Jan 23, 2020 @

Victoria and Albert museum Kensington London entrance

Victoria and Albert museum in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea area of London is in my book a must visit. I am kind of surprised at myself that it took this long to check it out! I just had no idea what we were missing. As they say, better late than never because, not only did we enjoy visiting the museum for the first time on this latest London visit, we actually went back again for a second time within the same week. Yeah..it’s that good!


awesome victoria and albert museum

John Madejski garden.Made of red brick and Portland Stone.  A nice place to relax and grab a bite if you can find a table.

Victoria and Albert Museum: Awesome History

Back entrance of Victoria and Albert Museum London

The Victoria and Albert museum cafe is outdoors and the tables are meant for the patrons, but it didn’t seem to matter.

The Victoria and Albert museum (V&A) was founded in 1852. It is of course named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert who was also her first cousin. Those royals just didn’t believe in spreading their wealth did they?. Has much changed nowadays? :-).

Victoria and Albert museum started life as the Museum of Manufactures and the collections were of applied arts and science. Queen Victoria made her last official appearance at the laying of the foundation stone on May 17, 1899. The name was officially changed then. Her speech ended with the words ” I trust that it will remain for ages a Monument of discerning Liberality and a Source of Refinement and Progress”. Mission accomplished!

3 reasons why Victoria and Albert museum is worthy of a visit:

  • Immense size filled top to bottom
  • Variety of the collection
  • Free entry
victoria and albert museum london

Just one of the many rooms on the first floor.


woman sitting on curved bench inside Victoria and Albert museum London

I read somewhere its 7 miles spread out over 4 floors. Whew!


Chinese kimono on display in museum

I think you could still wear any of these pieces today.


victoria and albert museum st. peter with horns

Saint Peter with horns. I read why, but can’t remember :-).


victoria and albert museum bust egyptian heads

Some of the artifacts in Victoria and Albert museum in London include these well preserved busts.

Victoria and Albert Museum Size:

The V&A museum has 145 galleries in over twelve acres! It houses over 5,000 years worth of art from Europe, America, Africa and Asia. It is important to have a battle plan when you visit. We had mistakenly thought we could see the collection in about 3-4 hours. That is until we got there ;-). I had wanted to see the textiles and fashion collection while Federico was interested in seeing the photography one.

Both display sections were on the second floor and armed with our map, we were on our merry way. The only problem was that we were easily sidetracked by all the amazing works of art that we had to pass by and of course stopped to admire. Before we knew it, several hours had passed without making it to the second floor. We decided to come back a couple of days later. We did make it to the second floor this time, but only to the photography section.

The fashion  collection will have to wait for another time. I really want to see the old Victorian wedding gowns especially. My point is you could literally spend a few hours a day for a week straight and still not see everything. At last count, the Victoria and Albert museum has over 6 million objects.

Even though not all are on display (4.5 million permanent)  at any one time, you can see what l mean about the size. Just the sculptures number over 17,000 including full size replicas of Michelangelo’s David and Bernini’s Rape of Persephone among others. Even having seen the originals at the Borghese Gallery, we were still duly impressed. Since there is a lot of walking to be done, comfortable shoes are a must.

V & A Exhibitions: Rotating Exhibitions Include

  • Cars
  • Rachel Kneebone
  • Kimono
  • Bags
  • Renaissance Watercolours
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Epic Iran
Roman artefacts at Victoria and Albert London

A duplicate of the Bologna Cathedral door. can be found at Albert and Victoria museum,

fallen Jesus and 3 women comforting him

This is so realistic looking and definitely moves you.

Sun sculpture in Albert and Victoria museum


Variety of artwork:

No matter what your taste in art is, it’s almost a guarantee that you would find something to your liking. Furniture, metal work, ceramics, glass, paintings, sculptures, miniatures, fashion, even musical instruments. The list goes on. If for some insane reason none of these appeal to you and you consider yourself a bookworm, rejoice in the fact that the Victoria and Albert museum also has one of the biggest collection of books in the world.

