The 5 Best British Museum Tours [2024 Reviews]

As the first national public museum of the world, the British Museum brings all kinds of cultures together with countless artifacts and historical accounts.

While there are plenty of incredible art museums in London, but if you’re a history buff like me, this is a can’t-miss! There’s a ton to see, however, so I highly recommend taking a proper tour to guide you through the most notable pieces.

I’ve carefully curated a guide to the 5 top tours of the British Museum out there, so you don’t have to worry about which ones are actually worth your time and money. Let’s jump right in!

Be sure to see our reviews of Thames Dinner Cruises , Windsor Castle Tours and Buckingham Palace Tours .

Best British Museum Guided Tours

Quick answer: the 5 best british museum private & guided tours for 2024.

  • The British Museum London Guided Museum Tour – Semi-Private 8ppl Max
  • Private Guided Tour of the British Museum
  • Kid-Friendly Private British Museum Highlights and Walk to Covent Garden London
  • The British Museum London – Exclusive Guided Museum Tour
  • British Museum In-Depth Private Guided Tour

British Museum Tour Reviews

1. the british museum london guided museum tour – semi-private 8ppl max.

  • Duration: 2.5 Hours
  • Departure: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
  • Departure Time: 10:00 AM, 1:30 & 5:00 PM
  • Includes:  Semi-private museum tour, no more than 8 participants, professional tour guide

London’s cultural landscape is like some type of treasure trove filled with intense history, art, and fascinating artifacts. The British Museum London Guided Museum Tour – Semi-Private 8ppl Max  experience is one of those top-tier tours that I wish I’d found out about earlier.

If you want an in-depth yet intriguing way to see the over 6,000 years of history under one roof, look no further!

The tour starts off by meeting the guide right outside the museum gates, where we instantly hit it off and were able to ask them any questions we had along the way.

They asked us about any specific interests we had, and as our group was limited to just 8 participants, it felt very intimate and fun. We then received a briefing of what to expect and the history of the museum, which really set the tone for a fascinating next few hours.

Our whole group was open to seeing pretty much anything and everything, so we started off by following our educated guide through the different rooms to see a wide array of impressive ancient and medieval exhibits.

The Rosetta Stone was so fascinating to me, especially because it essentially unlocked the ancient Egyptian world, from the language to their afterlife beliefs.

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I’m a huge fan of ancient Greek sculptures, so being able to see the Parthenon sculptures was something of a dream – we even learned how a massive gold and ivory image of Athena used to stand inside the Parthenon!

What was really cool was that we easily had the best guide in the place, who spoke to us more like longtime friends and relayed information about each artifact in a way that was easy to comprehend.

They never made us feel like we should have a certain level of knowledge, and while our group varied in education about certain subjects he spoke to all of us in a way that made sense.

Overall, this was a great tour that I’d recommend to anyone of any age or background who’d like to explore the British Museum in an effective way.

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100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience, other london experiences you may enjoy:, 2. private guided tour of the british museum.

  • Duration: 2 Hours
  • Departure: Great Russell Street, London, UK
  • Departure Time: 10:00 AM, 2:00 & 5:00 PM
  • Includes: Licensed and insured guide, entrance ticket

I don’t know about you, but I’ve definitely taken some boring museum tours throughout my life and don’t always look forward to them. Many times, I’ve just wandered through museums and hoped for the best by reading up beforehand on some of the sites I’m most interested in.

However, with tours like the Private Guided Tour of the British Museum , my mind was changed and I discovered that with the right guide the entire experience can be elevated.

Upon meeting our guide, I was instantly captivated by both her knowledge and skilled way of speaking while showcasing the best the museum has to offer.

Sometimes it just feels like you’re wandering around or the guide is making things up as they go, but that was not the case here. She was a true leader and clearly knew exactly what she was talking about and where to go, taking a seamless route that tied everything together, effortlessly.

Even though the artifacts from room to room vary wildly, she somehow weaved each piece of history together, relating the different civilizations and discoveries to the other.

It was a super cool way to see the museum and learn, especially as I am a big fan of world history!

I learned a ton of fun facts and larger concepts that I admittedly didn’t even know about prior to this tour, and I loved how she included plenty of lesser-known artifacts, too.

The museum is so massive, that it will not only save you time but frustration by going on a curated experience such as this tour, with a guide who has a ton of in-depth knowledge.

While the tour lasts only a few hours, it flew by even faster than expected thanks to the captivating stories regaled to our little group. While it is a bit more expensive, this is a small-group experience maxing out at 6 people, so it’s well worth it!

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3. kid-friendly private british museum highlights and walk to covent garden london.

  • Duration: 3 Hours
  • Departure Time: 10:00 AM & 2:00 PM
  • Includes: Local guide, Professional Blue Badge guide, Private Tour

While the British Museum may not be the first sight that pops into your head when planning a trip with kids in tow, it’s actually perfect for curious young minds.

If that sounds like what you’re looking for, the Kid-Friendly Private British Museum Highlights and Walk to Covent Garden London Tour  is just the ticket!

Lead by expert guides who clearly have a knack for teaching and keeping younger people intrigued, this interactive tour is tailored specifically for children aged 6 to 12 years old. However, that’s not to say that it’s not for people older than that, or the information isn’t accurate.

In fact, I had a fantastic time and felt like this was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a museum tour – as a child or as an adult!

The tour starts out with a warm welcome from your guide, who right off the bat created a space that made everyone feel comfortable enough to learn and ask any questions.

From Egyptian mummies and Greek sculptures to decoding hieroglyphics, this hands-on experience made these artifacts come to life.

As this is a private tour, you don’t have to worry about big groups and your guide will even help personalize the experience.

I know that moving through museums with kids can be a delicate manner, but our tour guide kept everyone so entertained that there wasn’t even a moment for them to think about “accidentally” touching something they weren’t supposed to or playing tag next to ancient artifacts.

They gave us a shortlist to the most popular sites, narrating each one with fascinating historical accounts in a way that younger kids can easily digest. If you’re looking to bring children to the British Museum, look no further, because this is the best tour of them all.

4. The British Museum London – Exclusive Guided Museum Tour

  • Departure Time: 10:00 AM, 1:30 and 5:00 PM
  • Includes:  Guided museum tour, tour guide

The British Museum holds around 8 million items – needless to say, you can spend quite a bit of time there if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

With The British Museum London – Exclusive Guided Museum Tour , you can rest easy knowing that your guide will create a custom itinerary designed around what you’re most interested in seeing!

These are the experts who know the museum like the back of their hand, maximizing your time in this absolute gem of an attraction.

Another huge pull for me with this tour was just how affordable it was for the sheer value received, making it one of those “biggest bang for your buck” experiences!

Lasting 2.5 hours, I wasn’t prepared for just how much I was able to see and learn about, at a pace that went smoothly and just made sense. This definitely isn’t one of those run-of-the-mill museum tours where the guide is just rattling off commonly known information!

We started out by meeting our guide right outside the museum gates, where they gave us a briefing on the history of the museum building and some of the most notable artifacts. We then got to head right inside, wasting no time to get to the best parts!

While the Rosetta Stone, mummies, and sculptures are absolute musts, I was surprised at the amount of amazing art!

Do not miss the drawings by Botticelli and Michelangelo, the Assyrian reliefs, the Lewis Chessmen, and much more! The tour consisting of carefully selected items was phenomenal, with our guide sharing tons of valuable, entertaining stories.

Our guide tailored our tour to lean a bit towards art as that’s one of my main interests, and I do recommend stopping by these exhibits! If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of what humans are capable of, let’s go!

5. British Museum In-Depth Private Guided Tour

  • Departure: 49 Great Russell St, London WC1B 3BA
  • Departure Time:  Varies
  • Includes:  Private expert guide, customizable tour

Are you looking for a tour that’s just a couple of hours long to try and fill your itinerary with a fun, entertaining tour experience?

If so, then check out the British Museum In-Depth Private Guided Tour  is completely customizable, so there’s no more dealing with monotonous tours that you didn’t sign up for!

Known as the “World’s Museum”, expect to see lots of big tourist attractions, along with plenty of “hidden” gems that most don’t get to see.

I met up with my guide right outside the museum, and while I chose to do a morning tour, there are tons of different start times available for added convenience. As it’s just a few hours long, I’d say it’s super easy to fit into even the busiest of itineraries!

Before we got started, he did ask me if I had any specific interests or preferences as to what we explore inside the museum, creating a customized schedule based on that.

I couldn’t believe how affordable this tour was when I realized that it was completely private, which ended up literally just being me and my guide.

