In a classical columned and domed 1857 building, this museum accommodates one of the world's greatest collections of antiquities (and a vast crowd of visitors). You'll have to walk more than 2 mi/3 km to take in all 94 galleries.
The Great Court is a dramatic space—the tessellated glass roof makes it the biggest covered square in Europe. Be sure to stop at the controversial and beautiful Elgin Marbles, which were stripped from the Parthenon in Athens by Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin and ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in 1806. Greece has been lobbying for their return for decades.
A new exhibition center next door is planned for 2013. Daily 10 am-5:30 pm (selected galleries open to 8:30 pm Thursday and Friday); Great Court daily 9 am-6 pm (Thursday-Saturday till 11 pm). Free except for special exhibitions; multimedia tours £4.50 adults; free 50-minute introductory tours of various collections throughout the day. See timetable on arrival.
Great Russell Street (Tube station: Holborn, Russell Square, Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road), London WC1. Phone 020-7323-8299 for information, 020-7323-8181 for bookings.