This is one very nice museum. The layout is very large and arranged in a footprint conducive to multiple visits. No way to see all in one day. ..
Global cultures. .. architecture. .. tactiles... artifacts... documents. . Sculptures...
Each creative display is different and more interesting than the others.
Free entry with donation offers. 5 levels to roam amongst.
Information Dest has all the information about the museum you can possibly want/need. They sell a map of the museum for 1 pound.
Staff is scattered around the museum just in case you don't purchase the map.
In the center is a garden with a water hole which was filled with excited children & plenty of laughter. They played & swam in water, Not ideal for someone looking for a quite place to rest. There were also an area which sold refreshments & snacks. Beware seating is limited. Very pretty spot.
There are also seats throughout the museum if you ever need to take a rest. Very nice touch.
Went along for the late night event, and enjoyed myself. It was nice having a drink in the foyer, but you can't take them past there.
Had a look at some of the exhibitions, but the workshops weren't really to my taste. There was too much echo in the foyer for the dj to sound any good.
Had a fun time though, just don't think the late element brings that much too it.
I've been to London several times and never went here before because I did not think that I would like, but I was wrong. This is a spectacular museum! You start with the statutes, upstairs is silver and jewelry, to the right is Asia, and to the extreme right as you walk in is Britain from about 1500-1760 or so. I liked the room with social movement and protest posters from around the world. You have to have a bite or drink in the room designed by William Morris, what a fabulous room. I did not eat but they have lots of choices--hot, cold, salads, wraps--at different price points so you have options. I did not have time to do the whole museum so I will return and pick up where I left off.
V&A is my favorite museum of all time! I lived about a 5 minute walk from here while studying in London, and I came here almost every other day! There are loads of exhibits, most of which have interactive components! Also, if you're in the mood for some quality time with friends and family, there is a beautiful courtyard with a little lagoon in the back. Definitely give yourself a whole day to explore V&A in its entirety!
A treasure trove of European history, art, objects and architecture, the V&A is a free (donations please!) museum in London stocked full of great, quirky art and recent design paraphernalia from fashion to product design.
There are a few American items thrown in. Note the fantastic Dale Chihuly chandelier hovering magnificently and somewhat ominously over the information desk. It must take a certain amount of bravery, perhaps bordering on denial, to report to work under that magnificent, sharp and somewhat precarious looking glass sculpture each day.
You will feel ancient (or at least I did) when your kid remarks that that bulbous early version Mac looks completely ridiculous and like an old-fashioned television. This is when you'll have to explain that these things were the standard before flat screens. Sigh.
Make sure to stop outside on the courtyard on a warmish sunny day. If here in the afternoon, grab a tea and homemade scones with clotted cream and jam from the cart outside, and sit on the green grass facing the shallow fountain. Sigh!
Amazing museum. So many things to see Lovely garden area to picnic. Of course had to check out the jewelry exhibit. So much to see. Wish I had more time to go back.
Truly something for everyone at the V&A, my favorite museum in London and, possibly, the world.
Some treasures here are monumental (the copy of Trajan's Column in the Cast Court; the Dale Chihuly chandelier; the Great Bed of Ware). Some are quite personal (the intricate keys in the metalwork exhibit; the teapots in the ceramics galleries; the 18th-century mantua dress that seems wider than it is tall [!]).
Other superlatives: The docents are wonderfully friendly and helpful, the shop is top-notch, and the building is expansive and well-cared-for. Even the crowded cafe is a treat (seek out a table in the dining room that's decorated in colorful tile and stained glass).
Wow, what a fantastic museum...one of the best in London!
This museum focuses on art and design spanning the centuries and different cultures around the world. More so than other museums, this one really had an extrmemely diverse collection of art: sculptures, paintings, tapestries, posters, furniture, fashion, etc. Besides the artwork inside, there is a nice outdoor section of the museum grounds that's very nice and pleasant.
This museum is a must-see!
Woah... This is a multi-visit museum if there ever was one. They have the most vast eclectic collection I have ever seen, each room is almost too much to take. One could plan several days, maybe even a whole week around just visiting this museum. The only reason it didn't get a full five stars was the fact that we left feeling completely overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.
