The eponymous Madam Tussaud was a French woman, born in 1761 in Strasbourg. She created her first wax sculpture in 1777; her model was Voltaire. Soon after she began touring Europe with her husband, François Tussaud, and her ever-growing collection of wax sculptures. War prevented her from returning from England in 1802, so she stayed there. In 1835 she opened up a museum on Baker Street displaying her craft. It was a success, and has since become one of London’s major tourist attractions. Today there are branches of Madame Tussauds throughout the world.
Over 300 wax figures are on display at the museum, from Hollywood and Bollywood stars, to Shrek, to the royal family, even Einstein and David Beckham. The Chamber of Horrors features murderers and serial killers, and houses the O.G. (original guillotine). It may not be for your children. The Spirit of London ride takes guests on a tour through the city’s history, with displays showing what life was like from the Tudor era to the 1980s.
There’s no denying that this is a cool and unique concept for a museum. Since the museum is usually packed it is best to book your tickets online to avoid long lines.
Address: Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LR
Telephone: +44 0871 894 3000
Metro: Baker Street (Hammersmith & City, Circle, Bakerloo, Metropolitan, Jubilee)
Hours: Open daily 09:30-17:30, hours vary throughout the year
Admission (online purchase entitles you to a 25% discount):