London is filled to the brim with culture, the majority of which you’ll find in its huge array of museums and art galleries that are dotted all over the city.
Although there are lots of museums that you can get into for free, including the Victoria and Albert museum and the Natural History Museum, going to lots of attractions on your holiday can be expensive, particularly if there’s a big group of you travelling together.
It’s not just paying into places that can be charged a fee, as some museums and galleries feature special exhibitions that require an extra charge, even though it may have been free to get into the building itself.
However, there is a way to get around these pesky rep by becoming a member of a museum or gallery and paying one price to get you into all the exhibitions and collections they are showing for the year.
This is particularly handy if you are an avid art or culture fan, or even if you’re just trying to get into doing something a bit different while you’re on vacation.
We’ve found a couple of museum and art gallery memberships that are absolutely worth signing up to, so you get the most out of your money when you’re in London.
The Tate galleries are among the biggest and most influential galleries in the city – these are where people love to visit and artists are honoured to hang their collections, so these are already a great place to consider joining as a member.
Prices vary for the memberships but all include peace of mind for you, as you won’t have to pay or queue to get into exhibitions at both Tate’s Britain and Modern.
With the membership fees you’ll also get to spend time in the members rooms at the galleries, and you’ll receive a complementary copy of Tate Etc. magazine and a membership pack that will make sure that you’re up to date with all the events that happen at Tate throughout the year.
Royal Academy of Arts
When you join the academy, you’ll be known as a Friend of the Royal of Academy of Arts and although it’s more expensive than others on this list, your membership also grants you permission to bring a family guest with you to every show.
What’s even better is that you can enjoy all-day access to the Keeper’s House cafe, restaurant and cocktail bar, which is only available to members.
Each month, you’ll receive a copy of the RA Magazine, which is similar to the Tate Etc. publication that gives you information about previews.
As a Friend of the academy, the best perk is that you will be granted access outside of regular opening hours to preview events.
Southbank is a great place to spend time in London, particularly in the summer and the Southbank Centre has an excellent programme of events every year.
The membership fee is cheaper than both the Royal Academy of Arts and the Tate, and the calendar of events is much wider too, boasting talks, social events and behind-the-scenes tours.
Other perks include discounts in the centre’s restaurants, cafes and shops, plus you and a friend will be able to enjoy a drink with a view at the members-only bar on the sixth floor.
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