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4.5(127)

London: British Museum Small-Group Guided Tour

from
£54.73
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
2 hr.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Britain is home to one of the most magnificent musems in the world, the British Museum and you have the chance to explore it in just 2 hours.
  • With a licensed guide by your side, get ready to deep dive into history, art, and culture from across the globe, in one place!
  • The museum's spectacular ceiling, the glass roof of the Great Court, and the "Rosetta Stone" used to decode Egyptian scriptures, are a sight to behold.
  • Walk to the Ancient Egyptian galleries to see more of the Egyptian civilization like mummies and the Anglo-Saxon “Sutton Hoo” burial relics, teleporting you to that era.
  • With years of history under one roof, this tour lets you explore sculptures, artifacts, or for that matter galleries within the museum without having to visit multiple places.

Inclusions

  • Admission to the British Museum
  • Professional English-speaking guide

Exclusions

  • Access to special exhibitions and events
  • Tip: Try to catch the interactive exhibits that will bring the historic displays to life, for a unique experience.
  • This experience is wheelchair and pram/stroller accessible.
  • Cloakroom facilities are available.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
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3.7(16)

Afternoon Tea at the British Museum

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£40
Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
1 hr. 30 min.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to Know
Cancellation Policy
  • Enjoy afternoon tea at the Great Court Restaurant in the iconic British Museum with quintessentially English savory and sweet treats.
  • Seated under the grand glass roof, select from a range of both delicate flowering teas and organic loose-leaf ones.
  • Enjoy an extensive menu as you complement your tea with finger sandwiches, carrot and quinoa cake, scones, and more.
  • Want to upgrade your experience? Add a glass of Prosecco to make your afternoon even more special.

Inclusions

  • Afternoon tea at the British Museum
  • Glass of Prosecco (optional)
  • Tip: Consider exploring the museum's galleries before or after your meal for a well-rounded visit!
  • Click here for a detailed menu.
  • Prosecco is only served to guests aged 18 and over.
  • The last sitting for afternoon tea is at 4pm.
  • Vegetarian, pescatarian, and nut-free options are available.
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free, lactose-free, halal, and vegan options/alternatives are not available.
  • These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.
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LondonThe British Museum Tickets

The British Museum | World's first national public museum

Founded in 1753, the British Museum was the very first national public museum in the world open to everyone. They threw open the doors in 1759 and have been collecting ever since, covering all fields of human knowledge. With over 8 million objects from all over the world and throughout history, going back over two million years, the museum is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in existence. You might even recognize something famous, like the Rosetta Stone! Want to learn more about this amazing landmark? Keep reading to find out its collections, what hours they're open, how to get there, and everything you need to plan your visit.

Why visit the British Museum

british museum tickets
  • Extensive collection from everywhere, all through time: The British Museum is overflowing with one of the most comprehensive collections of art and artifacts worldwide. Over 8 million objects, from the Elgin Marbles and the Egyptian mummies to the Rosetta Stone, tell the story of humanity for the past two million years.
  • Cultural and historical significance: History buffs can dive into different cultures and see how civilizations have influenced the world. From mummies to marbles (the Elgin Marbles, that is!), you'll get a front-row seat to the past.
  • Educational opportunities: Whether you're a kid or an adult, the museum has educational programs, talks, and workshops to keep your brain buzzing, making it a great place for learning and discovery.
  • A feast for the eyes: The museum itself is a beauty! The Great Court, with its massive glass roof and spacious design, designed by Sir Norman Foster, is a sight to behold.
  • Special exhibitions, all the time: The museum keeps things fresh with special exhibits on all sorts of topics and themes, from famous artists to specific historical periods. So you can always come back again and again and see something new and engaging!

Your British Museum ticket options explained

british museum private tour

Small-group guided tour

Up for a tour of history? Then join this 2-hour adventure through the British Museum! You'll be cruising through 6,000 years of history, from ancient art to mind-blowing artifacts from all over the world.

