Tips for Visiting the Science Museum in London: a Full Guide (2024)

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One of London’s most incredible museums, the Science Museum, offers the chance to explore the past and present of engineering and scientific marvels, all while allowing you to get out of the rain (or cold) and into a beautiful building in South Kensington for free.

What’s not to love, really?

In these tips for visiting the Science Museum, I’ll go over why this is one of my favorite museums in London for kids, as well as what you should be aware of being showing up and how to make the most of your visit.

Whether you’re interested in space travel, DNA, women in science, how volcanoes work or so many other topics, prepare to lose yourself in the best way possible in this iconic London museum.

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The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)

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Where is the Science Museum?

The Science Museum is on Exhibition Road in the South Kensington area of London.

You might have heard of this road before, as it’s also home to the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, both just a few minute’s walk away from the Science Museum.

South Kensington is, how shall I say, posh – fancy – lovely – beautiful. All those things.

So when you show up to the Science Museum, you’ll be walking through one of the fanciest and most gorgeously designed parts of London.

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How to Get There

The easiest way to get to the Science Museum is by taking the tube to either Gloucester Road or South Kensington Station.

It’s a short walk from either, with signs specifically from the South Kensington Station exits as this is arguably the most popular tube station to use for the Science Museum.

There are also numerous bus stops nearby, so you can look up the bus transportation directions using a London app like Citymapper to make sure you get off at the right stop.

Science Museum London Opening Times

The Science Museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Is the Science Museum Free?

While the Science Museum does have a donation area when you first walk in, it is free to enter and you do not need to worry about paying anything unless you feel compelled to support the museum (which, of course, is always a great thing!)

Science Museum Highlights: Exhibitions at the Science Museum

The Science Museum has both permanent galleries as well as ticketed exhibitions (which are an extra cost – the permanent galleries are free and there are plenty of them).

Some of the most notable permanent galleries are:

  • Flight: exploring the history of aviation
  • Information Age: from the 1st transatlantic communication to digital TVs
  • Science City: the history of science in London
  • Engineers: invention and their creators
  • Energy Hall
  • Exploring Space
  • Making the Modern World: 250 years of objects that have shaped our world

Science Museum Map

Looking for a map of the Science Museum? Check it out here.

Science Museum Tours

While the Science Museum doesn’t offer regular tours, there are occasional Science Museum tours that last 30 minutes and are led by volunteers, but you need to check the schedule here (known as the “Highlights Tour”).

Science Museum with Kids

The Science Museum is hands-down one of the best museums in London with kids.

Not only are many of its exhibits already interactive and, well, more interesting for them to look at than old vases or royal collections of paintings, but the Science Museum actually has so much of its space dedicated to the kids with an interactive gallery called the Garden for ages 3-6, a multisensory area called the Pattern Pod for ages 3-8 and a WonderLab (separately ticketed) which has hands-on science experiments and interactive chances for the whole family.

Suffice it to say that the kids won’t get bored here, and with child-friendly menu options in the café plus an IMAX screen, you’re going to be able to find something to do with them no matter their interests or age.

Tips for Visiting the Science Museum

  • While there are many times of the year when the Science Museum has plenty of room to be a “walk-in” (in fact, I’d say – most!), if you are visiting during the peak of summer or on a weekend during school vacation (ie, Easter, winter), I would recommend booking a free ticket on their website in advance to make sure you have a slot for entry.
  • Arrive at opening for the best chance of experiencing the exhibits without too many people around – the later in the day, the more it fills up as parents finally get their kids out the door!
  • The gift shop at the Science Museum is a must-visit if you’re into math, science, or engineering. It’s got so many fun things that you can’t find in many other places and is great for doing some souvenir shopping for the science geek in your life.
  • For food and drink, you can either bring a packed lunch or you can enjoy a meal at one of the cafes. I really like the cafes at the Science Museum and there are lots of great options at the main cafe, known as the Energy Cafe as well as some awesome pizzas at The Diner (on the main floor).
  • There are regular events held at the Science Museum, whether you’re interested in climate talks, space-themed events, or even a Science Museum sleepover! Just check the schedule of events before you go to see what’s on during your visit.

Other Science Museum FAQs

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