Maybe if I tell you the name of Madame Tussauds it doesn't ring a bell. But if I tell you about London's wax museum, things change. Join me and discover everything about the most famous wax museum in the world.
8 min read
Madame Tussaud's, London | ©Nikos Roussos
Wax museums enjoy great popularity today. They are spread all over the planet in major cities and are a highly demanded tourist attraction. Of all the wax museums in the world, one stands out above the rest. Madame Tussauds wax museum is one of the must-see things to see in London. It is not only the best known but also the one that houses the largest exhibition.
The museum houses the largest display of wax figures in the world with world-renowned personalities from different fields. Their sculptures are so accomplished that you will have the impression of being in front of the real person. Such is the degree of realism of the figures that if their flesh-and-blood namesakes change their physique in real life, they also do so in their wax figures.
If you buy tickets for Madame Tussauds London you can discover what the process of creating the sculptures is like and admire the final result, as well as the sets that are also made with the utmost attention to detail. The exhibition is divided into thematic areas where you are sure to find your favorite personalities.
1. David and Victoria Beckham in the Party section
The Beckham couple is a favorite of the British and there are always crowds to photograph them. In addition to their fame, it is surprising the realism with which these figures have been achieved.
Both are in a section called Party. In this part you will walk on the red carpet and see the sculptures of the most popular stars of the parties of the high spheres such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt or George Clooney.
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2. Kendall Jenner at Fashion Week
The famous model stands out in this section destined to the great figures of fashion and she does it for her pose and the set in which she is. You will feel as if you were behind the catwalk with the model who is captured with an impressive realism.
In this section for fans of fashion runways you will find models like Zendaya or Cara Delevigne. The clothes of these sculptures are also haute couture.
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3. James Bond, the most famous British agent in the world.
Of course agent 007 has his figure, or rather figures in the museum. Several of the actors who have been 007 and some of his characters wear their costumes and gadgets typical of the character. Daniel Craig seems to come to life on the set where his figure is exhibited.
In the "Film" section dedicated to cinema and accompanying James Bond there are historical actors such as Charles Chaplin. There are also famous directors like Steven Spielberg or characters like ET.
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4. The fastest man in the world. Usain Bolt
In the sportsmen's area there are many sculptures worth seeing, but the one of Usain Bolt made a special impression. And if not, just tell it to the flesh and blood who was amazed with his own wax figure. It looks like he's going to run away at any moment.
The great sports stars share space with the sprinter. For Spaniards, a selfie with the figure of Rafa Nadal is a must. Some of the most prominent athletes who have their sculpture are Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Cristiano Ronaldo and many more.
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5. Her Majesty the Queen of England.
Being in England could not miss the figure of Elizabeth II. And you can see the devotion they have in London in the details of her wax figure. One of the most photographed of the museum is undoubtedly so extremely real that you do not know whether to bow to her.
Of course you can not miss other figures of the British royal family. Next to the Queen in the "Royal" section are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. They are the most photographed figures by Londoners without a doubt.
6. Nelson Mandela among the leaders of the world
There is a section dedicated to the great world leaders among which Nelson Mandela stands out. A much loved character and whose figure is especially cared for in details such as facial expressions and his wardrobe, with his representative shirts that change from time to time.
Other great presidents and world leaders also have their wax figures. Some like Obama or Trump or British politicians like Boris Johnson have their figures in the museum.
Meet Albert Einstein
The most famous physicist on the planet could not be missing in the museum. His figure is next to a blackboard that collects some of his most famous formulas and is one of the most successful sculptures in terms of facial details. His famous mustache is also very successful.
He shares space with the great minds of history. Inventors, artists, writers... Steven Hawking, Shakespeare, Picasso or Van Gogh are some examples.
8. Michael Jackson comes back to life
The figure of the King of Pop is simply spectacular. With one of his characteristic dance poses, it seems that at any moment he will do his famous Moonwalk. His outfit is identical to the original one he wears in the video clip of "Billie Jean".
