London, England is full of museums. There are large museums and smaller museums. Many are quite good and some are ever-so-slightly crappy. If you only have time to visit ten of London’s many interesting museums, then below are the ten museums that Spoonfed would recommend. Even if you have time to visit as many as you like, we recommend you check out these ones first.
1. Victoria and Albert Museum
Probably one of the greatest museums in the world, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a perfect choice as the Spoonfed number one. The permanent collections are a tribute to some of the finest art and artifacts that civilization has produced. Books, art, glass, ceramics, fashion, furniture: it’s all here, housed in mid-19th Century splendor. With late openings, live music, and sumptuous temporary exhibitions, there’s really not a bad word to say. Viva le V&A!
2. Science Museum
How come scientists are always mocked for being geeks, and yet everybody loves the Science Museum? Basically, because it’s full of fun, exciting, weird things that you don’t really need to understand in order to appreciate. Great for the kids and ideal for pseuds like us.
3. Wellcome Collection
This place is pretty much heaven. Chock to the gunwales (love this word) with peculiar (mainly medical) artifacts, it also holds consistently innovative and almost relentlessly fascinating exhibitions. Sleep, death, and the aesthetics of the atom have all been covered lately.
4. Natural History Museum
Dinosaurs: is there anything better? When I was a kid I bought an orange triceratops pencil-sharpener from the Natural History Museum. I’ve still got it today – that’s how great this place is. If, for some terrible reason, you don’t like dinosaurs then there’s loads of other strange and interesting animal facts and things in here too.
5. London Zoo
If there is anything better than dinosaurs, then it’s probably animals that are still alive and can move about and do stuff. And where better to see them than London Zoo? Well in their natural habitat obviously, but you don’t get walruses on the Hackney Road. Yet. London Zoo is a wee bit pricey though, so if you’re really poor, then just stand on the road outside and peer at the giraffes. Mmmm giraffes.
6. Design Museum
Buying stuff is great. Buying beautifully designed stuff is even better. But if you can’t afford to fill your house with beauty then head here and drool over sleek hoovers, snazzy chairs, and a whole variety of clever and elegant bits and bobs. From the pointless to the essential, if it’s been designed well, then it’s probably here.
7. British Museum
It’s always a bit odd that everybody makes such a big deal about the British pinching the Elgin Marbles, especially when almost everything else in the British Museum has been nicked too. But set aside your views on imperialism and marvel at the incredible breadth of riches that fill this enchanting place.
8. National Maritime Museum
If however, you happen to be a fan of the Gweat Bwittish Empire, you’ll know it was founded on trade (kind of). And being an island, boats and sea-faring things were pretty important for old Britannia. You can learn all about it at the aptly named National Maritime Museum, which has some brilliant temporary exhibitions too.
9. Imperial War Museum
More Empire, and this time it’s war. There’s lots of big tanks and planes and guns but also a strong desire to communicate the horror rather than the glory of humanity’s most pointless pastime.
10. Museum of London
This is a list of the best London museums after all, so a museum dedicated entirely to our fair capital seems like a rather apt way to finish. Discover the long and absorbing history of Old Londinium (or whatever the Romans called it) and check out the really lavish temporary exhibitions while you’re at it. If numbers 1-9 weren’t enough, then this’ll surely persuade you what a peculiarly exciting city London can be.