We put this piece together with 45 other travel bloggers to bring you 45 incredible museums around the world to check out. Read on to find out more, and let us know in the comments below, which museums are your favourites.
Grand Maket Rossiya – Russia
Grand Maket Rossiya is one of my favorite museums in Saint Petersburg and one of the first interactive museums in the city. It’s a detailed model layout of Russia designed on a scale of 1:87, the total area of the layout is 800m². Here you can see different regions of Russia, main cities and natural attractions e.g. lakes, rivers, mountains, ocean, forest etc. as well as everyday life and human activities; work, sport, leisure, holiday.
There are more than 200 000 figures of people and animals, 2km of railways, 200 train carts and 200 cars, hundreds of buildings, bridges and traffic lights on the layout. As I already mentioned the layout is interactive – tiny trains, cars and buses move around on their own, stop at traffic lights and intersections. Day and night change gradually every 13 minutes, starting from the east part of Russia and moving towards the west. Lights in houses and on the streets go on and off with the day/night changing. Fires start burning in the buildings and firemen come to put them off and many other things happening around all the time like if it was a real world.
It took about 5 years and more than 100 people to build the layout, put together all the mechanisms and details. The museum was opened in 2012 and now it’s one of the most popular museums in Saint Petersburg and the children’s favorite city museum.
Entrance fee; adults – US$7, children – US$4. Visitors can rent audio guides in Russian, English and German for US$4. The layout is opened daily from 10am to 8pm.
Campbell & Alya / Stingy Nomads
Vienna’s Museum of Technology
Whether you are a kid or adult and have technology in your blood, Vienna’s Museum of Technology is a must stop on your itinerary. I’m certainly geeky and so is my husband. Which makes easy to understand why we have visited this museum (back in 2013). To get to the museum take U3 and get off at stop Johnstrasse and 10 min walk (down the street, then make a left and you’ll see the museum) or U4 stop Schonbrunn. You can also get here by bus or tram.
The permanent exhibitions include everyday life, energy, at work, in motion, locomotive adventures, media worlds, mini, mini mobil, mobility, musical instruments, nature and knowledge, and heavy industry. What does this mean? You can in front of a real TV camera, you can try science experience, you can check out old locomotives and airplanes. You can hop on a bike and use your legs power to make a light bulb work. If technology and travel fascinate you then you’ll surely be spending a lot of time here (we spent about half a day). There are lockers where you can stow your day pack and jacket. There’s also a bistro if you get hungry.
Entrance is 13 euros for an adult (as of 2018). Children under 19 can enter for free.
Cris from LooknWalk
Technik Museum Speyer – Heidelberg
Situated near Heidelberg, you will find the Technik Museum Speyer and it will blow you away! I have been to many vehicle museums before but nothing can compare to the magnitude of this place. From a World War 2 U-boat, to a Russian MiG jet left after the Cold War ended, and even a space shuttle, this museum has everything you could hope to see.
You are not limited to only just looking at these historical vehicles. Many have space for you to climb inside; so you can see what it was like to be encased in a metal tube deep beneath the ocean or what a Boeing 747 looks like stripped of all the coverings. There is even a slide down from the 747 that you can ride down if you feel like a little more excitement!
Technik Museum Speyer houses an IMAX dome with a variety of documentaries available. For entrance into the IMAX and museum, ticket prices are €17 for children and €21 for adults. The museum only, costs €13 for children and €16 for adults. There are also group discounts.
With a variety of restaurants available, this is a great day out for the whole family.
Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum – Washington DC
Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto – Canada
If you are looking at one of the world’s best museums then head to Toronto, Canada. Toronto is home to the Royal Ontario Museum. At over 100 years old it is also Canada’s largest museum. Located in downtown Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museumhouses over 6 million objects across 30 galleries. The collection is diverse and includes everything from dinosaurs to world-class art and even meteorites.
Even the façade is a work of art where old meets modern. With the original exterior and doors on Queens Park, it is in stark contrast to the pyramid addition to the new entrance on Bloor Street. Some of the best exhibits to visit are the Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art (which is the largest collection outside of China), the Gallery of Africa’s Egypt collection, and the infamous Bat Cave – where visitors can walk through a simulated cave with the sounds of bats and other creatures lurking in the dark.
General Admission is $20 CAD. But if you visit during the summer you can enjoy discounted admission from 5:30pm – 8:30pm for only $12.
