Friday, October 19, 2012

Research Free Museum Hours

Visiting art and other types of museums is one of the pleasures of travel. Viewing great masterpieces in the flesh, so to speak, really is different form seeing a picture in a book or online. However, admission prices for museums can put a significant dent in a travel budget, with many prices at or above $20/ The trick is to find museums that offer free or reduced price admission at certain times.
I was hoping to find a Website listing free admission times for a number of museums in different cities, but so far no luck. Such a site would be a big help to the travelling public, but putting the information together would be very time consuming..
So, as it stands, you generally have to look up the museums you want to visit and check to see when they offer free or cheaper admission, if ever. Here in Montreal, for example, the Museum of Fine Arts has a permanent collection where admission is always free, and offers cut prices for admission to special exhibits on Wednesday nights from 5 to 9 p.m. The current exhibit of Impressionist paintings is likely to draw big crowds, especially on Wednesday evenings.
Most museums in New York City have a day a week when admission is free, and even at large museums like the Metropolitan, the posted admission price is really only a suggestion. You can get in for less, if you have the nerve.
In St. Petersburg, Russia the renowned Hermitage Museum is free on the first Thursday of every month. In Greece, most museums are free on Sundays, according to the Website There are few free attractions in pricey Moscow, unless you count the view of the Kremlin from outside, which is pretty spectacular.
In London the wonderful British Museum is free all the time, though donations are encouraged. And probably the best selection anywhere of free museums is in Washington D.C. where the many museums run by the Smithsonian Institution are always free. Both the British Museum and the Smithsonian ones have interesting free programs of lectures and tours, in addition.
In Europe, don't count on visiting museums on Monday, when many of them are closed. 


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