The British Museum is easily one of my favorite places and somewhere I could spend days at a time. Not just because of its massive size, but also because of the amazing objects inside. And since it’s free, you can literally afford to go every day! Because it’s so big, a map is super helpful so that you don’t get turned around and helps to make sure that you don’t miss anything. You can even choose just to see a few highlights, if you only have an hour or so. If you do decide to spend the day, there are also cafes inside which are a perfect stop mid visit.
We spent 5 hours at the museum, although this was in large part because of me. I am obsessed with ancient Egypt and in every documentary I’ve watched or lecture I’ve listened to, they refer to the artifacts at the British Museum. This is because in the 19thand 20thcenturies before archeology became a field of science, many affluent people would sponsor digs in Egypt and the artifacts found were brought back to Britain. It’s controversial as the Egyptian government continues to petition for the items to be sent back to Egypt, but since there has not been an agreement or resolution, the artifacts are still on display at the British Museum. Half of the time at the museum was in the Egyptian wing, and that was with me moving relatively quickly.
Whiles there’s no shortage of treasures, some of my favorites are the Rosetta Stone, a stone statue from Easter Island, statues from the Parthenon, and the mummies from Egypt. If you want to maximize your time at the museum visit on a Friday when they have extended hours and get there right at opening. For the most current info visit the website before your trip.
Other Ways To See Artifacts
Not able to make it to the British museum? They often have artifacts or entire exhibits on loan to other museums around the world. I was able to see an exhibit in Hong Kong that was completely unexpected!
- Check open hours before you visit.
- Arrive early to beat crowds and maximize your time.
- Pick-up a map when you enter.
- “Explore the Highlights” if you’re tight on time.
- Find out where the “Hands on Desks” are, for a chance to handle items from the museum’s collection.
- Visit on Friday’s when the museum has extended evening hours.
- Look at the museums website for upcoming “tours and talks” if you’re looking for an in-depth experience.