Stephanie from The World As I See It
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D’Orsay Museum – Paris
Vietnamese Women’s Museum – Hoan Siem (Hanoi)
Located near the central Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, the Vietnamese Women’s Museum is a fascinating study into the various tribes and their roles in current society. There are more than 1000 objects that showcase daily life through different stages of women’s lives here as well as the role of women throughout Vietnam’s history. Open since 1995, much before feminism and #MeToo were in vogue, the Women’s Musuem’s goal is nevertheless the same – to promote gender equality.
The Women in Fashion section is most interesting for a tourist as it gives an insight into various tribes that exist in Vietnam today, mainly in the North. Understanding how women live in rural areas in a tribal setting through various important functions such as marriage, child-rearing, farming etc. makes this section a must-visit. The Women in History section, on the other hand, gives a perspective of the Vietnam War from the point of view of women, something that is missed sorely in our collective minds.
There are various exhibitions from other parts of the world from time to time at the museum as well. The musuem’s importance can be gauged from the fact that it is often considered to be among the top attractions to visit in Hanoi by various sources and websites.
The museum is located at 36, P Ly Thuong Kiet street near the Old Quarter. It is open from 8 AM to 5 PM and admission costs 30,000 dong.
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Hermitage Museum – St Petersburg
The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia is recognised as having one of the largest collections of art anywhere in the world. It holds two works from renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci. For those playing at home, these are The Benois Madonnaand and The Litta Madonna contained within the aptly named Da Vinci room, an artwork unto itself.
The museum is housed within the walls of the massive Winter Palace allowing visitors to tick off two St Petersburg sites in one. The Winter Palace served as the home for legendary Russian ruler Catherine the Great. As a patron of the arts, literature and education, her personal collection of art and artefacts became the Hermitage Museum in 1852. As a visitor, you will be mesmerised by the art, blown away by the architecture and lost in the maze of hallways.
Tickets can be purchased at the door and range from 300-700 Russian Rubles ($5-10 USD) depending on which sections you wish to visit. Tickets are also available online for $17-$25 USD for a one or two-day pass. This also helps you avoid the large queues of group tours at the door.
Red Dot Museum – Essen (Germany)
In Red Dot museum you are are going to see all the miracles of industrial design! There are over 2000 award-winning items, from things like razors to huge objects like helicopters and cars. I do believe, there would be many things that you own or considered buying.
As tells their website: “The Red Dot Award is an international design competition for product design, communication design, and design concepts”. We live in a time when the production limitations are disappearing, and there are less and fewer limitations to a designer’s mind. I found it cool to see, how the design was developing over years.
The museum is located at Zollverein Mine Complex, a UNESCO site, turned from production into a cultural space. Located in Essen, Germany, it is one of the most notable industrial heritage locations. The Red Dot is like a museum inside a museum. Engineer on tour recommends.
Louvre Museum – Paris
Storm King Art Center – New York (USA)
Storm King Art Center or Storm King is an outdoor sculpture museum located in the town of Cornwall, New York. It is spread over 500 acres of woodlands, open meadows, and rolling hills and houses more than 100 pieces of modern and contemporary art. The sculptures are gigantic and beautifully crafted by renowned artists in the field. Each has a different story to tell. Sometimes they stand in stark contrast against the colors of nature and you cannot but stand and gaze at them in wonder.
Fall is considered to be great time to visit Storm King because you can also view some breathtaking fall colors. Summer is also a good time if you wish to spot a deer or two, roll around in the meadows, and have a relaxing day. Admission is $18 for adults, $8 for kids above 5, and free for children under 4. Storm King’s mission is to create a harmonious balance between art, nature, and people. It does so in a very subtle yet effective way. If you are looking to visit a museum with a difference, then Storm King is definitely the one for you.
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The Athens War Museum – Athens
The Athens War Museum may not have the high profile that comes with the Greek capital’s other museums such as the Acropolis Museum and Cycladic Art Museum, but few help to explain the history of the modern Greek state better.
Situated just a short walk away from Syntagma Square, the Athens War Museum is housed in a unique looking building. If any doubts were present that you were at the right place, the planes and artillery pieces outside give it away! Inside, the rooms are dedicated to memorabilia and exhibits which document the development and struggles of the Greek nation through its armed forces.
