Quite simply, this is one of the world’s finest museums. Founded in 1753, it covers more than two million years of history from every continent, including the first known image of Christ, the oldest man-made tools on earth, and the Rosetta Stone. Two-and-a-half square miles of galleries hold more than 70,000 permanent exhibits and seven million drawings, prints, and antiquities under one roof (sculptures from the Parthenon, Egyptian mummies, and the exquisite pre-Christian Portland Vase). Wear comfy shoes and tackle its 100 rooms, 17 sections, and three floors one area at a time. (You may need to make at least one return trip.) The Greek and Roman relics are the best and most exhaustive on the globe, and the Egyptian Collection is the most significant outside of North Africa and the Middle East. Volunteers lead free, guided tours and share a huge wealth of knowledge in 40 snappy minutes. A Norman Foster-designed glass canopy and circular Reading Room make the Great Court an impressive sight.
Insider Tip: As a bonus, the tranquil Court Restaurant puts on an inviting afternoon tea.