Whenever you travel, you should always find time to visit museums. Why? Museums are a great way to learn about a place, its history, people, and culture. Therefore, you should add at least a few of the world’s top museums to your travel bucket list.
Contrary to what you may think, museums aren’t just for art and history lovers. They aren’t just places for viewing ancient artifacts. Many museums now feature interesting activities such as workshops, classes and free events that delight visitors from all walks of life. Some even have amenities such as restaurants and cafes that encourage social interaction and exchange of ideas. Visiting museums provides you with plenty of opportunities to learn and meet new people.
Additionally, museums will make you feel good. Even admiring the architecture from the outside is an inspiring and rewarding experience, enough to make you happy. The enriching experiences will last you a lifetime and will definitely make your travels more memorable.
Museums are wonderful attractions to visit and each one offers something unique and different from the next. Below is our list of the world’s best museums to add to your itinerary during your travels.
1. Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums in Rome, popular for its collection of religious relics and artifacts from the Renaissance period, was established in the 16th century. There are 22 spectacular collections in the museum boasting precious masterpieces by the likes of Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
Highlights: Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel
2. Louvre Museum
Once a medieval fortress and a palace, the Louvre Museum in Paris is arguably the world’s second most-visited museum. It is easily recognisable through the pyramid, designed by the renowned architect I. M. Pei, that stands at its entrance. Almost 35,000 objects from antiquity to the 21st century are housed in the Louvre.
Highlights: Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa
3. Prado Museum
The Prado Museum in Central Madrid boasts a huge collection of classical masterpieces. Among the museum’s prized collections are artworks by Velazquez, Goya, Titian, and Raphael.
Highlights: The “Three Graces” by Peter Paul Rubens
4. Dali Museum
The Dali Museum in Girona near Barcelona, opened in 1974, is home to 1,500 of Salvador Dalí’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography, to name a few. Dalí is a famous surrealist as is considered the pioneer of European Surrealism.
Highlights: The whole museum
5. Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece is a stunning archaeological museum that features the most interesting finds known to man. It houses around 4,000 artifacts dating back to the Bronze Age up to Byzantine Greece. The collections are exhibited on the first three levels while the top floor houses a café and gift shop.
Highlights: The Parthenon Frieze
6. Smithsonian Museum
Considered the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. is home to 19 museums and galleries, a zoological park, and a handful of research facilities. Millions of objects significant to America’s rich history and culture are exhibited in the Smithsonian so you should give yourself at least a few days to explore the Smithsonian, focusing on just a few exhibits in a couple of museums within the complex.
Highlights: Dorothy’s ruby red slippers, the original Star-Spangled Banner at the National Museum of American History brothers’ 1903 Flyer, and the Apollo 11 command module
7. Uffizi Gallery
If you want to experience the world’s finest Renaissance paintings, the museum to visit is the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. You will find works from the greatest Renaissance masters here, including masterpieces from early medieval and Baroque painters.
Highlights: The “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is home to 900,000 objects, including artworks by Ruysdael, Rembrandt van Rijn, and other Dutch masters. Founded in 1800, the museum also features pieces that date back to the Middle Ages.
Highlights: Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”
Make your vacations fun and educational, visit the Vatican Museums and the Uffizi Gallery the next time you’re in Italy.
By: Brendelyn Balaga