No matter where in the world Kevin and I travel we like to explore the museums. In fact, we never really were into museums until we began travelling more. What we discovered by visiting museums was a more profound feeling of connecting with the culture. Museums can have different focuses. You may discover the history of their art, land and culture. There may be museums to view what is new, modern and what is expected in the future. You may also experience and learn about tragedies that have affected the area. The list of types of museums can be endless. One thing for sure there are Museums Around The World for you to explore!
Museums Around the World: AUSTRALIA
Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne
ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is home to a fabulous museum called Screen Worlds. This museum traces the history of the moving image from the start of film, television, game consoles and now the internet as well as the dominance of the digital age. What makes this museum unique is how interesting, interactive and different it is. There are no stuffy exhibits here. The history of the moving image is shown via the moving image and many things are hands on from playing with an old Atari to seeing for yourself the history of the Australian accent by watching snippets of TV shows over the years. You can also learn about things such as the history of cartoons, make your own shadow puppets and jump around while you taped in freeze frame, so you look like you are in The Matrix. There are screens, games and fun exhibits everywhere. It definitely does make you wonder what is going to be the next development for the moving image. If you want some down time while exploring, you can simply jump on a games console and play for a while! As an extra bonus, this museum is free, and it’s located in Federation Square opposite the main train station at Flinders Street. Shared by Sharon at Melbourne Family
South Australian Museum
The South Australian Museum is one of the most visited museums in Australia. With five floors of exhibits covering fossils, mammals, Ancient Egypt, special exhibition spaces and more plus Aboriginal and Pacific Cultures collections, the SA Museum offers plenty for young and old. The landscape in South Australia is vast, from the hot and dry north to the ocean in the south and various other landscapes in between. The museum showcases the various animals that live in these environments with over 12,000 individual models. There is even a giant squid that is 11 metres long and spans across four floors dangling in an elevator shaft! Another part of the museum that I just love is the Aboriginal gallery. Here you can find various artefacts from various aboriginal communities from across Australia. It’s really interesting to see the innovative tools they have created in the past to survive in Australia. Items on display include boomerangs, paintings, shields, photographs and canoes. The World Mammal gallery is also worth a look and tends to be a hit with the kids. Here you will find mammals bit and small from across the world. The Museum is open every day from 10am–5pm, including weekends and public holidays. Entry is free. Shared by Melissa at Thrifty Family Travels
Museum of Mona
The Museum of Old and New Art – also known as the Museum of Mona – is completely strange and fascinating. Weird creative thoughtful art is what you’ll find in this place, with more than 400 pieces. This place contains a certain type of trapped energy, its underground lair lends itself to the eeriness of Mona. It’s the largest funded Museum in Australia, and you can see why. It appears as though Mona sits street level until you go inside and descend 3 levels of tangled labyrinth-like stairs.
Mona is often referred to as the “subversive Disneyland” by the founder David Walsh, and we can see why. Some art pieces include the Bit Fall, a rain painting machine that uses 128 computer-controlled nozzle like projectors to spell out phrases that change from day to day. Another notorious machine that is widely popular is Mona’s Cloaca Machine. It is a stinky ingenious one, as you plop pieces of food into its funnel, it then passes through 6 tanks that mimic the process of digestion. The end result is an excrement like substance that can be smelt from the entrance of the Museum. This Museum of Old and New Art is just a must see!
Shared by Alex at Ultimate Country Guides
Museums Around the World: AUSTRIA
Belvedere in Vienna
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Many of Gustav Klimt’s work including the Golden Kiss are on display at the Belvedere gallery in Vienna. You might have seen the famous Painting Kiss by Gustav Klimt which portrays a couple in a loving embrace sharing an intimate moment in a field of flowers and gold leaf. Klimt traveled little but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. The Belvedere has a beautiful view of the gardens and the city of Vienna. It houses the world’s greatest collection of Austrian art. It was on the initiative of Klimt and other artists that the Moderne Galerie was founded in 1903, the institution that has evolved into the Belvedere. Shared by Priya at Outside Suburbia
Museums Around the World: CHILE
Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile
Some museums stay with you long after your visit. They render you speechless while you’re there and reflective for days after. For us, the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile’s capital, Santiago, is one of them. The museum opened in 2010; a memorial to the human rights violations carried out against the Chilean people during the 1973 to 1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. If it sounds like a heavy subject, it is. The Pinochet era is still a sensitive topic for many Chileans, not lightly discussed. For this reason, a visit to the Museum of Memory is an important and thoughtful window into the past, for locals and visitors alike. The museum is purpose-built, striking and contemporary in design. Inside, it weaves together the story of the period through innovative displays of photography, letters, testimonies, memorabilia and interactive audiovisuals. Despite the gravity of the topic, the entire experience is infused with a powerful sense of remembrance, dignity, humanity and hope. We recommend giving the museum at least two hours, and making it one of your first stops in the city. Shared by Danielle and John at Two For The World
Museums Around the World: CZECH REPUBLIC
Jewish Museum in Prague
The Jewish Museum in Prague is unique and memorable because of where it is: inside four synagogues, a graveyard and a ceremonial hall in Prague’s old Jewish quarter. Instead of being torn down after the Jewish community was wiped out in the Holocaust, the synagogues have been repurposed to tell the story of their community.
