Experience the Realms of the Powerful and Famous At Madame Tussauds:
Few attractions in London can compare with Madame Tussauds in terms of being both centuries old and completely modern.
The wax museum displays a large collection of famous figures from world history, royalty, world leaders and along with the latest Hollywood celebrities, pop stars, sporting legends and even characters like Shrek, Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man.
Madame Tussaud learned her unusual craft of modelling figures in wax by creating death masks of those executed by guillotine in 18th and 19th century France. Among her ‘clients’ were Louis XVI and Marie Antionette. That mixture of precise art and macabre display is reflected in the modern museum – but with a much greater sense of fun!
The Tussaud museum collection traces its origins to Madame Tussaud’s inheritance of her tutor Dr. Curtius’ collection. In 1802, she moved from Paris to London and the museum began in 1835.
But far from being an historical relic, the collection has been continually updated and there are several very different subsets for tourists of all interests.
The Chamber of Horrors continues the grisly tradition of displaying murders, bloody warlords and others – but, though realistic enough to scare sensitive children, the emphasis is on amusing visitors, that is if you find deranged serial killers, who are out to get you, amusing.
A Royal Appointment is an audience with the Queen. While she may not have time to meet tourists at Buckingham Palace, at Madame Tussauds a fanfare announces your arrival and you’ll get to meet the Royal Family.
The Spirit of London is a taxi-ride ala Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, but here it’s through 400 years of English history. One highlight of the ride is a portion showing the sights and sounds of London at the time and place of Jack the Ripper, including the old carver himself.
The Grand Hall also has figures from British history, with a variety of famous (and not so famous) examples of Royalty and Head of State.
One of the most popular tourist attractions, Madame Tussauds is typically crowded with visitors – over two million visits annually. Everyone wants to take a photograph with anyone from The Hulk to Brad Pitt, from Jack the Ripper to Princess Diana or Winston Churchill.
The figures are almost all done with extraordinary fidelity. The life-like figures are one of the reasons for the frightening effect in the Chamber of Horrors, which also shows a variety of modes of torture and execution. No expense has been spared to hire the finest modelling craftsmen to bring the figures to life.
The London Planetarium that was housed in the same building as Madame Tussauds no longer operates here and has been replaced by the Marvel Superheroes 4D attraction, a sure winner with kids. You can upgrade your Madame Tussauds ticket to include the new Marvel Superheroes.
Those interested in space and astronomy can catch the shows at the Royal Observatory where the brand new Peter Harrison Planetarium is a state-of-the-art planetarium.
Madame Tussauds is easily accessible via the Tube (the London Underground subway system). Exit at the Baker Street tube station, near Regent’s Park. You can skip the line book your visit before you leave home. Otherwise during the peak summer season, expect to wait in line outside and dodge elbows inside, where there is still often a wait of 20 minutes or more. It tends to be a little less crowded in the very early or late hours.