Marvel at the Great Court's amazing glass roof, a work of art itself! See the Rosetta Stone, the key that helped us crack the code on Egyptian hieroglyphics, and peek at the Parthenon Sculptures, which are pretty famous (and a tad controversial)! Dive into the Assyrian galleries and more, with your English-speaking guide for an informative experience with these amazing relics on this 2-hour tour. So ditch the guidebook and sign up for an epic British Museum adventure! ️

british museum tickets

Afternoon tea

Treat yourself to a fancy afternoon tea at the Great Court Restaurant, while seated under the famous glass roof of the British Museum. This isn't just any afternoon tea; it's a full-on British experience at one of the world's oldest museums.

Nibble on delicate finger sandwiches, from Portland crab and Wiltshire to cucumber with black truffle cream cheese on white bread, and sweet treats like quinoa and carrot cake, shortbread, and elderflower biscuits, to fluffy scones with jam and clotted cream, and delicious cakes. Plus, you get to choose from all sorts of loose-leaf and flowering teas. You can even add a glass of bubbly Prosecco to make it extra special.

  • Discounted tickets: Children under 15 can avail of discounted prices on the guided tour. Infants under 3 can enter the museum for free on a tour.
  • Cancellation policy: Guided tours can be canceled 24 hours before the experience. However, the Afternoon Tea tickets cannot be canceled or rescheduled.

What's inside the British Museum

great court

The Great Court

At the center of the British Museum, you will find the giant 2-acre courtyard called the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. The biggest indoor square in all of Europe, with a massive glass roof overhead letting in tons of light, here you'll find the famous Reading Room.

Previously a garden-turned-library, the Great Court lets you can freely wander around the main floor and explore new galleries showcasing African art, fascinating cross-cultural exhibitions, and temporary exhibits. And while you're there, don't forget to check out the sculptures like The Lion of Knidos or the bust of Amenhotep III.

british museum highlights

Galleries and artworks

Walk through history at the British Museum, with 60 rooms spread across different floors! You can explore ancient Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone (the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs), then turn a corner and be face-to-face with artifacts from Africa at the Sainsbury Africa Galleries. See treasures from the Roman Empire or South Asia, including Chinese ceramics.

They also have special digital galleries for Pacific Ocean artifacts and a massive collection of digital prints and drawings. So whether you're a history buff or just love cool stuff, the British Museum has something to amaze you.

british museum exhibitions

Exhibitions

The British Museum hosts tons of exhibits, both permanent and temporary. You can wander through ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, or even check out what life was like in Asia and Africa – all in one place at the permanent exhibitions. They also have special exhibits that change all the time, like Michelangelo: The last decades, New life: Rembrandt and children, and Silk Roads.

They also use fancy tech to make exploring even more fun. Think digital displays, touch screens, and even audio guides – basically, everything to make your trip through history interactive. Can't make it to London? The British Museum has virtual tours and online collections you can check out from anywhere.

british museum reading room

Reading Room

The Reading Room is at the center of the Great Court. Built in the 1800s, it was a masterpiece of learning, with 3 miles (4.8km) of bookcases and 25 miles (40km) of shelves, and mid-19th century technology, inspired by the domed Pantheon in Rome.

The Reading Room was originally super exclusive. The likes of Karl Marx, Lenin, and even some novelists like Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, were lucky enough to score a reader's ticket. Fast forward to today, the massive book collection is in a new building in St Pancras. It's no longer a library, but it currently houses the archive now, for students and history buffs who want to dig deep into the museum's collection.

british museum library

Library and archive

The British Museum isn't just about exploring the past with artifacts, they've got a treasure trove of books too! Their library has over 300,000 volumes on everything under the sun, from ancient cultures to what's happening today across the globe. The collection is divided into sections for Africa, Asia, Europe, and even one for coins and medals!

But that's not all! They also have a massive archive filled with the Museum's own history since 1753. It's preserves the story of the museum, the collection's history, its collectors, and everything in between. This archive is open to researchers and anyone curious about the museum's journey.

british museum study room

Study rooms

The British Museum has a treasure trove for history buffs: study rooms! Each department, from Africa to Asia to ancient Egypt, has its own research room where you can get up close and personal with the collection (with an appointment, of course).

Dig into regions like Oceania, Europe, Greece, the Middle East, or dive into topics like horology, money, medals, or prints and drawings. These rooms are perfect for researchers or anyone who just wants a deeper dive into a specific area.

