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What to Expect Visiting the National Gallery of Art Washington DC

What Is the First Step Visit the National Gallery of Art?

This is what I experienced when I decided to visit my favorite museum the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. And in case you were wondering how the museum was handling Covid-19 health issues, The National Gallery of Art has decided to maintain crowd sizes by using Timed Entry Passes.  This means you will have to get a ticket for a specific time to enter the Museum.  These tickets can be found on EventBrite.  They are free, but they sell out quickly.  The Museum is releasing passes in two-week batches.  They are adding new passes every Monday at 10:00 am for the following week.  They do want to know if you are coming by yourself or not.  If you are coming with a friend you must write down their name.  Also, you can only select a maximum of five tickets at a time.

Below is an excerpt from the Museum’s EventBrite ticket page.

  • Passes will indicate 30-minute entry windows between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (The Gallery will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) While we will do our best to honor the scheduled time on your pass, entry into the West Building will be subject to building capacity and safety.
  • Please arrive within the 30-minute window listed on your pass.
  • Please have your pass available (on your phone or printed) for entry.
  • We recommend allotting approximately 90 minutes for your visit.
  • A limited number of walk-in passes will be available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Passes are not required for the Sculpture Garden.

Visitor Guidelines


National Gallery of Art Washington DC Guidelines


Arriving at the Museum

So I hopped into a Lyft to drive down to the National Gallery of Art. I do not usually drive down to the Museum because one can never be too certain about the parking downtown near the Museum.  I used to take the Metro, but since Covid-19 has begun I am guessing that it may not be that safe to ride on Metro.  It is possible that I am overreacting.  But, I have seen too many people walking around Washington, DC that are not wearing masks to assume that the virus will not get on board a metro train.  So I wore my mask inside the car, at the entrance to the museum, inside the museum, and in the car going back home.





Waiting to Get Into the National Gallery of Art

I thought that there was going to be a crowd because it was a timed pass.  My experience with going to a timed pass exhibit at a museum is that you wait for a long purgatory time in a huge line to get a chance for 30 minutes to walk around a Museum.  This did not happen.  There were not a lot of people.  Which means the timed pass use comes up to question.  Since crowd size is such a big thing these days, here is a photo of the line.  I got there at 11 am and they let me go inside even though my pass was for 11:30 am.  Paula checked me in on her IPad.  I went through the doors at a safe distance from the person in front of me. There were enough staff to direct me to where to stand in order to keep at a safe distance from other people.

a person standing in front of a building

National Gallery of Art Has New Security

As you can see from this photo, there are new metal detectors at the front door.  So be aware that you should really use common sense, and don’t bring your swiss army knife to the Museum.  Once you go through the metal detectors you are directed by security to stand at the side at a distance from others for further inspection by a single security guard with a rod to look through your purse along with a metal detector wand to inspect the change in your pockets.  Do not have anything, and I mean anything in your pocket or that thing will go off.

National Gallery of Art Washington DC

National Gallery of Art is Still Changing

After getting through security you notice that the National Gallery of Art has other changes and is still making upgrades.  The Garden Cafe is closed for renovation.  The Main Gift Shop is not open.  You cannot go upstairs to the Main Art Galleries as they are still under construction.  You can still go downstairs to the Cafeteria, and purchase a gelato.  However, the tables are spread apart with only three chairs per table.  There are decals places on the wall to remind you not to get too close to anyone.  And, there are hand sanitizers located next to escalators.

a room that has a sign on a wall

National Gallery of Art Washington DC

a group of people that are set up on display

a group of people standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera

National Gallery of Art Washington DC

National Gallery of Art Washington DC

How Do You Feel About the National Gallery of Art?

National Gallery of Art Washington DC