Museums in Oxford


When visiting our beautiful surroundings, a cultured trip would be incomplete without discovering some of the museums in Oxford.


Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1860, the Museum of Natural History has always been renowned as a centre for scientific study at the University. Boasting impressive collections of geological and zoological specimens, the museum offers neo-Gothic architecture as well as growing collections. A visit will see you discover famous exhibitions such as the Oxfordshire dinosaurs, the Dodo and the swifts in the tower. Opening hours are 10am – 5pm every day. Admission is free.


Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. Founded in 1683, these world-famous collections range from all corners of the earth including Egyptian mummies and contemporary art. Transcending culture and time, the Ashmolean is a must-visit during your time in Oxford. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am–5pm. Admission is free.


Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum, founded in 1884, displays incredible archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world. Respected for its standing as a global museum, all time periods are covered and the museum is also a teaching and research institution in its own right.

The curators are also lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology and look after more than half a million objects. Expect to see photographs, film, manuscript and sound collections. Admission is free, and donations are encouraged. Open 10am – 4.30pm Tuesday to Sunday and 12.00 – 4.30pm Mondays.


Museum of the History of Science

The Museum of the History of Science is housed in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. Boasting an unrivalled collection of early scientific instruments, the museum also serves as a department of the University of Oxford.

A much-loved public museum, visitors can partake in family-friendly events, take gallery tours, hear talks and much more. Admission is free and the museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 12pm – 5pm (last admission at 4.45pm).


Museum of Oxford

The Museum of Oxford is the only museum destination for avid fans of Oxfordshire. Dedicated to telling the story of Oxford, its history and its people, here you will discover an exciting range of archaeological and social history objects; Roman pottery to marmalade jars and everything in between.

Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm (last admittance 4.30pm), admission is free. Please be advised that the museum will offer reduced exhibitions in the Gallery space while a refurbishment is undertaken during 2018.


Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

The Bate Collection has one of the most varied collections of musical instruments in the world. With 2000 instruments from the renaissance through to baroque, classical, romantic and modern times, if you have a love for music then you will want to see the instruments on display.

Be sure to make notes of the most important makers and from pre-eminent collectors, so you can share what you have seen with your friends. Open Monday – Friday 2pm – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 12pm (Oxford Full Term Only).


Oxford Bus Museum

At the Oxford Bus Museum you can learn all about the bus and coach travel from days gone by – all around Oxfordshire over the last 130 years, to be exact. The exhibits include a preserved horse-drawn tram, impressive motor buses, even coaches. There is also a wide selection of artefacts such as bus stops, ticket machines, timetables, posters and uniforms – perfect for travel and motor enthusiasts who long to learn about transport history through the ages.

Visitors will also be able to see classic British cars in the Morris Motors Museum and read about their connection to Cowley. With a unique collection of 40 vintage bicycles, including a Penny Farthing, you can visit on Wednesdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays from 10.30am to 4.30pm. There are also free vintage bus rides held periodically throughout the year.


Don’t waste time looking at mediocre places to stay near Oxford – our hotel is conveniently located so you can make the most of your visit and stay in comfort.

If you want to visit some of these museums in Oxford, then be sure to stay with us. Book direct for the very best rate – we hope you enjoy learning, the sights and the culture!