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British Museum Tour: A Guided Crash Course

Survey the museum's many treasures from antiquity
From US$146 for 1 person
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Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
British Museum
Photos & Highlights
  • Tour the British Museum with an expert guide to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the museum's collections.
  • Our local experts offer insights and perspectives on these remarkable exhibits -- that you might not otherwise discover on your own.
Tour Description
Did you know that the British Museum's collection includes over 8 million objects, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world? The Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles, and the Assyrian Lion Hunt are just some of the treasures we’ll see in this three-hour, in-depth British Museum tour. With a local expert, you can gain deeper insights, context, and perspectives on the exhibits, and make the most of your visit. Led by a licensed archaeologist or historian, this walk not only explores the museum and its controversial history of collecting but goes in-depth with some of its many works from antiquity. Together, we'll rediscover not only the museum's well-known Ancient Egyptian and Greek treasures, but some of its lesser-known—but no less magnificent—Assyrian, Persian, and Mesopotamian artifacts.

Please note: All museum exhibits are subject to closure at short notice. Your expert will be able to explain any closures to you at the start of the tour and refocus the tour on the available exhibits if necessary.


  • Timed admission tickets
  • 3 hours with a Ph.D. or MA-level guide
We generally start with a thorough overview of how the British Museum came into existence in the mid-eighteenth century. Beginning with the Enlightenment Gallery, formerly known as the King’s Library, the first part of the new museum building, we will discuss how the discipline of archaeology evolved from the work of antiquaries and also look at how art history was born with the study of ancient Greek sculpture and vase painting. 

Next, we’ll traverse the halls of the museum, visiting its most important rooms. This includes the Egyptian collection, where we’ll explore how ancient texts came to be deciphered in the first place and compare the ways in which hieroglyphs and cuneiform, the two earliest scripts, were cracked. We will also spend some time exploring the Rosetta Stone, and some of the nearly 130,000 pieces of cuneiform tablets from ancient Iraq that are on display. Depending on our interests or our guide’s specialty, we may also focus on the art of ancient Iran and/or ancient Iraq, or delve into the Parthenon Marbles. At the end of our time together we will emerge with a better understanding of this major institution and its key role in intellectual life worldwide, leaving us with a sense of wonder and appreciation.

Interested in learning more about British History? Check out our Tower of London Tour or our Churchill War Rooms Tour. Or take one of our upcoming seminars.
Do we need to pay for a ticket to get in?
No. Unless you want to see one of the temporary exhibitions, the museum is free. However, donations are greatly appreciated.

Is the British Museum accessible?
Yes. The Great Russell Street entrance has 12 steps with a handrail. There are self-operable lifts on both sides of the steps. There is level access at the Montague Place entrance. The majority of galleries and all special exhibitions are fully accessible.

Is this tour good for kids and teens?
Yes! We have some excellent family-friendly guides who can appeal to the learning styles of children. We have a separate British Museum Tour for Kids just for families with children 12 and under. When booking, please provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible guide.

There are 8 in my group but your website won't allow me to include more than 7 participants. Can't you make an exception?
No, unfortunately, due to venue reservation restrictions, we cannot accommodate groups larger than 7 people. If your group is larger, we recommend you split into multiple groups.

Where You'll Start
389 Reviews (4.81)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

He is very kind, show us and explained interesting pieces of different civilizations
I wish I could leave more stars. It was incredible. Lawrence was so knowledgeable and funny also. Having the context made the tour so worth it. I am actually going on a trip to Egypt later this year now I kind of know what to look for. I am a museum fanatic, so I will now probably always take a tour guide instead of just doing it on my own. I don't know how much y'all are paying
Lawrence was terrific as was the tour. He brought to life relics from the past with energy , humor and an impressive understanding of history as seen through the eyes of an archaeologist. We’ll worth your time if you have the opportunity to book his tour .

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