From guerrilla forces during World War 2, to the Balkan’s conflicts, the Athens War Museum displays not just the weapons of the age, but also personal items such as clothes, letters and kit.
I would recommend visiting the Athens War Museum for anyone who would like to learn more about the modern Greek state or who is keen on military history, and the museum can easily be seen in less than two hours.
Interested in finding out more? Check out Dave’s complete guide to the Athens War Museum.
By Dave Briggs – Dave’s Travel Pages
Royal Airforce Museum – London
The Royal Airforce Museum in Hendon, north London, is an amazing FREE TO VISIT museum. It has a fantastic collection of airplanes on display that retells the history of the RAF from its inception as the Royal Air Corps at the start of the First World War to the modern day of drones and the F-35 joint strike fighter.
Although the museum is free, you have to pay for your parking – £4 for up to six hours. This museum spans the generations … there’s lots for children to do – dress up in RAF clothing, play-ride in the small model planes located in the first hangar, take part in interactive features; there’s a plane-themed playground outside, and a children’s aeronautical science room in another hangar. You can bring a picnic, or eat in the cafes inside two of the hangars, or in their restaurant.
For older visitors, there’s the planes (and helicopters) to look at. From the earliest forms of aviation, through to modern day jet fighters, they are all on display. Standout aircraft include an immaculate Lancaster bomber, a huge Vulcan, a Sunderland Flying Boat, the Spitfire, Vampire, Liberator … the list goes on! An amazing day out. Fun and (very) educational.
The Frick Museum in New York City
The Frick Museum in New York City is on 70th street and 5th Avenue. It is the former home of Henry Clay Frick, a millionaire industrialist who was also a very interesting character from the Gilded Age. The Frick has an abundance of amazing art including paintings by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Manet, Renoir and El Greco. As if that were not enough, they have on display three of the finest paintings by Vermeer, the ones you will recognize from high school art classes. My absolute favorite painting of all time is the portrait of Sir Thomas Moore by Hans Holbein. It is amazing to look at the subject’s face and see the beginnings of a beard. Or look at his sleeves and see the red velvet that you can almost touch. You know you are seeing exactly what the artist saw about 500 years ago. The fact that The Frick was an actual home also always impressed me. It’s incredible to imagine people actually living in this New York City palace among the interior fountains, marble staircases, vaulted ceilings and rose gardens. And all this in front of Central Park treating this landscaped gem as it if was the front lawn!
Talek Nantes – Travels With Talek
Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City
The best museum in New York City is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and you can’t visit NYC without a trip to the Met. There are famous European paintings, artifacts from the south Pacific and ancient China, bamboo art from Japan, a hall of European sculpture, rows of armor, cabinets of American furniture and of course annual fashion extravaganzas. There are complete rooms from 18th Century France, a living room from Franklin Lloyd Wright’s Francis W. Little House, a courtyard from a Spanish villa and more. My favorite places at the Met are the experiential spaces that you can explore or spend time in. In addition to rows of mummies, papyruses covered in hieroglyphics and huge stone sarcophagi, there is a complete Egyptian temple to explore. In summer, head up to the roof garden for a cocktail while you admire this year’s site-specific installation and the views of Central Park. Or relax in an indoor Chinese garden or a medieval courtyard at the Cloisters. The Met is enormous and you can easily spend a day – or more- here. It has three locations – 5th Avenue, the Breuer and the Cloisters – and you can see all three for the one admission of $25.
James at Travel Collecting
Vatican Museum – Rome
If you’re visiting Rome, you have to visit the Vatican Museum. Ok, so technically this is in the Vatican City, a separate city-state that happens to be entirely surrounded by Rome, but hopefully you will forgive my geographical liberties.
The Vatican Museums is home to the incredible collection of art that has been amassed by various popes throughout the centuries, and these guys had a fairly discerning taste. Some of the world’s greatest treasures are on display here, from sculptures to paintings, with art works by everyone from Michelangelo to Salvador Dali.
The buildings themselves are richly decorated, and in many cases, are the attraction themselves. The Gallery of Maps is a great example of this, where the walls feature maps of all of Italy, painted directly onto the walls by friar Ignazio Danti, and dating from the 16th century. In addition, no visit to the Vatican Museums would be complete without a trip to the incredible Sistine Chapel, the highlight of which is the ceiling, Michelangelo’s seminal work.
