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Science Museum visual story

This visual story provides images and text to help you prepare for your visit to Science Museum. 

You can also explore our museum collection online or view a 360° tour of our galleries. We have a sensory map to highlight noise, light, smell and crowd levels across the Museum.

Before you arrive

Opening times and ticket booking

The museum is open daily, 10.00–18.00 (last entry 17.15).  

During school holidays the museum is open Monday–Sunday, 10.00–18.00 (last entry 17.15).

Galleries start to close 30 minutes before the museum closes.

You need to book a free ticket before coming.

Quiet times

The museum tends to be less busy on weekdays and at the end of the day. During school holidays it is busy throughout the week. 

Getting here

Key transport routes

The exterior of South Kensington tube
Entrance to South Kensington tube

The nearest tube station is South Kensington. This is on the Piccadilly, District and Circle lines and is a 10-minute walk from the museum.

You can find more directions to the museum on the Visit page.

A small number of disabled parking spaces are available on Exhibition Road. Blue Badge holders can park here for four hours between 08.30 and 18.30.

When you arrive

Museum entrance

Light stone doorway with Science Museum signs and barriers for queuing. Staff and visitors stand outside.

This is the museum entrance. 

When it’s a little busier at the museum there may be queues outside the entrance. 

A white woman and a black man wearing smart black jackets and green ties stand in the Science Museum doorway

Please speak to a member of staff if this is a worry and they will be able to help you skip the queue. You can also find them in the Museum if you require assistance or have any questions. 

Our security officers wear black jackets and a green tie.

On arrival

Bicycle Tour in the entrance to the Science Museum
'Bicycle Cloud' installation in the entrance to the Science Museum

When you enter the museum, staff members will welcome you and show you how to scan your ticket.

Sometimes our security officers will ask to search your bag. This is just routine and to make sure you don’t have restricted items like alcohol, fireworks or knives

White person wearing a face covering holds out their mobile phone under a scanner, operated by Science Museum colleague

There is an information desk in the Energy Hall. You can also buy tickets here for exhibitions, IMAX films or other experiences in the museum.

Ticket desk at the Science Museum
Visitors walking past big, old industrial machinery in the Energy Hall, towards the information desk

A member of staff will be able to help answer any questions. Museum staff wear black and green t-shirts with green lettering.

A smiling Explainer wearing Science Museum uniform stands in front of a ticket desk

At the information desk you can borrow ear defenders. 

A pair of black and pink ear defenders on top of a pink paper museum map

You can pick up a museum map here too. You can also download one in advance.

This is an Explainer. You can find them in certain galleries across the Museum. They help explain science to our visitors through demonstrations.  

Science Museum Explainer performing the Liquid Light experiment in Wonderlab The Equinor Gallery

Around the museum

There are hand sanitisers located through-out the museum. 

A silver hand sanitiser dispenser with pink information sign
Person in a white blazer using a hand sanitiser dispenser

Self-service Lockers

We have self-service lockers located on level -1 of the museum. Please note that these lockers are card payment only.

When scanning the locker QR codes, please ensure you follow the correct link to the Science Museum website if using a third party QR code app

Signage and wayfinding

In some galleries we have signage to help direct you. 

Maps are located throughout the museum

A pink sign reading 'keep left' on a green carpeted floor

We have lifts and stairs to take you to all levels of the museum. 

Glass and metal lifts in a bright foyer space

Seats are located throughout the museum.

A black bench between a staircase and orange double doors

Key galleries and exhibits

There are lots of galleries in the museum. 

Here are some highlights.

Level -1: The Garden

The Garden is an exciting interactive space for children aged 3–6 and their parents and carers

The Garden is an interactive gallery designed for our youngest visitors. Little ones can play their way through water, light, sound and construction.

Level 0: Energy Hall

The Energy Hall is a big light area with lots of big objects.

Red Mill enging in the Energy Hall on the ground floor of the Science Museum

This gallery tells the story of steam and how it shaped the world we live in today.

At various points throughout the week the Mill Engine (pictured) will be in operation. It’s an exciting sight but can be noisy.

Level 0: Exploring Space

The Exploring Space gallery is quite dark and can be busy. 

