Madame Tussauds review
In a nutshell
Madame Tussauds is a unique attraction, with many awe-inspiring waxworks. It’s a costly family excursion though – especially for the time you spend there, and for the number of waxworks you see. However, it’s one worth ticking off on the to-do list.
What we tested
- Fun for kids
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- Fun for parents
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
2.0A star rating of 2.0 out of 5.
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- Family friendliness
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
- A unique and iconic London attraction that’s educational, world-renowned, international appeal, historic
- Very costly when you calculate cost per hour, a short experience, long wait .times, crowded
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COVID-19 safety update
Some facilities and attractions may be closed or restricted this year, due to COVID-19 – and there may be extra safety rules, pre-booking requirements or one-way systems in place. Please check Madame Tussauds' website before travelling or booking.
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When we visited:
On a Sunday in early July
What's Madame Tussauds like since Covid-19?
- Continue to have additional hygiene and safety measures in place
- Face coverings while inside our attractions are highly recommended
- Lower capacity
- Guests may continue to see Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and clothing for some of their staff
- Continuation of enhanced cleaning, hygiene stations and hand sanitiser for guests at key locations
- Increased ventilation and suggested spatial separation markings and other similar operating adjustments around the attraction
- Guests will be able to find NHS QR code ‘check-in’ posters at key points around the attraction entrance, and visitors are encouraged to scan the NHS QR code with a smartphone on arrival. These QR posters can be scanned on the NHS COVID-19 smartphone App
- For any experiences where guests will be eating or drinking, Madam Tussauds will be collecting details manually
What age is Madame Tussauds best for:
Best for: Children aged 8 years and above
Still good fun for: Children aged 6 to 7 years
Avoid: Bringing children 0-5 years old
How much does it cost?
- Gate prices: Adults from £34
- Online prices: Adults £30.50
- Family saver tickets: up to 5 people (minimum 2 children and maximum 2 adults) £24 per adult
Are there discounts or cheap tickets available for Madame Tussauds?
- At the time of publication, TripAdvisor had special offers on multiple attraction tickets including Madame Tussauds, and Smartsave offered 20% off a Madame Tussauds & 24-hour River Pass Combi deal. Keep an eye out for offers on Picniq too. You can also use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for tickets.
- Evans Evans Tours are offering guided tours around Madame Tussauds from £33.50, or from £38 if you want the Marvel 4D experience included.
- Check out our Tesco Clubcard days out article to see if you can use your Clubcard points.
Any extra charges once I’m there?
There are additional attractions within Tussauds that you have to pay extra for, such as The Sherlock Holmes Experience costing £8 each. Look into this beforehand, as I had my kids queueing and had to pull them away explaining we hadn’t paid for that part!
How long will we spend at Madame Tussauds?
You won’t need a full day for Madame Tussauds, you can easily see all the figures in less than 2 hours, even if you go slowly. Although Madame Tussauds globally has a huge number of figures, they’re not all in London.
For more London fun, take a look at our roundup of the best family days out in London.
What’s it like for families?
Madame Tussauds is a world-renowned London attraction, housing waxwork figures representing the great and the good, from Kate and Wills to Usain Bolt and Cara Delevigne. I wouldn’t say it’s particularly family-friendly because it is not an attraction like a theme park, for example, which is created to serve families. But if your children have an interest in celebrities and would enjoy posing alongside very lifelike versions of people they admire, then it’s great to take them along.
What shouldn’t be missed?
Highlights for us were:
- There are floors of famous faces on offer, from Bollywood stars to sporting heroes, world leaders and iconic actors. The waxworks are subjective, as all art is, but they are designed to represent a celebrity during a particular period of their life. It can be quite fun to discuss who looks like who – and who looks a bit strange!
