London's Victoria and Albert Museum

Explore The World's Largest Museum of Decorative Arts and Design

••• © Laura Porter, licensed to About.com, Inc.

About The Victoria and Albert Museum:

Always free to visit, The V&A is a fantastic museum that celebrates the world of decorative art and design. It was founded in 1852 and holds over 5,000 year's worth of artifacts from many of the world's richest cultures, including the most comprehensive collection of British art and design from 1500 to 1900. It's home to a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects, including furniture, ceramics, photography, sculpture, silver, ironwork, jewelry and much more.

It was officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1857 and it was London's first museum to offer late night openings (the galleries were illuminated by gas light). 

Where to Eat: The V&A Cafe is split across three beautifully-designed period rooms, including the world's first museum restaurant. The rooms were decorated by top British designers, James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter. You can also dine in the garden when it's warm enough. There are courtyard tables or you can take a picnic out onto the lawn. Cafe highlights include a Victorian afternoon tea and a range of flavorful salads and deli-style dishes. 

What to Buy: The museum shop stocks a great selection of custom designed prints, chunky art books, jewelry and all sorts of affordable trinkets relating to current exhibitions. You can also 

Family-Friendly Highlights: The museum offers regular tours and hands-on exhibitions and events for families.

You can also pick up a free back pack for children aged between 5 and 12 throughout the museum. The bags are packed with stories, games and activities. 

Address:

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Nearest Tube Station:

South Kensington

Use the Online Journey Planner to plan your route using public transport.

Telephone Number:

020 7942 2000

Official Website:

www.vam.ac.uk

Opening Times:

Daily from 10am until 5.45pm

The museum is open every Friday until 10pm.