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The enormous Victoria and Albert Museum is home to more than 4.5 million artifacts and 145 galleries. Set across a 12.5-acre (5.1-hectare) site, the collection covers 5,000 years of art history and features objects from several continents. Check out the intriguing artworks that range from textiles and furniture to prints and photographs.
Founded in 1852, this extraordinary museum was moved to its current site in 1857. It was originally known as the Museum of Manufactures and then the South Kensington Museum. It didn’t take on its current name until 1899, when Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the museum’s new building and it was renamed in her honor. Take some time to admire its grand Victorian façade from outside.
The museum lays claim to the world’s largest array post-classical sculptures. Be sure to see the Italian Renaissance collection, which is among the most comprehensive collections of its kind outside of Italy. Elsewhere, there are enough exhibit areas in the museum to keep you occupied for hours, including displays dedicated to drawing, jewelry and metalwork.
Explore the theater area, which is constantly being updated with set designs and photographs. Don’t miss the Japanese-focused displays, where you’ll find armor, dress, woodwork and paintings. The fashion section showcases four centuries’ worth of stylish attire. Marvel at gowns from the 1600s and learn about the post-war fashion of the 1960s.
Borrow an activity backpack full of fun games and puzzles for your kids, so they can learn about the museum’s themes in a more accessible and fun way.
When you tire of exploring, look around the shop, where you will find elegant fashion accessories, prints, books and works of art. Try sandwiches, pastries and cakes in the main café and head outside to the Garden Café in the summer. You may want to combine a visit here with trips to other worthwhile neighboring attractions, such as the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park.
The Victoria and Albert Museum opens daily from morning to late afternoon, with later closing times on Fridays. Entrance is free. Take the London Underground to South Kensington or Knightsbridge stations. The museum is just a short walk from there.
Get the most out of your time at Victoria and Albert Museum. Below is a list of the top activities:
For even more things to do, check out our London things to do page.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and Cromwell Road. Imperial College London and Harrods are also within 10 minutes. South Kensington Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Gloucester Road Underground Station is 11 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London are also within 1 mi (2 km). Queensway Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and Bayswater Underground Station is 5 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kensington High Street, Kensington Gardens and Cromwell Road. Kensington Palace and Royal Albert Hall are also within 1 mile (2 km). High Street Kensington Station is only a 4-minute walk and Earl's Court Station is 15 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum. Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Gloucester Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and South Kensington Underground Station is 10 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cromwell Road and Natural History Museum. Victoria and Albert Museum and Kensington Gardens are also within 15 minutes. Gloucester Road Underground Station is only a 3-minute walk and South Kensington Underground Station is 8 minutes.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Victoria Palace Theatre and Apollo Victoria Theatre. Buckingham Palace and St. James Park are also within 15 minutes. Victoria Underground Station and London Victoria Rail Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Natural History Museum, Hyde Park and Royal Albert Hall. Harrods and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are also within 1 mi (2 km). South Kensington Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Gloucester Road Underground Station is 7 minutes.