Portsmouth has a staggering twelve museums to visit and receive educational background on this historic town. Because the city has grown as a port and important trade center since the beginning of its origins, many of the museums are dedicated to naval ships and its port history.

Portsmouth, a comprehensive guide to the city its history, attractions, restaurants and hotels.

A visitor must is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. There are hands-on exhibits that are child-friendly, museums, harbor tours and the chance to see current naval ships up close. The National Museum of the Royal Navy will have you leaving an expert on the subject of the Royal Navy's heritage.  Also don't miss HMS Warrior, built in 1860, you can tour this fine ship and learn how iron ship builder Brunel's earlier work help to create one of the greatest warships of her day.  Visitors love the the Mary Rose which is a warship from the early 1500s also housed at the Historic Dockyard. The sunken boat was discovered and brought back to land, preserved and rebuilt and now is part of a major museum for Portsmouth. The Mary Rose Museum educates on warships and boats of the Mary Rose era, and displays original items from the ship which were preserved underwater.

The D-Day Museum is another way to learn about the important role Portsmouth has played in history. It commemorates the veterans of this war, educates on the events that lead to D-Day and has many artefacts on display such as a tapestry similar to the Bayeux Tapestry, the Overlord Embroidery.

Other places to visit while in Portsmouth are:

Southsea Castle : Built in 1544, Henry VIII constructed the Castle to protect England's coasts and the country from invaders.

The Round Tower : Built between 1418 and 1426; you can visit it at the entrance to the harbour.

Portchester Castle : Just outside the city limits is a well-preserved example of a mainly Roman fortification, with a keep and church.

Spinnaker Tower : Portsmouth's newest attraction - a shining gateway to the English Channel. The views from the top are spectacular!

Blue Reef Aquarium: Take an undersea safari through the tropical waters of the world

The Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson: A stunning Victorian fort on the top of Portsdown Hill. Home to the Royal Armouries, it houses over 600 artillery pieces dating back to the 1400's from all around the world. Entrance is free, with a shop, cafe, daily gun firings, guided tours and dramatic interpretations.

Submarine Museum: This is a short trip (only 7 mins) across Portsmouth harbour on the ferry to Gosport. Buy discounted entry tickets at the tourist information centre at the Hard next to Portsmouth Dockyard. Excellent atmospheric tour of a submarine, guided by retired submariners who can really bring their experience to bear and answer all your questions plus some good simulations (up periscope) in the museum itself and a great family pirate exhibition.