A trip to the museum is a central part of many city breaks, and should be as informative and thought-provoking as possible: you want to leave the building having learnt something new and feeling satisfied with the exhibit. We are, however, seldom provided with the luxury of an unoccupied space and a private tour, and the experience can sometimes leave you feeling rather stressed and exhausted – not ideal. Check out these handy tips to help prevent this, equipping you with all you need to do in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable trip to your museum of choice.
- Avoid the queues – Arrive at off peak times, such as during lunch time or early morning to avoid the rush of visitors, often including school trips and large families.
- Don’t need? Don’t take! – Take minimal attire and baggage with you to avoid the long bag checks and carrying unnecessary belongings, stopping you from relaxing into the visit. In many places now, you’ll also want to remember, not to take your selfie stick, either! Feeling at ease while going around will allow you to take in more information.
- Check for alternative entrances – The main entrance is usually clogged with a winding queue, yet, more often than not, there is at least one other entrance that seems to go unnoticed.
- Eat beforehand – Museum cafés can be expensive, busy or have limited choices available. Save your time and your wallet and eat beforehand, so you’ll only require perhaps a small snack or cup of tea to keep you going.
- Get the necessities out the way – Before you start the journey round, pop to the toilet and put your coat and bag in the cloakroom. This will prevent any panics or annoyances half way around when you may not be near any facilities!
- Do your homework – Research what is on offer: have a look at the floor plan on the website, consult with your group to decide what you want to see and make a plan of action to avoid any wasted time trying to navigate your way around.
- Visiting with a family? – Check out any child-friendly areas or special circuits or trails specially targeted at kids (particularly common in science museums). Get them interested and involved from the start and they won’t cause you any trouble!
- Want to see special exhibits? – Any one-off exhibits requiring payment for submission are usually very popular, especially at the weekend. If you want to see these, go during the week to really make the trip special for you.
- Start from the top and work your way down – Avoid the swell of people at the beginning of the exhibit and go to the top floor, enjoying the less populated areas and ending your journey with a swift exit!
- Take regular breaks – Museum trips can be more exhausting than you anticipate. Make use of the seats and benches on your way round, taking a load of your feet, and treat yourself to a visit to the café for a well-deserved cuppa at the end!
What are your top tips for getting the most out of a museum visit? We always love to hear from you, so leave your thoughts in the comments below!