It was like I had a best friend local to the area taking me around to all the sites I want to see while giving me a fun, intriguing narrative on each one. I was able to ask plenty of questions, and he answered each one with confidence which only enriched my experience further.

I felt that this tour was very comfortable with a pace that wasn’t too fast nor too slow, even taking breaks intermittently to rest and go for a coffee/pastry!

I can say with confidence that this guide knew just about everything in the museum, and on the private tour I felt comfortable asking anything that came to mind. I highly recommend this tour for anyone!

Tour Guides

The The British Museum London Guided Museum Tour - Semi-Private 8ppl Max is our Editors Choice for the best British Museum tour

Robert Baker

Related articles, the 5 best stonehenge tours from london [2024 reviews], the 5 best florence wine tours [2024 reviews], the 7 best vatican tours ⛪ [2024 reviews], the 5 best seine river dinner cruises [2024 reviews].

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Unveil History Privately: Exclusive British Museum Guided Tou

Delve deep into ancient cultures with personalized guidance on our private museum expedition.

  • Babylon Tours London

From €71.25

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Discover more about The British Museum

With a world-famous collection spanning 6000 years of human history and every corner of the globe, the British Museum can seem overwhelming – but not with our expert guides! They’ll lead you through a selection of carefully chosen exhibits to ensure you get the best out of your time at this one-of-a-kind museum.  

You’ll explore key highlights of the British Museum’s superb collection, learning all about ancient civilizations and forgotten tribes as you take in the Mummy of Katebet, the Parthenon Marbles, the Lewis Chessmen, beautiful Samurai armor, the ancient Rosetta Stone and so much more. After a few hours of fascinating insights and engaging tales from your guide, we hope you’ll leave inspired by the scope of human achievement contained within this museum’s hallowed halls.  

Highlights Generally Include: (if artwork is not on loan or being restored etc.)

The Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics

The Parthenon Marbles, created under the supervision of master architect and sculptor, Phidias

The Mummy of Katebet, the Chantress of Amun, who held the title “King of the Gods”

The Lewis Chessmen, a group of 12 th century game pieces carved out of ivory


“Private Tour” means tour guide exclusively for you.

“Semi-Private” means group size is never more than 8 guests maximum.

Prices Vary Based on Group Size

  • Adult €71.25 - 570 18 years of age or older
  • Youth €19 Between 10 - 17 years of age
  • Child €9 Between 0 - 9 years of age

Latest Reviews

Craig was great, my mom has a hard time with her hip and he let us go at our own pace.

Our guide, Becky, was very knowledgeable, personable, and professional. She offered to customize her tour to our preferences as we were a small group. I would highly recommend taking this tour, as it gave us a foundarion to further explore the more than 4 million pieces in the museum's collection. Many Thanks!!!

Angus Templeton was an great expert guide who gave us a fantastic highlight tour of the British Museum. His insights were great and his personality and enthusiasm made us right at home. Before leaving us he gave us wonderful ideas about how to tour the rest of the Museum on our own.

My guide was awesome. It was very much worth the money. I only had 1 day in London, and I wanted to see as much as possible. One could spend the entire day at the museum, and she made sure I saw the most important artifacts. I would highly recommend the private guided tour.

Angus is a terrific guide. Very knowledgeable and patient too. Loved the Museum.

Cathy is a terrific tour guide - we had two tours with her -- one at the British Museum and one at the National Gallery -- and learned a lot about the exhibits as well as the other works on display. I think this is a tour that is a must when in London.

Great experience! Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable! He kept it fun and exciting...He knew which items to see, explained the historical significance and could answer all our questions! Our teenager loved it too! We really valued this experience... Would recommend this to anyone going to the British Museum!

Christine D

The British Museum was my favorite tour of this trip! Our Tour Guide, Becky was great - she was very knowledgeable and gave us the top objects to see, and added some i was interested in. I was so impressed with her ability to answer all our questions and have very even-sided discussions on the items that specific countries wanted back - would definitely book this tour again on our next trip - in two hours you can only see a very small part of this museum.

Young lady was very knowledgeable and personable.

Private tour guide was knowledgeable, engaging and friendly personality.


Highly recommend the 2.5 hour private tour with Becky who has such passion for history, myth, art and artifacts - all of which can be found in the British museum with its massive collection. The three of us all appreciated the time to stop and ask questions. We covered Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Mayan periods. Becky is completing a masters in museum studies and a perfect guide.


The British Museum is amazing and HUGE, and there are only so many tours of museums you can do in one trip right? This is not to be missed. We booked ahead of time for the 2 hour private guided tour. I remember thinking, maybe I should just go to the museum and get the audio tour. So glad we opted for this. The Tour Guide, Jake met us at 10:00 for a 2 hour private tour. Jake was extremely organized, took us on a great tour showing us several of the important exhibits in walking order, and pointed out things and highlights he thought interesting. The highlights were extremely interesting. But beyond that Jake had an educational background that made him the best guide for those exhibits AND he liked what he was doing. We were extremely pleased with the tour but the tour guide REALLY made it happen for us! Thanks Babylon for a great tour.

My husband and I had been to the British Museum a couple of times, but always felt a little overwhelmed and like there was a lot we were missing because there is so much to see. So, we decided to hire a private guide. Going through the museum with our guide turned out to be one of the highlights of our UK vacation. I highly recommend hiring a guide! We met up with our guide, Jake, outside the British Museum on Aug 27th. He was on time, friendly and instantly made us feel welcome. He was really knowledgeable about the museum and his passion about the history of the exhibits was obvious. As we moved through the exhibits and artifacts, Jake really made them come to life with his explanations, stories, and historical accounts. Thanks to Jake for making our day so special!

Our tour guide, Becky, was incredibly knowledgeable and adjusted the tour to fit our interests. The time flew by because she had such interesting insights on every major artifact. We'd visited the British Museum before but it was so much more meaningful with a great guide.


Best of the British Museum Private Tour

  • In England’s fascinating capital city, visit the British Museum and see the best of what it has to offer with a dedicated personal tour guide just for you and your group. There is so much to see and learn here, and you’ll leave feeling fulfilled.
  • Relax as your guide leads you expertly through the seventy galleries at the museum - you’ll be shown the most interesting and exciting artifacts.
  • Tick off some of the museum and gallery highlights in just 2.5 hours without getting lost or spending time in areas you’re not interested in!

Tour Description

What's included.

  • Expert, English-speaking private tour guide

Sites Visited

  • British Museum

In a private group, meet your expert tour guide and explore the British Museum on a guided tour that shows you the very best of what’s on display here. Walk through ancient Greece and marvel at Egyptian mummies; learn about the Rosetta Stone and admire some Anglo Saxon treasure.

Having a dedicated tour guide at your side throughout the tour means you can tailor your museum visit to your interests - spend more time in the areas that inspire you, and learn about the things you really want to know more about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions throughout, and by the time your 2.5 hours are done you’ll be feeling educated about history, art and more!

From the Elgin Marbles, originally built to honor the goddess Athena, to the huge Easter Island Head, there is so much to admire at the British Museum. Treasure, sculptures, ancient weapons, jewels, artwork and so much are on display to be discovered by you and your group as you traverse the halls of this incredible museum. Your guide will share anecdotes and facts are you explore, and keep you engaged with what you can see around you at every moment of the tour.

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Important Notes

Cancelation Policy

This tour is subject to a 24-hour cancelation policy. If you wish to cancel or amend your booking, you can do so without charge by contacting us up to 24 hours in advance of your expected departure time.

Yes, you are free to explore the British Museum once the tour has finished.

You should expect to receive an email within minutes of booking with your confirmation voucher.

A booking cannot be amended with less than 24 hours notice. Amendments made before this window are possible, but may incur a charge. Any bookings made within the 24 hour window are final and cannot be amended or subject to compensation.  This policy is valid across most of our tours, but is subject to some exceptions. In the case of a tour not being in line with this 24-hour amendment policy, you will find this information in the "Know Before You Go" section of the specific tour page. Tours cannot be amended/canceled with less than 24 hours notice. We are unable to provide compensation for cancelations with the 24 hour window prior to your tour departure, nor can tour dates or times be amended. Bookings made with the 24 hour window are final.

  • Book with Confidence: Free cancellations up to 24 hours before the experience begins (local time).
  • Multilingual Customer Service: Talk to us, we are here to help.
  • No Hidden Costs: All taxes and fees included.

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Private Walking Tour of the British Museum

british museum private tour

Full description

Cancellation policy, user reviews, description of the private walking tour of the british museum.

