Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Da Vinci Queue

The queue on the Opening Day of the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition
at the Sainsbury Wing, National Gallery in London

Just in case any of you want to see the Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery - above and on the right are a couple of photos I took of what the queue to get in looked like late this afternoon.

Da Vinci Exhibition Queue
photographed from inside the Gallery
Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan is open until 5 February 2012.  It is unique - having 9 of the remaining 15 paintings by Leonardo da Vinci on display.

It's a bone fide blockbuster of an exhibition - with queues to match.  It will be very crowded inside even with timed entry if my experience of other National Gallery exhibitions is anything to go by.

Recommendation - buy ticket in advance

Advance ticket booking (via the website) is strongly recommended by the Gallery and by me.


At present the National Gallery is saying to expect a three hour wait to buy tickets for the exhibition.

I will keep this post updated with the latest queue situation as and when I'm passing the National Gallery.  Feel free to send me your photos if you visit and take a snap]

Don't even think of coming to see it at the weekend or during the seasonal holidays without a ticket bought in advance! [no longer relevant - they're sold out.  Note that tickets bought from third parties will NOT be honoured by the National Gallery.  They're trying to stamp out ticket touts]

I very much recommend you order a ticket BEFORE you come to London to see it.

UPDATE:  just spotted this tweet by the National Gallery
just been confirmed that advance tickets available for dates in Jan&Feb only - this is now updated on our website.
You can order tickets via the National Gallery website.  Ticket Prices are as follows for Timed-ticket entry
  • Gift Aid* adult £17.60
  • Gift Aid* senior (60+) £15.40
  • Full price £16.00
  • Senior (60+)/concession £14.00
  • National Art Pass (Art Fund) holders £8.00
  • Students/Job seekers/12-18s £8.00
Opening times (for this exhibition ONLY) are as follows:
  • Open daily 10am–6pm (last admission 5pm)
  • Late nights including Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm (last admission 9pm)
  • Sundays until 7pm (last admission 6pm)
Recommendation - download introduction to exhibition 


You can also download an Introduction to the Exhibition as a pdf file from the National Gallery website

PDF fileDownload the exhibition guide [PDF 610kb – opens in a new window]

I took a look at the Da Vinci exhibition catalogue while in the Sainsbury Wing shop this afternoon and, as I expected, there's an awful lot of Da Vinci's drawings in the exhibition.  So good news for those of who enjoy drawing.

Now all I have to do is work out when is going to be the quietest bit of the week to get my ticket!


  1. I would like to go but the last big exhibition even with a pre-purchase ticket there were so many people around each painting that it was not worth the effort. I envy the tv presenters with their private audiences.

  2. I'm thinking of going early one morning early in the week. Hopefully that should minimise the crowds.

    1) don't go in the first couple of weeks when there will definitely be hordes
    2) Avoid the Christmas holidays at all costs when it will be awful
    3) Don't leave it to the last 2-3 weeks when it will be full of people who left it to the last minute!

    I reckon end of November / beginning of December - or early January should be a good time.

  3. Check if they're open New Year Day? I went to see the Barnett Newman exhibition at the Tate early that day (years ago) and it was nearly empty. Fantastic! Otherwise I think when they open on a weekday will be your best bet.

  4. I checked advance booking for January last night and couldn't find any available tickets - but have tweeted the National Gallery with a query about this. I'm hoping it's a glitch rather than the correct status for advance booking!


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.