“The British Museum was founded in 1753 and opened its doors in 1759. It was the first national museum to cover all fields of human knowledge, open to visitors from across the world. Enlightenment ideals and values – critical scrutiny of all assumptions, open debate, scientific research, progress and tolerance – have marked the Museum since its foundation. The Museum is driven by an insatiable curiosity for the world, a deep belief in objects as reliable witnesses and documents of human history, sound research, as well as the desire to expand and share knowledge.”
The British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history and culture. Over 6 million visitors every year experience the collection. This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artefacts on the museum’s virtual tour.
Getting to the Museum
- An easy access route is available for disabled visitors and visitors with buggies.
- If you require assistance or the entrance into the Museum poses an access barrier, please let our uniformed staff know and they'll be happy to assist you.
- There are a limited number of on-site parking spaces available for visitors to the Museum who have a Blue Badge.
- There are Blue Badge parking bays near the Museum on Montague Place, Montague Street and Coptic Street.
- Please allow at least two working days' notice for bookings.
- On arrival at the Museum, the driver of the vehicle will be asked to show their driving license as proof of identity. Please have your Blue Badge clearly on display during your visit.
- Vehicle access for Blue Badge holders is through the main entrance on Great Russell Street.
Guide, assistance and companion animals
"Guide, assistant and companion animals – including assistant dogs in training – are welcome at the Museum, as long as they're working and are wearing their tabards/harness."General accessibility features:
Mobility accessibility features:
- Assistance animal welcome
- Disabled parking access
- Level or ramp access to front entrance
- Wheelchair hire available
- Accessible toilet
- The main entrance on Great Russell Street has 12 steps with a handrail.
- There are self-operable lifts on both sides of these steps.
- There is level access at the Montague Place entrance (postcode WC1E 7JW).
Lifts and access to galleries
- Most lifts in the Museum are wheelchair accessible, have audio announcements and include braille signage.
- Galleries with no lift or level access:
- Room 16: Greece – Bassai sculptures Mezzanine
- Room 69: Greek and Roman life Mezzanine
- Room 20a: Greek vases
- Wheelchair access to the Pizzeria is through a back-of-house route. Please ask a uniformed member of staff for assistance.
- Accessible toilets are available.
- We don't have a Changing Places toilet on-site. The nearest Changing Places toilet is at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Borrow a wheelchair
Vision accessibility features:
- Subject to availability, manual wheelchairs are available to borrow free of charge for your visit. These can be found at both the Great Russell Street and Montague Place entrance.
- Please allow at least two working days' notice for reservations.
- Audio description services
- Large print or high contrast menus and other signage
"Light levels vary across the Museum. Some of the Rooms are dimly lit to preserve the exhibits. Other rooms have natural or bright lights. We sometimes have moving lights as part of our exhibitions."
Audio descriptive guide
"The audio descriptive guide is available from the audio guide desk in the Great Court free of charge for blind or partially sighted visitors and others who find audio description helpful.
It contains detailed descriptions of objects along with curators' commentaries."
Large print guides, tactile guides and magnifying glasses
"Large print and tactile guides for selected galleries and some temporary exhibitions are available. Large print guides are available for all paid-for exhibitions and are downloadable from the relevant exhibition webpage, under the access tab.
Magnifying glasses are available to borrow from the Information Desk – a £5 deposit is required."Hearing accessibility features:
- Hearing loop or infrared assisted listening system
- Sign language assistance or interpretation services
Sound enhancement system/Induction loops
"Induction loops operate in The Clore Centre for Education lecture theatres, Information and Ticket Desks. We have two portable induction loops at the audio guide desk.
A sound enhancement system with portable induction loops is available for most lunchtime gallery talks and highlights tours (subject to availability)."
British Sign Language guide
"The British Sign Language (BSL) guide is available from the audio guide desk in the Great Court free of charge for Deaf or hard-of-hearing visitors.
Four dynamic presenters interpret the objects in the collection, introduce tours and provide context based on curators' commentaries – all on a high-resolution screen."Autism/Sensory accessibility features:
Autism/Sensory accessibility information:
- Information available in various types
Quieter times and sensory map
- View our sensory map.
- The Museum can sometimes be crowded and noisy.
- The quietest times to visit the Museum are between 10.00 and 11.00 when the galleries first open and again in the afternoon after 16.00.
- The middle of the day is usually the busiest time in the Museum galleries, cafés and shops.
- Please note that some Friday late openings have additional activities that can be busy and noisy – check our Exhibitions and events page when planning your visit.
Family sensory support bags
"Sensory support backpacks – designed as a fun way to help families explore the Museum – are available from the Families Desk in the Great Court.
They include an activity booklet to guide you around the Museum, giving you information about the collection and sensory-based activities you can complete along the route."