Enlightenment Gallery

Out-of-hours tours

Tour information


Daily: 08.50–10.00 

Meeting point

Main entrance – Great Russell Street (WC1B 3DG)
Please bring your email confirmation.

Ticket information

Advance booking only
£33 (Adults)
£30 (Members)
£30 (Concessions: students, jobseekers, disabled visitors)
£16.50 (Ages 5–15 years)
Free for under 5s and disabled visitors' assistant (no booking required)

For any queries on booking please email: tickets@britishmuseum.org

Experience the highlights of the collection in private with our volunteer-led out-of-hours tours.

Whether you want to navigate the history of the ancient Greeks or walk in the footsteps of pharaohs, immerse yourself in humanity's greatest civilisations without the crowds.

Choose from: 
An introduction to the British Museum
An introduction to ancient Egypt
Life and death in ancient Egypt
An introduction to China
An introduction to the ancient Greek world

In line with current government and NHS guidance, face masks are not mandatory but guests are welcome to wear them if they wish. The Museum maintains a robust cleaning schedule and hand sanitiser stations are available across the site. 

Further information can be found in our FAQs section.

An introduction to the British Museum

Explore the oldest room in the Museum in this special guided tour before the galleries open to the public.

Uncover the origins of an extraordinary collection as you learn about the beginnings of the British Museum in 1753 and its subsequent development. The Enlightenment gallery (Room 1) focuses on the 18th century, an era of new knowledge, scientific discovery and European colonialism. The Collecting the world gallery (Room 2) focuses on the growth of the collection from the 18th century to the present day.

This tour provides a thought-provoking introduction to the Museum, which you're free to explore afterwards.

Galleries on this tour:

An introduction to ancient Egypt

Enjoy exploring one of the most iconic spaces in the Museum and discover the fascinating history of ancient Egypt in this special guided tour, before the galleries open to the public.

In the Egyptian sculpture gallery (Room 4), you can see impressive statues of kings and gods, monumental tomb architecture and ancient tomb reliefs spanning 3,000 years. These include the imposing colossal bust of Ramesses II and the Gayer-Anderson Cat. You can learn the importance of large-scale sculpture in ancient Egyptian temples and tombs, and get the perfect introduction to this unmissable collection. 

Gallery on this tour: 

Life and death in ancient Egypt

Discover how people lived and died in ancient Egypt, and explore their hopes and aspirations for the afterlife. 
From painted coffins, statues and models of daily life to spectacular wall paintings from the tomb-chapel of the high official Nebamun, investigate what tombs and burial goods tell us about the lives of ancient Egyptian people. The tour will explore the preparation of the deceased for burial, including mummification, and the use of magic to help and protect people on their perilous journey to the afterlife. 

This tour visits displays that include human remains. The British Museum is committed to curating human remains with care, respect and dignity. Find out more about our principles governing the holding, display and study of human remains.

Galleries on this tour:

An introduction to China

Journey through the extraordinary cultures of China in this special guided tour before the Museum opens to the public.

In the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China (Room 33), you will gain an insight into the development of Chinese history and culture from 5000 BC to the present day.

In a beautifully refurbished space which has recently re-opened, this introductory tour will give you a deep appreciation for the magnificent objects on display. Featuring spectacular Tang dynasty tomb figures buried around AD 728 and beautiful Ming dynasty blue-and-white porcelain.

Gallery on this tour:

An introduction to the ancient Greek world

Embark on a guided journey through the ancient Greek world; from the rise of the Greek city states to the empire of Alexander the Great.

Enjoy some of the highlights of the Museum's exceptional collection, including sculptures from the Parthenon and Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Galleries on this tour:  

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