Portsmouth City Museum

As museums and galleries across the UK begin to reopen, please take extra care to check their websites and social media channels for up to date information as opening times, days and dates here may not be correct.

Museum Road

The City is the museum of and for the people of Portsmouth. There are temporary exhibition galleries, which have a frequently changing parade of fascinating shows on a wide range of subjects. The City Museum is dedicated to local history and fine and decorative art. 'The Story of Portsmouth' displays room settings showing life in Portsmouth from the 17th century to the 1950s using modern audio-visual techniques. Experience the different lifestyles of the Victorian working poor in the 'Dockyard Workers Cottage' and the affluent 'Victorian Parlour'. A 1930s kitchen with everything including the kitchen sink! A 1930s 'Art Deco' dining room and a 1950s front room complete with flying ducks on the wall and early television showing "Listen With Mother". The 'Portsmouth at Play' exhibition looks at all aspects of leisure pursuits from the Victorian period to the 1970s. "What the Butler Saw" machines on the pier, a "Pennyfarthing" cycle and film archives from the 1930s and 1960s. Our special exhibition ‘A Study in Sherlock’ looks at the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the context of Victorian and Edwardian England, his strong relationship with Portsmouth (where he wrote the first 2 Sherlock Holmes stories) and the creation and phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes. Narrated by Stephen Fry, the exhibition includes the opportunity to watch a new Sherlock Holmes mystery, become one of the Bakers Street Irregulars, listen to some of the stories and act them out using hand-puppets. 'Football in the City: A space in the heart of Portsmouth’ is a permanent new and exciting interactive gallery space devoted to the 'beautiful game'. Currently on display are rare items such as both footballs from the 1939 and 2008 FA Cup Finals.

Further information

Opening Hours:

Open Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays Closed 24-26 December and 1 January April - October 10.00am - 5.30pm November - March 10.00am - 5.00pm


Free admission


  • Museums Association

Upcoming events:

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.

Facilities and services


  • Toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Cafeteria
  • Education facilities available
  • Facilities for private functions and events
  • Gardens open to public
  • Mail order service available
  • Meeting room available
  • Object study facilities available (enquire in advance)
  • Parking for disabled available
  • Picnic area
  • Reception and lunch facilities for educational groups
  • Refreshments
  • Research facilities for academics
  • Shop
  • Study facilities
  • Toilets for disabled
  • Wheelchair access to all public areas
  • Wheelchairs available for loan


  • Activities for pre-school children
  • Adult lectures and courses held
  • Brochure or leaflet available with directions to museum
  • Direct teaching services for schools
  • Events and resources for children and families
  • Induction loops in exhibition spaces
  • Large print information and/or interpretation
  • Loan service
  • Member of staff available with responsibility for education
  • Object identification and/or written enquiry service
  • Pre-booking service for groups
  • Primary school education service available
  • Printed/audio-visual information available for schools
  • Secondary school education service available
  • Specialist publications on collections available
  • Touch exhibits

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