If you’re planning a visit to Rome, check out our guide to spending 2 days in Rome, which has information on visiting the Vatican Museums, as well as loads more information for your visit!
Easter Island is one large open air museum. It comes as no surprise that the entirety of Easter Island is also one of the world’s most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Don’t miss the highlights of Easter Island: Ahu Tahai, Ahu Tongariki, Rano Raraku, and the Orongo Village to name a few.
The only “museum” on the island, the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum, is unfortunately often overlooked. The museum is not far from the town center of Hanga Roa, and you can find some of the many unusual things to see on Easter Island around this area.
The museum holds some of the most important Rapanui artifacts found on Easter Island. While the language of Rapanui has yet to be deciphered, you can see a priceless surviving wood tablet that features the ancient written language. The museum also houses the only female moai statue ever found, as well as the only surviving moai eye, which was accidentally discovered during an archaeological excavation.
Halef and Michael
Udvar-Hazy Center – Washington DC
The Smithsonian’s main, and more crowded, Air and Space Museum location is in DC on the Mall, but the (in my opinion) more interesting location is near Washington Dulles International Airport – the Udvar-Hazy Center.
There are no stuffy hallways filled with signs with tiny print here! The center is housed in two redesigned aircraft hangars and is where the museum displays the most fascinating and famous aircraft in its collection. Visitors can take a peek inside the Space Shuttle Discovery, walk around the infamous Enola Gay (the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima), see an example from the short-lived Concorde fleet, and marvel at a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Even if you aren’t interested in aircraft, the Udvar-Hazy center is extremely engaging. It’s hard to walk through a room filled with hundreds of airplanes and be bored!
The center also has both an IMAX Theater and a Planetarium, which show a variety space and aviation themed shows, such as a film about the Mars Rover.
Admission is free, but parking is $15 if you drive.
For more, visit Pink Caddy Travelogue – Day Trips From DC
New York Hall of Science is located in Queens – New York
The New York Hall of Science is located in Queens, NY. It has everything you want in a science museum, such as interactive and educational exhibits for kids of all ages, areas to build and create, a 3-D movies theater, and the best part – a huge science playground! Our entire family enjoyed the sports challenge area (where you were able to rock climb, test your pitching speed and ride a surf simulator), and also the animation exhibit (where the kids created a stop-motion storyboard, traced Looney Tunes characters and learned about the animation process). Besides those sections, there were exhibits on finding life outside of Earth, the applications of math, motion and gravity, a neat light exhibit and one about the evolution of health. Admission is $16 per adult and $13 per child. They also offer free workshops and play areas to build with various materials and paid small group makers space. Overall it was a fun family experience and one that I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.
Borghese Gallery – Rome
Jessica Norah – Independent Travel Cats
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National Museum of Singapore
If you only have time to visit one museum in Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore is the best option, to give you an overview of the history of the country.
Starting in the 14th century, the exhibitions take you through the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles and his influence, the difficult times of World War II and the Japanese occupation, and on to the building of modern Singapore.
As visitors walk through Singapore’s history, they can choose from two path options. The Events Path shows the major events and characters from Singapore’s history, while the Personal Path looks at these events through the eyes of local characters – from Chinese coolies to Arab merchants, British generals, Chinese ayahs, local socialites and bus drivers.
The museum prides itself on its cutting-edge presentation of its displays and there is a multitude of interactive elements. Each guest is furnished with the excellent Audio Companion, which guides you through the galleries and brings the exhibits to life with interviews, dramatised scenarios and personal accounts.
Marianne – Mum on the Move
The Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of the nicest museums in the world and one of the unmissable places to visit in the Basque Country. Located along the river in Bilbao, the museum was designed by famous architect Frank Gehry, and is a great example of contemporary architecture. It is a very beautiful building, at the same time resembling a ship, a tower, cliffs and flying fins. Not only this is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, but it also hosts some incredible art exhibitions – some of which are temporary, while others are permanent. One of the best ones to day is the installation of Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, placed outside the museum and which consists in blowing mist every hour, thus surrounding the museum of a mysterious aura – which sometimes visitors simply mistake for morning fog!! The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays and the entrance fee costs €16. It may be worth buying the ticket in advance.
Claudia Tavani – My Adventures Across The World
Reina-Sofia – Madrid
Madrid is often described as the city of art, and there is a good reason for that. Embark on a Madrid tour, and you will discover the Golden Triangle of Art, comprised of three museums: the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo Reina-Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. And while Prado is the most famous one and the Thyssen-Bornemisza is probably the most impressive private collection in the world, my favorite one is Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina-Sofia.
