A huge retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s work is on exhibition now through August 2 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Read more about it here.
Since I’m spending the month in London and can literally see the V&A from the windows of my flat, I had to go. Except I didn’t think to purchase tickets online before I got here. And when I looked, all the tickets for this entire month were sold out. Fail.
I found out that the V&A releases some day-of tickets. I was determined to give it a shot! I couldn’t find any info from someone who actually tried to get these tickets. How long were the lines? Was it worth it?
Below I’ve shared everything I did and what I think you need to know if you want to get day-of tickets. Good luck!
The museum has 200 tickets available on the day of the exhibition. The exhibition has timed entries, as in your ticket is for a particular time. If you are able to get one of the 200 tickets, it might be for a time later in the day, so plan accordingly.
Although you have an entry time, there is no set exit time. You may spend as long as you wish in the exhibition.
You can purchase up to 4 tickets per person. They go on sale when the museum opens, which is 10am most days. Entry to the V&A is free, it’s only these special exhibitions that cost extra.
Note: as of this writing, there are still advance tickets available online for June and July.
If you are really into McQueen and don’t have time to wait in line, you can become a Member of the V&A for £64.00 which gets you access to exhibitions. If you want to bring a friend, there’s an extra £20.00 charge.
Since I live very close to the V&A and don’t have a husband with me who is allergic to waiting in line, I was up for this challenge. But, I wasn’t going to wait in line more than an hour. I figured I’d give it a shot and if I didn’t get a ticket the first time, I’d try again next weekend.
There are two entrances to the V&A: the main entrance and the subway tunnel entrance accessible from the Tube. Tickets are sold from the desk in the lobby — you must line up at the main entrance.
Note: I did this on Good Friday, which is a public holiday in the UK. Results and wait times may vary.
I got there about 9:10am, or 50 minutes before the doors opened. I was the 21st person in line. By around 9:20am, the line looked like this:
By 9:40am, the line looked like this:
Periodically, museum staff would come out and make sure people in our line were there to buy McQueen tickets. People who already had tickets or were just visiting the museum were put in a different line.
At 10am, the doors opened and after a quick bag check, I was in line at the ticket desk.
When I got to the desk, they still had tickets available for the first showing! I got my ticket and skipped right off to the exhibition.
A FEW ADDITIONAL NOTES ABOUT THE EXHIBITion
Photography is not allowed.
There are some awesome things available in the shop, including some reasonably priced souvenirs.
Even at the first showing, I found it to be a bit crowded. I can only imagine what it’s like later in the day if there’s a buildup of people lingering.
WAS IT WORTH IT? SHOULD YOU GO?
It was amazing. McQueen’s work is amazing and the exhibition setup was fantastic. As you progress from room to room, the exhibition jumps drastically to different types of perspectives he had. I think it’s meant to shock just as his work did.
If you are even generally into design or fashion, you should make time for this.
I traveled solo to London for the month of April on a business trip and kept myself entertained on the weekends exploring new places.