A 2009 renovation modernized the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology doubled its exhibition space to 29,500 square feet (9,000 square meters), adding 39 new galleries. Highlights of its extensive collection include the most important collection of predynastic Egyptian artifacts in Europe, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, an important collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts, the world’s largest collection of drawings by Raphael, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese art in the West.
Visit the Ashmolean independently or as part of a sightseeing tour of Oxford, which often includes other highlights such as the Bodleian Library and Christ Church College. Day trips from London and Brighton often include a stop here and can also be combined with visits to Eton, Windsor Castle, or the Cotswolds.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Ashmolean Museum is a must-visit for art, history, and archaeology fans.
The museum offers free admission, though special exhibitions may require a separate fee.
Photography is only allowed in the permanent exhibit.
The Ashmolean Museum is wheelchair-accessible.
The Rooftop Restaurant offers stunning views over Oxford.
How to Get There
The Ashmolean Museum is located just north of central Oxford, about a 5-minute walk from the main bus station and a 10-minute walk from the train station. Parking is also available next to the museum on St. Giles’ Street.
When to Get There
The Ashmolean Museum is open daily, with extended hours on the last Friday of the month (other than December). The occasional Live Fridays offer even more-extended hours and include interactive events, such as theatrical performances and creative workshops. Special exhibitions are held from time to time. Check with the museum for the latest offerings.
Individual Highlights of the Museum
The Ashmolean Museum’s collection includes a large number of priceless and unique items, including a human skull from 7000 BC, the 1,000-year-old Alfred Jewel, the ancient Abingdon sword, a death mask of Oliver Cromwell, a lantern that Guy Fawkes carried, an Arab ceremonial dress owned by Lawrence of Arabia, a violin made by Antonio Stradivari, and a collection of rings that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’sThe Lord of the Rings.