Once an 18th-century hospital, the building served as the Art Centre of Marid until 1988 when it was established as the modern art museum that is today. Reina-Sofia host probably the most impressive modern art collection in the world. And while some of the best canvas of titan artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko are on display, the biggest highlight of the galley is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica – a stunning mural-sized canvas created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Country village in northern Spain.The entering price for Reina-Sofia is 10 Euro. Every day, the last two working hours are free entry.
Miraikan – The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation – Tokyo (Japan)
Polish Vodka Museum – Warsaw
The only Polish Vodka Museum in the world can be found in the Polish capital, Warsaw. In it you can learn all about the centuries old tradition of Polish vodka making.
The museum has opened its doors only in June 2018, so it’s still very new. They went with the interactive approach, though, so you can be sure you’ll have fun. Learning about all the aspects of vodka making was fascinating, and we could trace the whole distilling process nearly live.
In the museum, you can also do other fun things, such as try on goggles that’ll distort your vision as if you were tipsy, drunk or wasted (yes, they have 3-4 different kinds of goggles).
Last of all, you can do vodka tasting! We tasted 3 samples of vodka made from rye, wheat and potatoes. Our vodka master talked about the undertones of the spirit as if it were wine.
I can highly recommend a visit to the museum for anyone interested in unique museums, vodka and/or history.
Veronika Primm – Travel Geekery
Le Musée de l’Orangerie – Paris
Le Musée de l’Orangerie is a cute museum located at the end of Tuileries Gardens, in Paris. Originally the Orangerie was part of Tuileries Palace, where the kings could grow oranges during winter time. When the palace was destroyed by a terrible fire, in the 1870s, the Orangerie lost its original function and became a cultural space.
Today, le Musée de Orangerie hosts Claude Monet’s beautiful Water Lilies, 3 giant paintings inspired in Monet’s garden in Giverny and displayed in a special, oval hall. Monet was very involved in this project until he found the perfect space and light for his beloved water lilies. The result is a mesmerizing and peaceful atmosphere where one can spend hours surrounded by the best of Monet. My favorite time for visiting the Orangerie is when it rains because I like to hear the sound of the rain while I am with the water Lillies.
Apart from Monet’s artwork, visitors can find Paul Guillaume’s private collection. Paul Guillaume was a passionate French art dealer who gathered during his professional life hundreds of paintings from Cézanne, Renoir, Monet, and Sisley. Finally, the museum completed its permanent collection with some works by Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse or Modigliani.
The Orangerie Museum is a good alternative to the Orsay Museum, especially if you don’t have much time. It is also quieter and it does not see the crowds of Louvre or Orsay. The full ticket costs 9€ (2018) but there are many opportunities to visit it for free.
By Elisa from World in Paris
Academy of Sciences – San Francisco
This innovative museum located in San Francisco, is a great example of sustainability in action and educating visitors about the importance of conservation. The building itself is an excellent example in sustainable engineering, with its impressive living roof that was designed to be a continuation of the surrounding park, only elevated.
A must-not miss highlight is the four-story rainforest in the Steinhart Aquarium that is home to hundreds of tropical reptiles, fish, insects, and birds. The Morrison Planetarium that holds impressive space shows on a fully immersive 75-foot domed screen is worth checking out as well.
Visit the museum on Thursday nights from 6-10 pm, for the popular NightLife event (21+), where you can enjoy the museum with a nocturnal perspective that includes cocktails, illuminated exhibits, and planetarium shows. General Admission is $39.95, but discounted tickets are available for students, seniors, and children. Pro tip: if you purchase the tickets in advance online you receive a $4 discount. NightLife is $15 for non-members.
Julia Kitlinski-Hong – Founder of Small World This Is
Museum Frieder Burda – Baden Baden (Germany)
I love art as do a lot of people, however I have never been one to visit modern art museums while traveling. There is usually such historic art we want to see as most. However, in Baden Baden Germany, just a few steps from our hotel The Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, there is the Museum Frieder Burda. We decided to visit and were very happy with our decision.
