Victoria and Albert Museum
Named after Queen Victoria and Albert, Britain’s reigning royalty for a large part of the 19th century, this museum is devoted to decorative arts and design. The collections include more than 4 million objects from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa, spanning 3,000 years of humankind’s forays into furniture and textile making, sculpture and ceramics. Highlights include the Beauharnais Emeralds, which Napoleon gave to his daughter, and diamonds from Russia’s Catherine the Great, as well as the Raphael Cartoons—designs that the Italian Renaissance painter made in the early 1500s for tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. Admission is free.