Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Free tickets, temperature tests and 20m² per visitor: Reopening the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Image: The Museum is reopened by Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Director General of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (L), and Bingen Zupiria, Minister of Culture and Basque Language of the Basque Government

One of first major European museums to reopen, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has implemented a raft of measures to ensure the public feel safe to visit.

After last month joining the Rijksmuseum in announcing its intention to reopen to the public, Bilbao’s Guggenheim has stayed true to its word. Equipped with swathes of measures for the new Covid reality, the site says it has issued safety guidelines that enable visitors to “clearly and intuitively” understand how to remain safe.

Changes evident to visitors will include: the sale of timed-tickets as the only form of admittance; a free-to-download smartphone audio guide; the acceptance of card payments only; the requirement that any attendee must wear a face mask; and the closure of the cloakroom meaning no umbrellas or bags will be admitted.

The precautions once visitors are in the gallery spaces include temperature checks at the door and a series of signs to maintain social distancing between staff and visitors alike. The number of people permitted in elevators, bathrooms or on benches has also been restricted.

Visitors must now begin their journey on the third floor before continuing one-way down to the second and first floors. The large, airy spaces in the Frank Gehry building are said to afford visitors at least 20m² at all times, with no more than 400 people admitted at any time.

To incentivise visits at a time when some people are understandably nervous about attending any public spaces, all of the museum’s members – of which there are more than 20,000, who have supported the Guggenheim during its closure – will receive free admission throughout June.

Those who are not members will also receive a three-month membership for the price of a standard ticket bought this month.