Results 11-20of 58 Reviews
January 10, 2007
From journal Semester in London
August 15, 2006
From journal Summertime in London
April 21, 2006
From journal Visiting Friends in London
April 18, 2006
From journal A Week in London
by The Breeze
April 3, 2006
From journal I Love London!
January 27, 2006
This is one of the most amazing museums in the world today--and there are a LOT of spectacular museums. It pretty much has the history of the world, from pre-civilization to modern times, all under one roof. What is equally amazing is that the museum continues to be free of charge, not counting the special exhibits.
A large chunk of the museum is dedicated to the collections from ancient Greece and Egypt. The collections from these two areas are absolutely fascinating, and the descriptions given on the artifacts are diligently done. One of the highlights in this part of the museum is the famous Rosetta stone, which allowed archaeologists to understand and translate hieroglyphics.
I found that the best way to explore the museum was to come back a few times and only spend a couple of hours at a time. That way, you will not be overwhelmed with the large number of galleries you will need to see or numb with information and sensory overload. A visit to London should include the British Museum without fail. It is both grand and fun.
From journal London--The Heart of the Empire
Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
December 26, 2005
From journal December in London: Theatres, Art, and Antiquity
by Owen Lipsett
New York, New York
August 21, 2005
Plan! The British Museum is immense, and even a cursory stroll through the galleries takes a day. Consequently, decide beforehand what you absolutely must see – perhaps choosing its highlights or deciding to focus on a particular collection. Remember that it's not so much one museum as many all organized according to the same principles of completeness and curation by specialist scholars. Be sure to pick up a free map and note that while the "classical tour" is expensive, the volunteer-run Eye-opener Tours covering individual sections of the museum are free.
Visit the most popular sections on a weekday afternoon or weekend morning: School groups tend to visit during the morning on weekdays, while weekend afternoons tend to be busier than the mornings and most people head for the highlights – the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern collections are the most popular. In general, the large tours avoid the side galleries, so if you're stuck in a crowd, these rooms (which tend to also have the more informative labeling) are the best respites within these collections. The new Sainsbury Africa Galleries and Asian Collections are only slightly less impressive (and heavily visited.)
At peak times, head for less famous collections: Although they can't match Mediterranean treasures, such as the Elgin Marbles and Rosetta Stone (nothing can really!), the museum's little-visited Islamic collection is one of the best of their kind in the west, and its soaring displays of Native American life quite interestingly fuse modern and pre-Columbian artifacts. The museum's most underrated permanent exhibition is the new Enlightenment Gallery housed in the King's Library, which provides a sense of the intellectual undercurrents behind the museum's creation (its collections also spawned what are now the British Library and Natural History Museum) and how it originally looked.
Don't forget to appreciate where you are. Without its collections, the British Museum's buildings, in the historic intellectual quarter of Bloomsbury, would be intriguing in their own right as paragons of 19th-century architecture. The present quadrangular outer building, designed by Sir Robert Smirke, was completed in 1852 and has been significantly expanded since. The round Reading Room in its central courtyard, by his brother Sidney, was completed in 1857. After the British Library was established in 1998, the courtyard was covered over by Lord Norman Foster to form Europe's largest public square. It's perhaps the most attractive juxtaposition of historical and contemporary architecture in a city full of such combinations.
From journal London For Nothing - Seeing Sights for Free
Columbia, South Carolina
August 4, 2005
From journal Lisa's London Adventure
London, United Kingdom
July 17, 2005
As would be expected, the place is huge and crowded, and one could easily spend weeks there without seeing everything. Tom took us directly to the highlights, and his commentary was insightful and informative, adding immensely to the experience.
After seeing the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, the Assyrian friezes, and a wealth of other artifacts, we were left on our own to explore further the things we found most interesting. My friend and I had tea in the snack area in the Great Hall, which was very tasty and reasonably priced. The gift shop is wonderful, with great gift items for everyone on your list, including yourself.
Since we visited during the school year, there were few tourists, but many groups of uniformed school children. Our guide informed us that the children are given free rein so they may develop enthusiasm for art and learning. They were pretty rowdy at times, but it was really great to see their energy and excitement.
Admission to the museum is free, although donations are requested. A tour is a great way to become oriented and then go back to explore the museum's treasures in more depth. Since the museum covers over 13 acres, an orientation tour can save you from wasting your valuable time roaming around aimlessly.
From journal The Original London Walks