If you're a lover of anything and everything science-related, then a visit to London's Science Museum is a must. But with a 3D IMAX cinema, an interactive flight simulator and a Discovery Motion Theatre, you don't necessarily have to be a lover of chemistry or physics to appreciate the Science Museum in its entirety.

The Science Museum is actually Europe's most visited science and technology museum, and attracts more than 3.3 million people every year. Located in South Kensington, the Science Museum's origins can be traced all the way back to 1857 when the South Kensington Museum opened at what is now the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 1909, it was decided that the science and engineering collections at the V&A Museum would be moved to a separate location, and thus the Science Museum was born.

The Science Museum, 3D flight simulators. By Kevin Christoper Burke The Science Museum, Apollo 10 lunar capsule. By Chris Devers
The Science Museum, IMAX Theatre The Science Museum, Launcpad Centre. By Heather Cowper The Science Museum, cars. By Richard Jones

Science Museum Highlights

Today the Science Museum houses more than 300,000 objects which are spread out over seven floors and categorized by topic (such as medicine, nuclear power, photography, electricity, food, technology, transportation, and much more).

Some of the most famous items located in the Science Museum include:

  • The Discovery Motion Theatre (where visitors can watch a documentary as well as an animated Legend of Apollo film in 3D with special effects – which may even include water, wind, flashing lights and moving seats!)
  • The Launch Pad (a hands-on gallery so children can “explore basic scientific principles”).
  • The Apollo 10 command module and flight simulator (which went around the moon in 1969).
  • The Exploring Space Galleries (which also include a three-metre-high telescope which was flown on British space missions).
  • A model of the world's first international satellite.
  • Full-scale models of Beagle 2 Mars Lander and the Huygens Titan probe.
  • The first ever jet engine.
  • The Clockmakers' Collection (which is the oldest display of clocks and watches in the world).
  • Britain's first broadcast transmitter.
  • Original design drawings and motor car construction records of Hooper & Co.
  • The Apollo 11 Flight Plan which was signed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin
  • A full- size replica of "Eagle” (the lander which took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon in 1969).
  • The Gray-Milne seismograph (circa 1885).
  • A Soviet BESM 1965 super computer.
  • A reconstruction of James Watson and Francis Crick's model of DNA.

Special Tips

  • If you're a London Pass holder, you can get 10% off at the Science Museum shop (if you spend over £10)
  • If you want to avoid the crowds, then try to visit later in the afternoon on a weekday.
  • If you're visiting with children, then make sure you head down to the basement so the kids can play in a fun-filled play zone and water-play area.
  • Some areas of the museum may be dimly lit, so those with visual impairment may struggle to read some of the information in the exhibits.