The Great Court, British Museum © FotoliaThe Rosetta Stone © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum

The British Museum, in central London is considered to be one of the world's greatest museums of human history and culture.

With artefacts ranging from small archaeological fragments to massive objects, the museums' collection is said to be amongst the finest, most comprehensive, and largest in existence. Items from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Ancient World, illustrate and document the story of human culture from its beginnings to the modern day.

The British Museum first opened to the public on 15th January 1753, after physician and collector Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753) bequeathed his personal collection of over 71,000 objects to the nation. Since then, the museum's collection has grown to house over 8 million objects in an area of 13 acres. Some objects in the collection, most notably the "Elgin Marbles" from the Parthenon, are the objects of intense controversy and some call for restitution to their countries of origin.

Look out for...

  • The Rosetta Stone
  • Parthenon sculptures aka the "Elgin Marbles"
  • The East Island Statue
  • The Bust of Ramesses the Great
  • Ancestral figure Hoa Hakananai'a, from Easter Island
  • The Great Wave, by Hokusai
  • The Turquoise mosaic mask of Aztec god Tezcatlipoca

Did You Know?

  • The British Museum has over 8 million objects in it's collection
  • The Museum's central courtyard is the largest covered public space in Europe
  • Between 1900-1933 The British Museum had its own tube station on the Central line

Museum Video

Museum Facilities

  • Cafe

  • Restaurant

  • Shop

  • Audio Guide

  • Tour Guide

  • Photography

  • Wheelchair Access

  • WiFi

  • Venue Hire

  • Available

  • Not allowed

  • Unconfirmed

  • Prior permission required.

All information is drawn from or provided by the museums 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.

How can we improve this page?

Please let us know if this page helped you find what you were looking for by answering the question below – you can also leave a comment for us. Please keep your comments relevant to this page. Please note: all comments about web pages are reviewed by us once a week.

Was this information useful? *

Tell us what you think of this page — please remember to leave your contact details if you would like a response:

London Area: Central


  • The British Museum
  • Great Russell Street
  • London
  • WC1B 3DG


  • TFL Zone

    Zone 1

  • Underground

    • Goodge Street
    • Holborn
    • Russell Square
    • Tottenham Court Road

    Bus Numbers

  • 1, 7, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 98, 242, 10, 14, 24, 29, 73, 134, 390, 59, 68, X68, 91, 168, 188

FREE Admission

Admission discounts
Art Fund 50% off exhibitions
Open Hours
Monday 10:00am 17:30pm
Tuesday 10:00am 17:30pm
Wednesday 10:00am 17:30pm
Thursday 10:00am 17:30pm
Friday 10:00am 20:30pm
Saturday 10:00am 17:30pm
Sunday 10:00am 17:30pm
Bank Holidays 10:00am 17:30pm

Contact Details

Phone 020 7323 8299
Website The British Museum
  • Social Networks