Loved the Islamic History and Asian History section of this museum. There was also a unique exhibit on Arabic calligraphy. Really liked it here!
My husband and I LOVED the V&A Museum. My sister, a super history nerd, really recommended it, and we were so glad to have come.
Most of the exhibits are art and design related, but they cover a wide variety of eras. I really enjoyed the Medieval Renaissance (something I normally don't care for), jewels, gold, and modern exhibits.
You can definitely spend a whole day and more here, so plan on spending the whole day at least!
I've been to the V&A many times now... and yet, still never really seen it. That's because they have some of the best special exhibits in all of London and I can't seem to stay out of those.
Honestly though, keep an eye on this museum, sign up for the newsletter, know what's coming next, because it's what people are going to be chatting about. I came first for the Hollywood Costume exhibit, which was amazing. I'm not usually a giant fan of fashion but to see these legendary costumes was amazing. Plus, they really set it up well, doing things like putting a video of the character's face above the outfit (so you had Arnold looking down at you above the Terminator's leather jacket. So cool.)
It usually takes about an hour (or more if you really love it) to do a special exhibit and they can cost anywhere from £5 to £20. The layout is always great and you never feel the need to double-back or walk around in a circle before moving to the next section. Just follow the path and you'll see everything.
They do a good job at keeping it relatively empty, so you can walk through these exhibits without being shoved to the back of a giant crowd, forcing your way in and out. However, this also means they only take a certain amount of people each day. If you're interested in going to anything special here, get your tickets way in advance or show up very early.
Seriously fantastic. Someday I'll get here to see the rest of the museum (which is free) but until then, you can find me in the special exhibits.
I am REALLY NOT INTO MUSEUM'S...I mean it's old stuff that you can't touch and sometimes can't take a pictures of so it's pretty sucky! But THIS one was pretty good plus it got us in from the rain for a while! Yes it was raining in LONDON NOT A SHOCKER!
We roamed around and saw some fairly interesting things that made me think back to wow I actually had one of those and that is probably it on display!
Other than that I DON'T care for museums all that much! If it is a HOT AZZ day then hey the museum is GREAT! If it is RAINING OMG I LOVE the museum, but I find that I either don't know the subject matter or know too little! I rarely learn anything that I can remember because I am not all that interested to keep it in my mental roller deck! Thus I think they are WONDERFUL but just not for me!
Take your kids it will give them something to do and maybe wear them out! I said maybe!
What's not to love about this gorgeous, huge, lovely museum? Especially since (as with nearly all London museums) it's free so you can keep going back because there's no way you can take everything in (or even half!) in just a few hours. It's easy to get to, has incredibly unique collections (I love all the medieval treasures!) and holds exhibitions that you wouldn't necessarily expect (i.e. the fashion stuff going on now).
It mostly focuses on items such as jewelry, sculptures, items of daily use, etc from various ages. Not too much artwork here but the Cast Court is amazing!!!
This is a museum that we will keep going back to and I'm sure we'll never tire of, not matter how many times we're there!
Explaining to my kids what Swatch watches, Walkman, Cassette Radios, and Brick cell phones are makes me feel.... Youthful.
This place is great for fashion, furniture, & design enthusiasts. Children under 10, a bust.... or in their juvenile eyes...."Mommy, look at that butt".
This is my very most favorite museum out of three on Exhibition road ( Science, history, V&A).
They currently have a pearl gallery that is quite popular, but if you have to pay for that one. My all time favorite thing about V&A is the varieties of galleries they provide. The best one in my opinion is the two flights of jewelry gallery. They don't allow pictures, but I sneaked one like a fox! (shh) Its beautiful in there and I feel like i can spend a lot of time there. Be sure it check it out !
This museum has it all! I bought tickets to the Hollywood Costume exhibit and had a few hours to kill before my timed ticket was valid.
I wandered all around the museum and was very impressed with the variety of the collection. I really enjoyed the cast courts, the section about theatrical costumes and staging, and the stained glass exhibit.
The museum is huge, you could spend days wandering through all the hidden corridors and exhibits. The Hollywood costume exhibit was pretty cool. However it was very very busy and made it difficult to read about the costumes. I still enjoyed my day at the museum and would highly recommend it to anyone.
