With more than eight million works, the British Museum is quite simply one of the world's greatest cultural institutions. Ancient Egyptian mummies, cabinets filled with jewellery of jaw-dropping grandeur, extraordinary friezes from the Parthenon in Athens and the Rosetta Stone - the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs - are just a few of the highlights. Gallery upon gallery is devoted to treasures from around the world.
The British Museum's collections are a reminder of a time when the British monarch ruled so much of the world. Opened in the 1850s, this was the first British collection that wasn't owned by the Crown or the Church, but was considered the property of the nation and made open to all. The setting, in a vast building in Bloomsbury, is an impressive one, made more so by an ultra-modern glassed Great Court designed by the eminent architect Norman Foster.
Entry to the permanent collections remains free to all, but many visitors are confused by the sheer scale of the collections. To avoid being overwhelmed, why not take a guided tour? Experts can take you to the highlights as well as to the corners of the British Museum that you might not have found for yourself. We'd recommend a coffee afterwards in the Great Court, relishing your new understanding of some of the greatest works humans have ever produced.