Over 750,000 of these books, and they include important books like the Codex Forster, some of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. Famous popular authors like Charles Dickens and Beatrix Potter are also well represented. There is just no pleasing you if you can’t find something to love ;-).

victoria and albert museum samurai on display with war gear

I was fascinated by the Japanese collection and loved this realistic Samurai behind the glass in Albert museum London.


Chinese kimono and face masks on dispaly at museum

Victoria and Albert museum exhibitions include these Kabuki masks and robe.


Old Chinese man with fu manchu moustache on display Albert and Victoria museum

V & A collections include what I called Fumanchu, but is actually a famous Chinese guardian.


v&a museum horse

South Kensington museum V&A – A type of horse Imported breed from Central Asia that was stronger and bigger. AD 220



victoria and albert museum chinese dynasty bench

VA museum collection Imperial throne from Qing Dynasty.


victoria and albert museum london artifacts of pots

The V & A London – Love the one to the bottom left cooking pot :-).


victoria and albert museum python bag

V&A exhibitions. Not real, even though l wouldn’t want to carry this python bag.

Victoria Albert Museum Roman Room:

albert and victoria museum cast of rape of persephone

V&A London – a very impressive cast of the Persephone masterpiece. The original of course is at the Borghese Gallery in Rome.


David sculpture replica at the V & A museum in London

Micheangelo’s David, another amazing cast at Victoria Albert museum.

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Free Admission to the Victoria and Albert Museum:

This is perhaps the best reason of all. London is a very expensive city. Sure, you can visit and do things to cut down on the costs, but overall, compared to other places, you will spend more. Any activities you can do freely is therefore welcome. The Victoria and Albert museum is funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Like all other national British museums, entry to the Victoria and Albert museum is free. Gratis!

Compare that to the entry fee of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston ($25) or €15 for the Louvre and you see what an awesome deal this is. If there is a special exhibition, there is a charge for that. There is an upcoming Pink Floyd one which we would have loved to see and would gladly pay for. These are reasons why l think a visit to the very awesome Victoria and Albert museum is a must. It is wall to wall chock full of good stuff! Next time we’re in London, we’ll pick up where we left off :-).

marble casket and man at v#a museum london

Museum of London V&A We could have spent way more time. Not sure who this is. They were remodeling that section.


busts at v#a museum london

These busts are located close to the Victoria and Albert museum cafe.


Angel with hands in prayer sculpture at Albert and Victoria museum

A praying angel in the Roman section of the V and A museum London

Tips on visiting Victoria and Albert Museum London:

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • You can check your coats and small items at the coat check for £1 if you don’t want to lug it around.
  • Consider bringing some water and your own packed lunch to save money. There is a cafe at the museum, but the prices are dear for what you get. £7 for a simple sandwich and £3 for a sliver of cake ;-). Better yet, visit on a full stomach. It’s a posh area and the closest cafe to the bus stop we saw was pretty expensive.
  • How to get to V & A museum – The nearest tube station is South Kensington station, just a 4 minute walk from there. It’s on the same road as the world famous Harrods department store in Knightsbridge,  so you could walk another 10 minutes from there or take the C1 bus and get off at the museum stop.
  • If you’re short on time, determine what collections you would like to visit before hand. Grab a map upon entry at the information desk and head straight there. It is very easy to get distracted.
  • Since you are in London, carrying a lightweight raincoat is a good thing as it rains so frequently.
  • There is also a Victoria and Albert museum shop so you can purchase your favorite books and other works of art for a lasting memory

How long to visit Victoria and Albert Museum:

While you could easily spend a whole day there at the museum and still not see half of the collection, you should allow yourself at least four to five hours in my opinion if you can’t spare the whole day. It is immense and easily the best museum in London bar none.

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Victoria and Albert Museum Hours: (V&A Opening Times)

V&A museum site

10AM-5:45PM Daily

10AM- 10PM Fridays

Have you visited Albert and Victoria museum? If yes, what did you think of it? If not, is this a place you would care to visit? What collection would you head for?