With German bullet holes in the stone walls to remind us what they've been through, the V&A hosts tens of thousands of art objects within its seven miles of galleries. You are encouraged to not get lost by following the colored banners.
European, Asian,and British galleries share space with dresses, ironwork, jewelry, glass, ceramics, tapestries, furniture and even a gallery dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wonderment is everywhere and you'll find yourself making mental notes of some of the highlights. The one single-most item I should never forget would be Tippo's Tiger that actually growls as it feasts on an Englishman. How cool is that?google.com/url?sa=t&rct=…
I missed the recent David Bowie exhibition but I'm sure that was a hit, too.
You can easily put in a full day here but revolving displays ensure a "new look" each time you happen to be in London. Don't miss it.
Watch as they make the tiger sing google.com/url?sa=t&rct=…
Possibly the finest museum IN THE WORLD! V&A - need I say more? Ok - it's a 5 min walk from Harrods, darling. Yah.
Just a stone's throw away from the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum is another highlight of a visit to London.
This is more of an artifacts exhibit, so expect sculptures, paintings, costumes/clothing, jewelry, silverwork and the like which tell the stories of bygone eras and makes you wish you had paid better attention in History 101. Fascinating stuff herein.
The Chihuly (sp?) glass chandelier in the front atrium is awe inspiring and the outside garden area provides a relaxing place for quiet reflection. Note that special exhibits close about an hour before the entire museum, so get there early enough so that you won't miss it like we did, shucks!
The areas of V&A can seem scattered, and there's no getting through the entire museum in a day. But I personally liked the Materials/Techniques organization of much of the museum. As an organization whose mission is to "be the world's leading museum of art and design" (not necessarily the leading art history museum) it also makes sense to me conceptually.
Parts of the museum I visited with my friends were well lit and fairly spaced. Except the fashion section, which I suppose was dimly lit for fabric preservation purposes? Going to the V&A is a great experience and not a bore. The architecture of the museum itself is beautiful.
The V&A website is full of content and includes blog entries about events, lectures, visitors, etc., as well as articles about art periods/styles and subject/materials. Photos of art pieces on the site are clear and mostly devoid of context. Same goes for some of the pieces themselves within the museum, which can hinder the experience. Nonetheless, V&A has a lot of unique things to see and enjoy.
Having worked near the V&A for a good while I'm quite familiar with it. One of my friends also had a VIP pass in the last year, which meant we could see the special exhibitions for free and go into the membership area. This entitles you to go through a hidden door in the glass exhibit (the V&A way ahead of the speakeasy bar trend there) to a small cafe with lovely seats and massive windows.
It has been noticed that the V&A seems to develop a focus on textiles lately. They had special exhibitions on ballgowns, Hollywood Costumes and now David Bowie. But you can find many more interesting things there: wooden altarpieces, silver, jewellery, carpets and (one of the favourites) the Cast Courts. A vast collection of cast taken of famous monuments and important pieces of art. You can see the Trajan column in all its glory and follow the story all the way to the top ... something you will never be able to do in real life.
Probably the most underrated museum in London. Research online reveals vague information about art, and ads inside the tube stations reveal very little information or attention-catching factor. However, it must be known that the V&A is quite literally a treasure trove, a gem amongst all the museums in London. The best part is that it's for free.
We walked in on a whim since there's an entrance from the tube (cool right?). What greeted us were a hallway full of beautiful sculptures. We cut to the grand entrance and look above us. A grand surge of pride as we see a glass piece from American artist Chihuly. To our left, signs for the latest David Bowie exhibit hang and groups are gathered for the medieval and renaissance art tour. To our right, a dreamy hallway reminiscent of Pemberly in Pride&Prejudice is filled with aspiring art students and people looking in wonder. A fountain guzzles in the middle and a crowd gathers around, throwing in pences and pounds. A curator tells us to not throw coins in the fountains, but our wishes were already made, tossed to the Greek goddess guarding the fountain. A child shrinks away in disappointment, holding his coin and unmade wish.
We made our way through gentle and artistic twists of ironworks, through seriously luxurious and detailed clocks, through the serene rooms filled with tombstones or rembrances of people past and the lives they led. Go past another hallway filled with treasures and you will find a most impressive column restoration, awe-inspiring enough that my friend and I ran within the last 10 minutes of closing to see it up close.
