Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to pre-book my visit?

A: The safety of our staff and visitors is our main priority. So we are limiting the number of visitors at the Ulster Museum at any one time. To help us keep you safe, we highly recommend pre-booking your free tickets on our website to guarantee a particular time slot on the date you plan to visit.

A small number of spaces will be available to book on arrival however these will be allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis and you may be required to wait until there is an available timed entry slot. However if you haven’t booked in advance, unfortunately, we can’t guarantee your entry. So book ahead for assurance before your visit.

Time slots are available Tuesday to Sunday from 10am with the last time slot at 4pm.

A general admission ticket is not required to visit our shop and café. However to comply with current regulations, Track and Trace information will be taken on arrival. 

For queries related to booking online please call our special booking line on 028 9042 8428. For general advice about your visit, please call the Ulster Museum on 028 9044 0000.

Q: What if I need to change a booking or my original date?

A: Tickets booked are non-transferable. However, if you have booked a visit and you or any of your party develop Covid-19 symptoms, we politely ask you to not visit the museum and to contact us to reschedule your booking. Please call our booking line 028 9042 8428 to reschedule your booking.

Q: Can I make a group booking?

A: Yes. Group bookings of up to 15 people can be made online. Group bookings of 15 people or more will receive a 10% discount. For bookings over 15 people, please email us at to discuss your risk assessment which is required as detailed in the latest Coronavirus regulations. National Museums NI continue to review this as government and public health advice evolves.

Q: What happens if I arrive late?

A: You should arrive at the museum prior to the start time that you have booked. We will make every attempt to process your booking on arrival and provide entry as soon as possible however there may be a delay in gaining access if you arrive late. Entry cannot be fully guaranteed.

Q: Do I need to print my booking/ticket?

A. We are able to scan your ticket on entry either from a printed ticket or on a smartphone or tablet. Proof of booking is required to enter the museum. If you forget your pre-booked tickets, we can check your booking reference but it is likely to delay your visit.

Q: I am a National Museums NI Member. Why do I need to pre-book?

A: National Museums NI is reopening the Ulster Museum in line with government advice and public health guidelines. To ensure the health and safety of all our staff and visitors we are limiting the total number of visitors on the museum site at any one time. We will use online pre-booking to ensure visitor numbers are maintained and monitored.

Our members can book time slots online on the day you would like to visit or if you prefer to book over the phone please call 028 9042 8428 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 4.00pm).

Q. I am a National Museums NI Member. Why do I not get priority booking over non-members?

A. HMRC has deemed priority booking to be an additional benefit to members and therefore we are unable to offer priority booking for members as a result.

Q: I’m a member, what if I forget my membership card when I visit?

A: We would ask that members bring their membership card with them so our welcome team can validate their pre-booked ticket on arrival.  We can also accept a member’s photographic ID for validation of tickets.

Q: I have a disability / additional needs. Do you have any specific time slots for people like me?

A: Yes. While people with a disability are welcome to visit our museum any time, we recommend booking a time slot between 10am and 11am when our museum will be fresh from a daily deep clean meaning those in high risk categories can rest a little easier.

These time slots are also great for visitors with any sensory needs such as autism or who require a little more time to get around as the museum is usually quieter.

We ask anyone booking a visit to consider choosing a time slot after 11am to allow people with disabilities, their carers, family and friends to book earlier in the day.

For those with access needs, read our accessible social story about what to expect on your visit.

Q: How long will a visit to the museum take?

There is no time limit for visits. You can enjoy all that the museum has to offer at your leisure. A full visit to the museum can take 2 to 3 hours. However, as part of our one-way system we have highlighted regular ‘drop off’ areas leading to the exit for visitors who do not wish to visit all galleries in one visit. We also have a ‘fast-track’ system to our art galleries in place for visitors wishing to see particular temporary exhibitions.

Q: What can I see and do at the Ulster Museum?

A: All of our galleries are open for visitors to explore our world-class collections.

Q: Will the Discovery Zones be open?

A:  Yes.  All of our discovery centres have reopened with new activities to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors and staff. Please be aware that this is currently with significantly reduced capacity throughout the day. Please ask one of our welcome guides on arrival for more information. 

