Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, which now has branches in various cities around the world, is located in London's Baker Street and continues on as one of the city's top tourist attractions. You can expect to line up early and wait for an opportunity not just to see celebrities' images in wax – but to take photos with nearly all of them. Wax figures range from politicians and world leaders to movie and music stars to popular Britons from the past through to the present.
Originally opened in 1835, and then reorganized into its current gallery format in 1884, waxwork figures of criminals and killers in the eerie Chamber of Horrors were originally the big attraction at Madame Tussaud's. Adolf Hitler and Dracula take their place today in the present Chamber – now stocked with "live" serial killers for a haunted house experience. The Grand Hall showcases famous people throughout history, and although the British royal family may be segregated together – you will see some pretty unlikely pairings that cross time and space lines. A fairly recent exhibit, called "The Spirit of London," is like a Disneyland ride through hundreds of years of British history.
During your visit, you can also learn how the life-sized wax figures (with real hair!) Are made. Costing in the range of $ 50,000 each, they take months to make. Celebrities who've passed their prime are often "retired" in favor of newer more well-known men and women – but parts live on through the creative use of recycling.
Madame Tussaud's is also keeping up with the times, and currently you can sit in the Diary Room of the Big Brother house or kick a virtual soccer ball at a World Cup exhibit.
Hours are currently 9-6 on weekends and 9: 30-5: 30 on weekdays. You'll want to budget several hours to visit and get your money's worth. Generally, tickets are in the range of £ 25, with discounts for seniors, children and families. To avoid the 60-120 minute queue outside, you can purchase Fast Track tickets for an additional cost.
Keep in mind that the London Planetarium, also own by the Tussauds Group, is housed next door.