Madame Tussauds: A complete tourist guide

When it comes to London attractions, few are more legendary than waxwork Madame Tussauds. Hardly a day goes by that you won’t see an enormous queue of anxious tourists outside, even during the pouring, thundering rain, and new waxworks usually receive nationwide attention. So if you’re thinking of joining the enthusiastic hordes of people who come to gaze upon the waxy visages of various celebrities (sit down, Cliff Richard, we’re talking about Madame Tussauds, not your actual face), then you’ve come to the right place. Here is our all-encompassing guide.

Tube stations near Madame Tussauds

You can hardly enjoy the attraction if you don’t know how to get there. London’s extensive Underground network is likely to be the best way of reaching the attraction unless you’re staying near Regent’s Park. The closest option is Baker Street, a mere five-minute walk away and with excellent access to the Jubilee, Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines. However, the journey isn’t much greater from the Regent’s Park and Great Portland Street stations – simply emerge and walk west along Marylebone Road for five minutes. For National Rail services, nearby London Marylebone is around ten minutes’ walk away in the other direction.

Visitor information

Madame Tussauds is part of the Merlin entertainment group and, due to the extraordinary queues, tickets are best purchased online. Those who go to the website get faster entry into the attraction, entry to the Marvel Super Heroes 4D film experience and a free guide book, making it a far better option. Standard tickets are priced at £30 on the door and £22.50 online. Pay £25.80 on the door and £19.29 online. Family tickets can also be obtained priced at £111.60 and £83.69 respectively. Merlin believes that families should consist of two adults and two children or one adult and three children, so make sure that your family falls into this category if that’s the ticket you want. However, it’s worth noting that kids under the age of four go free. Pushchairs and buggies are not permitted in the attraction but there is a dropoff point for these and baby carriers are provided for those who need them. A refundable deposit of £10 will be
required.

VIP tickets are also available priced at £65 and £55 for adults and children respectively – these are online exclusive. These boast the fastest possible entry into the attraction with no queuing whatsoever, plus the ability to arrive at any time on the day of your visit.

The exhibits

Madame Tussauds is a world-famous waxwork museum and possesses a plethora of incredible constructs from the worlds of politics, art, music, royalty, Bollywood, sport and even Marvel Super Heroes. Among its residents are Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, world leaders Barack Obama and Angela Merkel and cultural icons including Pablo Picasso, Charles Dickens and Madame Tussaud herself. Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham and Jessica Ennis-Hill are among those representing the sporting world, as well as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah. Looking down on everyone else and being generally snobby are the royals – Queen Elizabeth II, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Diana Princess of Wales. And fighting to get to a microphone are Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Adele, Amy Winehouse – we could go on. It’s Diva-tastic in there.

It’s also worth venturing into the fantastic Chamber of Horrors, which exhibits a number of waxworks made of infamous historical figures. Of particular note are the wax heads that were made by Madame Tussaud herself using the death masks of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette – victims of the French revolution. Other historical characters include Vlad the Impaler, Genghis Khan, Guy Fawkes and Adolf Hitler. Visitors might be disappointed to learn that there is no Jack the Ripper though – since the man was never knowingly caught, his likeness isn’t known.

The Chamber of Horrors isn’t recommended for young children.

Nearby attractions

Once you’ve visited Madame Tussauds, you might find yourself wondering what else there is to do nearby that will keep the kids happy. The answer, happily, is that there is plenty. Regent’s Park is just a stone’s throw away and is home to rolling green land that the kids will no doubt appreciate the opportunity to run around in. The park is also home to London Zoo, an incredible attraction in itself that houses all manner of beasts both large and small. Tigers and lions and bears (oh my!), they’ve got them all. The big cats are a particular joy to experience, as are the gorillas, which are alarmingly human-like. Children are particularly well catered-for at this attraction – you’ll find an exciting list of programmes on the website, particularly during times of the year such as half term and the summer holidays.

If that doesn’t appeal, there’s always the Sherlock Holmes museum – a very trendy attraction at the moment given all the adaptations of the famous detective’s incredible adventures that are being made at the moment. Not only is there the slick BBC version starring a certain Benedict Cumberbuns but also a new adaptation featuring none other than Ian Mckellen as an older Mr Holmes. So don’t waste any time – get in on this uniquely British phenomenon and find out as much about it as you can before you’re left behind.

Regent’s Park is also a great place to enjoy a spot of boating on the lake. For the uninitiated, we assure you – there is absolutely nothing more fun than messing around in a boat in Regent’s Park.

The boating lake is right next to a gigantic open air theatre which frequently hosts extremely exciting events that might include plays, musical acts and even festivals. It’s well worth checking out the programme of events on their website before you head there.

Places to eat near Madame Tussauds

Any parent will know that kids do a very good impression of that plant in Little Shop of Horrors (“FEED ME!”) so if you’re taking the family to Madame Tussauds, it’s well worth checking out a list of local child-friendly restaurants. Luckily, we have a list of the best options right here. Everyone knows that pizza is a pretty safe option with the kiddies, so ASK! Pizza on 197 Baker Street. Next door is Iberica which serves fantastic Spanish tapas at an excellent price. Tapas is a great option for kids as you can order a selection and they can decide on the foods they like. Both restaurants are about a six-minute walk from Regent’s Park.

If you’re looking for something a little classier to please your partner or spouse, Gordon Ramsey’s The York and Albany is situated just a ten-minute walk away. The venue is charming – an old coaching house that dates all the way back to the 1820s. It’s sure to provide you with a meal to remember.

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