British Museum

As one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated powers, you’d expect the British to have wondrous and comprehensive collections of some of history’s most prized artifacts. And you’d be right. With over 13 million pieces ranging across every major point in human history, British Museum exhibitions are nearly encyclopedic in nature.

It’s hard to miss the gigantic, Greek-inspired façade that marks this historic landmark, and the large number of hotels near British Museum help, too. All national museums and galleries are free to all, and here is no exception – though certain temporary British Museum exhibitions will charge an admission fee. But the extensive historic displays of ancient civilizations are the headlining displays here, and they are always free.

It doesn’t even matter which ancient civilization you are talking about: the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Persians, Greeks, Sudanese – they are all here, and expertly documented. Laid across room after room of simple white and beige, these ancient artifacts look even more impressive in their austere surroundings. From limestone statues of Egypt to the intricate tombs of the Greeks, these British Museum exhibitions are massive in scope.

If you are looking for details about African arts and culture, book yourself a room at one of the hotels near British Museum, and prepare to be astounded. With pieces numbering over 200,000 (and that’s just in the three permanent galleries), the mysteries of ancient Africa are on display everywhere, from the antiquated busts of obscure Nigerian leaders to detailed early sculptures and weaponry of Central African tribes. The same care is shown documenting other notable early peoples from other areas of the world, most notably those of Oceania and other, more well-known groups such as the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans.

The British Museum’s department of Prints and Drawings is bypassed only by the Louvre. With drawings and prints from artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci, Rembrandt and Goya, the real draw is the extensive collection of British artists, primarily from the Victorian age.

Also like the Louvre, the British Museum London can be a little overwhelming to see all at once. Even the most enraptured visitor’s eyes tend to glaze over after meandering through too many exhibitions, so you might want to take your time and spread a trip here over a couple days. And if that fits into your plans, there are a great many hotels near British Museum that are perfect fits for both families and budget travelers. The Bedford Hotel, St. Giles Hotel and President Hotel are excellent choices, while hostel seekers should head straight to Generator London, one of the most popular hostels in England.

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