On a bright afternoon, visiting one of Oxford’s many museums is the ideal way to spend the day. Even if you aren’t a history geek, a visit to your local museum will feel amazing because of the incredible collection of items and the courteous, friendly ambiance.
While numerous sites are recommended by both visitors and locals, a few museums stand out. These are the best museums in Oxford for both seasoned tourists and first-time visitors.
Best Museums in Oxford
British Motor Museum
The British Motor Museum should be visited by anyone with even a passing interest in automotive history. This magnificent museum has over 400 historic British automobiles, making it the world’s largest collection of its sort.
Guests can learn about the history of dozens of classic automobiles through the museum’s special exhibitions, and tour guides are there to answer any questions they may have. Other private events are held throughout the year where professionals and innovators can convene to discuss the rich history of British vehicles. The British Automotive Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and groups of 10 or more can enter for free.
Opening Hours : Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Oxford Castle & Prison
Visitors to Oxford Castle & Prison, one of England’s most treasured and historically significant institutions, are treated to a sensory feast. With the candle-lit crypt and the view from the top of St. George’s Tower, it’s easy to lose track of time in this museum.
This museum has a lot to see, so hiring a guide may help you make the most of your time there. A private guided tour is available for large groups or those who wish to learn about the history and charm of Oxford Castle & Prison in privacy. Several interesting activities, such as a ghost tour, are available at Oxford Castle & Prison.
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 am to 5:30 pm Friday – Sunday 10 am to 6 pm
The Ashmolean Museum was founded in 1683 at Oxford University. Millions of history fans visit this museum each year to learn about true human stories from across time and culture via art and archaeology.
The museum features incredible artworks like as Guy Fawkes’ lantern and a stunning Knossos storage jar. Before visiting the museum, visitors can get a sneak glimpse at some of the most coveted exhibits online. The museum is always open and never costs admission. Yet, becoming a member of the Ashmolean Museum grants you access to member-only events and exhibits as well as savings at the museum store and cafe.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Pitt Rivers Museum
The Pitt Rivers Museum is dedicated to documenting human history and includes an incredible collection of artifacts. Since its inception in 1884, the museum has evolved and changed to accommodate more contemporary and exciting exhibits. The Pitt Rivers Museum is currently largely regarded as one of the world’s finest institutions of its sort.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, which is linked to the Museum of Natural History at Oxford University, invites visitors without charging admission. After you’ve seen the Pitt Rivers Museum’s displays, stop by the Horsebox Cafe for a variety of espresso drinks, cookies, and flapjacks.
History of Science Museum
Visitors to the History of Science Museum can interact with exhibitions and explore unique collections at any time. Because of its commitment to environmental awareness and education, this museum has earned a name for itself in Oxford.
On the Oxford University campus, there are several museums, including the Ashmolean Museum and the History of Science Museum. The History of Science Museum, on the other hand, includes many hands-on displays and programs geared specifically toward young naturalists and history buffs. Visit the History of Science Museum for free any day of the week between 12:00 and 17:00.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
The Museum of Natural History at Oxford University is widely regarded as one of the top museums in the world, not just in England. Every year, this world-renowned institution presents a plethora of temporary and permanent exhibitions and activities.
Visitors can explore a wide range of exhibitions at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, including aerial photography and one of the world’s largest collections of British insects. If there is an exhibit you want to see but it is only available on certain days of the week or during certain hours, make sure to check with museum officials ahead of time to avoid wasting your time.
Opening Hours: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm
Modern Art Oxford
A visit to Modern Art Oxford, one of the most well-known contemporary art galleries in the United Kingdom, is a must if you believe in the transformative power of art. Modern Art Oxford has something for everyone, from kid-friendly events to exhibition spaces for rising artists.
Throughout the year, Modern Art Oxford organizes a diverse range of seminars, music displays, and talks by prominent artists and designers. The gift shop invites clients to carry home a spectacular new work of art, and the cafe serves a range of delectable meals before they depart.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm
The Story Museum
The Story Museum is Oxford’s most unique museum. The Story Museum focuses on storytelling in popular culture, and its exhibits and rooms are geared toward children. Surprises await around every corner, making it ideal for field trips and celebrations.
The Story Museum has a cafe as well as a gift and book shop. The Story Museum also has a birthday room for people who want to spend their special day there. By purchasing an annual pass, families can save money on entry and other museum fees.
Opening Hours: Daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
The Oxfordshire Museum
Learn more about the region’s importance in the formation of modern Britain at the Oxfordshire Museum. In this warm and welcoming atmosphere, visitors of all ages may learn more about the area’s history and improve their understanding of the natural world.
Families with little children will love the museum’s many kid-friendly attractions, but visitors of all ages will be drawn to the modern art collection and changing special exhibits. Speakers and experts on a variety of historical and cultural issues are frequently welcomed to the museum to share their knowledge and engage in dialogue with visitors.
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday from 2pm-5pm Monday – closed
Oxford Bus Museum
For anyone interested in the evolution of bus transport, the Oxford Bus Museum is a treasure trove of excitement. Almost 40 vintage buses and coaches, some dating back to the turn of the century, are on display.
Visitors to the Oxford Bus Museum are not only honoring the past when they acquire and restore retired buses and coaches; they are also investing in the industry’s future. Volunteers and contributors have meticulously curated the museum’s numerous exhibitions and one-of-a-kind artifacts to showcase this critical moment in British history.
Opening Hours: Wednesday & Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm Closed on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday