Study abroad is well under way, autumn travel plans booked, and you’re probably looking for the perfect dash of culture or afternoon filler for a day or two in London.  The good news is, despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are fantastic and free activities all throughout the city!  A few of the best museums in London are listed for you!

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The National Gallery is akin to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  It’s filled with beautiful artwork dating back through the centuries, and there is always an exhibition worth checking out (some come with a fee).  My favorite room in the museum holds the pieces by Monet—including some of his water lilies!  The rooms of The National Gallery beckon one to sit and pause to admire the beauty, soak in the message, and leave feeling refreshed.

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For the modern art lover, The Tate Modern (located just up from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) is an excellent place to find cover from a rainy, London afternoon.  While some exhibits do charge, it is free admission to the museum.  One exhibition that looks particularly interesting is by Gerhard Richter.  It is named after and inspired by John Cage (famous for his composition of 4’33” of silence).

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Never fear, there is something for the science lover in London, too!  The Natural History Museum in London has it all—from dinosaur bones to an escalator ride through the earth to a Blue Whale hanging from the ceiling.  Also, if you enjoy a little class (and not the kind with school children) with your science museum experience, I recommend visiting their October 30 After Hours Lates evening, complete with refreshments, exploration, and even a special exhibit (for a fee).

London is full of diversity, culture, and a blend of old and new.  Enjoy every second of one of my favorite cities in the world—and if you see the queen, please do say hello!

**In addition to the three museums mentioned, there are many others, for a fee and free, all over London.  For a full list, please visit here.

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About Kirsten Richardson