Founded in 1753 to house a number of collections left to the state by Sir Hans Sloane, the British Museum opened its doors to the public in 1759 in Bloomsbury.
The building was soon found to be too small, and as a result Robert Smirke designed the current neo-classical building in 1823. The central courtyard space was adapted with a design by Norman Foster. The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court, which opened in 2000, is the largest covered public space in Europe.
With its extensive collections of art and antiques from ancient times to the present day, the British Museum covers an astounding 2 million years of human history.
You will find 10 main departments, including Africa, Oceania, Egypt, Asia, Greece, Rome, the Middle East, and Prehistory. The British Museum has the second largest collection of Ancient Egyptian art in the world (after Cairo Museum). It is also home to the famous Rosetta Stone, the great bust of Ramses II and the Elgin Marbles, the stunning carved stone decorations from the Parthenon in Athens.
All year long :
From Saturday to Thursday from 10:00 to 17:30
Friday from 10:00 to 20:30
Admission prices :
Closed on 1 January and 25 December