British Museum- tips for your visit

Papa Joe and I always enjoy wandering around anyof the 95 galleries in The British Museum which are full of interesting objects from all around the world.

Don’t let it’s name mislead you as the museum is not about the history of Great Britain but is a fantastic collection of artifacts from around the world that have been acquired by British since it was set up in 1753!

We always try to find the object handling desks which are run by knowledgeable volunteers. The Mayhems love touching the objects.

British museum handling desk

The museum is one of the top tourist destinations in London. It is very large and can get very crowded and hot so we suggest the following tips to get the most out of your visit.


Where: British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Admission: Free –  charge for special exhibitions
Facilities: cafes,buggy park, free trails, family events, children’s multimedia guides (charge), shops
Website www.britishmuseum.org

Before you go – Use the website to

  1. View the list of 12 objects to see with children click here
  2. Print the floor plans so you can plan your route in the museum
  3. View the multimedia guides page to see what is available (charge) – Don’t forget to have some form of identification that you can leave as a deposit if you hire a guide.
    For children age 5-10 there is ‘Vid the Alien’ Multimedia Guide  

British museum rotunda

At the museum

  1. Go early to avoid the queues at the information desk, family desk and multimedia guides desk
  2. Free maps are available near the information desk  on the right hand side of The Great Court
  3. The Family Desk is on the left hand side of The Great Court – open  weekends and holidays for activities. If this is closed the Information Desk has some activity booklets for use in The South east Asia Galleries.
  4. Look for the object handling desks run by volunteers in rooms 1,2,24,33,49 and 68. A great experience for children to touch the objects.
  5. The ‘Gallery Cafe’ -( turn left at the main entrance, go through the shop and galleries 6,11 and 12)- is less crowded than the Court Cafes and had a free child’s meal with an adult meal  when we visited (Sept 2013)
  6. Toilets in the Great Court can get very busy – use toilets near the gallery cafe or near the North Stairs
  7. In school holidays you can picnic in the Ford Centre for young visitors – level -1
  8. To go to the Egyptian Mummies and sand burials take the lifts to level 3.  N.B. use the Montague Place entrance if you are able to use the stairs


8 – 15 year olds can become ‘Young Friend’ members  For an extra fee Young Friends can have sleepovers in the museum. I am not sure that I would want to sleep in the Egyptian galleries with the mummies and sand burials though!

British museum sand burial

Getting There British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG 
rear entrance in Montague Place
Google see map or get directions

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1 comment

  1. Daisy de Plume

    Hello Mr and Mrs Mayhem (or Mr & Mrs Papa Joe?)!
    What a fantastic photo of Ginger. I came across your site because I was looking for a photo of the BM’s Great Court. I have a small company that runs museum treasure hunts (mainly in Paris, au Louvre & Musee d’Orsay), but we’re expanding to the British Museum. This Friday, which is Friday the 13th, we’re having a Skull Scouting hunt and next month I hope to make a Love Hunt in time for Valentine’s Day. Last year I built a Fun & Games hunt for a former Paris client, the finance team of Lego.

    If you and your grandchildren would ever like to go on a “THATMuse” (which stands for Treasure Hunt at the Museum), I’d be honored to meet you & your brood!

    Kind regards,

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