Note: The British Museum has some amazing artifacts, but there's a debate about where some of them belong and how they were acquired, since many of these ways are no longer acceptable. Countries continue to request the return of objects that were taken a long time ago, especially under conflict and colonial activity.

Plan your visit to the British Museum

Timings
Best time to visit
Getting there
Entrances
Rules
Dine
Stay
Nearby
british museum hours

Opening hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday: 10am to 5pm (last entry at 4:45pm)
  • Friday: 10am to 8:30 (last entry at 8:15pm)

Note: The galleries are cleared 10 minutes before closing time.

Closed: The Museum is closed December 24–26. 

best time to visit the british museum
  • The museum's off-season tends to be November and early December. This also when the museum is least crowded.
  • The museum is busiest on weekends, during UK school holidays, UK bank holidays, Christmas and the New Year.
  • The quietest times to visit the Museum are when the galleries first open between 10am and 11am and again in the afternoon after 4pm. Please remember that the Museum closes at 5pm, except Fridays.
  • The middle of the day is usually the busiest time in the Museum galleries, cafés and shops.
  • The permanent galleries can get especially busy during the first and final weekends of a special exhibition.

Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom | Find on Maps

Getting there

  • By bus: 1, 8, 14, 19, 24, 25, 29, 38, 55, 59, 68, 73, 91, 98, 134, 168, 188, 242, 390
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  • By tube: Elizabeth, Central, Northern, Piccadilly lines
    Nearest stations: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, Goodge Street
  • By bicycle: Via A4
    Nearest bicycle racks: Inside the gates of the Main Entrance on Great Russell Street
  • By car: Via Charring Cross Road
    Nearest parking: NCP London Bloomsbury Square Car Park
british museum entrances

The British Museum has two entrances: the main one on Great Russell Street and another at Montague Place.

Main entrance: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

Second entrance: Montague Place, London WC1E 7JW

  • During busy times, the Montague Place entrance might be your only option for walk-in entry.
  • There can be lines, especially at peak times, so be prepared to wait a bit.
  • If you have a pre-booked ticket, you can enter anytime after your chosen time slot. No need to wait in the main queue!
  • There's a special, easier access queue for disabled visitors, folks with strollers and young kids, members, and anyone with an exhibition or general admission ticket.
  • Just like at the airport, there's a security check with a bag search at the entrance.
british museum rules
  • You can take photos and videos on your handheld camera with flash in most parts of the museum, but commercial shoots are not allowed. There will be signs to let you know where you can't take photos.
  • Selfie sticks, tripods, and anything else that needs extra support are a no-go inside the building.
  • Large luggage, sports equipment, folding bikes, scooters, skateboards, wheeled cases, and musical instruments are also not allowed inside.
  • Tour groups need to enter through the Montague Place entrance. If you show up at the other entrance, you will be asked to enter through the Montague Place entrance.
  • Smoking of any kind (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes) is a no-no inside the museum, but you can light up outside in the colonnade or forecourt area.
  • Food and drinks are off-limits inside the museum (except for the cafes, restaurant, and the Great Court). You can grab a bite outside in the colonnade or forecourt. Please toss your trash and uneaten food responsibly!
british museum restaurants
  • Court Cafés: Need a quick bite? Head to the Court Cafes on the ground floor of the Great Court. They have fresh sandwiches, salads, cakes, and all the usual hot and cold drinks to keep you fueled up. (Daily, 10am to 5pm)
  • Great Court Restaurant: Treat yourself to a sit-down meal under the amazing glass roof of the Great Court Restaurant. It's a great option for a special occasion or if you just want to relax and enjoy a delicious meal. Reservations are essential, but they might have walk-in spots available too. (Daily, 11:30am–5pm, last sitting at 4pm)
  • Pizzeria: This family-friendly spot serves up fresh, hand-tossed pizzas, salads, and yummy desserts (don't forget the gelato!). They even have gluten-free crusts and vegetarian and vegan options. Find it in the southwest corner of the ground floor, just to the left of the main entrance. (Monday to Thursday: 12pm–4pm, Friday to Sunday: 11am–4pm)
  • Coffee Lounge: Located on the first floor with a great view of the iconic Reading Room, the Coffee Lounge offers a lively atmosphere and a menu with savory meals, salads, cakes, and hot and cold drinks. (Daily, 10:30am–4:30pm)
  • Outdoor dining: Grab snacks and drinks from the museum's two food trucks and enjoy them in the outdoor seating areas. (Daily, 10am–5pm)
hotels near the british museum

