British Museum Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Great Court, British Museum, London, UK

The British Museum is one of the oldest and finest museums in the world. Housing over 8,000,000 objects and artifacts, this was the first museum ever to cover all areas of human knowledge. It was founded in 1753 and designed by the Architect Sir Robert Smirke in the Greek revival style.

Built around the central Reading Room, which some regard as one of the finest sights in London, the museum houses twenty-three permanent galleries. These hold objects ranging from the Rosetta stone through to the Parthenon Marbles. In this eclectic museum, you will see Egyptian mummies, Anglo Saxon burial ships and face masks, as well as uncountable other fascinating objects. In addition, there is a constant turnaround of temporary exhibitions and events.

The museum is so comprehensive that it would be unrealistic to expect to cover it all in one day. Instead, you are advised to do a little research and pick specific targets for your visit. As the museum entrance is free for everything other than temporary exhibits, you could also plan a series of visits in order to take full advantage of all that is available for you to peruse.

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British Museum, London, UK

British Museum bag policy

No large bags or suitcases are allowed into the museum. While they do offer a cloakroom facility, what that will store is restricted to coats, umbrellas, and small handbags. You may be asked to open any bag that you are carrying so that it can be security checked.

If you are carrying luggage, all is not lost. You still have the opportunity to visit this fabulous museum because there are many locker rental facilities near the British Museum. This will allow you to get into the museum, and leave you free to enjoy your visit without having to lug your luggage with you.

British Museum food policy

You are welcome to bring your own food and drink into the museum providing you eat it in one of the designated areas. There are seating possibilities in the Great Court, the forecourt, and the courtyard. If you get a little snackish and you haven't brought food with you, there is fine dining in the Great Court Restaurant and lighter meals and snacks can be purchase at the Court Cafe.

There are many fine restaurants in the vicinity of the museum, and the nearby  Tottenham Court Road offers every restaurant choice you could hope for. Because museum entry is free, it is easy to pop out for a meal before returning to continue your tour.

British Museum camera policy

Handheld video and photographic equipment are allowed. You will not be allowed to use a tripod, monopod, or selfie stick.  Because some of the exhibits may be damaged by flash photography, look out for signs indicating that photos may not be taken in specific galleries.

British Museum rules

  • No large bags are allowed into the museum
  • You may not touch the exhibits
  • No pets are allowed
  • Eating is only permitted in designated areas
  • No alcohol is permitted 
  • Security reserve the right to stop and search visitors at any time 

British Museum access and times

The museum is situated on Great Russell Street in London WC1, making it super easy to access by public transport. London Euston railway station is fifteen minutes walk away, while Holburn Road and Tottenham Court Road underground stations are five and two minute walks away respectively. There are also bus, taxi, and Uber possibilities.

The museum is open seven days a week from 10.00 until 17.00 hours, though it should be noted that you will not gain access after 15.30. Seeing as there is so much to see, this seems a reasonable step to take.

British Museum lockers

The cloakrooms at the museum will hold small items, but there are no locker facilities in the museum itself. If you are carrying larger items you will not gain access and so you should think about a rental locker near the British Museum. There are many companies in the vicinity who offer this service. You are advised to choose one that offers online booking to avoid dragging luggage to a rental facility, only to find there are no lockers available.

Some of the better rental companies offer comprehensive protection for your peace of mind.

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