a copy of Winnie the Pooh in Latin.
I only spent an hour here, since I was trying to see so much in such a short time. It deserves at least a couple of hours, probably more. The staff were helpful, and you can dig as deep as you'd like into London's history- skim the surface or focus in on little details. A small gift shop with amusing London souvenirs, plus a good selection of books. Highly recommended.
Review from Becky H.
Since I'm a UEB (unemployed bum) right now, I'm trying to get to know London as well as I can... as cheap as I can (if I am going to spend money, you bet its gonna be on food!)
I've never heard of the Museum of London, but wow - hands down, I think it is my favorite museum that I've been to so far. The architecture of this place doesn't measure up to that of the British Museum, but it has so much more to offer.
1. Its not (as) crowded as British Museum
2. Lots of short videos on the great fire of London, the plague, the pleasure gardens, etc
3. interactive Q&A tables! A projector shows several Q&A items, or fun facts, onto a table top, where you can click through on the surface! Great for kids.. but I'm a child at heart. Hush.
4. 4-5 guided tours each day: they are scattered around in different areas, such as medival London, London after the great fire, up to the 1800s, etc. But given that there is so much info to cover, the guides will focus on a few things within that era, so if you came back again, its likely you will learn about something different. These are great, because the guides have lots of stories and small facts that you just wouldnt pick up by reading the plaques.
5. Foldable chairs! Yep, I don't think I'm old, but my legs tend to feel sore after a while. Scattered around the museum are small foldable chairs that you can bring with you and sit on, especially while you're on these guided tours. There are some videos on display that don't have seats, so they really come in handy.
I've already been twice in a row, I might have made it a 3rd time but its sunny today :) so off to the park I go!
Review from Sara P.
A great place to start off your visit to London.
It's free, close to underground stations and St. Paul's cathedral.
The exhibits explain the founding of London, fires that have destroyed the city, Romans, Normans, Victorians and everything in between. Downstairs is the more history of London and interactive exhibits. Even the kids will like it!
You could spend hours in here, especially on a rainy day!
Review from Mike C.
Been touring around London now for a couple of days, and all I have been doing is going from museum to museum and I was already museum'd out.
But I was surprised that I actually got to know a little bit more about London like the Great Fire of London 1666. Only a few deaths resulted from the fire but most of London was destroyed. However a few of the artifacts survived the fire and are on display here at the museum including some high valued paintings.
Also, they have an exhibit about the Great Plague of London which killed 100,000 from 1664-1666. But they have a lot of modern stuff here too and a timeline and the progression from the 18th century to the modern period with giant posters of semi-famous London people that only current London people might know about.
I do like the architecture. Looks circular and the museum is right in the middle of a busy intersection on the second floor. Cool.
It's also part of the London Pass.
Review from Dixie Q.
This is my 2nd favourite museum in London! This museum traces the rich history of London, from its founding by the Romans to the modern age. Seriously, it's a walking trip of London through the ages.
I was in awe walking through every exhibit. It's not as large as other museums, so it can be seen on a leisure afternoon. It's absolutely stunning.
Review from Terry C.
- 1 friend
Love this place! You could spend a full day here - but if you only have a few hours, spend them in these sections:
1) Roman London,
2) Great Fire & Black Plague sections,
3) St Paul's cathedral model (before the Great Fire),
4) World Wars to modern times.
Of course there's so much more ...
But perhaps the most boring section is the first one you walk into (with fossils and cave-man pottery) ...and everyone spends ages here, mainly because they have no idea how much more exciting stuff there is after that bit!
Love this place!
Review from Elaine O.
The new part of the museum which opened at the end of May, the modern London gallery, is really well presented and interesting. We saw portions of children's TV from our childhood and for the life of me I cannot understand why I thought "The Wooden tops", "Andy Pandy" and "Bill and Ben" were even vaguely interesting. Go figure.
Review from Chelle R.
- 72 friends
Do you happen to be around the Barbican area? You going to be passing by? Are you loading your check-ins and happen to see Museum of London on your list nearby? Do you see a big massive sign on the far left hand side which says 'MUSEUM OF LONDON'? Well what you waiting for? GO! GO! GO!