A modern white building of by designer by Richard Meier, the Museum Frieder Burda is located in the famous Lichtentaler Allee Park. The contrast of the building set in the rich colors of the trees, fountains, flowers and lawns makes the architecture even more outstanding. Inside te building is also white with unique long staircases.
We were fortunate to be in Baden Baden when there was an exhibit of Rodney Grahams light boxes. The Museum Frieder Burda was a perfect backdrop for this type of art, making the light boxes so realistic. I highly recommend a visit, as we will return ourselves one day to check out another exhibit and enjoy beautiful Baden Baden.
Travel By A Sherrie Affair – Facebook
National Museum of Scotland
Many people flock there just for the photograph of the beautiful interior atrium – the Grand Gallery – while others go for the fun (and sometimes interactive) exhibits. From Scottish History to Science to exploring the Natural World, there are tons of different halls for different interests. You can even see a great white shark hanging right beside a full-sized tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. How cool is that?!
If you need a bite to eat, there is a lovely cafe on the upper floors overlooking the bright atrium. The museum even has free wifi. Once you’re done inside, head up to the roof. There, you’ll find a rooftop garden that is free to walk around. From the terrace, you’ll get a unique perspective of the city.
The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street between South Bridge and George IV Bridge. This is in the heart of the Old Town, making it easy to explore the other “free and paid attractions in Edinburgh” once you’re finished there!
Eric and Lisa from Penguin and Pia – YouTube Channel
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art – Copenhagen
Located in the town of Humlebæk, 35 km North of Copenhagen, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of the world’s leading art museums. In fact, it is even included in Patricia Schultz’ book “1000 Places to See Before You Die”. Louisiana Museum is the home of a very extensive permanent collection as well as a rotation of temporary exhibitions. Their permanent collection is so vast, you only ever get to see a selection of the works on display which means you may always be able to see something new when you visit. One of the museum‘s biggest draws is a permanent installation titled ‘Gleaming Lights of the Souls’ by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Not only is the installation totally Instagram-worthy, it’s simply a beautiful experience. It consists of a small room entirely covered in mirrors. You stand on a little platform surrounded by water while thousands of lights are suspended from the ceiling. There is something magical about stepping into this place. In addition to the paintings inside the museum, there is also a sculpture park in the garden, where you can enjoy the art as well as a beautiful view of the Baltic Sea. Entrance to the museum is 125 DKK and the museum is open on all days except Mondays.
Neon Museum – Warsaw
Museum of Memory and Human Rights – Santiago (Chile)
The Museum was created in 2010 as a reminder of Chile’s past and to educate why this can never happen again. The exhibit includes interactive displays, literature and videos with first-hand accounts of the abuse. Since its opening, the museum has gained international recognition for its stellar work in the education of this atrocity. Entrance is 2,000 CLP, and you are given an audio guide to take it all in
Prado – Madrid
A great museum is one that has great works, ones that stand out. Ones that make up the high points of a university Art History survey course lecture. The memorable ones. That’s Madrid’s Prado. The Collection of the Prado is just that: a collection. It was assembled (mostly) over a period of time that coincided with the height of Spanish power, and was a personal project of three of the greatest Spanish kings: Carlos I, Felipe II, and Felipe IV.
In particular, Carlos I was a big fan of Titian. Felipe II was a dedicated collector, and Felipe IV gave his court painter, Diego Velazquez, a blank check and sent him all over Europe to purchase the best paintings he could find.
All of this, plus the acquisition of the best Goyas later, make the Prado an international collection compiled by people of impeccable taste, rather than, as in the case of the Uffizi and Rijkmuseum, the happy accident of an extremely talented local base.
So, the Prado ends up with not only the best Spanish works by Velazquez, El Greco, Murillo, Zurburán, and Goya, but also Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Van der Weyden, Durer, Bosch, Rafael, Bruegel, Fra Angelico, and Caravaggio.
But, if you have time for only one painting in your life, you could do a lot worse than the Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.
By: Travel Past 50
Photo is The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch
Grigore Antipa National Museum of National History – Bucharest
When I think about childhood, I instantly think about a particular museum in my hometown, Bucharest Grigore Antipa National Museum of National History (known as Antipa). It’s where my brother would take me when I was little every single weekend. We would both walk around dinosaur skeletons, stuffed animals, insects, and so much more.