- My teenager loved the Kardashians, and just wanted selfies with them
- My 11 year old’s favourite party was the sports area, with all the Olympians such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah
- I loved the small area where they explain how the waxworks are created. It also has historic letters and photographs on the walls relating to Madame Tussaud
- In addition to the figures, the museum prides itself on having a few interactive extras. The Marvel 4D cinema experience invites children to see Iron Man and co as wax figures, but also to watch an animated film, which features in-theatre effects like wind, water sprays and even tremors to make you feel like you’re in the movie.
- For a super-sized familiar face, head to the Kong: Skull Island experience. Join actor Tom Hiddleston in the tropical environment of the infamous Skull Island, to dodge the traps of colossal spiders and discover artefacts from the movie. Older kids will love coming face-to-face with the enormous King Kong in all his breathing, blinking and roaring might
Do they have all the celebrity figures you’d expect to see?
No. There are a lot of figures, but not all are at the London Madame Tussauds. There are sports stars, models, bloggers, modern-day royalty, historic figures, Bollywood celebrities and of course, Hollywood A-listers. Megan Markle and Ed Sheeran are among the newer, popular figures this year.
However, from the world of tennis there was Rafael Nadal (who didn’t look like much like the man himself) but I didn’t see a Serena Williams figure (which I later discovered is in Tussauds is in New York). This could be disappointing for some people who go with some particular waxworks in mind.
What are the queues like?
The queues to get in are always long but you do get to choose your entry time (there are 15-minute time slots) when you book tickets. However, on arrival we also found it quite chaotic trying to get in. It’s not clear where you are supposed to go. There are members of staff outside guiding people but just because of the different queues, it felt confusing. You can buy fast-entry tickets, which are more costly but time-saving in case that is more important. Once inside, it was easy to navigate as there are signs guiding you through.
What is there to do at Madame Tussauds?
Most people just walk around and pose with waxworks of people they admire. My teenager thought this was ridiculous, however, and said the whole point of the attraction was to soak in the essence of each ‘celebrity’ and imagine what they may have said or felt. Wow, deep!
Did Madame Tussauds cater well for different aged children?
It’s best for children over the age of 8, although adults, who will be able to recall more politicians and popular figures of yesteryear than children, are the true target audience. Young children (6-7 years old) may not recognise some of the older wax figures but will most likely acknowledge the singers, bands, sports stars and YouTubers of today. They’ll enjoy posing with these stars. They ideally need to be old enough to recognise a fair few celebrities – there are pop stars, sports stars and, um, the Kardashians. Under 5s can give it a miss as they probably won’t understand the trip and may be overwhelmed by the large number of people clamouring around each waxwork.
Does it work well for large family groups?
It gets busy, so a big group would ideally need to be split up as it’s hard to keep track of everyone in the crowds
Was Madame Tussauds pushchair friendly?
Pushchairs are not permitted but you can store them in the cloakroom area at no cost
What you need to know before you go to Madame Tussauds:
- Before you go, check out the website because it’s a really useful tool for planning your trip. Try and work out which entrance you will need to use beforehand
- Manage expectations! Not all Madame Tussauds figures are in London (there are several sites globally). If your child is excited about a new figure they’ve heard about, best to check ahead who is on show. You can visit the website and it lists every waxwork at every site globally
- Explain to the children that it’s not a full day out, and plan ahead which waxworks you would like to take those special photographs with
- Cameras ARE allowed and essential for making sure your little one gets snapped with their favourite celeb. You can buy photographs there, if you forget, as photographers are on hand
- Pre-book to save money – use a discount code or you can buy tickets using Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Anything to make it cheaper to visit is a good thing as entry is expensive
- Madame Tussauds is not that big inside and easy for children to feel a little enclosed and restless. If they need to let off some steam afterwards, head to Regent’s Park, which is right behind Madame Tussauds
- Pack lightly – there isn’t much space and there are a lot of people inside. You can store bags and coats but there’s a charge of between £1-6 per item
What are the food and drink facilities like at Madame Tussauds?
