Just east of the Tower Bridge on the southern bank of the Thames, you’ll find strictly contemporary top-drawer talent—the cool kids of current style. That makes it more of a gallery than a museum. The steep fee also means it’s best for devotees of high design, not for average sightseers. Shows are explorations of random topics (race cars, the creation of everyday objects, design celebs Louis Kahn and Paul Smith), and if they’re sometimes ostentatious, at least they’re thought-provoking. Each spring, the museum hosts its prestigious Designs of the Year competition and mounts mini-shows by each nominee. The gift shop stocks some oddities such as artist-conceived housewares, dolls, and office supplies. A free iPad app previews the best objects. In late 2015, superstar architect Zaha Hadid, one of those design cool kids, takes over this building and the museum will move to Kensington.
The Design Museum
Shad Thames, SE1
Our Rating Hours Daily 10am–5:45pm, last admission 5:15pm Transportation Tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill Phone 020/7940-8783 Prices £12 adults, free for children under 12, £9.30 students, £6.20 kids aged 6–15 Web site The Design Museum
MapShad Thames, SE1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.