- The Maisel Synagogue, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, portrays the earlier Jewish history in Bohemia and Moravia: up to the 1780s.
- The Spanish Synagogue, with its “Moorish” architecture, is beautifully ornate. It recounts the rest of the Jewish history of the area, including its increasing assimilation into Czech society in the 19th and 20th centuries, followed by the Holocaust and the post-war history of the survivors.
- The Pinkas synagogue is a Holocaust memorial. The names of almost 80,000 Moravian and Bohemian Jews are inscribed on the walls.
Leaving the Pinkas synagogue, you can enter the Old Jewish Cemetery next door, with graves dating from 1439-1787. It’s unusual because the graveyard could not be expanded. Instead, graves were added on top of each other, leading to some very jumbled gravestones. The Ceremonial Hall next door tells about Jewish rituals surrounding death.
4. The Klausen Synagogue tells more about Jewish rituals and traditions.
Although it is not part of the museum, you can also visit the charmingly medieval Old-New Synagogue, with its gothic arches and heavy stone columns. To get a full picture, it is worth taking your time to explore all of the separate parts of this excellent museum. Shared by Rachel at Rachels Ruminations
Museums Around the World: EASTER ISLAND
The Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum Easter Island
In a sense, 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 Kau, and the Orongo Village. There are only a handful of moai statues located outside Easter Island, and all of them were stolen. One of the most famous of these statues is now in the British Museum, and it has caused a decades long dispute between the Chilean and the United Kingdom governments. If you want to dig deeper into some of the unusual things to do on Easter Island, look no further than the only museum on the island, the Father Sebastian Englert Anthropological Museum. It is just a short walk from the town center of Hanga Roa. 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. Shared by Halef at The Round The World Guys
Museums Around the World: ETHIOPIA
The National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Abeba
Ethiopia as a travel destination my not yet be on your bucket list. However, the East African country is full of surprises when it comes to things you need to see, explore and eat. Most travellers start their Ethiopia adventure in the capital Addis Abeba. The city is not only chaotic, but also super charming. In order to get a better understanding of Ethiopia itself, its history, the religion and how exactly the entire country developed itself, we firstly went to the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Abeba. Opened in 1944, the museum houses Ethiopia’s artistic treasures. Also, and this is by far the absolute highlight of the museum, you can find the fossilized remains of the early hominid “Lucy” here. What you once read in your history book, now basically lies right in front of you – the beginning of human kind. Apart from that, the museum is a great way of getting to know Ethiopia. Since the country is the only African country which has not been colonized, Ethiopia is really special and developed itself in a unique way. They follow a diverse religion, they have lots and lots of different groups of people and given its size, various things need to be read about – all of which you can find here in the museum. Shared by Clemens at Travellers Archive
Museums Around the World: FRANCE
The Louvre Paris
There’s nowhere quite like the Louvre. Arguably the world’s most famous museum, this former French palace is currently one of the world’s largest art and history museums, housing everything from Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance paintings, and even an entire house museum (yep–you can tour Napoleon III’s apartments in the Louvre!). The true beauty of the Louvre is getting lost in it: so far, I have visited twice, saw virtually none of the same exhibits on each visit, and yet, I know I have barely scratched the surface of everything it has to offer. Though I fully recommend the “just wander” method of exploring, the Louvre is big enough that if you want to make sure you see one of its most famous works of art, you will need a plan–simply wandering around won’t ensure you see any given piece. The most famous pieces of art in the Louvre are the Mona Lisa (which was famously stolen from the museum in 1911 and not recovered until 1913) and the Venus de Milo statue, both of which I can virtually guarantee you have seen photos of in the past. The Louvre simply has to be seen to be believed: the sheer scale and majesty of it will never fail to stop impressing me, no matter how many times I return. Shared by Kate at Our Escape Clause
Museums Around the World: GERMANY
BMW Museum in Munich
Regarded as the most competitive and innovative in the automobile industry around the world, Germany is home to at least 17 car museums and car-related museums. One of those would be the BMW Museum in Munich, also called the white cauldron or salad bowl – earned from its silver, futuristic shape and design. The building interior definitely complements the exhibit’s concept. The museum is a few minutes away from the BMW Welt and the Olympia park. Inside, one gets to see BMW’s vintage collection located at the basement, probably others you didn’t know existed. Visitors get to learn the history of BMW through the exhibits and what’s presented on slideshows throughout the building. There’s also a comparison of the model progression as the vehicles change from an F06 to an F12 to an F13, or from a G11 to a G12, and so on. One can learn from their beginnings – BMW developing plane engines to modern electric cars, from humbly making motorcycles to manufacturing their prize-winning vehicles. There’s also a showcase of their latest models and futuristic concepts from the past and today, some ideas yet to be realized. If you are a car enthusiast, a visit to the BMW museum would be a joy to experience. If you’re not into cars, you’ll probably be one after touring this museum. Shared by Marie at Our City Travels
