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United Kingdom

Great Russell Street


British Museum

The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. Housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks, the collection is one of the finest in existence, spanning two million years of human history. Access to the collections is free.

The British Museum was founded in 1753 to promote universal understanding through the arts, natural history and science in a public museum. Since its foundation, the British Museum has been guided by three important principles: that the collections are held in perpetuity in their entirety; that they are widely available to all who seek to enjoy and learn from them and that they are curated by full-time specialists.

The British Museum's international standing and its key role in the display of the world's and nation's heritage make it one of the most-visited public buildings in London, contributing to its cultural and economic life. London's largest covered public square, the Great Court has changed the face of Bloomsbury as a cultural quarter.

Permanent Collection

The British Museum’s African, Asian, European and Ancient world collections include real-life legends like the Rosetta Stone and Easter Island statue, masterpieces like the Lewis Chessmen and Michelangelo cartoon, and iconic objects, from the oldest man-made tools on earth to the first known image of Christ.

Forthcoming exhibitions

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman
6 October 2011 – 19 February 2012
£10, concessions available, members free

Turner-Prize winning artist Grayson Perry curates an installation of his new works alongside objects made by unknown men and women throughout history from the British Museum’s collection.



Admission charges apply to some exhibitions.

Opening hours

Galleries: Saturday-Wednesday 10.00-17.30, Thursday-Friday 10.00-20.30

Certain galleries are subject to different opening times. Full details are available from the Box Office/Information Desk or

Great Court: Sunday-Wednesday 09.00-18.00, Thursday-Saturday 09.00-23.00

Closed 1 January, Good Friday, and 24-26 December

Getting there

Underground stations:
Goodge Street,
Russell Square.

Bus routes:
New Oxford Street:
7, 8, 19, 22b, 25, 38, 55, 98
Tottenham Court Road, northbound and Gower Street, southbound:
10, 24, 29, 73, 134
Southampton Row:
68, 91, 188


Main Entrance Great Russell Street-Access (stairs and lifts). The Main entrance (South side, via Great Russell Street) has 12 steps with handrails at each side. There is a self-operable lift on both sides of the steps where a bell is available for visitors requiring assistance.

Montague Place/ North Entrance-The Montague Place entrance (North side) provides a level entrance to the Museum and a lift taking you to levels in the Museum building. Please note that access from the North lift to the Main floor of the Museum is on level 0.

Internal access-Access to the Clore Education Centre and the Ford Centre for Young visitors is by the South self-operable lifts in the Great Court.

Access to the Upper floors can be gained by using either the North lift or from the lifts in the Great Court which are self-operable lifts located in the South portico and East and West of the Great Court. Please note that the Upper floors from the Great Court lift are on level 6.

Access to the Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery, Room 35 level 3, is by the East and West lifts in the Great Court.

Access to the Africa Gallery, on level 0 is by 37 steps in Room 24 or by the East and West lifts in the Great Court.

Access to the Reading Room is at the South side of the Great Court on the Main floor.

Accessible Toilets are located in the Great Court, in the Ford Young Visitors Centre and the Clore Education Centre.

Guide, hearing and assistance dogs are welcome. Dog bowls are available from the Information Desk.

Wheelchairs are available at both entrances, free of charge.+ [ Read all ]

Museum internal and external photos (1)

Click on the images to enlarge


The Education Department of The British Museum offers a range of learning experiences for everyone, whatever your age or level of interest.

For more information visit our Learning and Information webpages:


Tourist groups
Our popular Highlights tour can be booked privately, in various languages, for groups of 10 or more. Other itineraries are also available.
A special, dedicated programme of events, including tours, lectures, study days and exhibition packages, all with an art historical bias, is available to NADFAS groups. Please, telephone 020 7323 8849 or email

Educational groups
Educational groups of more than 10 are asked to book with the Box Office, telephone 020 7323 8181 or email

The leaders or organisers of private parties may be required to divide their parties into groups which are small enough to avoid inconvenience to other visitors. Lecturing is not permitted in certain areas of the Museum; our gallery staff will advise of restrictions. Coach parties are advised to use the North entrance, on Montague Place, where there is metered parking for up to 6 coaches.


You can make a vital contribution to the British Museum's work by becoming a Member today, as well as enjoying a range of benefits including:

. Unlimited free entry for you and a guest to all Museum exhibitions

. The British Museum Magazine sent direct to your door three times a year

. What's on delivered every two months to keep you up to date with Museum events

. Four Members' open evenings each year themed around current exhibitions and the permanent collection

. Access to the Member's Sitting Room situated in the West Residence and overlooking the Museum's grounds

Your Membership assists acquisitions, conservation and new technologies and above all ensures that the incomparable inheritance of the British Museum continues to change lives.

For more information visit

Venue hire

The British Museum also has modern, spacious and fully equipped conference and seminar facilities in the Clore Education Centre.
These venues are available for general hire.

To contact the British Museum Conference office please call:
020 7323 8136 or email