The British Museum was the world’s first public museum and is home to an incredible eight million objects. Admission to most of the collection is free, although some temporary exhibitions may be chargeable. Guaranteed entry is best secured by booking tickets in advance, but you can just walk-up and take your chances. If the museum is not too busy you will be allowed in. If there is a queue on arrival, check with staff whether non-ticketed entry is being permitted.
The museum is open from 10am to 5pm every day, seven days per week other than 24-26 December when it’s closed. On Fridays it stays open late, until 8.30pm. The last entry on all days is one hour before closing time.
This is a large museum (the central glass-covered Great Court itself spans two acres), and the extensive collections are arranged in 60 galleries over two floors. This map of the museum will prove useful for orienting yourself.
There are normally a number of cafes and eating venues operating in the museum, but due to Covid some may currently be closed. Nevertheless, the Great Court Cafe in the museum’s main lobby remains open 10am – 5pm daily for sandwiches, snacks, salads, cakes and hot and cold drinks, and the restaurant is also still open, and serves lunch and afternoon tea.
The main entrance to the museum is at Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG (nearest tube stations: Tottenham Court Road and Holborn).
There is a secondary entrance at Montague Place, WC1E 7JW (nearest tube stations: Russell Square and Goodge Street).