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The British Museum
Holiday Travel Guide

The British Museum featuring a city, a square or plaza and heritage architecture

Vast in scope, global in scale and sublime in presentation, the British Museum has few equals when it comes to bringing history to life.

The British Museum is one of the world's landmark museums, housing collections that have been built up across two-and-a-half centuries, from every corner of the globe. The museum building itself is both vast and beautiful. It was designed to resemble a grand Greek temple, updated recently with an elegant lattice-roof over its central courtyard. The British Museum is especially well-known for its numerous iconic pieces from antiquity – the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Anglo-Saxon splendour of Sutton Hoo.

It was founded in 1753, and its treasures swelled as the British Empire expanded, funnelling the finest archaeological finds back to the capital. Many of these are now somewhat controversial, with countries like Greece asking for the return of its Parthenon friezes and Elgin marbles. But there's no doubting that its treasures are being housed in the grandest, and most sympathetic of fashions in the British Museum.

The Department of Ancient Egypt has over 100,000 pieces, with 140 mummies – including Queen Cleopatra – and the famous Rosetta Stone, which helped unlock the mystery of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are also colossal granite busts of pharaohs like Ramesses II. The Department of Greece and Rome has one of only six remaining Caryatids, as well as pieces from two of the Seven Wonders of the World. And the giant Persian winged-lions of Assyria are astounding sight to behold.

At one point, the British Museum had the world's most important library collections, in the Reading Room in its central courtyard. It was accessible to scholars and writers like Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rudyard Kipling. Its book-lined shelves, beneath a splendidly domed glass-roof, are still open to visitors – although most of the books are now in the British Library in St. Pancras. The Reading Room has also housed exhibitions of Chinese Terracotta Armies, and the religious treasures of Medieval Europe.

The grandeur of many of the pieces speak for themselves, even behind glass cases. But the British Museum is also keen to let you hold a little piece of history. Many of the galleries have rooms set aside for handling ancient artefacts, a wonderful way of getting you closer to history. Come to the British Museum, and you'll find history has come to life.

Top Trending Hotels Near The British Museum

Thistle Piccadilly
Thistle Piccadilly
4 out of 5
Coventry Street, London, England
The price is Rs8,729 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of The British Museum, London Eye and Buckingham Palace. Big Ben and Hyde Park are also within ...
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Thistle Piccadilly
The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
The price is Rs8,408 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London and HMS Belfast. The Shard and Excel Exhibition Centre ...
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Reviewed on 14 Dec 2020

The Tower Hotel
Thistle Holborn
Thistle Holborn
4 out of 5
Bloomsbury Way, London, England
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Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The British Museum and Oxford Street. Russell Square and Royal Opera House are also within ...
4.2/5Very Good! (999 reviews)
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Reviewed on 20 Mar 2020

Thistle Holborn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in The British Museum

The British Museum

Top Hotel Deals

Thistle Piccadilly
Thistle Piccadilly
4 out of 5
Coventry Street, London, England
The price is Rs8,729 per night from 17 May to 18 May
Thistle Piccadilly
The Tower Hotel
The Tower Hotel
4 out of 5
St Katharine's Way, London, England
The price is Rs8,408 per night from 17 May to 18 May
The Tower Hotel
Thistle Holborn
Thistle Holborn
4 out of 5
Bloomsbury Way, London, England
Thistle Holborn
The Savoy
The Savoy
5 out of 5
Strand, London, England
The price is Rs43,398 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
The Savoy
St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel
St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel
3 out of 5
Bedford Avenue, London, England
The price is Rs11,872 per night from 18 May to 19 May
St Giles London - A St Giles Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
4 out of 5
60 Pentonville Road, Islington, London, England
The price is Rs7,452 per night from 21 Apr to 22 Apr
DoubleTree by Hilton London Angel Kings Cross
St Martins Lane
St Martins Lane
5 out of 5
45 St Martin's Lane, London, England
The price is Rs20,924 per night from 21 May to 22 May
St Martins Lane
DoubleTree by Hilton London West End
DoubleTree by Hilton London West End
4 out of 5
92 Southampton Row, London, England
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DoubleTree by Hilton London West End
Rosewood London
Rosewood London
5 out of 5
252 High Holborn, London, England
The price is Rs40,404 per night from 21 Apr to 22 Apr
Rosewood London
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.