13 Best Museums Around the World
If you ask me, museums are some of the best places on Earth. You can find so many different topics, that it is always possible to find your location or that little piece of art or history that you just needed to see in your life. One of my favorite word combinations includes “Museum + Free” and it is one of the things that makes me happy while traveling.
Thinking about which one was my favorite museum, I decided to open the game and ask some of my fellow travel bloggers which were theirs. These are what we all consider, are the best museums around the world for you to explore while traveling.
Best Museums Around the World: ABBA the Museum – Stockholm, Sweden
Don’t get me wrong! I have plenty of favorite museums in the world, and to summarize it a little bit I can say that my top things to do in Oslo are visiting the Munch Museum in Oslo, the Henrik Ibsen Museum, and the Oslo National Gallery. In Washington DC, I love to visit the National Gallery, and I also love the Ponce Museum here in Puerto Rico among many others.
Why ABBA the Museum and not the others? Basically because of what I said at the beginning. Museums are so diverse and can be about anything that chooses one that is so important for World Pop Music was something I wanted to do. If you have read me before, I am a Eurovision Song Contest freak and also a Swedish freak, and I think that this little museum contains a lot of Swedish Pop Culture in all that memorabilia. I believe all of this makes it one of the best museums around the world.
If you are visiting Stockholm, besides planning your stay in one of the boutique hotels in Stockholm, definitely this is a place you need to see, just if it’s about music since the Swedish Music Hall of Fame is located there!
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Best Museums Around the World: The Dali Museum – St Petersburg, Fl.
by Mary Chong – CalculatedTraveller.com
Not only is the building’s architecture and location stunning but so is the collection at The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida, which makes it one of the best museums around the world. Located on the St. Petersburg waterfront, The Dali Museum collection contains more than 2,000 works of art by Salvador Dali; the largest collection of Dali’s artwork outside of Europe.
To read more about the Dali Museum check out the article in Calculated Traveller Magazine:
Visions and Dreams at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg Florida
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Best Museums Around the World: The British Museum – London, UK
by Amar – GapYearEscape
The best museum around the world also happens to be one of the first I can ever remember going to as a child; The British Museum. The building itself is incredible and I can’t get enough of the ceiling in the Great Court when you enter the reading room at the center. There are over 8 million works in the museum dedicated to human history and culture. Being an Ancient History fan my favorite departments are Greece, Rome, and Egypt but you can’t go wrong with anywhere you go. Being so vast you don’t feel as herded as you do with other museums in London and it’s well worth a visit for anyone coming to the capital.
Best Museums Around the World: The Pergamon Museum – Berlin, Germany
by Izzy – TheNextSomewhere
History comes to life at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. The Pergamon Museum is the country’s most visited art museum and for good reason, we can consider it one of the best museums around the world. As one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, it is home to full-scale assemblies of some of antiquity’s most beautiful monuments including the Pergamon Altar of Ancient Greece and a section of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate. A visit to the museum is an actual trip through time! Imagine how bizarre it is to be standing in the shadow of some of mankind’s greatest architectural feats in a modern-day German museum. It very much undoes your sense of place. If you’re in Berlin, don’t miss out, and make sure you allot enough time to take in everything.
Best Museums Around the World: Phallological Museum – Reykjavik, Iceland
by Ashlyn – The Lost Girls Guide
Not your ordinary museum, Reykjavik’s Icelandic Phallological Museum is all about penises. With representations of all mammals found within the country as well as around the world, it houses more than 280 different specimens from 93 species of animals. Acquisitions range from the 1.7-meter front tip of a blue whale penis to the teeny tiny 2 mm baculum of a hamster. It’s also home to 15 sculptures of the Icelandic national handball team. Having only one human penis on display, four other men from around the world have pledged to donate their penises after their death. It’s both a tourist attraction and a science destination to learn more about the variety of the male species appendage, and one of the best museums around the world.
Best Museums Around the World: Montreal’s Museum Of Contemporary Art/Musee D’art Contemporain De Montréal (MAC)
by Kyle – Godriftaway.com
Montreal has dozens of museums and the Museum of Contemporary Art is by far the one I enjoy the most and one of the best museums around the world. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal in the Entertainment District (Quartier des spectacles), it’s easily accessible to any locals or visitors. It’s been around since 1964 and never fails to impress me. It has artwork commissioned by avant-garde artists from all over the world offering creative interpretations of sculptures, paintings, film music, and more. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours on a rainy or snowy day in Montreal. And to sweeten the deal, it’s affordable and directly accessible from the underground shopping centers and metro (subway) system. If you’re in Montreal, you should check it out.
Best Museums Around the World: National Archaeological Museum – Naples, Italy
by Paolo – BBalcentrostorico
It is ranked as one of the best museums around the world. Found here are Roman and Greek antiquities. Most of the artifacts kept here originate from the surrounding excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii and perfectly preserved sites that were covered as a result of eruptions emanating from Mt. Vesuvius back in 79 AD. Also found here is an attractive display of frescoes and mosaics. Another impressive section is that of the coins’ display.
