London British Museum Facts

Posted on Jun 15, 2023 by Questo Team

As one of the most significant cultural establishments globally, the British Museum, located in the heart of London, garners attention from history enthusiasts, art lovers, and curious tourists alike.

This monumental museum, which boasts an incredibly diverse collection of over eight million works, serves as a testament to human history, culture, and art from the dawn of civilization to the present day. In this article, we delve into the fascinating details of the British Museum's construction, the best times to visit, intriguing facts, curiosities, and how to enhance your visit by exploring the area through the interactive Questo app.

Construction Details

The British Museum's roots trace back to 1753 when Sir Hans Sloane bequeathed his vast collection of curiosities to King George II. The museum originally occupied Montagu House, a 17th-century mansion, but as its collection expanded, so too did the need for a more substantial building. The current structure, designed by Sir Robert Smirke, was built in stages between 1823 and 1852. The museum exemplifies Greek Revival architecture, with the iconic pedimented portico and columned façade inspired by ancient Greek temples.

The central quadrangle of the museum was enclosed in the mid-19th century, creating the famous Reading Room and surrounding galleries. In the late 20th century, architect Lord Norman Foster redesigned the courtyard, creating the spectacular Queen Elizabeth II Great Court – the largest covered public square in Europe, featuring a magnificent tessellated glass roof.

Best Time to Visit

The British Museum is open throughout the year, with peak times being weekends and school holidays. To avoid the busiest times, visit on weekday mornings. It's also worth noting that the museum stays open late on Fridays, a great opportunity to explore the exhibits in a less rushed atmosphere.

Explore with Questo

The area surrounding the British Museum boasts rich historical and cultural offerings. To make your exploration more engaging, consider using the Questo app. This app offers outdoor escape games and city exploration games, transforming your journey into an interactive adventure. Questo allows you to unravel stories about the area, learn fun facts, and discover hidden gems around the British Museum.

Fun Facts

  1. The British Museum is home to the Rosetta Stone, discovered in 1799, which played a crucial role in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.

  2. With over 8 million works, the museum's collection is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, representing over two million years of history.

  3. The museum's collection is so extensive that if you were to spend a minute looking at each individual item, it would take several lifetimes to see them all.


The British Museum has housed many unusual items throughout its history. The 'cursed' Amherst Papyrus, a document from ancient Egypt detailing a tomb robbery, has been associated with the superstition of the 'Curse of the Pharaohs.' The museum also contains the oldest known image of Christ, the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, and an Easter Island statue named Hoa Hakananai'a.


The British Museum is a treasure trove of global history and culture. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles, its exhibits tell captivating stories that stretch across time and geography. Enhance your museum visit and exploration of the surrounding area with the Questo app, offering a unique, immersive adventure that uncovers hidden stories and secrets. A visit to the British Museum provides a deep connection to the past and a broader understanding of human history and achievement. Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, or a curious traveler, the British Museum