You will learn about the Roman times, medieval times, victorian times, war in London, great fire of London and they have a variety of activities for you to do. My favorite was the Victorian walk - A reconstruction of how the city was like in the Victorian days. I did not get a chance to experience Pleasure gardens :( people in charge were in a staff meeting and nobody knew what time the meeting would finish (-1 star).
Great place for friends and family. Best of all its FREE
Review from Evil J.
- 23 friends
I loved this museum and recommend it to anybody who would enjoy learning how London came to be.
As I work for a museum myself, I tend to be rather critical about the content and layout of museum exhibits, however the Museum of London receives two thumbs up from me on this front. I found their varied and content-rich exhibit rooms of a very high standard and absolutely engaging. Portions focusing on Roman-era London were particularly strong, and justifiably so when one considers that it was the Romans who created it.
After spotting a man's leather tunic and a fascinating Roman-era bikini, I did feel that clothing and attire through the ages seemed to be a subject lacking in this museum; while I am confident this will be explored in-depth in the new post-1666 expansion plans, I would have liked to see the topic more fully addressed in the original, pre-1666 exhibit areas. Coins, tools, pottery, and jewelry are wonderful material goods to explore but less emphasis in these areas might allow for a broader exploration of pre-1666 material culture.
The museum also offers a cafe with a variety of substantial foods to choose from, including grilled salmon, couscous, coffees, and sweets too. If you're in the market for a full meal, you won't be disappointed. I mention this as so many museums offer only coffee and cakes, which can be disappointing after one works up an appetite while taking in exhibits and wearing out one's legs.
I will certainly look forward to seeing the museum's expansion plans becoming a reality, which are said to explore post-1666 London.
Review from El G.
- 8 friends
I'm really a fan of this place. I wanted to go to a museum that I couldn't see anywhere else and this hit the spot. I can't recall going to a museum that covered a city's history from pre-historic times to today.
They covered the history of the people of London really well and had some neat artifacts. The museum was even designed in a way that allowed you to peer through some windows and see walls during the Roman occupation.
Even though I'm American, I found myself feeling proud of London. It made me smile to hear all these little British kids repeating things their mothers were reading to them. I hope they grow up being proud because they should be.
Oh yeah, this museum is free, which is fantastic. Why can't Paris be like that? French...
Review from Rachella S.
- 35 friends
A great peek into the underbelly of historic London
Over a thousand years of history are chronicled in the Museum of London, from prehistoric to British tribes, to the Romans, to Medieval, to oops.... it stops there. The lower galleries covering Victorian times to present day are closed until 2010. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it, if only for the best exhibit I've seen yet of the great Fire of London.
Best of all, it's free.
Review from Leila A.
- 0 friends
All I can really say about the Museum of London is that you should go!
The new parts are absolutely brilliant and it is all wonderfully set out. We were there at the same time as quite a few school parties but it's so well laid out that seeing articles was never a problem.
I'm a massive 1920s-40s fan so the 20th century section was particularly interesting to me. The Selfridges lift is pretty magnificent. However, the Victorian section is also worth a mention. The Pleasure Garden and the Victorian street are particular highlights.
I spent a good three hours wandering around as there is so much to see and much of it is really interesting stuff that you can get really up close to.
We're incredibly lucky to have something really special like this on our doorsteps and the fact that it's completely free is just an added bonus. If you haven't yet been then I suggest you go at your earliest opportunity - this place is far too wonderful to be missed.
Review from Bruce K.
The Museum of London is a combination of a modern history museum and an archaeological museum. On one level, a detailed look back at the pre-history of "Londinium" before even the Romans arrived - spearheads and fossilized remains uncovered during modern times. Very cool and it certainly is a reminder that London is so much more than a few tall buildings and pretty bridges.
But the heart of the Museum and the part I most enjoyed were the modern displays, dating from the 1700's and onwards. London's history as a "time" capital with exhibits showing watches and clocks throughout the ages.
And what would a Museum of London be about if it didn't also show off the much more recent stuff, like the first motorized taxi cab and a Model Y Ford from the factory at Dagenham? Lots of interactive items on display, many with signs "Okay to touch" like a 'Kitten-heeled shoe from the 1960's' and an actual 'Policeman's helmet with badge from the 1980's'.
