How to Make the Most of Restricted Free Entry to Museums

Written by Karen Bryan

We are fortunate that in the UK that it is free to visit the permanent collections of UK state museums and galleries. That’s not the case in many European countries, where the majority of museum and galleries charge an admission fee.

In the Spanish city of Malaga, many museums offer free admission from late afternoon on Sundays. If you want to try to visit more than one museum, the museums will have to be located close to each other, ideally with a few minutes walking distance. Also, you need to decide if you would rather see one or two museums or galleries in a fairly relaxed manner, or just take a quick look in a few. Another factor, is the time for which you will have to queue to gain free admission.

During my recent trip to Malaga, I decided that I would probably visit the Picasso and Carmen Thyssen museums when they were free to enter on the Sunday afternoon. They were located a 7 minute walk apart. The Picasso offered free entry between 5-7pm, and the Carmen Thyssen between 5-8pm.

I had heard that there was a long queue to get in to the Picasso. Therefore, my plan was to go the Thyssen Carmen at 5pm, stay for around 45 minutes. Then walk up to the Picasso and spend on hour there, before returning to the Carmen Thyssen until the 8pm closing time.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans. There was a long, slow queue at the Carmen Thyssen, meaning that it took me 40 minutes to gain entry to the museum. That forced me to scuttle my plan to go to the Picasso Museum that day.

So what is the best strategy to make the most of  limited free museum entry?

Based on my experience. I’d say to visit the one museum which interests you most in a relaxed manner.

If you wish to visit more than one museum, pay the entry fee to visit other museums.