Why you should bring a buddy to the art gallery

Published 9 April 2019

There are loads of great perks to visiting museums and galleries with friends – you may even find yourself visiting more often. Here's how to make the most of museums as social spaces.

Museums and galleries can be great for some quiet ‘me’ time, but they're also brilliant places to connect with friends.

Inspired by our podcast, Meet Me at the Museum – where famous guests explore their favourite museums with loved ones – here are four reasons to share your next trip with a buddy.

You'll learn something new about each other

Maybe you want to reconnect with an old pal or get to know someone better – well, sharing a new experience is a great way to explore shared interests and generally find out what makes each other tick.

Whether you’re united by a love of music, football or Japanese monkey fish, there’s a museum or gallery out there waiting for you.

Wherever you go, it's sure to spark some surprising conversations. As well as discovering amazing art, we think you might just discover something new and amazing about each other.

You'll see art differently

Visiting with a mate can open new doors and offer fresh perspectives on the art you're there to see.

Get their take on an old favourite, or try an exhibition you wouldn't normally have chosen. However you play it, you'll see things differently through the eyes of others.

You'll find a new favourite hangout

With no end of curiosities to discover – plus space to kick back and relax when you've finished adventuring – museums and galleries are great places to spend time together.

From sharing a picnic in a sculpture park or art garden to seeking out a quirky hidden gem together, there are almost unlimited options.

And of course there's the tea and cake. Don’t forget many museum cafés are as stunning and historic as the collections themselves.

You could be catching up while surrounded by Pre-Raphaelite paintings in an Edwardian Tea Room, enjoying locally sourced food by the beach or gazing out on the views from an Edinburgh rooftop.

You'll feel motivated to visit more often

If you want to visit museums and galleries more often but never seem to find the time, making a date with a friend can be a really good way to make sure you go.

According to research, visiting museums more regularly can improve our sense of wellbeing, but many of us struggle to fit it in. Arranging to go with someone else is just one of the ways recommended by Paul Dolan, professor of behavioural science at LSE, to make it happen. And since spending time with loved ones is good for us to begin with, it’s a double win!

National Art Pass can help you make museums part of your social whirl. With free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and exhibitions, you can access literally hundreds of inspiring places without worrying your wallet – and even add a Plus One so that a mate can come with you every time.

Share your experiences together on Instagram with #NationalArtPass.

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