Friday, June 23, 2017

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Free Admission to London Museums


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Many of London’s museums offer free admission to visitors, Check out the following ‘must-do’ museums stops while in London:

British Museum

Perhaps the first on everyone’s list, the British Museum, which opened in 1759, is the oldest museum in the world. You need a week to take it all in, but if pressed for time, seek out the Rosetta Stone (the 196 BC key to hieroglyphics), which stands at the entrance to the Egyptian antiquities. Free.

National History Museum

The National History Museum, one of three major ones in the South Kensington area along with the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert, houses roughly 70 million fossil specimens. The dinosaur exhibits, as well as those devoted to bugs and birds, make it the most kidfriendly of your stops. Free.

Imperial War Museum

Displays recreate First World War trench warfare and the life of Londoners during the Blitz of the Second World War, chronicling the effects of war as well as the technology that was used to fight in them. Free.

National Gallery

You will gaze upon works by every major European school from the 13th century on, including Leonardo’s sublime The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist, which is kept in its own small enclave. You will find Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Monet’s Bathers at La Grenouilliere and enough Botticelli, Rembrandt and Titian to satisfy the eye. Free.

National Portrait Gallery

Here you can put famous names to not-so-famous faces. It contains some of the most iconic likenesses of the very prominent through the centuries. Free.

Tate Modern

You’ll find a large collection of international modern art, including works by Dali, Picasso, Matisse and Warhol. A boat service will take visitors to the Tate Britain, which is downriver near the Millbank Pier and whose works range from 1500 to modern day. Free.

British Library

Though technically neither a museum nor a gallery, the British Library is among the most interesting stops in all of London. The library has copies of everything published in Britain. In the Sir John Ritblatt Gallery you will find the Magna Carta (the basis for democracy in Britain) in its own special room, a Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio, Leonardo da Vinci notebooks and Beatles’ lyrics, some written on an envelope. Free.

Sherlock Holmes Museum

For aficionados of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth, this museum – obviously housed at 221b Baker Street – is a must. The museum, opened in 1990 in an authentic 1800s lodging house, is strewn with objects and wax figures that will be instantly recognizable to Holmes fans. All that’s missing is the horse-drawn hansom cab to take you back to your hotel! Around $6 to $8.

Charles Dickens Museum

For yet another literary treat, the home in which Dickens lived from 1837-39, far from the madding tourist crowds at 48 Doughty St., is an absolute must. While in this four-storey abode, the great Victorian author completed Oliver Twist and The Pickwick Papers. The rooms – his library, his study, even the wine cellar – are laid out exactly as they were in his time. Around $5 to $7.

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