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The British Museum

Originally created as a “cabinet of curiosities", Britain’s oldest museum has grown into a treasure house of humanity’s greatest achievements.

With a collection of nearly 8 million artefacts gathered from every continent, it’s unlikely that even the most seasoned museum-goer can absorb the British Museum in a single day. But don’t let the museum’s size deter you, even if you only have a few hours. It’s well worth the visit.

The museum’s vast collection was originally built up from the donated and acquired collections of well-travelled, wealthy British adventurers during the heyday of the British Empire. Continually expanding to this day, the collections are now arranged along geographical lines. Marvel at monumental relics like the mysterious Easter Island statue and Elgin Marbles. And, join history lovers from around the world as you stand before the Rosetta Stone and the Head of Rameses.

Step beyond the must-see attractions and explore the quieter galleries that celebrate Oceanic, Middle Eastern and Babylonian beginnings. Hold history in in the palm of your hand during one of the many object handling sessions throughout the various galleries. There’s no need to make a reservation in advance, simply drop in to the “hands-on” rooms where staff are available to provide information and answer questions. For those interested in politics, don’t miss the Reading Room where Karl Marx penned The Communist Manifesto.

Merely walking up the broad steps and through the 44 neoclassical columns of the museum building is an experience in itself. Once inside, use the Great Court as a navigation point to the museum’s major galleries. Since its opening in the 1750s, the British Museum has consistently been the country’s most visited museum. It averages 6 million visitors annually and allows research access to its highly sought-after stock of relics.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or pressed for time, take one of the free, 30 to 40-minute eyeOpener tours held throughout the day. The museum has cafés, picnic areas and offers fun, educational giveaways for children. The museum is open daily, excluding 24, 25 and 26 December, and 1 January.

The British Museum is located near the Bloomsbury Gardens and Russell Square Gardens. The nearest Underground stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn and Russell Square.


Guide to Exploring The British Museum


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The Strand Palace Hotel €104
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London
     
    4.0
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    Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and Piccadilly Circus. London Dungeon and Big Ben are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras €60
    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras

    Point A Hotel London Kings Cross – St Pancras

    324 Gray's Inn Road, London
       
      3.8
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      2.5 out of 5.0

      Located in Camden, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of City, University of London, University of London and University College London. British Library and Russell Square are also within 1 mile (2 km).

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London €160
      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

      200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
         
        4.4
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        Located in Waterloo, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes.

        Grange St. Paul's €152
        Grange St. Paul's

        Grange St. Paul's

        10 Godliman Street, London
           
          4.3
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          Located in The City of London, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Old Bailey and Globe Theatre are also within 10 minutes.

          DoubleTree by Hilton London West End
          DoubleTree by Hilton London West End

          DoubleTree by Hilton London West End

          92 Southampton Row, London
             
            4.0
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            Located in Camden, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Russell Square and The British Museum. University of London and Royal Opera House are also within 15 minutes.

            Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel
            Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel

            Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel

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              Location

              Thistle Holborn - The Kingsley
              Thistle Holborn - The Kingsley

              Thistle Holborn - The Kingsley

              Bloomsbury Way, London
                 
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                Located in Camden, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The British Museum, Russell Square and Royal Opera House. University of London and University College London are also within 15 minutes.

                Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel €127
                Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

                Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel

                130 Tottenham Court Road, London
                   
                  4.1
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                  Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel enjoys an excellent location in the heart of Fitzrovia, on the famous Tottenham Court Road. Located near many popular spots in London including the Eurostar and St. Pancras, the hotel is also close to Regent's Park, Oxford Street, and the West End. Warren Street tube station is around the corner, with connections on the Northern and Victoria lines.