You can study Raphael's original pieces here, benches provided to soak in the grandeur of the biblical scenes. In the rooms leading to Raphael, you can see a wooden statue of Mary made nearly 800 years ago. Walk a little further away to see the golden glory of high altar pieces, stained glass depicting the same scenes but in wildly different styles and colors, and a variety of lavish items of the Christian church from halcyon days that span nearly a thousand years.
A most impressive part of the museum is amount of effort and thought that went into the curation of the exhibits. Some of the examples may not have been the prettiest, or the most unusual, but they were certainly the most important; the history of art and the people and culture that surrounded them were objects on an educational timeline, shaped by prior pieces and culture.
Don't forget to stop by the V&A Cafe in one of the three gorgeous rooms to have lunch followed by English tea of clotted cream and scones.
I hadn't been able to take my mind off V&A for a while. It is a monument of a museum, dedicated solely to the triumph and failures of humanity in artistic form.
Planning: I would say 3 hours minimum, maybe another hour or so for lunch and English tea. We sat for about 3 hours!
You will amazed and lost. 6 floors of world's arts. How can't you not enjoy it?!
The best to mention will be Islam, Glass, Korean galleries.
Different people with different needs will be pretty satisfied in here :)
Museum has even The History of Jewelry and The History of Fashion Exhibits.
Lovers of sculpture will appreciate the variety and will spend a couple of hours inside :)
Definitely worth visit!
The V&A museum in London is absolutely amazing. If you're coming here with a genuine passion for history, then expect to spend a full day here because it is absolutely enormous. I actually went in here as a backup because the queue for the National History Museum was around 600 people long, and I was not up for waiting in that.
The museum spans multiple floors and at least 100 different rooms. There's artefacts and history from every continent for the past 1000 years, from Ancient Greece to the French Revolution. There's even sometimes people dressed up, as I saw when a bagpipe playing tartan clad woman started wandering the foyer.
As with most museums, the V&A has free entry, making it a completely inexpensive day out for families or like myself, people who had a few hours to kill and didn't feel like spending money!
Whatever you are doing right now, drop it. Drop it, I say! Now, go to the V&A. No, I don't care if it's closed, or if you're reading this from Hong Kong. Find a way to get there, because you absolutely NEED to go.
There is a little bit of everything at this museum, and that's why it's my absolute favourite place to go when I've got a free afternoon and some money on my Oyster card (South Kensington is on the other side of the Earth). Both a hallmark of British culture and (how can I say this without being controversial...) the countries Britain has been associated with during the Empire under Queen Victoria, there is just a lot of...old stuff (albeit beautiful and very well-preserved old stuff) here. This includes a variety of art, architectural materials, and other artefacts from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and mainland Europe, as well as a very generous collection of items tracing through British history, from ancient to present times.
There are also quite a few 'girly' elements to the museum, including the incredible coloured glass chandelier in the main hall, permanent exhibitions on fashion and jewellery through the ages, and a really cool gift shop (seriously, this is never a thing that people comment on when it comes to a museum, which goes to show that it actually made an impression on me because it's so cool) with lots of artsy and handmade things that aren't simply miniature versions of attractions in the museum.
As other reviewers have commented, the rotating exhibitions are always spot on, and really relevant to the time/are the sorts of things that people want to see (for example, the tribute to David Bowie going on now? Awesome). Although they're sometimes a pretty penny, I think it's all worth it...especially considering that everything else is FREE-BO. And definitely not bo-ring.
I went to the V&A for the second time today because the first time I got a bit lost and I was pretty sure to have missed the biggest part of it !
So I have to say that this museum makes you a bit confused because it is about all forms and periods of art, and the building is like a maze, with several floors, corridors and sorts of bridges so that you can see some pieces of art from on high.
Today was a good day to go there, because of the sun going through the roof, that is made of glass domes. The museum has a nice architecture, with a very pleasant yard with a small ornamental lake, and some chairs to have a drink.
About the pieces exhibited, I liked some areas : Rodin's sculptures, Korea, Japan and its kimonos and "sweep lolitas" costumes, and some really big architectural pieces (Trajan's column for example).