Few museums are as famous as the British Museum, renowned for its incredible collections of priceless objects.

This gallery houses treasures from all over the world that span several thousand years of human history. 

This exciting private tour of the British Museum will take you on a tour of this unique place. In addition, you will be accompanied by a personal guide to enjoy some of the highlights of this impressive museum at your own pace.

You can arrange with the guide the meeting point near the museum to start an incredible adventure, where you will be in touch with the past, present and future through different art pieces.  

Hear the stories behind the most popular exhibits on a 2-hour private tour . Plus, you won’t have to wait to enter the British Museum, as our time includes exclusive tickets for you, your friends or family. 

You’ll learn about the Parthenon marbles, see the impressive Rosetta Stone, Myron’s copy of the Discobolus, many Assyrian, Greek and Asian antiquities, and other priceless historical and cultural gems. 

The museum houses a collection of more than 8 million objects from every continent. Best of all, you will be with your private guide, who will give you all the details you need about each piece. 

At the end of the tour, our guide will accompany you back to the museum entrance so you can continue your tour of the city. 

If you want to know London with more calm and depth, you can opt for our private tour of London with a guide and vehicle . This way, you will explore the city at your own pace. 

Highlights of the Private Walking Tour of the British Museum

The British Museum has been a treasure trove of the human experience since its creation in 1753. It is also a must-see for history and art lovers, as it houses a unique and diverse collection of different pieces that tell the story of human history and culture. 

On our private tour to the British Museum, you will explore almost a million years of history, as you will have exclusive entrance to the museum, and the personal guide will take you to see some of the most outstanding pieces such as the following:

  • Sculptures and ruins of the Parthenon of Greece.
  • The Rosetta Stone. 
  • Obelisk of Nectanebo II.
  • Details of mausoleums and Temples of Mesopotamia. 
  • Aztec Art. 
  • Prehistoric antiquities. 
  • Collection of Egyptian mummies, among many other treasures. 

Also, you will visit the British galleries, where you will find a large number of objects, jewellery and items dating from different historical periods of Great Britain. This is an impressive collection that will give you an idea of the historical evolution of English society and the other adventures that its warriors and explorers have lived. 

At the end of this magnificent tour of one of the universal museums in the world, your private guide will take you back to the entrance to continue your itinerary through the city. 

british museum private tour

English, Español or other language under request

british museum private tour

Pick up point

British Museum

This Private Tour includes:

  • Private official Tour guide for 2 hours in London
  • Completely personalized and private experience
  • Private Tour
  • 24/7 Guardian Angel Service
  • Public liability insurance

This Private Tour excludes:

  • Food and drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • No Refund, Modification or Cancellation in any case on any type of tickets or entrance fees.
  • Modification of tour/service dates and starting times are subject to availability.
  • 48 hours prior to first service date: Free Cancellation on guide and private vehicle with chauffeur. Any type of entrance tickets have no refund.
  • Less than 48 hours prior to first service date: No Refund. Payment of 100%.

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British Museum Guided Tour

Officially licensed guides, guided walking tour, flexible rescheduling, private tour of british museum.

Visit one of the most renowned museums of the world with a private guide and view famous artifacts such as the Rossetta’s Stone, the controversial Parthenon marbles, and much more. 

Enjoy a brief stroll around the famous area of Bloomsbury and hear how the British Museum came to be before entering this magnificent institution.

Highlights of Our British Museum Guided Tour:

  • Meet your professional  Blue Badge Guide  
  • Visit one of the most important museums in the world
  • Be shown incredible artifacts such as  The Rosetta Stone , the  Parthenon Marbles , and much, much more
  • Skip the line access
  • Free consultation with your guide to determine what exhibitions you want to spend the most time with

British Museum Tour Itinerary

Guided tour of exhibitions inside the British Museum.

The British Museum was the world’s free public museum and was first opened to the public in 1753. 

Sir Hans Sloane donated his extensive collection of 20, 000 pieces and the museum has grown ever since. And after visiting you will feel like you’ve traveled around the globe and seen so much along the way. 

Your guide will be sure to show you the museum’s highlights and believe us there are many. They include:

  • The famous Rosetta Stone : the key to unlocking the hieroglyphic language
  • The Parthenon Marbles : intricate statues from the Acropolis carved 2500 years ago in Athens
  • The Sutton Hoo Hoard : the contents of a Saxon ship burial and the subject of the recent film, ‘The Dig’. 
  • Ancient Egyptian Mummies
  • The  Easter Island statue  called Hoakananaia 

*Please note that the British Museum may close off sections of the museum to the public without prior notice.

Interested in combining a tour of the British Museum with one of our other private guided tours of London, or as part of a larger multi-day tour of the UK?  Get in tou ch with our expert tour planners today and they will create a custom tour itinerary for you completely free of charge . 

Why Choose Us For Your Tour of The British Museum?

  • See the British Museum the way you would like to see it – focus on the exhibits that are most important to you
  • No following a guide with an umbrella. Your private guide will show you all the big exhibits and also some of the smaller ones that you would never learn about on a big group tour
  • Customize your tour itinerary to suit you and your group

Tour Duration:  2-3 hours

Meeting point:  At your centrally located London accommodation OR at the Holborn Station station entrance

Let us know your questions!

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+1 (424) 766-5955

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Fill out the form below with your tour information & details

Your personal tour planner will be in touch within 24 hours with your quote

Pay securely online & meet your private guide at a pre-arranged meeting point

Contact Us About Your Own British Museum Guided Tour

At London by Luxe we understand that no two private tours will be the same, and we endeavor to tailor every tour exactly to the tastes and requirements of our guests. So if there is anything we can do to customize your tour, just let our friendly planners know in the form below.

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Inside the British Museum Private Tour

The British Museum is home to  more than 8 million of the world’s treasures  from across the centuries. Take a private introductory tour to unlock the secrets behind some of the most legendary artefacts from history.

This private tour includes:

  • Meet your private dynamic guide at your central London hotel or apartment.
  • Free entry to the UK’s most famous and comprehensive museum.
  • Hear stories and secrets behind the British Museum’s star exhibits, from the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles.
  • Discover how objects arrived in the “Museum of the World” and hear the debates for and against keeping them.
  • Recommendations for your own exploration of the collection or dropoff at a lunch/dinner booking made by us.

Tour Details

Monday through Saturday: 10.30AM – 1.30pm

Your private guide will meet you at your central London hotel or apartment.

Monday through Saturday, year-round

This tour doesn’t run 24th-26th December. If you would like a tour on these days, please email our team at .

If you would like this tour in another language please email

Sample Itinerary

Meet Your Guide in the Lobby of Your Hotel Your private expert guide will meet you in the lobby of your central London hotel or apartment.

Pre-Booked Entry into the Museum We will pre-book your entry time for a smoother entrance into the museum. The bag check queue can often be 30-45 minutes long, because of this we recommend not brining any bags.

The Museum’s Origin Story Find out about the museum’s eccentric founder, Sir Hans Sloane, and how the British Museum came to be founded in the Bloomsbury district of London.

World Treasures in the World’s Museum Experience the world’s last surviving Assyrian temple guardians and the one-of-a-kind Rosetta Stone. You’ll also find out why the British Museum is the most visited museum in Britain.

Hear the Secret Stories Behind the Exhibits Hear how the Elgin Marbles went from Athens to London via a country house in Scotland and how the Rosetta Stone became key to recovering lost languages from ancient history.

Treasures of the World See the world-famous marble friezes and sculptures that once stood on the Parthenon in Athens and hear about their long and dramatic history.

Mummies, Heads, & Masks Learn how Ancient Egyptian kings were mummified, how Vikings played chess, and how to excavate an Anglo-Saxon helmet.

Are your tours private?

Yes, all our tours are private and can be customized to our guests’ interests.

Do you offer skip-the-line entry to the British Museum?

No, however if you want to lessen your wait time we recommend not bringing any bags (the bag queue can be a 30-45 minute wait during busier times).

Do you behind-the-scenes tours of the British Museum?

Yes we can absolutely do behind-the-scenes tours of the museum. Please email us at for more details and pricing.

Do you accommodate large groups?

Our tours are designed for groups of 1-14 people. However, we can certainly cater to larger groups. For groups of over 14 guests, please email us at and we’ll help you craft your ideal trip.

Should I tip my guide?

Tips for your guide are never expected, but they do show you think your guide did a brilliant job! If you would like to tip your guide, please do so directly during the tour (10 – 15% is customary).