Dark gallery space with large planet model and space craft suspended from the ceiling

Objects are suspended from the ceiling including two real space rockets—a British Black Arrow and a United States Scout. You can also see Tim Peake’s spacecraft and a real piece of the Moon.

There are sensors on some of the objects in this gallery. An alarm will go off if objects are touched. 

We ask people not to touch objects so they last as long as possible. 

Adult and children visitors looking at a spacecraft in a darkened gallery

Level 0: Making the Modern World

Making the Modern World is a big light gallery. 

A white man, woman and a small boy look at a large locomotive in a bright gallery

It contains some of the museum’s most remarkable objects big and small. 

Level 0: Pattern Pod

Pattern Pod is a multi-sensory area for children under 8 years old. Children can explore water ripples without getting their feet wet, create symmetrical images on touch screens, follow robot trails and much more.

Sometimes queues can form here but speak to a member of staff if that presents a barrier.  

Pattern Pod is an amazing multi-sensory area for children under 8 years old

Level 1: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

A Black woman kneels at the base of a tall gold statue of a man, pointing up at it. Next to her a young black girl looks up in awe.

Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries is the biggest gallery in the museum, it is light and bright with a few dark areas. The gallery is divided into four sections: 

Medicine and Bodies: This part of the gallery is black and red, it can be dark in some places. It contains some models you can touch.

Medicine and Treatments: This gallery is very bright with lots of natural light. The objects here are about surgery. 

Bright gallery space with objects in white glass-fronted cases

Medicine and Communities: This part of the gallery is bright with lots of natural light. This section explores mental health treatments which may be upsetting for some visitors. It also contains human remains. 
Faith, Hope and Fear: This section is purple and is dark and quiet. There are religious objects here.

A dark gallery space with ceiling-height cases full of objects

Level 3: Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery is an interactive, experience for all the senses. You will need a ticket to enter this gallery. You can book online in advance or book at any ticket desk in the museum.

A dark interactive gallery space with twinkly lights in the ceiling

You can enjoy live science shows and demonstrations, meet our wonderful science Explainers, and reveal the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives.

An Explainer holds a small object in tongs and sets it alight, watched by a group of school children

Live shows can include sudden, loud noises. These will be highlighted in Wonderlab on the day of your visit.

Level 2: Information Age

Information Age explores information and communication technologies. There are seven touchable objects in the gallery. 

Small brass Morse code transmitter on a white tabletop

Level 3: Flight

Flight is a big gallery with lots of planes and other flying machines. It is quite dark.

Flight galleries

Café areas and shops

There are places to buy food and drink in the museum. 

  • The Energy Café is on level 0
  • The Gallery Café is on level 2 (this is often quieter than The Energy Cafe)
  • There is a Shake Bar on level 3
  • The Diner is open on the weekends on level 0
Bright cafe space with lots of tables and lime green walls

We also have a picnic area if you want to bring your own food. 

Picnic area on level 3

There is a shop on level 0. 

Bright, large gift shop with black shelves and tables full of souvenirs


We have toilets on each floor of the museum. Toilets have hand driers which can be noisy.

We have a changing places toilet on level 0. You need a RADAR key to use this. 

Please speak to a member of staff if you need to use this facility and don’t have a key. 

Accessible shower and toilet with grey floor and a light blue bench

Multi-faith room

We have a multi-faith room on level 2. 

White wall with a black doorway. Text on the wall reads 'multi-faith room and quiet contemplation room'
A bright room with white walls, blue carpet, two blue armchairs and a small coffee table

Family Room

We have a Family Room on -1.

If you need to take a break or would like a quiet space staff can direct you to one of these spaces. 

White-walled room with baby changing units, two grey armchairs and blue floor

Alarms and announcements

Closing announcements will be made at 5:30 each day.

 In the event of an evacuation, you will hear a siren and announcement saying:

'Attention please, attention please, an incident has been reported in the building. Please leave via the nearest exit. Do not use the lifts.'

Staff will show you to the nearest exit. 


If you want to visit the Museum out of hours why not come to our Sensory Astronights, Early Birds or Night Owls events?

These are sensory friendly events for visitors who need a quieter environment to enjoy the museum.

Part of the Science Museum Group