Best memberships for art galleries and museums in London

A perfect New Years resolution is to see more galleries. A membership can actually save you money, if you go regularly and you are supporting the arts – something close to our heart.

Tate

The price from £86

Pros: Entrance to the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Liverpool Tate and St Ives. This price will give you the best value and quality per museums. Some of the best exhibitions in the country and, if committed, it makes you travel the beautiful isle to make the most.

Cons: There are no plus ones allowed as part of the single membership. You must buy a joint membership which notes the price up.

Art Fund National Art Pass

The price from £65

Pros: Perfect for those who want to make the most of galleries and museums across the country, but don’t have a favourite. It offers you free entry passes to more than 230 museums, galleries and historic houses nationwide, 50 percent off exhibitions at major spaces such as the Tate, British Museum and the National Gallery, a guide book that lists all participating venues, plus the Fund’s Art Quarterly magazine. I would suggest this for those who go to galleries a lot and who aren’t a member of them all. I couldn’t recommend enough.

Cons: No one membership to a single gallery or museum but a good discount on most.

Royal Academy of Arts

The price from £97

The perks: My personal favourite as I love most of the exhibitions which can be incredibly popular, so with this membership you can skip the queues, get invites for the summer exhibiton previews (a must) and get friend benefits i.e. you can bring a family guest with you to every show (most entry-level memberships are strictly for singles). You’ll also enjoy all-day access to the Keeper’s House café, restaurant and cocktail bar, a dedicated programme of events and the much-respected RA Magazine. Top perk, though, is the extended opening hours and the Friends’ Previews of blockbusters.

Cons: Membership café is nothing special and if the summer exhibition is not up your street it may be best to invest elsewhere.

V&A

The price from £64

Pros: The dream for fashionistas and iconic pop icons, it offers you unlimited entry to V&A shows with up to four under-18s in the family, as well as previews, tours and events. But the best thing for me is the member’s café, which is absolutely beautiful – in the glass exhibition it is hidden behind a mirror door. Sad to say I had a membership here just for that café.

Cons: If you are not into fashion, pop icons or live far away from South Kensington, its probably not worth the ticket.

Barbican

The price £50

The perks: Cheap and conveniently located at my door step, it is one of my favourites.  As well as free access to all Barbican exhibitions, this cross-cultural cashback card gives discounts on cinema and performing arts tickets, priority booking, plus access to the recently relaunched members’ bar for you and a guest. Great members bar too.

Cons: If you are not located in East London and don’t like too urban and edgy, then don’t even think about it. But maybe you could be persuaded?

British Museum

The price £74

Pro: Every time I go in there I am in awe and every exhibition is eye opening. Really, wow. Apart from that is that the main draw must be the members’ evenings, where you get to wander the British Museum without being elbowed by back-packed tourists. Members room is ok.

Cons: You must not be the type of person who gets annoyed with the tourists and crowds. There are a lots of them!

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