How Not to Gain Free Entry to a Museum

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You want to visit a museum, and you don't want to pay. While in the UK there are plenty of National Museums which are free to enter, some smaller independent museums still require you to pay an admission fee, as this is generally their only source of income.

However, if you are of the mind that history should be free to all, and that they should get money from some great mythical money pot the government uses that's totally unconnected to taxation, here are some tried and tested methods of gaining free entry that you really shouldn't bother with.

Just Walk In

The best time to do this is if there is a queue, as the person behind the front desk will be busy, leaving you to sneak in. However, if you get caught (which 99.9% of the time you will), you will end up being exposed in front of a lot of people who ARE prepared to pay, who won't be on your side if you try to argue your case. After all, what makes you so special that you can just stroll in for nothing?

Sweet Talking Your Way In

Usually done on a quiet day, you go up to the ticket desk, and engage the host in conversation. Usually it's on the subject of the museum, how it relates to you, usually based on an encounter they had over a decade ago. Eventually, you ask if you could just have a quick look round. The host will say no.

Acting Like You Are Entitled

Walk up to the desk, tell them you want to look round. When they ask you to pay, ask if they know who you are. When they say they don't, tell them how important you are in whatever it is you do, belittle them as much as possible, then call them a jobsworth because they don't give freebies to obnoxious pillocks. You'll still not be allowed in, but at least everyone will know who you are. Sadly for you, it'll be "That prat who thought he was all that!"

Phrases that are guaranteed to cause you to be refused entry include;

"I Pay Your Wages!" (Clearly not, as you're not buying a ticket! And before you even think of mentioning your taxes paying for the museum, as the staff have paid them too. Plus 9 times out of 10 the museum doesn't receive government funding, hence the ticket fee.)

"We only want to have a Quick Look" (Here's a challenge for you; Go to the cinema, and try and get into a film by saying you only want to catch the end.)

"I make more in a day than you do in a year!" (You can afford a ticket then, can't you!)

Oddly enough, though, some museums will do this if you do it in a public medium, such as a newspaper. Maybe try that a few weeks before you plan on visiting.

Be Old

Being old is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. You have to pay too. We know you only have your pension to live on, but that's why there is always a concessionary rate for seniors.

Send a Child To Ask For A Freebie

Similar to the "Be Old" method, you may think your child is perfect, and capable of getting whatever they want out of you, but to museum staff they're just another kid, and are perfectly happy to say no to them.


"Oh no, my child has just run into your museum, can I go and look for them?" This doesn't work if you've done it within earshot of the museum host on the desk.

Methods that DO work

Being under 5 years old

Being a member of Staff

Signing up as a volunteer. Museums are underfunded, hence the ticket price, so why not do your bit and become a volunteer? That way, not only do you get a proper look around the museum, but you get to contribute towards helping others.


Museums don't like charging their visitors, but there's no magic pot of money, so it looks like you're going to have to pay.

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