A few years ago, Antipa was renovated, and now it’s one of the most famous museums in Bucharest. If you want to learn more about Romania, it’s the best place to starts. From specimens found in the Black Sea or the Romanian Carpathians, all the way to fauna found in the Indo-Pacific area or the Cold Arctic. You can also admire a variety of birds and insects, as well as examples of how our ancestors used to dress and tools they used. And for the Jurassic Park fans, there is still a room dedicated to dinosaurs, and there are even a couple of full dinosaur skeletons. So you will not get bored. The Antipa Museum is open every day except for Mondays and the ticket EUR 4 or free for preschool children.
The Cup Noodle Museum, Ikeda, near Osaka
Japan is an absolute star when it comes to factory tours, so when there’s a museum AND a factory combined it’s for me perfect! Ikeda, Japan, near Osaka is where Momofuku Ando invented the instant noodle in 1958. He also invented the cup noodle in 1971. At the cup noodle museum you can visit the history of the instant noodle, check out the nutritional value, the packaging throughout the years and look at the stunning regional variations from around the world.
The museums is free to enter, and you can also pay a 300 yen fee to go into the Cup Noodle Factory and make your own cup noodle. You get to design the packaging, decide on your sauce and ingredients and even turn a few handles to get your noodles in your cup. A little funky presentation bag later and you’ll be on your way with your dinner hanging off your shoulder. Perfect. Museum visit, factory education and dinner.
Sarah Carter: ASocialNomad
Sarah Carter & Nigel Dockerty write about Gen X Travel with a Y Attitude at They like to travel slow, eat and drink local. You’ll find them in museums, on wine tours, hiking trails and exploring temples. Or, you can catch up with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The Museu Nacional do Azulejo – Portugal
Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam
“The most visited museum of Amsterdam deserves more than a couple of minutes of your attention. The Van Gogh Museum is strategically located on the best photo hotspot of Amsterdam– the Museum Square – together with other great museums, such as the Rijksmuseum (National Museum), Stedelijk (Museum of Modern Art), and Moco (Modern and Contemporary Art Museum).
Tickets can be pricey (€18), but if you are visiting more museums in the Netherlands, you might consider purchasing the Museum Card for 60 euros. It gives you free access to over 400 institutions, including the Anne Frank House.
Anyway, the highlights of his collection are the Sunflowers painting and the Almond Blossom, my favorite one. The latter was a gift Van Gogh made for his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo, who had just had a baby son, Vincent Willem.
Fun fact: His nephew, Vicent Willem, founded this museum.
Hot tip: Buy your skip-the-line tickets online because the queues are colossal.
Address: Museumplein 6, Amsterdam”
Author: Bruna at Maps ‘N Bags
Peranakan Museum on Armenian Street – Singapore
Peterson Automobile Museum – Los Angeles
Peterson Automobile Museum in Los Angeles-car enthusiasts and people who love things that go will find joy here. You will learn just how the automobile has impacted life in America. Located right on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, it costs $16 to get in.
The museum itself is 300,000 square feet of pure knowledge on cars and how they have impacted life in America. You will see dioramas of over a hundred different rare cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Perhaps the most special part of the museum is the third floor, where interest in sciences and engineering is generated by way of the automobile. Boys and girls alike may just find their calling after this visit-children will learn basic scientific principles by using the hands-on learning center.
Every type of car that you can imagine is here, including some exotic brands like Porsche. You might even get lucky and park on the street for free if you go on a Sunday.
The Neon Museum and Boneyard – Las Vegas
Las Vegas has always been about the bling. The lights. The color and movement. The neon. See how that bling started and grew and became the very symbol of Sin City at the Neon Museum and Boneyard on the Las Vegas Strip, near old downtown. This is where the early neon of the city’s past went to die, and it can bring memory alive—if you’re old enough. If not, it shows you how things used to be in the heyday of the “Rat Pack,” when mid-century modern design often meant “Space Age” or “Atomic” style. With more than 200 old neon signs in various conditions—from intact and beautiful to the odd lonely letter sitting on the gravel, its paint peeling—you’ll get a tour through Vegas’ blingy history.
The Neon Museum and Boneyard is open from 9 am to 4 pm most days. Until recently, the only way to visit was on a one-hour guided tour for $28. That’s still the best way to get the history behind the signs. But they’re now allowing individual entrance for $19. Both tickets have discounts for vets, active military, students and seniors. Times and tours often fill up in advance, so booking onlineup to one month in advance is an excellent idea.
