Given its size, it should hardly be surprising that London is home to some of the world's best known museums. From history to science, from national treasures to global trends, the capital's museums cater to everyone, and understandably attract thousands of visitors every month. Aside from certain special exhibitions, the majority of the following attractions are free to enter, making them an excellent option for a cheap day out.
We've picked out six of London's best museums for your consideration...
British Museum (Tube: Holborn)
The British Museum focuses on human history and culture. Over seven million objects contribute to its collections, and come from all over the world to show the story of human existence and evolution. The museum is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and, as a national museum, charges no admission fee.
Natural History Museum (Tube: South Kensington)
The museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections. The museum is a world-renowned centre of research, specialising in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Darwin. The museum is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons, particularly the large Diplodocus cast that dominates the glorious central hall.
Science Museum (Tube: South Kensington)
The Science Museum now holds a collection of over 300,000 items, including early steam engines, the first jet engine, a model of DNA, the first typewriter and many more. It also contains hundreds of interactive exhibits. A recent addition is the IMAX 3D Cinema showing science and nature documentaries, and the Wellcome Wing, which focuses on digital technology. Entrance is free but some exhibitions charge an entry fee.
Museum of London (Tube: Moorgate/Barbican)
The Museum of London tells the story of London, from prehistoric times to the present day. It cares for more than two million objects in its collections and attracts over 400,000 visitors per year. It is primarily concerned with the social history of London and its inhabitants. It shows how London grew from its beginnings as a wall-enclosed city, and how it survived the great fire and bombardment during World War II. There is also a full-size set of London over 100 years ago, in which one can truly feel transported back in time. The museum is free to enter.
V & A Museum (Tube: South Kensington)
The Victoria and Albert Museum's collections span two thousand years of art in virtually every medium, from many parts of the world. As such, visitors to the museum encounter a treasure trove of amazing and beautiful objects. The museum's ceramics, glass, textiles, dress, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, sculpture, paintings, prints and photographs now span the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa, and date from ancient times to the present day.
Imperial War Museum (Tube: Lambeth North)
The Imperial War Museum is unique in its coverage of conflicts, especially those involving Britain and the Commonwealth, from the First World War to the present day. It provides such extensive exhibitions that it is hard to take in all its displays in one day. Not only does it help you understand the history of modern warfare, it also has two sets, one for the blitz and one for the trenches, that aim to give you an idea of war-time experience. Although sometimes overlooked, the Imperial War Museum is every bit as impressive as its more famous cousins, and is well worth a visit.