But there were too many religious paintings and sculptures from the Middle Age for my liking, a room about wrought iron portals (yes, it's possible !) and a lot of little ornamental pieces and furnitures that made me feel very bored !
The Fashion area was a bit disappointing as well, with clothes from the 80's and older, but no recent ones, and too few documents explaining about styles and periods in Fashion. The room was a bit dark so the clothes seemed to be a bit dull and discolored.
The problem of this museum is that all this stuff is exhibited at the same place, so you don't have a real coherence - the reason why some people love this museum as well ! (like a big cabinet of curiosities).
Last thing, the Museum store is really big ! They sell all kinds of stuff, from clothes (scarfs, hats), to funny office supplies, including books, sweets and cakes, jewels and cards. Little drawback : everything is so expensive !!
The V&A is not my favorite museum in London. It has an average collection of a lot of different types of art across many eras and geographies. There's just nothing outstanding about it. It's kinda an old-school fussy type museum. Except for their Materials/Techniques displays about arts/crafts and fashion. These are fun and are really unique to the V&A.
They've also done a great job of modernizing the displays with computerized explanations that let you scroll through the history and background as well as just reading the "about" piece. Of course the last thing I need is more reading material at a museum - I already feel like it's a bit too much already but I appreciate how they've provided more context and made it more interactive.
This place is utterly wonderful. I didn't even stay as long as I would like but the theatre section made my hear actually leap with joy! Stunning art work and sculptures and marble and exhibitions! Unbelievable venue!
I think this is my favorite museum in London. I spent a couple of hours in here one morning to kill some time before a job interview and nearly ended up being late because I was so absorbed in everything the V&A has to offer.
This museum is very hands-on, and I'm a hands-on kinda person (insert Beavis and Butthead chuckling). You can build a victorian chair, try on bits of armour or victorian dresses or design a tapestry online.
There is something for everyone here--paintings, sculpture, artifacts, etc. My favorite is the fashion exhibit where you can see clothing throughout history.
Like most of the museums in this area, it is FREE. You have no excuse not to visit!
This might possibly be the largest museum of applied art in the world. The Victoria and Albert Museum displays large variety of paintings, sculptures, drawings, tapestries, rugs, furniture, dishes, silverware, tools, mechanical devices, clothes and everything else you can think of.
I spent an entire day here and still felt like I hadn't seen everything. This place is filled with so many interesting items. Grab a map of the place upon arrival and walk and wander your way through whatever takes your fancy. Staff are helpful and polite here and happily answer questions you may have.
Admission is free to the permanent exhibitions and access to the museum is via South Kensington tube station - also it is not very far from Harrods and Knightsbridge.
There is a café , a souvenir shop and a bookshop.
After the disappointment of the Science Museum, I trudged disconsolately back towards South Ken station.
I had been expecting better of the Science Museum and I had never been inside the Victoria & Albert Museum as the subject matter didn't really appeal to me. However, my friend persuaded me to give it a chance.
So I followed her in and lo and behold, it was fantastic. Well laid out, informative and full of historical context. There was also an amazing range of different things from furniture to fashion to sculptures. It was much better than my wildest imagination had given it credit for.
There were also a lot of interactive exhibits which was unexpected.
Thanks for bringing a smile back to my face, V&A!
About a month ago in one of my reviews of Chicago, I made the promise that: "one day, after Yelp has completely taken over the world and there's a Yelp U.K., I hope to write a five star review for the Victoria & Albert Museum in west London." I'm actually amazed at the timing and speed with which this happened - right in time for my 100th review!
The Victoria & Albert is an amazing way to completely lose an entire day in London (though it will have been well spent). There isn't a museum in the United States that quite compares. It's like condensing all of the Smithsonians except for Air & Space and Natural History (London's version of that is across the road) into one gigantic collection.
The museum stands in opposition to the British Museum and its focus on grandeur; the V & A offers visitors instead a slice of everyday life (as well as the requisite art). Bric-a-brac is the name of the game with everything from children's toys to fine art photographs.
Each room holds new surprises in its completely wonderful lack of organization. Don't expect to be hand-held by a time line or guided by location. One room can be old televisions (at least at the time I was last there in 2007) and the next fine jewelry from China. And not everything is squeezed into rooms. There are loose displays to be found in every hallway.
