best museums around the world

The Best Museums Around the World

For some people, vacation means sitting on a beach with their toes in the sand while sipping on pineapple cocktails. For others, it means hiking through the great wilderness and getting a peek at quiet and exotic nature and wildlife. Yet for others, sometimes the ideal vacation consists of traveling from one amazing international city to the next and absorbing the culture. From Rome to Australia, Russia, the Middle East and even right here in the US, adding the world’s best museums to your itinerary can leave you with an exciting and educational trip around the globe. We’ve put together a list of some of the best museums around the world to help you plan the most fulfilling museum vacation you possibly can. 

Best Museums Around the World – Cater to Your Museum Fancy!

There are a range of interesting and inspiring types of must see museums pretty much anywhere you go. Fine art, historical collections of art through the ages, fashion, war, science…you name it, somewhere there’s a museum to commemorate your interests. Below we’ve got a list of some of the most famous and best museums that’ll tickle your fancy all over the world. 

Art Museums: 

  • Musée D’Orsay, Paris – Located in an old train station in Paris, this museum boasts breathtaking collections from some of history’s most remembered artists. It also has graphic, architectural, decorative and even full photographic collections too.
musee d’orsay, paris
Statues outside the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. If fine art is on your museum vacation list, you won’t want to miss this museum.
  • Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa – The home of some of the most elaborate and full collections of South African Art from around the continent, this museum focuses on modern art collections. It’s considered one of the most important cultural attractions you can take in while visiting South Africa. 
  • The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa – While it’s focus is on Canadian art collections, some that span back to early inuit and religious works from Canadians residents, this museum is also home to some international collections, too.
The National Gallery of Canada best museum
Headed to Canada? The National Gallery of Canada contains history of Canada’s earliest residents. It’s also got a pretty awesome collection from around the world, too.
  • The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York – Any museum goer is already well aware of The Met in New York. In fact, if you appreciate the arts and you have yet to check out this wonder, it’s most likely already on your bucket list. Located just outside of Central Park, The Metropolitan has more than two million pieces in its permanent collection and is considered one of the largest art museums in the world.
  • Muséee Du Louvre, Paris – If the Louvre didn’t make our list of the best museums around the world, well…we’d be remiss. Synonymous with the phrase art museum, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most visited art museums in the world. With pieces ranging from the prehistoric era to the early nineteenth century, you’ll take a journey through time while laying eyes on beauty you’ve never seen before. Mona Lisa, anyone?
The Louvre in Paris
The Louvre is definitely one of the biggest must see museums out there!

Science Museums:

  • The Natural History Museum, London – Split into 2 museums, The Natural History Museum in London holds more than 70 million specimens. You can knock 2 museums off your list when visiting, as The British Museum is the second museum at this location. They’ve been settling evolutionary debates and assisting in the documentation of life as we know it for centuries. Did we mention a visit to this place is free?
best museums in Europe
No science museum is complete without giant fossils! The Natural History Museum in London is one of the best museums in Europe. It contains some of the world’s most impressive collections of specimens.
  • Te Papa Museum, Wellington, New Zealand – While not strictly science based, it definitely needs to be on our list of best museums around the world. “Te Papa” is Maori, and roughly translates to “our place”. They own thousands of specimens, but they also have exhibits that display the art and cultural history of local Pacific tribes, including the Taonga Māori.
  • The Deutsches Museum, Germany – Known as the largest science and technology museum in the world, The Deutsches Museum boasts more than 28,000 items, inventions and products from more than 50 fields of science and technology. If it’s not on your bucket list, it definitely should be!
Deutsches Museum
This gorgeous clock is on display at the Deutsches Museum in Germany. Focusing on science and technology, this museum will get your brain ticking!

History and Culture:

  • The Egyptian Museum, Cairo – It’s probably safe to say that ancient Egyptian culture interests many! With some of the most magnificent archaeological finds from Egypt’s history, you won’t be disappointed.
  • The National Archaeological Museum, Greece – Another collection of art and cultural finds that help tell Greece’s story are located in this museum. Art, literature, stories and artifacts, this museum should definitely be on your list.
best museums in Greece
Apollo and Hera welcome visitors from the rooftop of another one of the best museums of the world, in Athens at the National Archaeological Museum in Greece.
  • The State Hermitage Museum, Russia – Starting with artifacts from the 6th through 4th centuries BC, if you’re headed to Russia, this museum should definitely be on your itinerary! They have collections from international artists, but the museum holds its own when it comes to appreciating and acknowledging Russia’s history.
  • The Shrine of the Book, Israel – Containing some of Christianity’s most important documents, the Shrine of the Book displays some of the most important texts in this religion’s history. 
  • Vatican City, Italy – The dome in The Vatican is worth the trip alone, but the opportunity to see other works of art, check out artifacts about one of the most famous religious cities in the world, and experience the history of Italy all in one convenient bundle shouldn’t be overlooked. 
Best museums Vatican City
If checking out Vatican City hasn’t made your list, you may want to squeeze some space in there. So much history on display, you can spend days experiencing the art and culture here.

We don’t have enough room to list every famous or noteworthy museum out there, but there are hundreds and thousands more. Filling your international travel agenda with a little bit of culture, art and science is a great way to fill days where weather may not be great or you need a little time closer to civilization. When planning out your museum vacation, make sure you’re checking with the museum for times, private tours and other opportunities or potential closures. As always, if you’re planning an international vacation, make sure you’ve got your passport ordered in time. If you need help obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate for your passport application, VitalChek can help. Happy traveling!

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