Many of the displays are clearly targeting the youngsters, with signage at a lower eye level and captions detailing toys that "Poor children would sell on the streets of London, often missing school because they had to earn money." So get back to school, kiddies!
And if the distant past and the modern history weren't enough, there is a very thought-revealing display of "Postcards from the future" with images of "What if?" London, like if it were a Brazilian favela slum or a flooded Venice-like city or even a Saharan-desert wasteland, very cleverly Photoshopped over iconic views of London. Really makes you think about recycling that empty bottle, eh?
Free entrance. Ramped access to all areas and plenty of lifts, so completely step-free. Many of the displays also have braille. Many free tours throughout the day, but you do have to sign up for them. Solid giftshop and while it does have a few bits relative to the Museum, the main merchandise on display are generic London - red buses and phone boxes, etc. - key chains and fridge magnets.
Unlike some other cultural centers in Londontown, this Museum allows (even encourages) pictures, as long as you're not using your flash.
There is a cafe with sandwiches, sweet things and drinks. You're welcome to bring your own picnic stuff and there is a separate area for it.
Review from Craig M.
This modern museum covers London from neanderthals to the Nineties stopping by Saxons, Romans, Victorians and the Swinging Sixties on the way, and much much much more.
You could spend a good 3-4 hours in here and still not see everything. The new sections are really rather good and I liked the Pleasure Garden show too.
It's very accessible from 3 tube stops and is FREE!
A fittting musuem for our beloved city.
Review from Brad G.
- 17 friends
Excellent! This will sound ridiculous, but I had 45 mins for lunch and decided that the museum, 5 mins away from the office would be a great change to the usual lunchtime routine.
Loving history and archaeology I concentrated my limited time just in the Roman London exhibition and was blown away. Great exhibits, fantastic explanations of artifacts and finally a museum with a logical room to room navigation ethos, I had the best lunch in memory.
As you can guess I didn't even get close to seeing everything in the exhibition, so I'll be back another lunchtime not too far away.
Review from Hana V.
This museum is a great place to learn the history of London. I'm a huge history nerd so this museum is truly a joy to me. But even for the less historically-inclined it is well worth a visit. I've been here twice now and each time I go the museum ends up closing before I'm tired of looking around. It goes through the history of London chronologically from Stone Age settlements to present day. There isn't loads of info per historical era which is good in a way because it lets you get a view of the city as a whole. I especially like the recreations of shops and houses in Roman and Victorian times. I will definitely go back here soon to finish looking at it all.
Beatles dress, 1964
Sainsbury's ad from the 1920s
Pearly King suit, 1891-1900
Review from Amy S.
- 164 friends
Besides the V&A, this is my favourite museum in London. Granted, its not as big as the British Museum nor as flashy as the V&A, but its the amount of history that you find here that earns it my top mark. I love learning how places came to be and the history of London, from its bronze age roots to the opulent present, with all its sordid twists throughout history, simply amaze me.
It is small enough to neatly fit within a day and yet has a wealth of exhibits. It is organized well, and you can follow along the growth of London and even take a peak of the original London wall right outside. It gives you a new appreciation for London and how it came to be what it is today.
Review from Austen T.
- 56 friends
I'm sorry to say that I wasn't the biggest fan of the Museum of London. Perhaps it was the fact that it wasn't a very nice day, or perhaps it was that I was quite hungry, or maybe it was because of the renovations. Nonetheless, I found it just a bit boring.
My main gripe is that it ended in something like the 1800's. I was really hoping to learn a bit more of modern London. Instead, I felt they focused way to much on the prehistoric part. Still, I'll be coming back to London soon, and I've heard the renovations are complete with exhibits updated to the present. I'll just be sure to have a bite to eat before I go, and hopefully I'll enjoy it a bit better.
As far as my suggestions go, if you're only in London for a short period of time, skip the Museum of London and see the amazing British Museum, Tate Modern, or any of the many other great attractions the city has to offer instead.
Review from Danielle M.
- 4 friends
I went to the Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection Men exhibit (which doesn't allow photography). The exhibit was everything that I expected and more. Interesting yet horrifying details were provided, including artifacts about body snatching and murder for anatomical teaching specimens and the introduction of the Anatomy Act. Well worth the £9!