Reviews of this Tour

“for the british museum our tour guide…asked us about our interest. the way [they] guided the tour was so good that we did not felt tired.  we saw all the master pieces and went thru the different eras with great explanation of the history of british.”.

Angeline V. via Yelp

“Angus led us through…[the] British Museum. Angus is a treasure. He asked us if we had any things we really wanted to see and tailored our tour around our requests. His knowledge of London, history, and art is vast.”

Jay via TripAdvisor

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We have expert tour guides, fluent in all languages, for all London and Britain's Museums and Galleries. Contact us for any not listed.

British Museum Tour

Discover the highlights of the British Museum on a private two hour tour, or include the Museum on a flexible full day London day tourThe British Museum was founded in 1753 and today has approx ...

National Gallery Tour

National portrait gallery, we had the lovely jonathan and omg he was amazing he took into account everything we wanted to do and see and made it happen.

Doncaster, UK

Why choose us?

Because you insist on the longest-established and most experienced service available in Britain. Founded in 1958, British Tours is still under the same management. About Us

Who is your Guide?

Our guides are personable educated men and women, chosen for their knowledge, special interests, backgrounds and personality. They will collect you by car from any central London location and guide you inside places of historic importance

british museum private tour

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british museum private tour

Private Accessible Guided Tour of the British Museum

british museum private tour

With several millions of historic pieces spread over 1 million square feet, the British Museum is one of the world’s most comprehensive art collections, and it is simply impossible to cover everything in one day. However, on this accessible private guided tour of the museum, we’ve carefully crafted a route that is fully wheelchair accessible and covers all the most significant must-see collections. Your private blue badge guide will share lively commentary as you make your way through the different rooms at a relaxed and enjoyable pace tailored to your accessibility needs.

On this wheelchair friendly British Museum guided tour , you’ll experience countless fascinating pieces including the famous Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Helmet, the Colossal granite head of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, ancient mummies, the Lewis Chessmen, the Portland Vase and much more. Besides from the ancient artifacts from all over the world, the museum building itself, including breathtaking ceilings and a spectacular glass roof, is a memorable piece of art!

The Private Accessible Guided Tour of the British Museum  includes: – 3 hour private accessible guided tour using wheelchair friendly routes. – Lively commentary by your private expert, Blue Badge London guide. – Tour guide familiar with the needs of disabled travelers – Great photo opportunities and option to stay at the museum after the tour to explore on your own.

Important note: – There are loaner wheelchairs available at the museum. Please let us know if you would like us to reserve one for you.

Tour Highlights

– The Rosetta Stone – The Elgin Marbles – The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial Helmet –  The Colossal granite head of Pharaoh Amenhotep III –  Ancient Mummies –  The Lewis Chessmen –  The Portland Vase –  And many more!

The Private Accessible Guided Tour of the British Museum can easily be combined with the Highlights of London Accessible Driving Tour for a full day of of fun in London!

Accessibility Description

I gave the Accessible Guided Tour of the British Museum  a 4 Star Sage Accessibility because it has been carefully crafted using wheelchair accessible routes within the museum. Only Galleries 6 and 33B have steps, and up to 95% of the museum is wheelchair accessible using various elevators.

While the entrance on Great Russel Street has 12 steps and a handrail, there are self-operable lifts on both sides of the steps. The area in front of the museum is flat and smooth (see photos below)


There is also level access at the Montague Place entrance. There is a curb to get up from the street level.


The inner courtyard is covered and the entire building, apart from a couple of rooms can be reached using the elevators. There are accessible restrooms available in the Great Court, the Ford Centre for Young Visitors, the Clore Education Centre and to the north of Room 66.


Tour Details

Tour duration: 3 hours Cost: £365 for 1-2 people, £450 for 3-4 people, £465 for 5-6 people, £515 for 7-8 people. * £20 off if booked as part of an  accessible London travel package     (Note: if your package includes more than 3 tours total, discounts will be applied to maximum 3 of the tours).    Days of the week the tour is offered: 7 days a week Meeting time: 10:00 am or 1:00 pm Meeting place: Meet by the information desk in The Great Court. Number of people on tour: 2 to 4 people depending on wheelchair/mobility scooter size Entrance tickets: Not needed. To review our cancellation policy, please click: HERE . Not included: Snacks/meals and gratuities.

London Accessible Travel – main page Pros and Cons of London Disabled Access 13 Wheelchair Accessible Travel Tips for London England 9 Keys to Success for London Handicapped Travel Tower of London Wheelchair Access London Eye Wheelchair Accessibility Stonehenge Disabled Access Travel Insurance for Disabled Travelers London Accessible Travel Packages Accessible Walking and Driving Tours in London Highlights of London Accessible Driving Tour Classic London Wheelchair Accessible Tour Royal London Accessible Guided Tour London Accessible Boat Cruise on the Thames River Stonehenge & Hampton Court Accessible Driving Tour Stonehenge & Windsor Castle Accessible Guided Tour Oxford Accessible Tour from London Highlights of Greenwich Accessible Tour London Accessibility Guide by John Sage London Trip Planning by Sage Traveling – Travel with Ease!

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British Museum Tour: A Guided Crash Course

british museum private tour

  • Enjoy tailored insights and stories that cater to your interests, whether you're an art aficionado or a history buff.
  • Navigate thousands of years of history and explore exhibits you might not see on your own with a knowledgeable guide who brings artifacts to life.


  • You want to experience everything the museum offers with insights that go beyond what’s written on the plaques.
  • You’d like a personalized experience tailored to your interests, whether in art, history, or archaeology.
  • You're interested in exploring a collection that spans the globe, offering a deep dive into a myriad of cultures, from the ancient Greek masterpieces to the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphs and more.
  • British Museum
  • Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets, in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll do our best to get them reserved for you.
  • There will be a break in the tour to stop and use bathroom facilities as well as opportunities to stop and rest along the way if needed. Please communicate any mobility needs or concerns with our team at the time of booking. 

Additional Trip-Planning Resources

  • Get the most out of your trip to the museum with a pre-trip talk: Must-See Treasures of the British Museum
  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. While you’ll be inside, you’ll still be covering a lot of ground! The British Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, after all.
  • Grab your sketchpad and channel your inner artist. Drawing is allowed in the galleries.

british museum private tour

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ .

See the British Museum with Context

Get to know one of the art historians leading this tour.

british museum private tour

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Uncover the secrets of history with british museum tickets and a local expert, book a tour.

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Family Experiences | Private British Museum Tour For Kids

Kids British Museum Interactive Family activities tour

What to expect

Discover the exciting historical artifacts held within the impressive halls and galleries of the British Museum on this adventure-filled, private British Museum Tour for Kids with an engaging activities book full of fun games and challenges, with prizes to be won! One of the most famous museums in the world, the British Museum was built along the same, awe-inspiring dimensions as the Parthenon.

Enter the atrium through the vast Corinthian columns that frame the imposing entrance and embark on a quest to find the museum’s many treasures and uncover ancient mysteries, from Egyptian mummies to the Parthenon marbles!

Why book this tour?

  • Experience a family-friendly tour of the famous British Museum
  • Explore the highlights of the vast collection with fun activities for the kids
  • See the mummies of Ancient Egypt and sculptures from Rome & Greece
  • Discover the treasures of Sutton Hoo, see the Easter Island Head
  • Admire the Rosetta Stone and world-famous Parthenon marbles

Exclusive private Tours and Experiences. Also offered in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish and Russian

Our prices always include tickets and reservations fees (no waiting in lines!)

Our tour guides and staff are selected experts and speak perfect English

Easy to book and prepay your tours with our secure payment system

Eco-sustainable tourism, designed to respect and support local culture, art and traditions

Tour gallery

Kids British Museum Interactive Family activities tour

Read more about your Private British Museum Family Tour

On this family-friendly, British Museum Tour for Kids, you will explore the highlights of the world-famous collection of ancient treasures housed within the grand halls and galleries of the renowned British Museum.

The British Museum is a grand, imposing building, situated in the heart of London, and constructed along the same style and dimensions as the Greek Parthenon. Equipped with an interactive book filled with fun activities to help your kids make the most out of the museum and engage with its dazzling and fascinating collection of ancient treasures, your expert private guide will show you the highlights of this vast collection from all over the ancient world.

You’ll learn about how to translate the Rosetta Stone, what it says – and what it tells us about life and trade in the ancient world. You’ll be able to see the incredible mummies from ancient Egypt and learn all about their burial rituals, beauty standards, and belief system – with an array of fascinating gods and goddesses and stunning artwork.

