History and culture on a grand scale
One of Britain's most vital and visited attractions is not, as the name suggests, British-specific. In fact very few of the artifacts housed in this monumental collection originated in Britain. Featuring art works and objects that span the world and time — from ancient Egypt and the Hellenistic world to medieval and beyond — the museum is divided into ten research and collection departments, and offers regular special exhibitions. And for those immune to ancient history and decidedly analog art works and such, there's always the Norman Foster and Partners/Buro Happold-designed glass-roofed "Great Court" (opened in 2000), where you can sip a double espresso in one of London's most breathaking spaces. In addition, the museum is worth walking past after dark, with its many columns backlit to eerily beautiful effect. Local landmarks include Russell Square, Brunswick Centre (food, cinema, Waitrose supermarket) and, for great fish and chips, the Fryer's Delight [see entry].