New York, I hate to break it to you, but I think London is my new home and favourite city. Not only is it historical, full of winding streets, beautiful architecture, cheap Indian food, and gorgeous men with British accents, but it also has this lovely little thing called “Museum Lates.”
First off, all of the major museums (actually, the majority of the museums in London) are absolutely FREE. You have to pay for special exhibits, but the main museums are free of charge, so you can just walk in, stay for an hour, and then come back another day. I love this because I am a huge museum-goer, but often get museumed- out after about 3 or so hours and stop being able to focus because I am in desperate need of a break and some fresh air. I force myself to stay, though, because I paid admission and want to get the full value of what I paid for. This is not an issue in London, because I don’t have to feel guilty about killing an hour at the British Museum just to check out their African art galleries with every intention of coming back another day. Some (looking at you, Ben!) may call this a socialist invention, but for the nerdy and short-on-funds study abroad student, this is a brilliant concept.
I’m so fortunate to live right near several major museums. The British Museum (which is really a relic of British imperialism which makes for an interesting experience) is literally a 4-minute walk from my flat, and the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are less than ten minutes away in Trafalgar Square. The Tate Modern is a walk down to the South Bank, and there is a lovely trio of museums - the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Victoria&Albert - just a short Tube ride away in South Kensington. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface (those are just the ones I’ve visited so far - there will be more!). London is my dream city :)
What’s even better is that the museums become a social event. On certain nights of the week (mostly Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), certain museums are open late, serving drinks, sponsoring special classes, or just bringing in a different crowd of people. Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s my idea of a perfect Friday night, either by myself or on a date. To all the beautiful, intellectual men out there, take note!
I’ll be sure to do posts on all of the museums I’ve visited, but this is just my introduction to my quest to dive into all the museum culture that London has to offer! For now...
Inspired to be,