You’ll also discover the findings from the Sutton Hoo ship, including the famous helmet—a discovery that revealed a far more sophisticated society existed in the early middle ages than we first thought – with intricate weapons, jewelry, and shipbuilding techniques.

Explore fascinating marble statues from Ancient Greece and Rome, and see the Lewis Chessmen and the amazing Easter Island head. Your extraordinary tour of the British Museum – through ancient lands like Egypt, Persia, and Mesopotamia – ends with a stunning look at the Parthenon marbles. The museum was originally built to house these ancient sculptures brought over from Greece by Lord Elgin, and you’ll hear all about the controversy surrounding them. Learn about the goddess Athena to whom the city of Athens and Parthenon Temple was dedicated and admire the incredible skill of the ancient sculptors as you discover the warring centaurs and graceful Caryatids!

Your adventures through the British Museum will end at the Parthenon Marbles. From here your guide will show you the bookshop and cafe, and the exit. You can choose to stay and explore further or step back outside into the bustling streets of London.

This Tour Includes

  • Private tour guide
  • Actives book and prizes
  • Highlights of the British Museum
  • Rosetta Stone
  • Parthenon Marbles
  • Egyptian mummies
  • Greek and Roman statues
  • Lewis Chessmen
  • Easter Island Head

Know before you go

  • This activity booklet is designed for children from ages 5 – 10 years old and is perfect for mixed age families.

Our Sustainable Tourism Promise

LivTours’ group size of max 6 participants is and always has been based on sustainable travel, and we are proud to be at the forefront of change and innovation in the industry.   LivTours is committed to providing travelers with truly sustainable tours with the lowest possible environmental impact, all while supporting the local industries and people of each unique destination. To learn more about how you can actively support sustainable tourism  and how LivTours is contributing, click here .

About our Private tours

When you book a LivTours Private Tour or Experience , you are guaranteed a dedicated, expert guide that allows you the flexibility to start your tour at a time which is convenient for you, making planning easy. Our private tours ensure that you will get a tailored experience to meet all your needs so we go at your pace, perfect for families with younger children, elderly, or individuals with accessibility needs. Please be advised that all private tours begin at a base price starting at two people* . Prices are inclusive of entry tickets where applicable.  *Some Ferrari private experiences are inclusive of one person only.

Additional options

Make your experience even more unique by upgrading your LivTours experience. Please note: add-ons are non refundable.

Choose dates later / Buy as a gift

By selecting Choose Dates Later / Buy as Gift at booking, any tour can be purchased without fixed dates. This is the perfect option if you want to purchase your tour as a gift for a loved one, or if you are in the pre-planning phase of your vacation. After booking, you will receive a Travel Voucher Code and full instructions on how to schedule your tours when ready. Once your travel plans are confirmed, you can easily use the Travel Voucher Code on the LivTours website to formally schedule your tours. You can find out more here .

Book your tour

Privacy overview.

Great Court, British Museum, Bloomsbury, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

British Museum

Top choice in The West End

Why you should go

With almost six million visitors trooping through its doors annually, the British Museum in Bloomsbury, one of the oldest and finest museums in the world, is Britain’s most visited attraction. Through the varied (and occasionally controversial) collection, you'll see some of the world's greatest treasures, and learn a little more about how England sees the world today.

You could spend a lifetime navigating this vast and hallowed collection of artefacts, art and age-old antiquity and still make daily discoveries. If you're not sure where to start, join a tour or pick up a Highlights map, a self-guided hour-long tour, for a precis of the museum’s treasures. Whatever your approach, there are several blockbusters you don't want to miss: the  Rosetta Stone , the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics (head upstairs for the  Egyptian mummies ); the controversial  Parthenon sculptures , taken from Athens' Acropolis by Lord Elgin (British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire); and the vast Etruscan, Greek, Roman, European, Asian and Islamic galleries. Other must-see items include the Anglo-Saxon  Sutton Hoo Ship Burial relics  and the  winged bulls from Khorsabad . 

A set of Egyptian artefacts in a display case in a museum. An older white man in a suit is admiring them.

Begun in 1753 with a "cabinet of curiosities" sold to the nation by physician and collector Sir Hans Sloane, the collection mushroomed over the ensuing years through acquisitions, bequests and the indiscriminate plundering of the empire. The grand Enlightenment Gallery was the first section of the redesigned museum to be built in 1823.

The light-filled Great Court , restored and augmented by architect Norman Foster in 2000, has a spectacular glass-and-steel roof. In the center is the Reading Room  where Karl Marx researched and wrote Das Kapital; Virginia Woolf and Mahatma Gandhi were also cardholders.

Tickets and other practicalities 

It's free to visit the permanent collections at the British Museum, but there are charges for special exhibitions. In order to control visitor numbers, you need to book a timed slot online ahead of arrival. 

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' class=

13 replies to this topic

' class=

Why pay someone to take you to a free (donations welcome) institution——- use the internet and save money….

I’ve visited both multiple times and never needed an interlocutor

british museum private tour

I don’t know about the British Museum but I worked at the Natural History Museum for years and still have many close friends there, and would recommend you don’t book a tour not offered by or affiliated with the NHM itself.

The tourist companies offering “private guided tours of the NHM” have nothing to do with the museum and have no special status. They won’t help you skip any queues or access anything not open to the general public, if it’s a busy day you’ll be squished in with zillions of other visitors, and they won’t be as knowledgeable about the building and contents as the actual staff and the on-gallery volunteer team whose job is to talk about the exhibits.

If you want to book a tour, book one of the NHM behind the scenes tours which are given by actual NHM scientists and let you see stuff that’s not on public display. If you have children the “Dino Snores” sleepover event has a VIP ticket option which is the closest you’ll get to a private tour.

I have to say, I find it a bit cheeky that commercial endeavours are financially profiting off our beautiful free museum. Obviously I’m biased but it sits poorly with me.

I just googled and discovered that one of these tour companies is promising you can “skip the ticket line” by booking their tour - there are no ticket lines! Cheeky.

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I don't bother with tours of museums as I like to enjoy things at my own pace, but I can see how others may wish to join one.

It's personal preference. Only you will know if you would enjoy a tour or not.

It depends entirely on your level of interest, and whether that matches the nature of the tour ( general or specialist?) , ability to see objects and information, the time you have to read context and details, and budget ...

For decades I was someone who never went on or booked guided tours of anywhere, unless they were obligatory, the only way to see a place. I was always on a limited budget, and went places I was either very interested to read about before, during and after , or at other times was happy with a more superficial scan. And certainly never at a museum, where I preferred my own pace and choice.

Nowadays I don't see well enough to read all the labels, or the background stories and details in guidebook,s. and get much more out of guided tours and audio guides. On Thursday I did an excellent guided tour of Shrewsbury Prison, £22 quite pricey for my budget, but worth it to me as I really wouldn't have got much out of the self-guided tour option at less than half the price, as I'd struggle to read both the leaflet and the info displays.

So what is 'worth it' to you really depends on factors such as the above, and what we value in any particular context differs for everyone .... so other people's comments may not be a useful guide for you.

british museum private tour

Stick to the official/affiliated tours. Private tours tend to be absolute rip-offs pitched to take advantage of the sort of tourist who really doesn’t want to engage with the places they visit.

Also, many museums, esp the smaller ones don’t allow them, so you stand a chance of paying a hefty price for being asked to leave.

Cripes #8, how rude and condescending to the OP....

Some private tours are run by Experts, University Professors/Art Historians etc who have great insight as to the art or artefacts they are discussing, but tours with them are likely to be £££££££££££.

If that is the sort of tour that ave is looking for, then great! If they want a differnt type of tour, then that's still great, it's their £ and their trip and they might well not like to go round any museum/gallery in a group of pax, if they want to allot 'spons' to this kind of thing then "so what" I say!!

Blue Badge Guides are also likely to do very good Museum Tours and, I daresay, you could also ask the Museum Staff/Guides themselves (well in advance though) if they would do a private tour for you and how much it would cost - I 'bet' they would organise something.

So please don't be so denegrating and spurt such absolute "oblate male spheroids", thanks!!!

Yes, of course I might seem to be contradicting my own post #6, but yes, If I just wanted a 'general tour' I would use the Museum's own guides every time and join a group, but there are times when I also might like a more detailed discussion of what I am seeing.

I guess I am lucky becuase I used to go to Art Galleries with my excellent Art Teachers from School, and other Museums (Science/Natural History etc) with other teachers - my Schoolteachers were very good at'impromptu' trips and were all a wealth of knowledge on their own subjects (and many others!).

So a Museum/Gallery tour with a very knowledgeable person can really make things 'come alive'!!!

