18 Must-See Museums From Around the World
Tour everything from the Guggenheim to the Museum of Broken Relationships.
Every city has a museum, or two or three, that they love to boast about. And with good reason: museums allow visitors to learn about a variety of subjects, including art, history, science, animals, nature, and more. A study conducted by Harris Interactive found that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material purchases. Visiting museums can provide a way to be with others and meet new people, and an opportunity for interactive learning.
In honor of that study, we put together a list of great museums around the world that you’re bound to love exploring. Check them out below.
1. Museum of Modern Art, New York City
Known as MoMa, the building was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi and can be found in Midtown Manhattan. It has one of the most influential collections of modern art in the world, featuring works by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse, Magritte, Picasso, Pollock and Warhol.
2. Musée D’Orsay, Paris
This Paris museum was converted from an old railway station and now hosts some of the most notable art works in France. You can see sculptures by Auguste Rodin as well as paintings by Paul Gauguin.
3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City
The building itself—with its spiraling interior ramp—is iconic, and was designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibits inside constantly change, so you could encounter Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, modern or contemporary art.
4. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Not only is the Louvre an art museum, but it is also a royal palace, and includes parts of a medieval castle concealed in its basement. Inside the Louvre proper, you can find Classical sculptures, Egyptian relics and Mesopotamian antiquities, as well as Italian Renaissance paintings, Rembrandts and Rubens, medieval artifacts and French neoclassical and Romantic painting.
5. Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Think of it as a beautiful walk on your way to the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums are full of classical statues and beautiful paintings.
6. Design Museum, London, England
This museum opened November 2016 and is dedicated to contemporary design “in every form.” British architectural designer John Pawson remodeled the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington. It has three times the amount of space of its original location in Shad Thames, and can offer a wider range of exhibitions.
7. Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
The V&A Museum is a London landmark. It received the largest architectural revamp in its 100-year history earlier this year and now has a new courtyard entrance and underground gallery.
8. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
Known as one of the greatest museums in the world, the Prado has works by Spanish masters such as Velázquez, El Greco and Goya, but also includes permanent Italian and Flemish collections, too, with paintings by Raphael, Titian and Tintoretto, Bosch, and Rubens. There are also rotating temporary exhibitions.
9. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Galleria degli Uffizi is Italy’s richest and most celebrated art gallery. It sits in what was originally the Medici’s equivalent of London’s Whitehall, and was the governing dynasty’s administrative center. It is home to famous art pieces like Gentile da Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi, Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus, Piero della Francesca’s twin portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, and Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni.
10. Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, South Korea
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which officially opened in March 2014, was designed by Zahah Hadid. Its exterior is lit up every night and has quickly become one of Seoul’s best-known landmarks. The plaza is surrounded by art and design venues and other gallery and exhibition spaces, and an eco-friendly park.
11. Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
It may seem like an odd premise for a museum, but the Museum of Broken Relationships has been described as a “genuinely touching window on the human soul” by Telegraph Travel’s Chris Leadbeater, and it is one of Zagreb’s most visited museums.
12. Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
You can view a beautifully preserved ship built in the 17th century at the Vasa Museum. The 64-gun Vasa, which gives the museum its name, sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. The maritime museum also has four floating ships moored outside.
13. ArtScience Museum, Singapore
The museum was originally built as Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Resort and is first to meld art and science together. It features traveling exhibitions from around the world.
14. Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago, Chile
The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino is one of the best places in the world to view ancient Central and South American artifacts.
15. Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCAA is one of Africa’s most important cultural attractions. It was established through a partnership with the V&A Waterfront and former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art showcases a diverse modern art collection from around the continent.
16. The Getty Villa + Getty Center, Los Angeles, CaliforniaStatue on the panorama terrace of the Getty Center, Los Angeles Seated Cardinal by Giacomo Manzu. (Godong/UIG via Getty Images)
The Getty Museum has two different campuses, one in Malibu and one on the hillside of Brentwood. The location in Malibu has a world-class collection of Greek, Roman and Etrucscan antiques. The Getty Center in Brentwood has a collection of American and European photographs, European art and furniture.
17. Inhotim Institute, BrazilInhotim Institute in Brazil (Wikipedia)
This forbidding-looking block of a museum features a wide range of contemporary art, but it also includes a botanical garden, where you can view rare species of plants from all seven continents.
18. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia
You’ll probably need more than just one day to explore The Hermitage, since it has a vast collection of art, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Rembrandt. The Telegraph writes that you would actually need 11 years to view every single exhibit. Better get started.
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