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Visiting London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is a great place for guests of all ages to learn more about the different vehicles and systems that have moved through London over the years. It’s a small museum that packs in plenty of interactive and fun things to do.

In this post, we’ll help you plan a perfect visit to the London Transport Museum. We’ll start with the basics, then go over the unique ticket options, things to do there and how much time you’ll need. Then we’ll wrap up with our thoughts on whether this museum is worth a visit and some tips to make the most out of your trip.

Let’s explore the London Transport Museum!

Where is the London Transport Museum?

The London Transport Museum is located in the Covent Garden district in London’s West End. The exact address is The Piazza, London WC2E 7BB, United Kingdom. The entrance is on the Piazza side near Covent Garden Market.

You can get to the London Transport Museum easily via public transportation. The closest Underground stop is Covent Garden, which serves the Picadilly line. Alternatively, it’s a <10 minute walk (0.4 miles) from the Temple Station stop which serves the District and Circle lines. There are also several buses that stop nearby. Check Google Maps for your exact transportation route.

When is the London Transport Museum Open?

London Transport Museum is open everyday from 10 AM to 6 PM, with the last entry allowed at 5 PM. There are a few select days when these hours may differ, so be sure to verify the official hours for your specific trip.

How Much are Tickets to the London Transport Museum?

There are three ticket options for the London Transport Museum, all of which are annual passes. The most popular ticket options for foreign tourists are the Unlimited Annual Pass and the Off-Peak Annual Pass, which vary only by allowed entry days and times.

The Unlimited Annual Pass is valid every day for a full year and costs £21 for adults. The Off-Peak Annual Pass costs £18.50, but you may only visit on weekdays after 2 PM (excluding school holidays).

If you are planning to visit during an off-peak time and don’t have plans to be back in London in the next year, you should choose the less expensive off-peak option. For all other visitors, the Unlimited Annual Pass is the best bet.

The final ticket option is the Annual Pass Plus which costs a steep £60. This ticket option includes admission to London Transport Museum and access to Depot Open Days. Depot Open Days are special festival-style events that take place a few times a year at the Depot in nearby Acton (35 minutes by train from the the London Transport Museum). Unless you’re planning to attend one of these events, this ticket is not worth the up-charge.

Can you buy a single day ticket for the London Transport Museum?

No, there is no single-day tickets for the London Transport Museum. The only ticket options are annual passes. Even if you only plan the visit the museum once, you’ll need to purchase an annual pass.

Is the London Transport Museum free?

The London Transport Museum is free for children under 17. Admission is also free for a select group of people who work with or support the London Transport Museum or Transport For London organizations.

Concessions are available for local residents, seniors, students and guests with disabilities.

You can learn more about these special ticket options here.

Where can you buy tickets for the London Transport Museum?

You can buy tickets online in advance or on-site at the museum. The ticket office is located at the museum entrance near the front of the store.

If you purchase online in advance, you will have the ability to confirm your preferred time slot as some entry times may sell out.

Do you need to make reservations at the London Transport Museum?

Yes. Whether you are buying a new annual pass, already have one, or are a free visitor, you will need to reserve a timed slot for entry.

If you are buying tickets on-site, as long as time slots are available, you can purchase your ticket and enter immediately.

What is there to do at the London Transport Museum?

The London Transport Museum has three floors of mostly interactive exhibits.

The ground floor starts with a special exhibit (currently London Transport’s Caribbean Workforce). Ideally, you then head up to the second floor (third floor to Americans who consider the ground floor the first floor) where you can learn about 19th Century London. Then the exhibits move chronologically as you work your way down.

On the first floor (or what Americans would consider the second floor), you’ll find exhibits about the growth of the suburbs and the world’s first underground train system. You’ll be able to walk inside an original steam engine and little ones can enjoy a family play zone.

Back on the ground floor, you can learn about how the train tunnels were built, the history and future of the London Transport system and even see life-size transport vehicles from the 1900s to today. There’s another family play zone on the ground floor.

The London Transport Museum also has a cafe and shop that is open to the public (no ticket required).

Is the London Transport Museum good for kids?

Absolutely. The museum has lots of hands-on exhibits and play areas that kids will love. There are full size trains, buses and trolleys that will impress little travelers of all ages. They can even jump behind the wheel of a bus or walk through an old train car.

