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Have you noticed reservations and timed entry requirements to be a good thing?

Curious as to whether or not folks who are traveling around Europe now or have been recently have noticed whether the adoption of reservations and timed entry systems has at all translated in to pleasantly less crowded attractions and shorter wait times and such.

Even free places (museums around London, for example) are requiring people book entry windows in advance, which should really limit lines and crowds (in a perfect world!). Have any of you noticed that to actually be the case, and had a more pleasant time visiting certain attractions as a result?

Posted by
9556 posts

During my recent trip to France I had varying experiences.

I went to the Louvre 3 times, all, of course, timed entries. The middle visit I inadvertently booked for a Sunday and even with timed entries there were lines outside and madness inside - looked like it used to be, lol. The other 2 times there was not much of a line at entry and I felt the crowd was spread out (except for the special exhibition).

For the Orsay, yes, it made a huge difference both in entry lines and lack of crowding inside.

The Musee Jacquemart-Andre - very crowded even with timed entries and the special exhibit there (Botticelli) was jammed. (But it also meant that we were ready to leave in time to be seated early for lunch in the cafe which was a wonderful experience!)

Rodin and Orangerie - no lines, no crowds (again except in the special exhibition)

Carnavalet - recently reopened and they somehow did not plan for crowd control either outside waiting for timed entries OR inside in security. It was a mess. I noticed no difference inside where it was moderately crowded. I did not do the special exhibition here.

I'm good with timed entries. Anything that can spread out the flow of people over the day is a good outcome in my view. I hope it is making it easier for the security folks in the big museums and a more pleasant experience for the rest of us!

Posted by
5486 posts

I have visited several National Trust properties in the U.K. and haven’t found much difference in the numbers visiting or crowds. There were rarely queues pre-Covid.

The V&A Museum in Perth on a Sunday was very busy. We turned up 20 minutes before our timed slot and were asked to come back at the correct time as they were trying to manage the flow of people.

Posted by
5221 posts

I don't really know how one could answer this question without experiencing both timed and (previously but recently) untimed entries at the same places. On my recent trip to Berlin, I think timed entry worked well at the Pergamon and Neues Museums and was superfluous at the under-visited Gemaldegalerie. I'm sure it helped with Sans Souci. But I have no comparison points to back up those impressions. Few of us would, given how long it's been since Europe was really "open."