British Museum

British Museum
Great Russell Street
Greater London





020 7323 8299


+44 (0)20 7323 8480

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
An enclosed courtyard with a glass roof and a round building in the centre
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Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centred around the magnificent Great Court.

World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by up to six million visitors per year. In addition to the vast permanent collection, the museum’s special exhibitions, displays and events are all designed to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Daily 10.00-17.30.
Selected galleries are open until 20.30 on Thursdays and Fridays.

The Museum is closed on 1 January and 24, 25, 26 December.

Admission charges

Admission is free to all visitors. Charges may apply for special exhibitions and events.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Medicine, Music, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War, World Cultures, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
British Museum

Ancient lives, new discoveries

  • 22 May 2014 — 19 April 2015 *on now

This exhibition will introduce you to eight people from ancient Egypt and Sudan whose bodies have been preserved, either naturally or by deliberate embalming. Using the latest technology, the exhibition will unlock hidden secrets to build up a picture of their lives in the Nile Valley over a remarkable 4,000 years – from prehistoric Egypt to Christian Sudan.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


£10 (free for under-16s)

Sutton Hoo and Europe, AD 300–1100

  • 1 June 2014 — 1 June 2016 *on now

The centuries AD 300–1100 witnessed great change in Europe. The Roman Empire broke down in the west, but continued as the Byzantine Empire in the east. People, objects and ideas travelled across the continent, while Christianity and Islam emerged as major religions.

By 1100, the precursors of several modern states had developed. Europe as we know it today was taking shape. Room 41 gives an overview of the period and its peoples. Its unparalleled collections range from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea, and from North Africa to Scandinavia.

The gallery’s centrepiece is the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk – one of the most spectacular and important discoveries in British archaeology.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Cloisonné enamel jar and cover with dragons

Ming: 50 years that changed China

  • 18 September 2014 — 5 January 2015 *on now

This major exhibition will explore a golden age in China’s history.

Between AD 1400 and 1450, China was a global superpower run by one family – the Ming dynasty – who established Beijing as the capital and built the Forbidden City. During this period, Ming China was thoroughly connected with the outside world. Chinese artists absorbed many fascinating influences, and created some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made.

The exhibition will feature a range of these spectacular objects – including exquisite porcelain, gold, jewellery, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles – from museums across China and the rest of the world. Many of them have only been very recently discovered and have never been seen outside China.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adults £16.50, Members free


An engraving showing witches

Witches and Wicked Bodies

  • 25 September 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

This exhibition will examine the portrayal of witches and witchcraft in art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. It will feature prints and drawings by artists including Durer, Goya, Delacroix, Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti alongside classical Greek vessels and Renaissance maiolica.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Poetry and exile

  • 1 October 2014 — 29 March 2015 *on now

This display, drawn from recent acquisitions of works by artists of the Middle East and North Africa at the British Museum, explores the effects of exile through the eyes of five artists.

There are many forms of exile expressed here. For Canan Tolon, it is exile from her home in Istanbul as a result of contracting polio as a child, the story of which she evokes in Futur Imparfait. Ipek Duben’s book Refugee, with its delicate gauze pages, belies the terror and helplessness of people forced to flee their homeland. Mona Saudi and Abdallah Benanteur combine the powerful verses of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish with drawings, while Mireille Kassar conjures a story of exile from her own family history and the Persian poem The Conference of the Birds.

The acquisition of these works has been supported by CaMMEA, a fund set up to support acquisitions of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art. Canan Tolon’s Futur Imparfait is additionally supported by SAHA.



An image showing an orange Buddha on a blue background

Pilgrims, healers and wizards: Buddhism and religious practices in Burma and Thailand

  • 2 October 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now

Featuring objects from the 18th century to present day, this exhibition shows the variety of religious practices in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, and how Buddhism, spirit worship, divination and other activities interact.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Germany: memories of a nation

  • 16 October 2014 — 25 January 2015 *on now

From the Renaissance to reunification and beyond, the show will use objects to investigate the complexities of addressing a German history which is full of both triumphs and tragedies.

Explore art by Durer, Holbein and Richter, and marvel at the technological achievements which gave the world the Gutenburg bible, the Bauhuas movement and the VW Beetle.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£10, Members and under 16s FREE.

propaganda cartoon from British Museum exhibition Bonaparte & the British

Bonaparte & the British

  • 5 February — 16 August 2015

This exhibition will focus on the printed propaganda that either reviled or glorified Napoleon Bonaparte, on both sides of the English Channel. It explores how his formidable career coincided with the peak of political satire as an art form.

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo – the final undoing of brilliant French general and emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821). The exhibition will include works by British and French satirists who were inspired by political and military tensions to exploit a new visual language combining caricature and traditional satire with the vigorous narrative introduced by Hogarth earlier in the century.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
A photograph showing some brightly coloured graffiti from the Berlin Wall

Street art

  • 21 — 22 December 2014 11am-4pm *on now
  • 27 — 31 December 2014
  • 2 — 3 January 2015 11am-4pm

Be inspired by German art and create your own 'street art' - digital graffiti or design your own VW Beetle.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 7-10


Free, just drop in.

Babel, babbling and the British Museum

  • 26 November 2041 1:15-2pm

A gallery talk by Irving Finkel, British Museum.

Gallery talks last 45 minutes.

They are given by Museum staff or guest speakers and are suitable for all levels of knowledge.



Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

British Museum Webquests

Webquests are online activities for children, using the collections of nine national museums and galleries.