Review from Jason E.
I've been meaning to go here for a long time and yesterday afternoon it occurred to me that: a) It was Sunday afternoon; b) the Museum of London was open.
Far too much of it, about a third, is devoted to the prehistory of Southern England, another third is devoted to Roman London and it stops just after the Great Fire. The last 300 years aren't covered at all and it is this period that has brought us everything that we know and love about this marvellous city.
What there is, is very well displayed but it seems to be trying too hard to be an art installation, with irrelevant musings of 21st century prosaists written in first person perspective of a person that lived in a tribe that lived here before the Romans arrived.
I was hoping for so much more, it's a small museum, but they could cover the history of the London I know and love so much better. There is currently a lot of work going on to expand it and perhaps when this is complete the coverage of the museum will be greater.
It's worth a visit, but it's not the museum that London deserves.
Review from Qype User (BushGi…)
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- Qype User BushGi…
I'd probably say this is one of London's forgotten museums. It lives between Barbican and Moorgate in that area dominated by horrific 50's architecture.
The museum is a relatively charming one though and I came to visit it when there was a huge event going on. There was a massive comedy night going on, with 4 different stages in different parts of the museum showcasing three acts at different times. Like a mini festival.
It was a great way to introduce people to the museum as they wandered about drinking booze and seeing some quirky comedy.
This was the second year they've hosted this night at the Museum of London and it's a really special night in the calendar of late night museum events.
Review from Qype User (mija61…)
- 36 friends
- Qype User mija61…
UPDATE: I recently visited the Museum of London following the reopening of the "modern" galleries. The place is fantastic! The new galleries (which cover the period 1666-present) are well done and fascinating. The designs of the installations/exhibits/whatever are interesting and modern. I really liked it, and have raised my rating from4 to 5 stars. IMHO, this is a "don't miss" for anyone interested in London.
I've been to the Museum of London twice: once years ago, and once this past week. Both visits have been very enjoyable. Between the visits they have completely remodeled and updated the museum: in fact, they are still in the process of remodeling, so about half of the galleries are closed until 2010. However, all of the galleries from prehistoric London through 1666 are open, so don't let the ongoing work put you off. (The galleries that are open are all on the upper floor, so you don't feel like you're in the middle of construction!) There is a particularly interesting exhibit on the Great Fire of London. There are lots of things for kids to enjoy, too.
Don't miss the shop: it's very nicely designed, bright and modern, and has everything from jewelry inspired by the Cheapside Hoard (the Museum has a number of pieces found in the Cheapside Hoard around 1912---lovely) to books to London gifts.
The museum is free, and is open every day until 6 p.m. Anyone at all interested in the history of London will enjoy this museum. Go!
Review from Aisa M.
- 5 friends
Probably the most underrated museum in London and it ticks all the right boxes: free (!), central (close to St Paul's and the Barbican), and AWESOME.
The place is massive, and after spending loads of the time in the quality street photography exhibition (lasting until September 2011, I think), I only had enough time to peruse through the 'modern London' galleries, showcasing life in this amazing city from the 17th century to the present day. My favourite bits were the walk-through the Victorian pleasure gardens and the make-shift Victorian high street.
The shop has the usual museum shop fare, though I'm sure it holds some quality London themed souvenirs for those looking for something a bit more than the typical 'Cool Britannia' type found in Picadilly ...
Can't wait to come back and explore some more!
Review from N W.
- 0 friends
This was my favorite museum in london. They did a stupendous job of walking the visitor through the ages in the history of london, showing a variety of aspects.
One thing i would have liked to see more of is the immigrant experiences and how they have changed though the ages, given London's varied population and rich immigration history.
Review from Qype User (Manche…)
- 8 friends
- Qype User Manche…
Quite an interesting museum (and, happily, it's free).
Having said that, in parts it is a little traditional (ie not very interactive). Consequently our two kids (aged 3 and 5) only managed an hour or so there (they've managed much longer in other places).
We enjoyed the exhibition on the Great Fire -- our 5 year old learnt a lot from it -- and there was much to appeal to adult visitors too. It is a fair walk from the nearest Tube station. although it is clearly sign-posted.
