Museum Madness: Free Entrance Days at Museums in Europe

Posted on August 21, 2011


Don’t want to shell out cold cash for a day at the museum? There’s a way to see amazing art and relics for free. This article explains how a traveler in Europe can take advantage of free entrance days at tourist sites and museums. It also provides tips on how to make museums more affordable in general.

By Gina Mussio

Free entrance days to sites and museums are both a blessing and a curse. Sure, you can visit many of Europe’s top spots for free, but this also means everyone else will be doing the same. We’ll provide some tips on how to beat the crowds and take advantage of these days.

But first, make sure to check out for a long list of free museum days as well as discounts for certain ages (mostly 26 and under) and start to consider yourself a frugal and savvy traveler! Also remember that many great museums, including the national museums in London, are always free to the public. These are definitely worth checking out if you have a few days to explore the city.

Now that you’ve decided where to go for free, here are your tips for taking full advantage of free entrance days:

  • Research before you go. There is a special event or showing at the museum you are already hoping to see. Many large museums offer hours at night with considerably fewer visitors. Some offer special student discounts possibly, and of course, some offer free days. Make sure to check out the official website of the site you wish to visit for more info.
  • Go early. Your goal is to get there before everyone else. Getting in line early means waiting less time and getting out of the museum or other attraction before the mass of people becomes stifling. Then you can go for a nice walk or lunch instead of fighting the crowds. You can try showing up at the end of the day, but there will likely still be a line and you may not be allowed to enter at all.
  • Try another entrance. The tourists are bound to go to the main entrance, making the line longer and longer. For example, the main entrance at the pyramid of the Louvre is always the most crowded as it is closest to the chief lobby and top works of art. Try one of the side entrances and explore top floors that house lesser known but just as breathtaking works of art.
  • Choose another free site. Chances are, there will be more than one free attraction on the same day. Choose a church or landmark that is always free instead or go to a less popular free-day attraction. With everyone at the main event you just might be able to avoid the crowds and enjoy your visit without feeling like a sardine. Then, use the money you saved to see another attraction on another day.

Sightseeing can easily be an unexpected and costly expense. Don’t let that happen by using these tips and remaining flexible.

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