There are no hotels at the British Museum. However, you can book your stay at one of these nearby hotels according to your budget preferences:

near the british museum
  • Sir John Soane's Museum (0.5 miles): An architect's dream house filled with art, quirky finds, and ancient treasures! It's a free museum in London that lets you explore a fascinating man's home and collection.
  • London Transport Museum (0.6 miles): Ever wondered what London's transportation system looked like in the past? The London Transport Museum is your time machine, filled with iconic buses, trains, and tube posters!
  • Charles Dickens Museum (0.7 miles): Dive into the world of Dickens! His London home is now a museum, packed with his writing tools, first editions, and even furniture from his famous novels.
  • Somerset House (0.7 miles): A posh and historic grand building by the Thames. Somerset House is full of art galleries, cafes, and even an ice rink in winter – it's a cool spot to wander around!
  • The National Gallery (0.8 miles): The National Gallery in London is a treasure trove of Western European art, from Renaissance masterpieces to Van Gogh's swirling Sunflowers.

Facilities and accessibility at the British Museum

Facilities
Audio guide
Accessiblity
Visiting with family
Shop
british museum facilities
  • Cloakroom: The cloakroom is right after you enter through the main entrance, on your left. Last chance to stash your coats and bags is one hour before closing, and be sure to pick it up 30 minutes before closing. Keep in mind, they have limited space, so if it's full, you might be out of luck. Also, big suitcases and anything over 8kg are a no-go. There's a fee to use the cloakroom, so be prepared to pay per item.
  • Lost property: If you lose something while you're exploring the museum, just shoot an email to lostproperty@britishmuseum.org and they'll try to help you track it down.
  • Free Wi-Fi: You can stay connected while you wander through history. Just look for the network named "British Museum WiFi" and connect. You'll need to give them your full name and email address to get online.
british musem audio guide

The British Museum is massive. To make the most of your visit, check out the British Museum audio app before you go. It's like having your own personal museum guide, with expert talks on 250 highlights from the collection, 65 gallery introductions, self-guided tours by theme (like Egyptian mummies or medieval Europe), and even a way to plan your visit, including an interactive map.

Plus, it's available in a bunch of languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, Korean, Japanese, German and British Sign Language. Just bring your headphones or snag some earbuds at the museum at the Guide Desk or the British Museum Shop. Don't worry, it's not super expensive – you can buy the whole bundle for less than a fiver, or pick and choose themed tours for a couple of quids each.

british museum accessibility
  • Vehicle access for Blue Badge holders is through the main entrance on Great Russell Street and exit via the South entrance. There are also parking bays on Montague Place, Montague Street, and Coptic Street.
  • Manual wheelchairs are available to pre-book free of charge. They can be collected at the main entrance only and returned to either entrance at the end of your visit.
  • Mobility scooters are welcome and permitted inside the Museum.
  • Concessions for paid exhibitions, events, and special morning tours are available. A companion ticket is also provided free of charge.
  • The Main entrance has 12 steps with a handrail. The North entrance on Montague Place has 12 steps and lift access. There are self-operable lifts on both sides of these steps.
  • Most lifts in the Museum are wheelchair accessible, have audio announcements, and include braille signage.
  • Accessible toilets are available in the Great Court: Level 0.
  • Induction Loops are installed at the Ticket Desk in the Great Court.
  • Service, assistance, and emotional support animals are welcome. They should be identifiable as working and remain on a leash.
  • British Sign Language Guides are available on the British Museum app.
  • Touch tours are free and take place daily from 11am–4pm, subject to availability, in select galleries. This is accompanied by large print, tactile drawings with braille information, and audio guides.
  • Sensory support backpacks for families are available at the Families Desk in the Great Court, which is open on weekends and school holidays from 10am–4:30pm.
  • The Museum has a range of inclusive learning opportunities available for Special Educational Needs schools including taught handling sessions and digital workshops.
british museum family

The British Museum is super family-friendly! There are a bunch of free activities for kids of all ages, from the Museum Mission in six galleries, to the Museum explorer trail full of fun activities to explore the museum which you can collect from the Families Desk. The museum hosts a range of fun workshops during school holidays. There's even a special Little Feet program for little ones under 5 and their carers. Plus, most of the special exhibits are free for kids under 16, so it's a great way to spend a day together.