I think you will find that most of the expert/specialist guides at the level you are on about will be affiliated with the institutions, their educational programs or at least will be known quantities working with permission, so my point stands.

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british museum private tour

british museum private tour

What happens on the British Museum’s £950 private tour

I t would be an exaggeration to say that, in the summer daylight of 8.55am, Great Russell Street is empty. There are commuters striding in earnest towards offices, and the branch of the major American coffee franchise directly opposite the front gates has its lights on.

But there is still something notable about the British Museum at this relatively early hour. And that is the absence of people. Or, at least, the absence of the many people who will pool outside it a little later in the day – forming a queue that snakes around the courtyard.

We are also people. But we are a smaller group, of 12. And there is a reason why we are here, 65 minutes before the doors of Sir Robert Smirke’s neo-classical wonder are due to be unbolted. We are going “behind the scenes” at London’s foremost cultural landmark.

We have not come far. From just around the corner, in fact – where The Montague on the Gardens is almost as grand a proposition; a classic London townhouse hotel, all afternoon teas, live jazz performances and Bloomsbury finesse .

But as of last month, it is also a tour guide – or, at least, the organiser of “Conflict and Conservation”, a tour which gives those happy to pay for the privilege access to the British Museum beyond its standard schedule.

The irony is that “privileged access” does not amount to entering the museum between the eight epic Corinthian columns of the main façade. Instead we tack right, to head in via one of the staff doors. At a stroke, the architectural splendour of the exterior is swapped for something rather more scratched and pragmatic; service corridors and storage spaces.

But the inner channels of the British Museum are no less fascinating for their various scuff-marks. Guide Matt Harrison explains that, during the Second World War, these bowels of the structure acted as bomb shelters for the institution’s legions of staff.

And as we wander further in, we pass facilities and features that are invisible to the public gaze. There, on the right, is the Hirayama studio – a specialist area for the repair and restoration of artworks from Southeast Asia. My attention is also drawn to a closed door, to which is pinned the striking admonishment: “Egypt: No unauthorised access”.

It is only when my over-eager eye tracks down to the rest of the message – “Mummy Tins, Turath Scarves, Soft-Toy Anubis” – that I realise it is just a stock room for the gift shop.

The tour is not cheap – £950 for groups of up to 12; a figure you might deem all the more expensive when you remember that basic entry to the museum is free. And it would be awful value were a cupboard of souvenirs the limit of the excitement. But after climbing two flights of an internal staircase, we emerge, thrillingly, into the Enlightenment Gallery. Thrillingly? Why yes.

There is an element of Harry Potter in Hogwarts, or perhaps, the secret passageways on the corner of Cluedo boards (delete according to your preferred generational reference point) about stepping into this fabled area through a hidden door.

Disguised as part of the bookcase, it disappears almost as soon as it is re-locked. When we depart the gallery minutes later, I struggle to spot it, unidentifiable but for its keyhole.

A rather more obvious joy is that the tour makes for time in the Enlightenment Gallery when it is otherwise deserted. On a normal visit, you must politely wait your turn to look at the Sloane astrolabe – or the second century Piranesi vase, plucked from Hadrian’s ruined villa in Tivoli. Here, at 9.20am, the view is unimpeded – and burnished by silence.

Of course, there is more to the tour than the sensation of exploring a famously popular attraction with little but your own impressions for close company. As its name – as well as Harrison’s allusion to bomb shelters – makes clear, “Conflict and Conservation” focuses on a period in the British Museum’s own history that is rarely mentioned amid the ancient artefacts and priceless exhibits: The war – and its perilous position within it.

Few parts of London escaped German bombardment, and Bloomsbury was no different. The evening of May 10-11 1941, at the tail-end of the Blitz, was particularly damaging for the British Museum.

As we wander past its Roman marvels (not least the remarkable bust of Augustus with painted eyes, found at Meroe in Sudan in 1910), Harrison shows us a photo of Room 70 following that night of hell – its roof gone, the floor slick with water.

By that late point in the Luftwaffe’s assault, most of the museum’s key treasures were safely stashed below ground – although at least 200,000 irreplaceable manuscripts and medieval texts were lost to fire and flood.

Another perspective is that the institution avoided the worst of the attacks. One rumour, Harrison adds, is that Hitler had designs on Senate House – the Art Deco giant a block north of the museum – as his potential headquarters in a conquered Britain, and that Bloomsbury suffered less as a consequence.

Whatever the truth of this, time itself will not be conquered. We are in Room 37 when a gorgeous 16th-century carillon clock chimes the arrival of 10am.

Almost at once, the espresso machine in the adjacent cafe begins to whirr, and there is a low rumble from the floors below, as the public makes its way in. Within minutes, the silence has evaporated, – but the joyful rareness of this special experience stays with me, long into the afternoon.

How to do it

The “Conflict and Conservation” tour of the British Museum costs £950, for up to 12 people (from £79pp; ). Guests must be staying at The Montague on the Gardens. Double rooms start at £276.

Play The Telegraph’s brilliant range of Puzzles - and feel brighter every day. Train your brain and boost your mood with PlusWord, the Mini Crossword, the fearsome Killer Sudoku and even the classic Cryptic Crossword.

The Nereid Monument at the British Museum

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I took my kids on a British Museum out-of-hours tour, it was even better than I expected

I first learned about the British Museum’s Out of Hours tours while doing a general sweep of kid-friendly tour options for kids in London. I’ve had great luck in the past with family tours, since it takes some of the pressure off parents and lets everyone have fun and learn things. These tours are run by the museum and take place when it's closed to the general public (hence the "out of hours" part, which is British English for outside of opening hours).

Out of Hours tours run from 8:50 to 10 in the morning, and all enter through the main entrance (since the museum is closed, you wait and then someone comes out to collect you). The cost is £33 for adults (about $42) and £16.50 (about $21) for kids ages five to 15.

BRING THE KIDS: 11 best tour companies for family vacations around the world

These guided tours are led by expert guides and focus on specific collections at a time of day when the only crowd is your group (on the tour I went on, the group was probably about 30 people). It feels like a private tour without the private tour pricing.

There were a few tour options to choose among, including introductions to ancient Egypt, the ancient Greek world, China, and the British Museum along with a deep dive on life and death in ancient Egypt. You can book about a year out, and booking well in advance gives you the best chance at getting the tour you’re most interested in.

BEST TRIP EVER: 50 best family vacation ideas for all ages

Why pay for an out-of-hours tour?

While these British Museum tours aren’t particularly expensive, since the museum is free, any amount is necessarily a lot more than you need to pay. These tours also tend to book up in advance, so you’ll need to decide and book a few months ahead of time.

I have been to the British Museum dozens of times, but this was hands down my favorite visit. Getting to enter the museum before it’s open felt fun and exciting. And it was so memorable to be able to be in the museum when it was quiet and crowd-free.

TEEN-FRIENDLY TRIPS: 10 best vacation ideas for families with teenagers

It was my kids’ first visit, and honestly and in the best possible way, I think it ruined them a little bit for future visits when they’re going to have to peer over people and deal with the standard jockeying for position to see the Rosetta Stone, mummies, and manuscripts.

What else to know about out-of-hours tours

These tours require a fair amount of standing around and listening, so that has to be a good fit for your family to work well. I took my kids and my nieces on the tour, and the older ones were rapt the whole time while the younger ones tried their hardest but were definitely getting bored by the end.

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The lesson I learned the hard way is that it’s nice to be able to stick around after the tour. As the tour ends, the general public starts to filter in but since you’ll be deep into the museum when the tour wraps up, you can pretty easily find uncrowded rooms and exhibits to enjoy before it gets crowded. I had planned an activity right after the tour, so we missed making the most of our time in the museum at this less crowded time.

I took my kids on a British Museum out-of-hours tour and it was even better than I expected originally appeared on .

More from FamilyVacationist:

17 best flight booking sites for cheap airfares

33 books like Harry Potter to binge on your next vacation

The best European tourist attractions worth the hype

The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY. and are owned and operated by Vacationist Media LLC. Using the FamilyVacationist travel recommendation methodology , we review and select family vacation ideas , family vacation spots , all-inclusive family resorts , and classic family vacations for all ages. TourScoop covers guided group tours and tour operators , tour operator reviews , tour itinerary reviews and travel gear recommendations .

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What happened when I took my kids on a museum out-of-hours tour

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Visitors standing in the Parthenon gallery

Visitors standing in the Parthenon gallery (Room 18)

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Visiting the galleries

Opening times.

