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The atrium at London's Natural History Museum ;

London's best museums and galleries

27 July 2021

These stalwarts of London’s cultural scene offer innovative talks, late night openings and film screenings as well as blockbuster exhibitions. Their core collections are free to browse, so take your sketch pad and spend the afternoon in the company of world-famous artists and objects.


British Museum

In the heart of Bloomsbury lies one of the biggest international collections of world art and artefacts. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the glories of ancient Greece and Rome or want to find out more about Britain’s bronze age, the British Museum is the place to be – plus permanent collections are free to explore.

Somerset House

One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House offers a dynamic public programme of contemporary arts and culture. In the winter, the courtyard transforms into a romantic ice-skating rink, while the summer months see children splashing in the fountains, outdoor film screenings and live gigs galore.


Barbican is a world-class arts and learning centre set in one of the most unique architectural spaces in the city (you’ll either love it or hate it). Most recently they’ve opened Level G, with a rolling programme of free installations, commissions and events. Sign up to the Young Barbican scheme for discounted tickets and Creative Learning Programmes.


The Southbank

This buzzy brutalist hub encompasses the National Theatre, Hayward Gallery, British Film Institute and Royal Festival Hall to name a few. Most organisations offer specialist programmes for young people meaning you can see world-class performances and artworks without breaking the bank. Southbank Centre offers a student discount on tickets, and BFI and National Theatre have cheaper tickets for 16-25s.

Wellcome Collection

A completely unique institution, the Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. With an innovative programme and incredible displays, Wellcome is a place made for pondering big questions around science, medicine, life and art.

Natural History Museum

Caring for 80 million specimens spanning billions of years, the Natural History Museum is a fascinating place to discover the history of life on Earth. On entry you’ll meet Hope the blue whale, a relatively new addition to the collection who makes a big impression. Core collections free to view.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is a treasure trove of the world’s best art and design. With collections spanning popular music, jewellery, fashion, theatre, photography and much more, you’re bound to find something that takes your fancy. If you’re looking for a break from the material world, the Sackler courtyard is an excellent spot, plus the café is one of the most ornate in London. Core collections free to view.


National Gallery

Just a stroll away from the Strand Campus, the National Gallery has an exceptional collection of some of the world’s greatest paintings. Its core collections are free to view so you can enjoy a cultured study break with artists like Michelangelo, Botticelli, Vermeer, Van Gogh…the list goes on. Close by you’ll find the famous fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, which hosts public art commissions.

Student cultural offers

Student Cultural Offers

- BFI £3 Tickets- £3 cinema tickets, plus events and film industry opportunities for anyone under 25 years old.

- Young Barbican– The Young Barbican scheme gives 14–25 year olds discounted access to unmissable art and entertainment, as well as exclusive events and creative opportunities.

- National Theatre - Pay less for amazing shows at the National Theatre. £5 tickets for 16 – 18 year olds and £10 tickets for 19 – 25s. You can also book discounted courses if you are under 25 .

- Old Vic PWC £10 tickets The Old Vic offers at least half of all seats priced at £10 for the first five previews of every production.

- RSC Key - If you’re aged 16-25 you can join the RSC Key for free to get access to £5 theatre tickets, invites to exclusive events, discounts and more.

- Young Vic £10 tickets – The Young Vic offers a number of £10 tickets for every production for full-time students and people aged 25 and under. The discount has a strictly limited availability, so booking in advance is recommended. You will be asked for proof of age or full-time student status when you collect your tickets.

- Tate Collective – If you’re 16-25 and want access to £5 exhibition tickets, free events, creative opportunities and discounts across Tate, join Tate Collective. Sign-up is free!