11 Best Museums & Galleries In Bath

best museums in bath

Bath itself sometimes feels like an open air museum with so much incredible architecture and history to explore, but it’s also home to a range of indoor exhibitions that cover everything from the city’s Roman era to East Asian Art. 

For a small city, Bath has an abundance of museums and galleries, so whether you’re looking for a rainy day activity or you’re hungry for more history, here are 11 of the best museums in Bath, including galleries too!

1. Roman Baths

Bath’s most famous living museum, the actual Roman Baths, is famous around the world for its historic hot springs and here you’ll find the original bathing pools that were used 2,000 years ago.

There are also ancient treasures like the golden Minerva’s head and an extensive collection of artifacts that tell the story of life in Roman Britain.

Pick up an audio guide to hear the stories of the Roman citizens that once bathed here and find out more about how Bath got its name. 

Address: Abbey Church Yard, Bath BA1 1LZ

Telephone: 01225 477785

2. No. 1 Royal Crescent

no 1 royal crescent

You might recognise this one from the TV show Bridgerton!  No.1 The Crescent is an amazingly well restored Georgian townhouse that doubles as a museum to learn about life in the era, while poking around a replica of someone’s house.

Recreating life in the 18th Century through decorated rooms, film, and sound, the museum brings the Georgian era alive with stories of everyday life for all members of the household (upstairs and downstairs). 

Address: 1, Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LR

Phone: 01225 428126

3. Jane Austen Centre

jane austen centre

Another of the city’s most renowned museums, the Jane Austen Centre is dedicated to all things Regency Era, with a focus on the author herself.

Learn all about Jane Austen’s life in Bath and beyond with the help of characters dressed in period attire and then tuck into afternoon tea afterwards at the Regency Tea Rooms (or try one of these places if it’s fully booked!). 

Address: 40 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT

4. Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein

house of frankenstein

Calling all horror fans! Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein is a new addition to Bath, based on Mary Shelley being in Bath when wrote her famous sci-fi novel Frankenstein in 1816.

Inside you’ll find an immersive (and kind of scary!) visitor experience with details about Mary Shelley’s real life tragedies, an 8ft ‘life-sized’ Frankenstein’s monster, an eerie attic, and dank basement full of all sorts of horrors. Multi-sensory exhibitions include vintage artifacts and facts wrapped up in fiction.

Try and escape Victor’s Lair in the escape room game or figure out the Body in a Suitcase mystery! 

Address: 37 Gay Street, Bath, BA1 2NT

5. American Museum & Gardens

american museum bath

Grand Claverton Manor houses the American Museum’s largest collection of Americana outside of the United States, with displays of historic artifacts, and folk and decorative arts through the ages.

Stroll the gardens of the Georgian manor house for a burst of colour in summer, or explore the illuminated gardens in festive period.

Look out for ever-changing exhibits focusing on all things U.S.A related, as well as special events and workshops. Head up here with your four-legged friends for dog walks with amazing views of the city below too. 

Address: Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD

Phone: 01225 460 503

6. Hershel Museum of Astronomy

herschel museum

Do you have stars in your eyes? Bath also has lots of little niche museums that celebrate individuals like the astronomer and composer William Herschel, who discovered Uranus in 1781 via a telescope in his garden in Bath.

His house is now a small museum that talks about his life and his famous discovery (which of course lends itself well to many jokes about the planet’s name).

Address: 19 New King Street, Bath BA1 2BL

Phone: 01225 446 865

7. Museum of Bath at Work

bath at work museum

Step back in time by walking through a reconstruction of a Victorian soft drinks factory, a Bath stone mine, and Edwardian ironmongers, and other historic scenes that tell the story of Bath’s industrious past at the Museum of Bath at Work.

Learn now Bathonians have made a living through the years through temporary exhibitions, events and activities that teach you more about local history. 

Address: Julian Rd, Bath, BA1 2RH

Phone: 01225 318 348

8. Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA)

museum of east asian art bath

Transport yourself to another continent at the Museum of East Asian Art (MEAA) where you’ll find nearly 2,000 artifacts from China, Japan, Korea and South East Asia spanning 7,000 years and many diverse cultures. 

Look out for treasures like rare ceramics, jades, bronzes,  bamboo and wood carvings, and learn more about the history and culture of people in East Asia.   

Address: 12 Bennett Street, Bath BA1 2QJ

Phone:  01225 464640

9. Beaux Arts Bath

beaux arts bath

Catch the next contemporary art star at Beaux Arts Bath, where beautiful art is housed in a listed Georgian building York Street. Founded in 1979,  the independent gallery showcases paintings, sculpture and ceramics from solo artists and groups and helped launch the early careers of artists like Norman Adams RA, Michael Ayrton, and John Bellany.

Started in St. Ives by Reg and Patricia Singh, with a showcase of sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s early work,  the collection also features other post-war St. Ives artists. 

Address: 12-13 York Street, Bath BA1 1NG

Phone: 01225 464850

10. Holburne Museum

holburne museum bath

Netflix fans might recognize this building from Bridgerton too! Sir Thomas William Holburne’s sister Mary Anne Barbara Holburne, bequeathed his art collection to the city of Bath in the late 1800s.

Now the art collection in the grand grade 1 listed building covers everything from fine to decorative art. Originally built in 1795 the art museum, and its modern extension, feature continually-changing temporary exhibitions and some of the 4,000 objects, pictures and books from Holburne’s collection. 

Address: Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB

Phone: 01225 388569

11. Victoria Art Gallery

victoria art gallery bath

Art doesn’t have to cost you a lot! Enjoy free entry to the permanent exhibit at Victoria Art Gallery where around 100 works of art, from the 15th Century to contemporary times, are showcased in the beautiful surrounds of the historic building right in the centre of Bath. 

Historic highlights include the 18th Century Lichfield Clock, a Tudor portrait of Henry VIII and works by Thomas Gainsborough, who worked in Bath. Decorative art is on display and changing exhibits highlight different parts of the collection, as well as visiting artists. 

Address:  Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT

Phone: 01225 477233

As of November 2022, one of Bath’s most well-known museums, The Fashion Museum, has moved from its home in the grand Assembly Rooms to be temporarily on loan to other museums before it takes up its new space in the centre of Bath in the Old Post Office.  The Postal Museum and Museum of Bath Architecture are also closed at the moment. 

There’s still plenty to see and do in Bath though! Check out our best things to do in Bath on a budget for more ideas. 

More To Explore