Daily: 10.00–17.00 See full  opening hours

Explore more than 60 galleries at the British Museum from home.

Our gallery pages feature a range of exciting resources, including virtual tours with Google Street View, object highlights, timelines, family activities and facts.

Below you'll find a list of galleries on the lower floor, ground floor and upper floors, together with two galleries created especially for our online audience,  Oceania  and  Prints and Drawings .

Please note that galleries in the Museum may be closed for maintenance, refurbishment or private events. All planned closures will be listed on the Visit page . Occasionally we may need to close galleries at short notice for safety reasons. We regret that in these cases we're not always able to alert the public in advance. 

Museum highlights

Statue of Ramesses II in the Egyptian sculpture gallery

Egyptian sculpture gallery

Rectangular in form with side flanges (largely missing). Background surface decorated with stylised quatrefoil (river leaf) patterns and stippling. Rosettes in each corner

Sutton Hoo and Europe

Visitor looking at a marble bust in Room 70

Roman Empire

Lower floor.

Wooden figure, focus on face with closed eyes and mouth.

Room 25 ( The Sainsbury Galleries )

Ground floor

image of marble statue of a discus thrower


Yellow vase with narrow neck, decoration in blue.

Collecting the world

Holy Thorn reliquary gold and jewels

The Waddesdon Bequest

Room 2a (funded by The Rothschild Foundation)  

Head and upper body of pink/grey granite monumental statue of Ramesses II.

Egyptian sculpture

Statue of a winged lion from the North-West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II

Assyrian sculpture and Balawat Gates

Stone panel from the North-West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Assyria, 883-859 BC.

Assyria: Nimrud

Frieze with drawings on it

Assyria: Nineveh

Large relief with men pulling a horse

Assyria: Lion hunts, Siege of Lachish and Khorsabad

Gold goblet

Greece: Minoans and Mycenaeans

Room 12 ( The Arthur I Fleischman Gallery)

Greek wine jar depicting Achilles defeating Penthesilea, the Amazon Queen.

Greece 1050–520 BC

Greek vase depicting black-figured neck-amphora, signed by the potter Andokides.

Greek vases

Large Greek relief panel featuring a female-headed bird

Athens and Lycia

The Bassai Sculptures, the Phigaleian Frieze, Classical Greek

Greece: Bassai sculptures

Visitors in Room 17 by the Nereid Monument

Nereid Monument

Marble sculpture of horses head from parthenon

Greece: Parthenon

Marble block from the west frieze of the Temple of Athena Nike

Greece: Athens

Marble head of a youthful god: the 'Aberdeen Head', Classical Greek, 325-280 BC

Greeks and Lycians 400–325 BC

Horse head made from marble

Mausoleum of Halikarnassos

Marble statue of Demeter seated on a throne, Greek, carved around 350 BC.

The world of Alexander

Marble relief featuring a boy and horse.

Greek and Roman sculpture

Large human figure made of stone.

Living and Dying

Room 24 ( The Wellcome Trust Gallery )

 Snow sled brown in colour.

North America

Image of a turquoise mosaic covered serpent with two heads

Great Court

Frieze with figure of a man and a lion

East stairs

Upper floors

4 humans 1 horse 1 camel all figures are shades of white, brown and green.

China and South Asia

Room 33 ( The Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery )

Dome-slab carved in limestone with the Great Departure, Prince Siddhartha's horse Kanthaka with empty saddle leaving the palace via an elaborate torana (gate)

India: Amaravati

Room 33a ( The Asahi Shimbun Gallery )

A jade brush pot decorated with nature motifs

Chinese jade

Room 33b ( The Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery )

Cassiobury Park turret clock

Clocks and watches

Rooms 38–39 ( The Sir Harry and Lady Djanogly Gallery )

Seven white chess pieces

Medieval Europe, 1050–1500

Room 40 ( The Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Gallery )

Sutton hoo helmet

Sutton Hoo and Europe, AD 300–1100

Room 41 ( The Sir Paul and Lady Ruddock Gallery )

Jade terrapin on blue background

The Islamic world

Rooms 42–43 ( The Albukhary Foundation Gallery )

Large blue and yellow decorated vase.

Europe 1400–1800

Vase made of pale blue jasper ware with applied white reliefs

Europe 1800–1900

Yellow and black squared mantelpiece clock

Europe 1900 to the present

The Great dish from the Mildenhall Treasure, a large concave silver platter with beaded rim (135 beads in total) on a circular vertical foot-ring positioned exactly one-third in from the rim.

Roman Britain

Room 49 ( The Weston Gallery )

a Golden round torc with circle gold balls at each end

Britain and Europe 800 BC–AD 43

A gold cape to be placed through head and sit on shoulders.

Europe and Middle East 10,000–800 BC

Room 51 ( The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Gallery )

Gold armlet with two dragon looking figures attached.

Ancient Iran

Room 52 ( The Rahim Irvani Gallery )

Ancient Arabian calcite incense burner showing a camel rider

Ancient South Arabia

Ivory figure of a griffin-headed demon, Anatolia

Anatolia and Urartu, 7000–300 BC

Map of the World, Mesopotamia, 700-500 BC.

Mesopotamia, 1500–539 BC

Mesopotamian sculpture of queen of the night woman with wings

Mesopotamia, 6000–1500 BC

Small white statue of male figure sitting down

Ancient Levant

Rooms 57–59

scene of man hunting egyptian painting

Egyptian life and death: the tomb-chapel of Nebamun

Room 61 ( The Michael Cohen Gallery )

A gold decorated coffin in the shape of a human.

Egyptian death and afterlife: mummies

Rooms 62–63 ( The Roxie Walker Galleries )

Granite statue of Ankhwa, one hand on leg the other holding a tool.

Early Egypt

Lying down sphinx, human head light brown.

Sudan, Egypt and Nubia

Oil painting on cotton cloth, depicting the a battle scene.

Ethiopia and Coptic Egypt

White porcelain 'moon jar', Choson dynasty, Korea, 17-18th Century AD.

Room 67  (The Korea Foundation Gallery)

A penny with the words "votes for women" defaced across the Kings head.

Greek and Roman life

portland vase white relief figures on a black background

Room 70 ( The Wolfson Gallery )

Painted sarcophagus of Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa, Etruscan, 150-140 BC.

Etruscan world

Red Polished Ware figurine cradling a child, Cypriot, 1975-1850 BC

Ancient Cyprus

Room 72 ( The A.G. Leventis Gallery )

Gold libation bowl (phiale) with six bulls around 600 BC, Western Greek.

Greeks in Italy

A scene of shepherds and animals, and a woman on a horse, depicted in red-brown oil paint.

Prints and drawings displays

Rooms 90 and 90a

Two red, white, blue and gold decorated mantelpiece elephants figures.

Rooms 92–94 ( The Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries )

Two identical porcelain vases with blue details including dragon.

Chinese Ceramics – Sir Percival David Collection

Room 95 ( The Sir Joseph Hotung Centre for Ceramic Studies )

Virtual galleries

Red mask made from fibre glass, polyester resin, ply and balsar wood and bamboo,

Virtual gallery

Drawing of boats sailing on rough seas

Prints and drawings

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Two red, white, blue and gold decorated mantelpiece elephants figures

Japan (translation)

Visitor looking at various sketches in Prints and Drawings

Prints and drawings galleries 90 and 90a

A young visitor in Room 2 beside the the Knucklebone player sculpture

Protect Your Trip »

The 5 best sightseeing tours of buckingham palace.

See one of Britain's top attractions on a walking, biking, bus or private taxi tour.

The Best Tours of Buckingham Palace

Tourists outside Buckingham Palace in London after gathering to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. (Photo by: Loop Images/Jason Wells/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Getty Images

On a visit to London , some of the top attractions are linked to the royal family. But nothing is quite as iconic as a visit to the one of the three official residences of the monarchy – Buckingham Palace . While it's only open to the public on select dates, you can relish in its beauty from the regal gates, snap a selfie and catch a Changing the Guard ceremony.

How to Tour Buckingham Palace

For about 10 weeks every summer (select dates from July 11 to Sept. 29, 2024), Buckingham Palace opens its elaborate gates, welcoming visitors to explore its lavish State Rooms, grounds and Royal Collection artworks. The Royal Mews is also open to visitors from March to October, showcasing the Royal Family's real working stables and ornate, historic carriages – including the Gold State Coach used for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Coronation in 2022.

