When to visit for free the best museums in the world

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With the new year comes each January’s resolution, sales season and also that feared first weeks of the year that look rather steep making some of the goals set for the next 365 days wobble a bit. However, if you are one of those who ask for more culture in the new year, you are in luck.


At unuk we like to bet on the culture whether at home or while traveling, so we have gathered some tips and data so that you can visit some of the best museums in the world without having to scratch your pocket. Because we certainly do not want the money from a ticket to be an excuse for you to stay at home. Ready? Here we go:


Most museums in Barcelona open their doors for free on the first Sunday of the month. A measure that begins to be an unwritten rule among the most touristic cities on the planet. It is also a way of bringing culture closer to all citizens. The queues, however, are usually considerable since more and more people are approaching the big museums of the city on that day.


It is advisable to go with time to spare and always check both schedules and prices, to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Luckily, there are also many museums that, in addition to the first Sunday of the month, they also open their doors for free every Sundays of the year from 3pm until closing time. So it could be said that Sunday is the best day of the week to visit museums in Barcelona without spending a single euro.


Unlike Barcelona, Madrid has a more diversified schedule for free museum visits. Each institution establishes when its collections can be visited for free.

The Museo Nacional del Prado, for example, is free from Monday to Saturday from 6pm and until closing time (8pm). That schedule is modified on Sundays, where visits are free from 5pm to 7pm. A similar approach used by the Reina Sofía, which opens its doors for free on Mondays and from Wednesday to Friday, from 9am to 9pm. On Sundays you can visit for free from 3pm onwards.


The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, however, is free on Mondays from 12am to 4pm, while the Sorolla chooses the weekend: Saturday is free from 14 to 20h and on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.


The French capital has many museums that are free every day of the year. However, the main museums of the city are usually free only the first Sunday of each month, but not always.


Artistic and cultural centers such as the Pompidou Center, the Eugène Delacroix, the D’Orsay Museum or the Picasso National Museum are open for free the first Sunday of the month without exception. The Louvre Museum, however, does so only from October 1st to March 31st. Then Versailles only from November 1st to March 31st. In this official link you can find the detailed schedule of each and every one of the great museums of Paris.


Few cities are committed to bringing culture as much to citizens as London. A clear example is the British Museum, free all year around, the Museum of Natural Science or the Museum of London.


These exquisite museums are fully open to the public, only having to pay admission in case of special exhibitions. To see their permanent collections you do not need to pay entrance or, at most a voluntary donation when you exit of the enclosure. Here you will find more information about London museums and here a quick guide for visiting London in general.

New York

A city like New York always offers cheap alternatives for visitors. Every day of the week there is the possibility to visit one of its many museums for free as you can check in this link. Of course, Friday is the most attractive day since it is the day of the week chosen by museums such as the MOMA, the Natural Science Museum or even the Aquarium to open their doors for free.


The down side are the never-ending queues and it is highly advisable to go early, ready to spend some time there and get used to enjoy art among a multitude. Free entrance to many of these museums is also offered within the City Pass and New York pass cards.


Rome has a great offer of discounts and special prices to visit its main museums and monuments. Those that are state-owned are usually free on the first Sunday of each month. The offer is so extensive, however, that it is highly recommended to check schedules and prices before visiting. Here you will find useful information in that regard.


Berlin, Amsterdam … there are many more cities that offer free tickets to their marvellous museums. The information is available either in the official tourist agencies or at each museum directly. Sunday, however, seems to be museum’s favourite day around the world. So if you have in mind any upcoming short weekend getaways or you do not know what to do a Sunday at home, a good museum is always a great option. Bear in mind that not so many of them allow to take pictures, something to check before bringing your photography equipment with you to the museum.

Happy travels!

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