The littlest ones will be most excited about the two play areas. They can climb aboard a double-decker bus, virtually sail a boat down the Thames or even pretend to be a bus mechanic. If your kids are anything like my 2-year-old, you will have to pull them out of here! The play areas are quite small though, so set your expectations accordingly.

Then there’s the store. It’s filled with toys and books and models that will delight every little transit enthusiast!

The London Transport Museum was definitely the highlight of our toddler’s first London visit. They also loved the London Eye, which is another great option for kids in London.

How long to spend at the London Transport Museum?

We suggest spending about 1 – 2 hours at the London Transport Museum. We personally spent 2 hours, which included generous time playing in the play zones and eating lunch in the cafe.

The museum is relatively small, but has three floors of exhibits which you could easily spend an hour or more reading and engaging with. There’s also a great store which deserves a wander.

If you’re visiting with young children, be sure to budget time for them to play in the play areas. These areas will be the most fun for younger children, probably in the 1-5 age group. (Our 2-year-old LOVED it.) We recommend spending at least 15 minutes in each of the two play spaces.

If you plan to eat lunch, that will take another 30 minutes as the service is slow. (Though honestly, there are much better food options in the area.)

Special Events at the London Transport Museum

The London Transport museum offers a variety of special events throughout the year. There are family friend events like singing and story time and even SEND Explorer events which provide a better environment for kids with sensory sensitivity.

They also host Museum Lates for adult guests. These after-hour events allow adults to enjoy the museum while sipping a cocktail and listening to expert speakers.

You can find the full event calendar here.

Is the London Transport Museum worth visiting?

If you’re visiting with kids, absolutely. Kids enter free, which makes up for the inflated annual pass pricing for adults. Younger kids will have the most fun here, making it really appealing for families with small children.

It’s also great for anyone who loves public transportation, trains and general urbanism. If any of those things appeal to you, you’re bound to find something interesting.

Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t prioritize this one for a first visit. You’ll be better off spending your museum time and budget on things like Tower of London, British Museum or the free Tate Modern.

The London Transport Museum is a good option for repeat London visitors, who have already hit the more popular museums. Another one of our favorite activities for repeat London visitors is the Little Venice canal boats, which we’ve also written a helpful guide for.

Tips for Visiting the London Transport Museum

We had a great time visiting the London Transport Museum, but we did learn a few things along the way. Here are our best tips for a great visit.

  1. Avoid weekdays. This seems a little counter-intuitive as most people would assume that the weekends are most crowded. While that is partially true, weekdays get packed with school and camp groups. We would prefer the higher parent-to-child ratio of weekend family crowds over the student-to-teacher ratio of youth groups any day.
  2. Arrive early. We suggest visiting the museum when it opens around 10 AM. Not only will you get lower crowds, but that’ll put you in the heart of Covent Garden when you wrap up around noon. You can get lunch at a nearby restaurant and spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the West End, like Chinatown, Picadilly Circus and Regent, Oxford and Carnaby Streets.
  3. Consider a city pass. There are a few different passes that allow you to visit multiple attractions in London for a set price. The London Transport Museum is an included attraction with The London Pass and the Go City London Explorer pass. If you have either of these passes, it’s worth stopping by. However, I wouldn’t buy these expensive passes with the London Transport Museum as your main priority as there are much higher value attractions also included.
  4. Visit the store. Even if you don’t visit the museum, we would recommend popping into the store which is free to enter. They have the cutest toys and books for kids and some great apparel and accessories for adults.
  5. Get coffee at % Arabica. This beautiful craft coffee shop was founded in Kyoto and now has 122 locations around the world. It’s one of our favorite coffee shops and we try to go whenever we find one. The Covent Garden location was their first in the UK and just steps from the London Transport Museum.

Closing Thoughts

We had a great visit to the London Transport Museum. Over several trips to London, we’ve developed quite a love for the London Underground train system, so we were excited to learn more about its history.

We had read that it was good for kids, and that was definitely true. Our toddler had the best time. The location is perfect for a museum that doesn’t take up too much time. It’s easy to build a really fun day that includes a visit to the transport museum.

We don’t currently have plans to return to London again within the year, but we kept our ticket just in case. If we end up there while our annual pass is still valid, we’ll certainly pop in again.

Have you been to the London Transport Museum? Is it on your itinerary? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.