If you aren't here at the right time, fear not; this extravagant, 18th-century royal residence is just as impressive from the outside, making it worth a visit any time of year. Check online for a current schedule of the Changing the Guard ceremony – when the red-and-black-clad Royal Guard marches toward the palace, accompanied by striking military music – and see a tradition that's been running for more than 300 years. Combine it with explorations in the surrounding area of Westminster to see London at its most quintessential.

You can explore all of this independently, of course – but if you're looking to dig a little deeper, hear about the king's coronation and uncover local secrets, consider a guided London tour . Insider experts can point out the best photo spots, take you to the must-see sights and show you the ins and outs of the area, while sharing knowledge of the country's royal history along the way.

There are tons of options out there, so where do you start? Based on local knowledge and traveler review sites, here are some of the most highly rated tours.

Changing of the Guard Walking Tour

Tourists and domestic visitors at Buckingham Palace watch in huge numbers as Changing of the Guard takes place. (Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Price: From $13 Duration: 2 to 3 hours Standout perk: Witness the pomp of the iconic Changing the Guard ceremony.

Watch the Royal Guard march toward Buckingham Palace as you witness this historic, quintessentially British spectacle on a tour of Westminster's highlights. Accompanied by a military band, you'll see the Old Guard (soldiers on duty) switch to the New Guard as they arrive at the palace from Wellington Barracks. Your guide will explain which regiment is which, before taking you on a guided walking tour past other world-famous, attractions, including Big Ben, Clarence House, the Houses of Parliament , St James's Palace and Westminster Abbey .

Recent travelers gave high ratings to the tour, saying guides were able to take them to the best photo spots for the ceremony while offering a wealth of historical and entertaining insight.

Tours leave at 10 a.m. and depart from the Victoria Palace Theatre. The outings end at Parliament Square.

Local tip: Look at the Horse Guards Clock on the Horse Guards Parade – the official entrance to Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace – to see a dark stain above the 2 (II, in Roman numerals). It marks the time King Charles I was executed outside the Palace of Whitehall in 1649, after being charged with treason.

Check prices & availability on:

Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Tour

Aerial view of Windsor Castle and the surrounding area. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Price: From $161 Duration: 8.5 hours Standout perk: Get a rare chance to explore the State Rooms with Buckingham Palace tickets, and tick off two of the United Kingdom's grandest royal residences in one day.

This twin-castle tour offers the opportunity to enter Buckingham Palace and see its State Rooms, Royal Collection artwork and other treasures, with commentary from an audio guide. After you've toured the palace, you'll travel by coach about 25 miles west of London to Windsor Castle – the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, and the family home of the monarchy for more than 900 years. Explore the castle's lavish State Apartments and grounds, and visit St George's Chapel – the burial place of Queen Elizabeth II alongside many other monarchs, and the spot where Prince Harry married Meghan Markle.

Recent travelers said the tour was a great opportunity to see inside both palaces. Several commented on the extensive art collection at Buckingham Palace, and many enjoyed hearing insights from the guides, although some complained about long lines.

The tour takes place from July through September on select Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and leaves from Victoria Coach Station at 7:45 a.m.

Local tip: Windsor Castle has its own Changing the Guard ceremony, as well as its own extensive art collection. The ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. on select days of the week.

Best of London Tour Including Tower of London and Changing of the Guard

The illuminated Millennium Wheel (or London Eye) at night.

Price: From $144; with optional London Eye or Harrods cream tea for an additional fee Duration: 9 hours Standout perk: You'll see many of London's key attractions in one day, and enjoy a river cruise thrown in for good measure.

If you want to combine a visit to see Buckingham Palace's Changing the Guard ceremony with stops at several other London spots, this is a great choice. The full-day trip begins at the UNESCO listed Tower of London where you'll have the chance to see the crown jewels.

From here, you'll visit Buckingham Palace to witness the famous pomp and pageantry of the ceremony and get the chance to admire the palace's impressive architecture from the outside. The day includes a tour of the elaborate St. Paul's Cathedral (not available on Sundays), before embarking on a boat tour of the Thames, passing key attractions including Tower Bridge and Shakespeare's Globe. The day also includes a photo stop at Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, and a brief walking tour of Parliament Square. Travelers can choose to add a ride on the famous London Eye observation wheel (or opt for a quintessentially British cream tea at Harrods instead).

Recent travelers loved the tour and praised the guides as highly knowledgeable and entertaining. Many were impressed with how much they saw in a day and said it gave them a great introduction to London (although it's worth noting a few felt there was quite a bit of walking involved).

Tours leave from Victoria Coach Station at 7:45 a.m. and finish at the London Eye.

Local tip: If you fancy delving deeper into the Tower of London in your own time, book a ticket to see the Ceremony of the Keys. Dating back seven centuries, this nightly ceremony is when the castle gets locked up for the night, with a special exchange between the sentry and Yeoman Warder taking place at 9:30 p.m. between the atmospheric battlements – both eerie and magical.

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London: Explore the Parks and Palaces on a Morning Bike Tour

The exterior of Kensington Palace with the bronze statue of William III of Orange. (Photo by Peter Dazeley/Getty Images)

Price: From $37 Duration: 3.5 hours Standout perk: Get active on two wheels, and combine a Buckingham Palace stop with a visit to Kensington Palace and other royal sights.

This half-day guided cycling tour is a great option to get active on your London trip. You'll start at Kensington Gardens – the home of Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived with the now King Charles, and Queen Victoria's birthplace. From here, pedal to the Royal Albert Hall to check out this elaborate concert hall, opened by Queen Victoria in 1871. Afterward, cycle through Hyde Park and on to Green Park to reach Buckingham Palace, where your guide will regale you with little-known stories about the palace. Continue on to Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben as you take in some of the capital's key highlights, before returning to the Royal Parks.

Recent travelers raved about the tour and were impressed by the guides' knowledge. Many enjoyed the small group size and said the cycling was a good, leisurely pace, with plenty to see along the way, and iced tea and snacks included as a bonus.

The tour leaves from outside the main entrance at Hilton London Hyde Park. The recommended minimum age is 9 – you can pre-book junior bikes and child seats. While the bicycle and helmet for use during the tour are included, attraction entry fees are additional.

Local tip: If you've got time after the tour, it's well worth exploring Kensington Palace a bit more. Admire the elaborate, Georgian-era King's Staircase and the King's State Gallery with its fine art collection, see the Queen's State Apartments where Mary II would come to relax or welcome guests, and visit the Sunken Garden, once a favorite spot of Princess Diana's. After, enjoy afternoon tea or lunch at the Kensington Palace Pavilion amid the gardens.

The Premier Classic London: Private 4-Hour Tour in a Black Cab

The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben across the River Thames at sunset.

Price: From $482 Duration: 4 hours Standout perk: You'll see many of London's must-see attractions, and as it's a private tour, you can tailor the trip to your liking.

If you're after a private tour, this half-day trip in a classic London black cab is just the ticket.

You can choose to align your visit to Buckingham Palace with a Changing the Guard ceremony, and you'll get expert commentary from your personal taxi driver, who's also a registered tour guide. Alongside the palace, you'll pass must-see points including the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, St James's Palace, the Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, Shakespeare's Globe, Borough Market and Covent Garden , with options to stop along the way.

Recent travelers loved the tour and said guides were able to tailor the trip, stopping at spots both on and off the tourist trail and offering plenty of historical insight.

Your driver-guide can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel; or a central London location.

Local tip: Make a stop at Borough Market to try some of the best food in the city, with more than 100 stalls offering everything from Persian to Italian, alongside plenty of fresh produce.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Laura French is an award-winning British travel writer based in London. She grew up just outside the city and worked around the corner from Buckingham Palace for several years. She loves exploring the surrounding area, and used her own experience alongside online research to compile the roundup.

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Discover the Life and Work of Vincent van Gogh

Welcome to the Van Gogh Museum! Plan your visit, book tickets online. Beware of scammers, buy your tickets at

Matthew Wong, Unknown Pleasures, 2019, olieverf op doek, 165,1 x 165,1 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2023 Matthew Wong Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Digitaal beeld via MoMA

Now on view

Exhibition Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh

Discover Matthew Wong’s dynamic, colourful and expressive work, and his artistic connection with Van Gogh.

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Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1889

Always on view

Van Gogh’s Masterpieces

Explore Vincent van Gogh's famous masterpieces in the museum's permanent exhibition.

Amandelbloesem, Vincent van Gogh, 1890, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

Collection highlight

Almond Blossom

Find out more about one of Vincent van Gogh‘s favourite subjects: large blossom branches against a blue sky.

View the artwork

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, 1887

Vincent van Gogh

Learn more about Vincent van Gogh's art and life, explore his paintings and drawings, read his letters and much more.

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