6 Reasons to Visit the Design Museum During Your Trip to London

Design Museum

If you are looking for some cultural enrichment, then visiting London was a great choice. It is overflowing with museums – from the really well-known ones like The Natural History, to the exceptionally niche ones like The Fan Museum. Just a short, manageable walk from most rooms at The Montcalm Hotel London, you will find the often overlooked but fabulous Design Museum. The travel guides may tell you to prioritise the big-shots of the museum-scene in London – and they are truly something special. However, here are six reasons why the Design Museum is a must-see during your trip to London.

  1. It’s FREE

Just like most of London’s museums – though unlike a lot of the smaller ones – The Design Museum is free to enter. As you walk through the halls of this chic, innovative building, you start to understand just how incomprehensibly far a lot of human intelligence, creativity and capability stretches. Through the lens of design, you begin to understand that design and designers are the cogs that keep the clock of humanity ticking. You can explore modern-day, contemporary design, as well as stepping back in time to see how things like the world got to where it is today.

  1. Temporary Exhibitions

The fact that you don’t have to pay for initial entry to the museum is great because it gives you the chance to explore and decide for yourself whether you want to see more – which, most of the time, you will. Once that decision has been made, the constantly changing paid exhibitions will seem like a no-brainer. Here are the two exhibitions that are on until next February, which you will be sad to miss: 

Beazley Designs of the Year

About: This exhibition is all about the now – it displays fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design from around the world over the last 12 months. What makes this exhibition particularly special is if you familiarise yourself with the content of the museum and its free installations and exhibitions before buying a ticket for the Beazley Designs of the Year. The reason being that it gives you the necessary background and timeline so that you can piece together and understand where design has come from and how it got to what it is today.

Price: £12

  • Student, concession, family and gift tickets available (concessions include seniors (over 60 years), the disabled and companion and job seekers)
  • Free to members
  • Last entry: 5pm

Moving To Mars

About: So much has happened over the past 10 years that it can be easy to forget that humans are working on the prospect of moving to Mars. If harnessing light or electricity was the objective of previous generations, some might say that one of the modern age equivalents is life on Mars and the challenges it presents. Through recreation, interaction and innovative design, this exhibition will make the whole concept slightly less daunting for you – or more, perhaps, if it evokes your interest to that extent.


  • Tickets £16 (weekdays) / £18 (Saturday & Sunday)
  • Student, concession, family and gift tickets available (concessions include seniors (over 60 years), the disabled and companion and job seekers)
  • Free to members
  1. It’s accessible

The Design Museum is accessible no matter where you are staying in London because it is so close to a number of tube stations and public transport links – unless of course, you are in one of the Montcalm properties near Paddington, in which case you are practically neighbours with the museum. If, on the other hand, you are staying at The Montcalm Royal London House in Finsbury Square, it is still an easy trip, though slightly longer. Hop on the Central Line at Liverpool Street and keep riding until you reach Notting Hill Gate – then you have either a bus ride or a 20-minute walk to go!

  1. Searcys

Here’s a rule of thumb for you: if a museum’s restaurants and cafés are run by Searcys, visit it. This company are known for their iconic restaurants, Champagne bars and events and the Design Museum’s coffee shop is worth visiting in its own right – though you will be unlikely to resist the temptation of a quick whip-around, no matter how often you have visited. Whether it is the smoothies that grab your attention or the sustainably-sourced coffees and teas, both go down a treat alongside an almond croissant or a frosted doughnut.

  1. Learn

If you are particularly interested in the world of design and innovation, then here’s another reason to visit the Design Museum that will knock your socks off: they have a public programme of talks, courses and workshops throughout the year. These are often kid-friendly, so it can be a part of a family day. They are also sometimes more advanced. That is the real beauty of them – they cater to a wide range of interests and education levels. A number of the events that take place sell out, so if this sounds like your sort of thing, get booking your spot ASAP at: https://designmuseum.azurewebsites.net/whats-on/talks-courses-and-workshops

  1. Supporting the future

While the museum does focus in part on the innovations of the past, which have in turn lead to the creative innovation we have now in the present, it also looks to the future. By visiting the Design Museum, and by buying tickets to special exhibitions, you are supporting some of the incredible initiatives that are run through the museum. For instance, they offer internationally acclaimed facilities and programmes in a higher education setting to ensure a world with a new wave of designers is training and readying themselves for their turn for innovation that excites.

It is important you tick off all the foundations of the “typical London trip”, like a show on the West End, a cocktail in Montcalm’s The Aviary London on the 10th floor bar of The Brewery London, afternoon tea in Harrods or a mosey around Hyde Park (weather permitting). They are “typical” for a reason, which is that they are a fantastic experience. However, it is also crucial that you visit sometimes underrated gems like the Design Museum, or else you will miss out on the things that make London the interconnected web of activity, innovation and creativity that it is.