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Best Museums Around the World: Mauritshuis – The Hague, the Netherlands
by Naomi – Probe Around The Globe
My favorite Dutch museum and one of the best museums around the world is the Mauritshuis (House of Maurits) in the Hague. The museum focuses on Dutch painters of the Golden Age. The museum is situated right in the city center in an old building, which is remarkable on its own. But we do not visit the building, let’s see some art!
Masterpieces of the Mauritshuis are situated in their dedicated rooms. They have a few works by Rembrandt van Rijn on display. To see the small patches of paint, flopped on the canvas up close is a unique experience. You can almost see the dimly lit workplace of this famous painter in front of you when you’re looking at his self-portraits.
Flemish artists Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens collaborated in their Garden of Eden. This painting is something completely different as you see a lush forest unfold in front of your
eyes. Exotic animals draw your eyes to the main picture of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
I also want to mention the larger-than-life canvas of the bull by Paulus Potter. This one does make an impression. As you round the corner to the hall, you look over your shoulder and you see this larger-than-life painting of a bull in the countryside.
But the one thing that made a lifelong impression is the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer. This painting is iconic and a bit overshared. It feels like meeting a celebrity for the first time in person. The delicate soft tones with the stark contrast, really make the girl with the pearl earring stand out. While you’re looking at the painting, you look behind you, to see who she’s looking at. The girl with the pearl earring comes to life because of the colors, contrast, and airmanship.
More of the Mauritshuis on TripAdvisor
Best Museums around the World: Museum of Science – Boston, MA.
by Katie – The Budget Backpack
My favorite museum is the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. This place is magical. It’s so fun and interactive, and there is such a wide variety of exhibits that you’re sure to be engaged for the whole day. The museum feels geared towards children, and maybe it is, but the wonderful atmosphere and knowledgeable staff and volunteers enhance the whole experience even for solo adult travelers. This is my secret spot to bring dates to see if we’re compatible: if you can’t have fun here, you’re a little too vanilla for me!
Another fantastic thing about the MoS is that it is very accessible for non-native English speakers. The language they use to describe the exhibits is clear and easy to understand. If you’re visiting Boston, the MoS is a great place to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day or if you’ve already taken care of all your must-sees!
More of the Museum of Science on TripAdvisor
Best Museums around the World: Museum of Science and Industry – Chicago, IL
by Jennifer – Jen There Done That
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Best Museums around the World: Art Institute – Chicago, Il
by Carol – Wayfaring Views
Sometimes art appreciation is an inherited thing—it was for me anyway. My Mom is an artist, art lover, and avid traveler. I am a writer, photographer, art lover, and avid traveler. Her favorite museum (and mine) is the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum is located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and is easily accessed from the downtown Loop. Its large but accessible collection focuses primarily on modern and contemporary art. They have a fabulous collection of Impressionism and also house works from contemporary artists like Dali, Picasso, O’Keefe, Warhol, Kandinsky, Diebenkorn, and on and on.
I had one of those transcendent experiences at the Art Institute while in the Vincent Van Gogh room. I stood there taking in the paintings while listening to Jim Croce’s “Starry Starry Night” through my earbuds. Croce’s evocative lyrics about Van Gogh’s struggles with sanity pulled me into the paintings and gave me a deeper appreciation for the works and Van Gogh himself.
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Best Museums around the World: Musée d’Orsay – Paris, France
by Sandra – Tourlina.com
I especially love arriving there at the opening at 9.30 am and going directly to the upper floor, where the impressionists are located. As most visitors are first-time visitors and start with the ground floor, the area for the impressionists is at that time calm and not crowded. If you’re lucky you can find their artists preparing replicas of the paintings. You can find there many well-known paintings by Monet, Manet, Cézanne and some more.
For having a break and a cup of coffee the stylish designed Café Campana on the second floor is the perfect place. Don’t miss having at least a look inside for the cool interior and the big outside clock as an eye-catcher. All of these make it one of the best museums around the world.
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Best Museums around the World: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry – Portland, OR
by Susanna – Wandering Chocobo
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a leading science center with a focus on hands-on creative learning. Their stationary exhibits offer a wide range of learning from physics, chemistry, and technology labs, a planetarium, paleontology and body exhibits, and special after-dark events, like star gazing!
The rotating and new exhibits are always fresh and relevant so every time you go is a new adventure.
It’s a great place for the whole family with theaters showing laser shows set to Pink Floyd and Nirvana for adults to children’s play centers for very young ages. A lot of reviews say the center focuses on children, but as I was staring through my pair of thick plastic googled up in the chemistry lab about to make magic happen, I realized you just need to find your child-like sense of wonder and transport back to a time when learning was fun.