Q: Is the Ulster Museum taking part in the Test & Trace programme?

A: National Museums NI supports the Department of Health's Test, Trace, Protect strategy for public health in response to Covid-19. The information we hold is held in line with data protection legislation and our privacy policy. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Q: How will you ensure that I can visit safely?

A: The safety and welfare of our staff and visitors is our top priority in light of the coronavirus pandemic. National Museums NI are committed to following the advice and guidance provided by the government. The Ulster Museum has been awarded the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard mark, certifying that we are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and have the required processes in place.

To ensure your safety, we have implemented a number of changes to the museum experience:

  • Managing the capacity and number of people visiting our museum at any one time to ensure social distancing
  • Providing online booking facility for pre-booking tickets
  • Non-contact validation of tickets on arrival
  • One-way visitor routes, with separate entrance and exit points through the main entrance door and Stranmillis Road door respectively
  • Fully trained welcome team and visitor guides on site and on hand to answer visitor questions, ensure you are safe and help make your visit as enjoyable as possible
  • Providing enhanced hygiene and cleaning regimes
  • Use of Perspex screens to protect visitors and staff
  • Providing clear and frequent visitor information signage and floor markings in and around our museums
  • Providing hand sanitising stations at regular points
  • Managed toilet facilities
  • Contactless payment

Q: Do I have to wear a face covering when I visit the museum?

A: Face coverings must be worn in the museum at all times unless you are exempt. Face coverings will be available to purchase in our museum shop if you forget to bring your own.

Children under 13 don’t have to wear a face covering and remember, there are circumstances that make it difficult for some people to wear a face covering.

For more information on the government guidelines on wearing face coverings check out and

Q: Do children need to wear a face covering in the museum?

A: Current government guidelines state that children under the age of 13 do not have to wear a face covering.

Q: Will staff at the museum be wearing face coverings?

A: We have a number of safety measures in place to protect both our staff and visitors. These include social distancing, hand sanitising stations and Perspex screens. Our staff will be wearing face coverings where social distancing cannot be maintained. However, please remember that there are circumstances that may make it difficult to do so. 

Q: Will you refuse entry to anyone who does not wear a face covering?

A: Admission to our sites can be refused to anyone not wearing a face covering. This will be at the discretion of the Duty Manager.

Q: Is there a storage area available for my luggage and personal possessions?

A: No. Due to current Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to take into temporary safekeeping any personal belongings and our cloakroom will remain closed.

Q: Will your toilet facilities be open?

A: Yes. We have public toilets available throughout the museum. Please ensure you follow the guidance we have put in place for everyone’s safety when using our toilets. We are asking visitors to keep a safe distance and to keep in mind that several disabilities are hidden when it comes to persons using adapted toilets. Our toilets are cleaned on a regular basis. During your visit we may need to close a toilet facility for a period in order to carry out necessary hygiene checks and essential cleaning. Please respect the important role of our cleaning staff as they carry out their work.

Q: Is the Café open?

A: Our Loaf Café is open during museum hours serving light bites and refreshments but with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place. When you arrive, place your order at the counter and then take a seat. Our staff will deliver your order to your table. You must wear a face covering when walking around the café but not when seated at your table. Contactless payment is advised.

If you’re only visiting Loaf Café and have not booked tickets to visit the museum, you’ll need to provide our staff with a name and contact details for a member of your party as part of the Department of Health's Test, Trace, Protect strategy for public health in response to Covid-19.

If you wish, you can also bring a picnic to eat outdoors in Botanic Gardens.

Q: Is the Gift Shop open?

A: Yes. The Gift Shop is open to visitors however for safety we will be limiting the number of people in store at any one time. We ask visitors to use contactless payment where possible and minimise handling of stock.

Sanitiser and gloves are available for use in store where required and visitors are asked to respect social distancing.

Unfortunately we are unable to allow visitors to try on personal items such as jewellery and scarves but we are offering a full refund on all items (excluding earrings and food) up to 60 days on presentation of receipt and all returned sale items will be held off sale for 5 days. Every purchase supports the work of National Museums NI.

Q. Do you accept contactless payments only now?

A: While contactless payment is advised, we also accept cash payments in GBP Sterling.