English Vocabulary for Visiting a Museum

Taking a trip to a museum can help to expand your knowledge, broaden your cultural awareness, and test your English skills while abroad! Many museums are free and if a particular exhibition interests you why not take the opportunity to learn more about that topic. No matter what kind of museum you visit, we've put together a couple of English vocabulary terms to help you out.  


A curator

A person who oversees and manages a museum and its collections

The curator is an expert in her field.


A tour guide

A person employed to show tourists around places of interest

Our tour guide was very informative!



To maintain something in its original or existing state

As The Mona Lisa is over 500 years old, there are many people working on its preservation.


An exhibition

A public display of works of art or items of interest held in a museum or gallery for people to see

I would like to visit the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London in October.




An admission fee

The fee charged to enter a place

Many museums do not have admission fees.

English vocabulary when visiting a museum
Learn the most popular terms when visiting a museum


A donation

Something that you give in order to help a person or organisation

There is a recommended donation of $2.


An artifact (artefact - UK) 

An object made by a human being, of cultural or historical interest

By exhibiting artifacts from the past, museums can teach us a lot about different periods in history.


A collection

A group of accumulated paintings, documents, or artifacts grouped together by a particular theme

The British Museum collection totals at least 8 million objects.



Relating to the arts and to intellectual achievements

Visiting a museum is an example of a fun cultural activity.


A gift shop

A shop that sells items appropriate as gifts

My favourite thing about a trip to a museum is visiting the gift shop!


To wander (around)

To walk slowly across or around an area, usually without clear purpose

On Saturday I enjoyed wandering around the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Here is an example of a dialogue that you can practice when organizing a trip to the museum:

You: Have you ever visited the Science Museum?

Your friend: No I haven’t. Is there an admission fee?

You: No it is free to enter, but you can make a donation.

Your friend: Sounds good. What exhibitions are on display at the moment?

You: There are many! I would like to visit the Making the Modern World section as they have a collection of technological artifacts from the past to the present day.

Your friend: Sounds like a pretty interesting place to wander around! I bet they have an excellent gift shop.

You: Let's go there this afternoon.


We hope this helps you to plan cultural trips to your local museums or galleries. 


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