Overall, worth a visit, but not the most kid-friendly place in town.
Review from Qype User (Mirza9…)
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- Qype User Mirza9…
This museum is in the city of London. I visited it on a Saturday, so the streets were nearly free of traffic. It was an easy walk from the Moorgate tube stop. It is free and has a nice gift shop but it is quite expensive.
The exhibits cover many periods in London's history - Roman, medieval, the Great Fire and more, and they are all well done. We took a free guided tour of the medieval area, which was interesting.
We could have stayed two hours or more - it was so good, but we only had 45 minutes on our self-styled whirlwind visit to London. We covered only the highlights, but I would definitely go back again
Review from Qype User (voicy1…)
- 66 friends
- Qype User voicy1…
I went here last weekend and enjoyed it greatly. The walk through the museum covers all eras of London life. There are remnants of Roman walls outside in one section of the museum, there's a Victorian street exhibit, and much more. Great attention is paid everywhere to detail. Very much worth a visit. :) stefsvoice4u
Review from Qype User (mairb…)
- 1 friend
- Qype User mairb…
The Museum of London showcases the history of London city from its very beginnings. The museum has an excellent section on the Great Fire from the perspective of those who survived it.
It's very interactive and kid friendly.
Entry is free.
Review from Qype User (QuidPr…)
- 9 friends
- Qype User QuidPr…
A nifty museum ON the city of London, its inhabitants and the events that have shaped it over the centuries.
Currently undergoing renovations, it is quite a manageable size for a quick pop-in. My favourite piece was a video installation on the Black Plague of the 14th Century, which was, well, terrifying.
The crumbling medieval walls of the old City surround the building and there is also a child-friendly section on the Fire of London.
Close to Barbican Station
Review from Grace C.
- 148 friends
Newport Beach, USA
I really enjoyed this museum! It's located on the London Wall and close to St. Paul's cathedral so you can do some sightseeing around the area if you'd like. Everyone was super friendly there and helpful... right when you walk in, they hand you a map and welcome you to ask any questions. It was pretty easy to navigate around the museum and everything was in chronological order. The facts on each display were also very creative and fun but filled with facts. Unfortunately, the bottom level of the museum was closed so there wasn't TOO much to see during our visit but it was free so it didn't matter!
Review from Ben C.
- 21 friends
I have given it 5 because I'm totally biased. I love London and this Museum has represented the cities history in a fantastic way for decades. When the lower ground reopens I will be celebrating with a huge London Museum Party. Invites will be sent out to ......er.......me and ...........my gorgeous wife and ..... well thats it. My party days are over it's art and culture all the way for me and the London Museum represents my culture and makes me rather proud. With a fire of london display that people seem to love and I can remember visiting as a child on school trips. This place has informed and enriched my life for decades. And as for a previous review saying it covers over a thousands years of history I had to comment and mention it covers over 2000 years of London history and cover the regions history going back to the palaeolithic period so that another 2.5 million years. A little more than a thousand years then.
And of course the museum is FREE.
Its close to the Barbican centre which is a fantastic venue for art music and theatre and features some amazing architecture from the 70's. But thats another review.
Review from helen t.
this place is pretty fun. i imagine it's a great place to take kids, and i did see a ton of families here. it goes through the history of london from prehistoric times to the present. i particularly liked the modern history room w/ fashion from the 60s and 70s.
if you're in the area, it's a nice place to spend a couple hours, and the museum shop has some great books.
About This BusinessProvided by business
Museum of London
Step inside the Museum of London for an unforgettable journey through the capital's turbulent past. Venture into the new £20 million Galleries of Modern London where you can walk the streets of Victorian London, take a stroll in recreated 18th century pleasure gardens and marvel at the Lord Mayor's Coach in its new illuminated showcase. You can also discover prehistoric, Roman, medieval, Tudor and Stuart London, explore the Great Fire of 1666 and enjoy a full programme of events and exhibitions for all ages.
Museum of London
150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Tel: 020 7001 9844
Nearest tube station: St Paul's, Barbican, Moorgate
Nearest rail station: Liverpool St, City Thameslink, Farringdon
Open daily 10am - 6pm (closed 24-26 December)
Established in 1976