Families Desk opening times: 10am–12:30pm and 1:15pm–4:30pm (Weekends and school holidays)

Other facilities:

  • All museum cafes and restaurants have high chairs on request, subject to availability, and there's even a children's menu at the Pizzeria. You can also bring your own food to eat in the Ford Centre on weekends and school holidays, or have a picnic on the front lawns when the weather's nice.
  • Prams and buggies are allowed inside the museum. Fold-up prams and buggies can be left free of charge in the cloakroom, on the left side after passing through the Main entrance.
  • There are baby changing facilities throughout the museum at the Great Court toilet facilities, Levels 0 and 3 of the North stairs, and the Ford Centre for Young Visitors (open on weekends and London Borough of Camden school holidays only).
  • You're welcome to breastfeed or bottle-feed anywhere. The museum even has special feeding rooms for extra privacy, located adjacent to the baby changing space on the east side of Great Court and in the Ford Centre.
british museum shop

Browse art-inspired souvenirs and gifts inspired by the exhibitions, collect replicas of the artefacts at the museum, buy from a wide selection of jewellery, books, fashion, homeware, and games. There are also British Museum-themed souvenirs that are perfect for children! You can also shop from your favourite collections at the museum, like your own Lewis Chessmen replica, a Rosetta Stone replica, gifts from the Hokusai collection, or even items celebrating cats from history!

Frequently Asked Questions about the British Museum tickets

What do the British Museum tickets include?

The British Museum tickets include entry to the museum, entry to most of the exhibitions, access to the shops and restaurants inside, and access to the Reading Room, the library, and the study rooms. Some temporary exhibitions require paid ticketed entry, so you will need to book these separately. You can also purchase a guided tour or an experience like the Afternoon Tea experience at the museum.

Are discounts available on the tickets?

Children under the age of 15 can avail of a discounted price on the guided tours. Infants under the age of 3 can enter the museum for free.

Can I cancel my tickets?

Your guided tour of the British Museum can be canceled 24 hours prior and you will get a full refund. However, the Afternoon Tea experience cannot be canceled or rescheduled.

How long does it take to complete a tour?

A guided tour of the museum takes 2 hours. However, it is recommended that you spend at least 3 to 4 hours to explore the entire museum. If you plan to attend a workshop or participate in discussions or activities, it's best to reserve an entire day for the British Museum.

Can I enter the museum any time during its opening hours?

While entry to the museum is free, please arrive at the time slot that you picked at the time of booking the tickets. For guided tours and other activities, please arrive at least 30 minutes before the start time as there is a security check at the entrance.

Is there a dress code to follow?

No, there is no dress code to follow inside the museum. However, wear something light with comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved. You might also want to consider bringing a cardigan or sweater since it may be cold inside.

Can I take photos and videos inside?

Yes, you can take photos and videos on hand-held cameras or phones. Flash photography is also allowed. However, you cannot use selfie-sticks or any additional photography equipment that may disturb other visitors. Photography may also not be permitted at some of the temporary exhibitions.

What is the most important thing to see at the British Museum?

The Rosetta Stone from Eygpt which helped decipher hieroglyphics is probably the most famous artifact at the museum. Other famous artifacts include the Parthenon sculptures, the Egyptian mummies, drawings by Botticelli and Michelangelo, Assyrian reliefs, the Lewis Chessmen, and the Sutton Hoo treasures.

Who designed the museum?

The British Museum was designed by Sir Robert Smirke, a renowned architect from the 1800s and a key figure in the Greek Revival movement.

Is the infamous Kohinoor Diamond at the British Museum?

No. The Kohinoor Diamond is on display at the Tower of London.