Museums and monuments free on Sundays and public holidays for residents from September onwards

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Entrance to museums, monuments and palaces under state supervision will be free on Sundays and public holidays for citizens living in Portugal from September 1, according to the regulation.

The regulation also updates the entrance fees to these spaces under the responsibility of the Directorate-General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC), in accordance with the order published on August 4 in the Diário da República.

In the document, the government justifies the update of the regulation in force since 2014 with the “growth in tourist activity, as a result of which the cultural offer has diversified in recent years, as well as the introduction of the online sales channel, with the acquisition, in 2021, of the new ticketing system”.

Currently, entry to the Museums, Monuments and Palaces under the responsibility of the DGPC is free on Sundays and public holidays until 2pm for all visitors.

As of September 1, free access to museums, monuments and palaces in general (and not just on Sundays and public holidays) also covers children and young people up to the age of 12, unemployed visitors residing in the European Union, researchers, museum and/or heritage professionals, conservators and restorers, provided they are working, teachers and students from any level of higher education, including senior universities and vocational training institutions accredited for study visits, and groups with proven financial need.

This free access – the restructuring of which took into account “the basic principle of universal access to culture”, according to the order – continues to include, among others, former combatants, visitors with a proven disability of 60% or more, tourism or media professionals, including the new digital platforms, as long as they are accredited and carrying out their duties, visitors to corporate events or occasional situations.

As for the discounts, they remain at 50% for visitors aged 65 or over, the same for young people aged between 13 and 24, and “families, as long as they are made up of at least two people, one of whom is an adult and the other a minor”, in addition to the protocols.

Overall, the DGPC’s new General Regulations on Ticketing and Access to Museums, Monuments and Palaces make some adjustments, particularly with regard to the tables for guided tours and the parameters for exemptions and discounts, rules and tables applicable to guided tours, taking into account their specific nature.

Some types of circuit tickets, the price of which had remained unchanged since 2014, were adjusted and discontinued, according to the document.

Among other changes, there is the creation of a separate price list for temporary exhibitions and the merging of discounted Youth Card and Student Card tickets and Family and Large Family tickets into a single type, according to the order signed on July 27 by Finance Minister Fernando Medina and Culture Minister Pedro Adão e Silva.

In an interview with RTP3 in July, Pedro Adão e Silva recalled that “70% of visitors to Portuguese museums are foreigners” and, of the 30% of Portuguese visitors, “only 15% pay full price, everything else has very significant discounts, from 50 to 60%”.

“With this kind of change, we can have a significant effect on revenue,” he said at the time.

According to DGPC statistics, in 2022, national museums, monuments and palaces had 3.3 million visitors, which represents a recovery of almost two million entries compared to the losses during the covid-19 pandemic.

However, the figures were below the four to five million reached before the pandemic, between 2017 and 2019.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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