In the music area next to Michael we have all the big names in history. Madonna, Adele, Bob Marley, Freddy Mercury...
9. The friend and neighbor Spiderman moves from New York to London.
Marvel has its own section that includes a 4D cinematic experience. Among the many superheroes represented the Spiderman figure is especially interesting as he is literally hanging from the ceiling. How did they make a wax figure in that position on the ceiling? It is a question that everyone who sees the figure of Spiderman asks.
For comic book and Marvel fans, there are also wax figures of the Hulk, Captain America and Iron Man.
10. Relive the most mythical lightsaber duel of the Star Wars saga
Star Wars fans can fulfill a dream and climb aboard the Millennium Falcon where characters such as Darth Vader, R2-D2 or Obi Wan await them to be photographed with them. In this section dedicated to the work of George Lucas, the recreation of the duel scene from Duel of Fates
of the Phantom Menace.
The wax sculptures are the centerpiece of the museum but these are not the only way to enjoy the museum. Madame Tussauds also offers its visitors so-called "experiences" that combine wax figures with light, sound or stage recreations. These experiences are:
Sherlock Holmes Experience
One of the museum's most popular activities and consists of an interactive theater in which spectators must help the actors solve a crime as Sherlock Holmeswould.
Spirit of London Ride
This exhibition takes a journey through the history of the city of London and does so through recreations of historical scenes such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.
Brief history of Madame Tussauds Museum
Madame Tussauds' name has not transcended as much as her museums have, but that is why it is interesting to discover who was the forerunner of wax museums. Madame Tussauds was a French woman born in 1761 who dedicated her life to sculpture. She stood out for her mastery of the wax she extracted from bee honeycombs, which led her to become an artist to French royalty. It was at the royal palace in Paris where she made her first major exhibition and where she began to gain a reputation as an artist.
His fame took him to London where in 1835 he opened his permanent exhibition and which today we know as the wax museum that bears his name. Marie Tussaud stood out for sculpting great faces of the history of France during the French Revolution such as Louis XVI or Robespierre, and even personalities such as Benjamin Franklin posed for her. But his most famous legacy was his exhibition that, after moving in 1884 to the building that houses the museum today, was recognized as the first wax museum in the world.
Madame Tussauds Museum facilities
The museum has several floors and an endless number of figures that you will want to take pictures with, so the visit can last several hours. Depending on how calmly you take it of course. The visit requires patience because if you want a picture with some of the figures you may have to wait for the queues that form around them. However, the building has all kinds of amenities to make your visit as pleasant as possible:
- Each floor has bathrooms with baby changing tables if you go with the little ones.
- They have a gift store for souvenirs as well as a cafeteria and some food stalls.
- There is a checkroom for a fee.
- It is wheelchair accessible and has elevators to all floors.
- There is WIFI network for visitors.
Tips for visiting the Madame Tussauds Museum
If you want to optimize your visit to the wax museum and enjoy it to the fullest I leave you some tips that will surely be useful:
- Book your tickets online in advance.
- If you opt for the premium ticket you will have access to all exhibitions at no additional cost and most importantly, you will save a lot of time queuing. It is worth the extra cost.
- Check out the option of tours that include admission to the museum along with other monuments.
- Visit the museum early in the morning or in the middle of the day if you want to see it at a quieter time.
Points of interest near Madame Tussauds Museum
As I said the museum is located in an area that houses more than one tourist attraction. If you want to complement your visit to the museum with other points of interest here I leave you the closest:
- The Regents Park: It is located just behind the museum and is one of the royal parks of London. It has large green areas, cafes, outdoor theaters and even a university.
- London Zoo: It is located inside Regents Park and is a great option especially if you are traveling with children.
- Sherlock Holmes Museum: Next to the wax museum and in the mythical Baker Street is another museum dedicated to this iconic figure of English literature.
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