Refreshments are available inside and there is also a restaurant where you can dine (and pose with the Queen). We didn't try the restaurant as we were there in between breakfast and lunch, but we bought drinks from the drink carts which were reasonably priced for a London attraction. There is no hot food available in Tussauds, only confectionary, snacks and drinks.
Can you take a picnic to Madame Tussauds?
Food and drink from outside is not permitted. If you do bring a picnic (you can store it in the cloakroom during your visit), take it to nearby Regent’s Park to enjoy on the grass in fine weather. You can also pick up a selection of sandwiches and snacks at the M&S in front of Baker Street station.
What are the toilets like?
There are toilets on every floor with baby changing facilities, and all in all these are satisfactory
How well does Madame Tussauds cater for disabled visitors?
- Only 3 wheelchair users are allowed into the attraction at any one time for health and safety reasons
- Wheelchair slots need to be pre-booked so make sure that is done at the time of booking
- Between June and September 2018 – the time of our visit - there was no lift service at all so anyone requiring wheelchair access could not visit
- For more information about disabled access visit the Madame Tussauds website
Opening dates and times:
Madame Tussauds is open most days of the year, with varying open times usually within the hours of 9am-6pm. Check specific opening times for the day you’re visiting on the Madame Tussauds website.
Best time to visit:
If you can, visit as soon as it opens so you get round before the crowds arrive. Or possibly towards the end of the day. Madame Tussauds is quietest on Weds, Thurs, and Sun before 11am.
How to get to Madame Tussauds:
Madame Tussauds is in central London, right next to Baker Street tube station and Regent’s Park
You can take the tube (London Underground) fairly easily. The nearest station is Baker Street on the Bakerloo Street line
- Marylebone Station overground is a 10-minute walk, and Euston, St Pancras, Paddington, Victoria, Waterloo and Charing Cross mainline stations are all within five stops on the underground.
- By car – it’s on Marylebone Road, which is an extension of the A40 and 1 of the major routes in and out of London
- I drove and we got lucky with parking (it was a Sunday and we found a road where you can park free for up to 4 hours)
- If you drive, watch out for the bus lanes on Marylebone Road, they are operational 7 days a week
Is it worth a long car journey?
If you’re visiting London and plan to do other things while there, then it is worth it. It is a very famous attraction. However, not sure I would drive for a few hours just to spend 2 hours somewhere. You can, when booking tickets, combine your trip with another London attraction which makes both events cheaper to visit. I would consider that.
Which hotels or holiday accommodation are near Madame Tussauds?
Madame Tussauds' central London location means there are plenty of accommodation options nearby, including:
- There’s a choice of family rooms at the luxurious Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London, just 6 minutes on foot to Madame Tussauds
- The Melia White House has spacious family rooms with kids’ toiletries, and there’s a kids and baby menu is in all the restaurant
- For a home-away-from-home feel, look for deals on HomeAway.co.uk and Mulberry Cottages
- Find family-friendly hotel deals near Madame Tussauds on Booking.com
Check out our round up of the best family-friendly hotels in London.
Nearby attractions for a longer day out:
You’ll find the Sherlock Holmes Museum in the next street (it is Baker Street, after all) and the marvellous British Museum is a 30-minute walk. Just next to that is London’s theatre heartland Covent Garden, so you could treat older kids to a matinee show. A little further away is the Sea Life London Aquarium, London Zoo and the Natural History Museum.
Madame Tussaud is a unique attraction and one that will always feature on everyone’s list of London ‘to-see’ list. The waxworks are pretty amazing close up and a lot of attention is given to each one. But the attraction is heavily priced and not so suitable for younger children. In fact, I think it’s probably more enjoyable to do this attraction without the children, so you can spend time looking at past politicians and faces from history. However, if you visit as a family it is a memorable experience and if you combine it with another one or two London sights, will make for a lovely day out.
Visit the Madame Tussauds website
See more reviews of Madame Tussauds on TripAdvisor
Intro to me:
I visited in early July with my three children aged Mili aged 7; Arjun aged 11 and Roma aged 13