Top 10 best science museums in London

Whether you're a science buff, a budding surgeon or just have a curious mind, London is full of fascinating science and medical museums.

From the world famous, ultra-modern Science Museum to the tiny, 19th-century Old Operating Theatre, the capital has science and medical museums to suit all tastes and budgets; many offer free admission, too. 

1. Science Museum Free

Want to discover and interact with the major scientific advances of the last 300 years? Then head to the Science Museum. Get hands on with interactive exhibits at the Wonderlab gallery; take a virtual reality trip through space, catch a glimpse into the future through technology and much more.

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2. Anaesthesia Heritage Centre Free

Whether you're an anaesthetist or just curious, the collection at London's unusual Anaesthesia Heritage Centre – which counts more than 2,000 objects dated from 1774 to the present day – provides an absorbing story and historical account of advancements in medicine and pain relief. 

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3. British Dental Association Museum Free

For a day out that'll make you glad anaesthetic was invented, take a trip to the British Dental Association Museum. From barber surgeons to toothdrawers, rotten teeth to the first painful root canals, and 19th-century dental floss to clockwork drills, you can relive the history of dentistry in all its gory glory.

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4. Florence Nightingale Museum

Journey through the life and times of the "Lady with the Lamp" and discover what made Florence Nightingale so legendary. See the Turkish lantern she used in the Crimean War, her medicine chest – complete with a powdered rhubarb herbal remedy – and learn the astonishing story of this remarkable woman's life. Read More
Prices from £7.50 Book now

5. Museum at St Bartholomew's Hospital

This museum brings the history of St Bartholomew's Hospital (or Barts) to life using interactive displays. Be transported back into the world of a 13th-century sister or a 15th-century apprentice surgeon and study original drawings that illustrate interesting cases.

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6. Kirkaldy Testing Museum

A must for anyone with a love of machines and engineering. Opened in 1874 as David Kirkaldy’s Testing and Experimenting Works, his 116-ton "universal testing machine" still works and was used to test materials’ strength for bridges, locomotives, ships, airliners and more.

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Prices from £5.00

7. The Museum at the Royal Institution Free

This grand old building has been home to some of the world's greatest scientific minds and now houses artefacts used in history's most famous experiments. Discover how scientists built the first transformer or try your hand at the chemical elements game at The Faraday Museum at the Royal Institution.

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8. Body Worlds at the London Pavilion

A skeleton with part bone part flesh sitting crossed legged with one arm placed in its leg and the other across the shoulder in a pondering stance
The Ponderer. Photo by Jeff Moore. Image courtesy of Borkowski Arts.
Gain a better insight into the workings of the human body and see how differing lifestyles impact on our bodies at Body Worlds at the London Pavilion. This unique permanent exhibition even features 25 real bodies which have been preserved using the process of plastination. Read More
Prices from £22.50 Book now

9. Old Operating Theatre

This restored 19th-century operating theatre tells the story of surgery and herbal medicine. The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret is housed on top of a church, and the building provides the central point for a display and collection which tells the story of medicine from the 13th to 19th century.

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Prices from £6.50

10. Wellcome Collection Free

A museum for curious minds, the Wellcome Collection gives visitors a unique insight into what it means to be human. Many collections are nothing short of bizarre, from a Peruvian mummified man to a robot used in the human genome project. Free guided tours take place most days.

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