By: Nomad Women
Museum of Islamic Arts – Doha
Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha, Qatar is one of the largest and best art museums in the Middle East. The museum is a cultural institution and has a vast collection of Muslim arts from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Items in the museum collection include paintings, calligraphy, architectural specimens, wooden carvings, sculptures, utensils, and jewelry. The museum is becoming increasingly popular in the Gulf region since it was built in 2008. The museum is a must-see attraction while in Doha City and especially visited by lots of tourists since entry to the museum is free.
While the museum collection is rich and very interesting, the museum building itself is an architectural masterpiece. The museum occupies its own prominent place on the curving Doha coastline and can be seen from anywhere along the promenade. The museum grounds are also beautiful with a large well-maintained lawn, bicycle and walking paths, and cafe tables. The views of the Doha skyline from the museum and its grounds are one of the best in the city.
By Ketki Sharangpani of Dotted Globe
Block Museum – Taichung
When I first saw the pictures of this museum, I was awestruck! The buried cars had fascinated me. I wanted to go there ASAP but it didn’t happen for a few years. This open museum is in Taichung, Taiwan.
The full name of the museum is CMP Block Museum of Arts, Taichung and the museum holds several exhibitions throughout the year depending on the theme and holiday trends. But these cars remain buried and are a permanent feature of the museum. The museum is a part of the first cultural creativity square in Taiwan. The inspiration to build this square has come from the European streets where local culture is beautifully integrated with interactive art. From old school building and broken roads this area is transformed into a modern and clean museum involving aesthetics in our life. The outdoor space has lots of geometrical and intriguing art figures.
This living museum has no boundaries and people are encouraged to participate. The area is popular and has a creative market on holidays. There are also many coffee shops & restaurants nearby.
The entry is free.
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Nisha and Vasu – Lemonicks
Jewish Museum – Berlin
The International Baroque museum of Puebla – Mexico
The International Baroque museum of Puebla is an extraordinary example of modern art, which is totally worth a visit just for the building itself.
The genius behind this project is the award winning Japanese architect Tokyo Ito, who won the project among 30 other candidates. The building has been conceived according to the baroque concept of harmony and fluidity, created by a rotated grid in the lay out.
The idea was, in fact, to break the rigidity of the regular grids and create a flow that evokes the baroque concept of movement. As a visitor, while walking through the rooms, you will feel like you are floating seamlessly from one space to the other, through art, history and music. A pleasant tour through one of the most prolific period of the western history, an age of important discoveries about human existence and its relationship with nature.
On the upper floor, you have a free access to a beautiful extensive library to satisfy your curiosity on the Baroque period, that most probably arose during your visit.
Upstairs you will also find a space fully dedicated to kids with interactive games and special educational activities and one room dedicated to explain the construction phases and the concept behind the project, besides a fine dining restaurant on a beautiful terrace overlooking a body of water in constant movement, in the middle of the building.
At the back of the museum you can enjoy a small pond and a manicured garden that separates it from a beautiful park where pets can run free and families enjoy their free time in nature. The location of the Museum by the park is not casual as it also evokes the constant dialogue between man and nature, so emblematic and so dear to the architect.
Opening hours Every day from 10 am to 7 pm – Closes on Monday
Entry cost 80 MXN (about 5 USD) Kids below 12 half price
Guided tours 200 MXN ( about 12 USD
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Website: Boundless Roads
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Arkansas
Art lovers expect to find phenomenal art museums in major metropolitan areas like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and DC. But if you love art, architecture, or the great outdoors, then you won’t want to miss the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Yes, Arkansas!)
Art. Organized by time period, from America’s colonial era to modern times, all of the artists featured in the permanent collection are Americans, although some of the art displayed may be of or inspired by experiences abroad. Look for works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and many others.
Pro Tip: Sponsored by Walmart, there is no cost to visit Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection. However, there may be a fee for special exhibits, programs, and other events.
Architecture. The building itself is another work of art! Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, the museum is three, connected glass and wood buildings surrounded by spring-fed water. You can experience even more architecture by checking out Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House which is also part of Crystal Bridges grounds.
Outdoors. Speaking of the museum grounds, you certainly won’t miss Maman, the giant spider sculpture by French-born Louise Bourgeois that towers over the main entrance. But you also won’t want to miss the Fly’s Eye Dome, sculpture garden, or trails within the museum’s 120-acre woods.
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