Sir John Soane’s Museum

An essential for all architecture and fine art aficionados, Sir John Soane’s Museum is a wonderful house museum filled to the brim with all kinds of artworks and architectural models.

Sir John Soane’s Museum is the former home of neo-classical architect John Soane, now a house museum dedicated to the man’s architectural projects and art collections. Sir John Soane was known for being one of the most important architects of the Regency era (in the early 1800s) and a dedicated art collector. As such, inside the museum, you will find architectural fragments, drawings, and models, as well as paintings, sculptures, furniture, and antiquities.

The museum building, initially used as an architectural laboratory, was designed by John Soane himself between 1808 and 1812, together with the two adjacent houses, which he used as a home and picture gallery respectively.

Contrary to what you might expect, the museum itself was established during Soane’s own life by a Private Act of Parliament. Soane went to great lengths to obtain this unusual arrangement, as he wanted to prevent his son George from inheriting his properties.

Exhibits at Sir John Soane’s Museum
Inside Sir John Soane’s Museum you won’t just enjoy the innovative architecture, but also innumerable busts, urns, bas-reliefs, and all kinds of antiques.

The inside of the building is highly unusual and ingenious, with colonnades, convex mirrors, movable planes, and domed ceilings. Today, among the many rooms you can visit, there is a drawing room, a picture room, as well as a study and dressing room. They are preserved in exactly the same state they were at the time of the architect’s death - and the museum’s opening- in 1837.

As mentioned, aside from Soane’s 30,000 architectural works, inside the museum you’ll also find his personal collections, which include thousands of art objects of all kinds. Among them are Ancient Egyptian antiquities (the most important of which is the Sarcophagus of Seti I), Greek and Roman bronzes, mosaics, and urns, as well as Chinese ceramics, Peruvian pottery, and Indian ivory works. Some of the most important paintings you’ll find are by artists J.M.W. Turner, Canaletto, and Joshua Reynolds.


13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, London WC2A 3BP.

The Sir John Soane’s Museum is located in the Holborn area of Central London, where many academic institutions can be found. First among them is the British Museum, but not far you can also find the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology, the Charles Dickens Museum, and the Foundling Museum.

West of the museum, you can also find some of the liveliest areas of the city centre, Soho, Covent Garden, and Chinatown.

Tickets and price

The Sir John Soane’s Museum in London is free to enter for everyone. Pre-booking entries is not required, so you can just turn up at the museum on the day. However, keep in mind that queues outside the museum are not uncommon since only 90 visitors are allowed in the museum at a time. This is due to the nature and layout of the building, as well as a large number of collections inside.


The Sir John Soane’s Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with visitors being allowed in until 4:30 pm. The museum remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Day Opening time Last admission Closure
Wed-Sun 10:00 am 4:30 pm 5:00 pm


If you are taking the Underground, the closest stop is Holborn, where the Central and Piccadilly lines stop. On the Northern, you can also find the stop Goodge Street. If you’re on the Circle or District lines, you could also get off at Temple and walk 15 minutes to reach the museum.

If you prefer moving by bus, lines 1, 8, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188, and 521 will all drop you off right in front of the Museum.

You can find a summary of the public transport options in the table below.

Method Underground Bus
Lines Central, Piccadilly, Circle, District 1, 8, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188, 521
Stops Holborn, Temple -

It’s also possible to get a cab to the Sir John Soane’s Museum, but we don’t recommend since traffic conditions in central London are generally slow and make for an expensive journey.

Nearby sights

Covent Garden - 600 m (0.4 miles) west, 8-minute walk.

London Transport Museum - 800 m (0.5 miles) southwest, 11-minute walk.

Sir John Soane’s Museum - 800 m (0.5 miles) northwest, 11-minute walk.

Charles Dickens Museum - 1 km (0.6 miles) northeast, 13-minute walk.

Chinatown - 1.1 km (0.7 miles) southwest, 14-minute walk.

St Paul’s Cathedral - 1.6 km (1 mile) southeast, 20-minute walk.

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Sir John Soane’s Museum