And except for the special exhibits it's all free. That includes a quintescential London experience as well - sitting on the steps and eating lunch. Though you'll have to pay for the food most likely.
There is such diversity, that I didn't even realize that the central focus was supposed to be design. All I realized was this place would take days to explore fully. It's hard to squeeze 3000 years and four million items into a few hours, after all.
The V&A is something that has to be done in small doses. A couple of hours here, a couple of hours there. Otherwise, it's just overwhelming. There is SO much to see here, that I find that I can really only handle three or four rooms in a go.
This weekend was no exception. I spent two hours in the 20th Century area on the 3rd floor. Artifacts from the war years (not specifically war items, but stuff produced during that time) and the post-war years, with a few very modern items. I thought seeing an iMac and a Sony Walkman were rather interesting, as well as a Dyson vacuum.
If you only have time for one Museum in London, it has to be either this one (the V&A) or the British Museum. Either way, it's a full day trip!
I came to see the Lee Miller exhibit and was pleasantly surprised to find three other exhibits (besides the jaw-dropping permanent collection) in which to while away an afternoon. I strolled out onto Cromwell so completely dazed, I nearly got on the wrong bus.
I mean... there's a massive Roman column that they sawed in half just to make it fit under the roof. Where -else- are you going to find a purposefully deconstructed Roman column in a museum? Yeah. That's what I thought.
Beyond tombs, effigies, and entire relocated building façades, some of the less grandiose exhibits at the V-'n'-A (as it's colloquially referred to) will still give you hours of perusing pleasure. My mom ogled every single bauble in the jewellery exhibit. I was impressed by the modern glass collection. But I'd have to say that my favourite section was the hallway featuring elabourate stained glass panels.
Though it feels a bit touristy, I honestly should take greater advantage of London's many free* admittance museums. After all, few countries like England have had the means and opportunity to pillage so many historical treasures from around the world...
A recommended £5 donation is requested of visitors. You -do- want museums to continue to be free and available to the public, don't you?
Very few people get to tour the halls behind the exhibitions, but as a student in an art history graduate program, I was able to pull open drawer-fulls of prints, see newly acquired pieces as well as ones that had been pulled for restoration work.
Pouring over details, hours spent bent over a large desk, tip-toeing around sculptures, ceramics, pottery, bronzes haphazardly piled in storage as overflow.
This is the V&A I know and love.
This is also proof there was one good thing that arose from the Empire; and it wasn't all bad. They conserved all of these wonderful works of art, and saved them for generations to enjoy.
By far the absolute best museum in London and not to be missed. Allow at least a day if you are a museum geek like me. It's absolutely impossible not to be impressed with all this gem has to offer.
My favorite highlights -- the Jewelry, Roman, Sculpture, Architecture and Theatre exhibits.
Be sure to attend some of the paid exhibits as well. I thought the photography exhibit was decent and perfect if you are on time crunch. The Cult of Beauty was another good exhibit though more expensive. Lots of wasted space on the wall for quotes but the clothing, iron gates and furniture on display were worth it. I was a little disappointed that it was so crowded in the Cult of Beauty gallery as it made for painfully slow queues in front of the description boards. I forked over the twenty eight pounds to buy a book at the end because I felt like I didn't get to read enough about what I was looking at.
Unfortunately the fashion gallery is closed until 2012 for renovation. There was a paid exhibit that looked quite intriguing but time wasn't on my side.
Sadly I didn't discover the V&A until my last day in London - had I visited first I would have chosen to spend at least full day here.
Be sure to check out the gift shop, it's full of unique items and knick knacks. They also have a separate book shop also worth poking around.
When leaving it's best to just take their tunnel directly to the tube station. A bit longer but takes you directly there!
This is the perfect museum for a wide variety of objects. It shows the best designs of the past centuries in every imaginable trade in their permanent collection and always has interesting temporary shows.
Best in show is the fashion section. I love to come here and drool over the beautiful classic designs and the skill that went into them.
I also once discovered that they have a small section in the upstairs area where you can try on an old-fashioned corset and hooped skirt which is tones of fun. I felt like a real 'wench' when i tried these on!
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.