Mesissen Porcelain Museum in Saxony
Meissen Porcelain Museum has an interesting story behind it. Augustus II the Strong wanted to make Dresden, a cultural center. His love for the yellow metal gold resulted in him recruiting a young alchemist work on the Goldmacher Tinktur or the Gold making formula to convert base metals to gold. The alchemist couldn’t make it in next six years. However, he succeeded in creating the white gold, the porcelain. Porcelain was worth its weight almost as much as gold in those days and could be manufactured. Augustus was excited and set up a factory in Meissen in 1710 and thus Meissen Porcelain Manufactory was born and does business even today! Meissen was chosen because it was a small town with extensive local deposits of Kaolin, a clay ingredient needed for fine porcelain creation. The museum is 10 minutes away from the original workshop. At the entrance of Meissen Porcelain Museum a tall statue of Saxonia is installed. It is the tallest free standing handmade Meissen porcelain sculpture decorated with 8000 handmade flowers on her dress! The museum has a workshop where you can see every step of porcelain making. From beginning till end, it includes making, baking, glazing, painting etc. The museum transports us through the 300 years of Meissen porcelain’s existence. From smallest possible sized figurines to life size Saxonia, are all being created here, all handmade. Shared by Nisha at Lemonicks
Museums Around the World: GREECE
National Archeological Museum in Athens
One of the coolest museums I’ve had the pleasure of visiting has to be the National Archeological Museum in Athens. I’ll admit that I’m an archeology nut, but had no idea just how impressive this museum truly is! As the largest in Greece, this impressive museum houses over 11,000 exhibits including sculptures, pottery, vases, a wide variety of metal objects and tools, and even a collection of artifacts from Egypt. Probably the coolest part about this museum is that it includes objects that span Greece’s deep history, showcasing artifacts from about 6 millennium BC all the way up to 1050 BC. There is a ton of stuff to see at this museum, so plan your day accordingly. If you want to soak up all the museum has to offer, you need to plan at least 3-4 hours to see everything – preferably more. The good news is that you can exit and re-enter the museum on the same day, and there is a cafe on the premises. The National Archeological Museum is easily accessible by public transport. There are several bus stops nearby and the nearest metro stop (Omonia) is about a 10min walk away. Admission is 10 Euro – check the website for opening times. Shared by Lindsay at The Neverending Wanderlust
Museums Around the World: HONG KONG
The Hong Kong Museum of History
Visiting the Hong Kong Museum of History is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture on a short trip to Hong Kong. Though the museum isn’t super popular amongst tourists, it is known locally for its “Hong Kong Story” permanent exhibit. “Hong Kong Story” begins from 6,000 years ago and ends with Hong Kong’s handover from Great Britain back to China in 1997, the end of its colony days. Beginning with prehistoric times, the eight-roomed exhibit takes you from the geological creation of Hong Kong to today’s era. You’ll learn about the distinct flora and fauna, unique political history, and different types of Chinese folk cultures. The British colonial history itself is over a century long and spans several rooms. An entire room is dedicated to folk cultures because Hong Kong is a city where Chinese people of different origins migrated for a better life. Hence dioramas depicting aspects of daily life and celebratory events. Some of these include the houseboats of Boat People, traditional Hakka family dwellings, and marriage customs. Also noteworthy are the reconstructions of mom and pop storefronts, barber shops, and traditional Chinese medicine stores. “Hong Kong Story” is definitely a must-see! You will learn more about Hong Kong’s east meets west influences and its melting pot of Chinese cultures. Shared by Constance at The Adventures of Panda Bear
Museums Around the World: ICELAND
The Glaumbaer Museum Northern Iceland
Located in the North of Icleand, Glaumbaer is a museum showing how a traditional Icelandic farmhouse would have been in the 18th and 19th century. Everyone in Iceland would have lived in these type of turfhouses whether they were rich or poor. There has been a farmhouse at this site since the 11th century time of Vikings. This first house was established by a legendary Viking family related to Eric the Red. They returned from their travels abroad with their son who was the first European to be born in North America. This family is a big part of Icelandic settlement history. The current house at Glaumbaer exists from the mid-18th century and is big enough to be a local manor house. Turf houses were the primary form of housing in Iceland because they had excellent insulation capacities. Besides, the Vikings had deforested the island so using for timber for housing was not an option. Glaumbaer itself was in use until the mid 20th century when it was taken over by the National Museum of Iceland. Visiting Glaumbaer is like stepping back in time to an era vastly different from the Iceland of today. The owners of the farm and their laborers worked and lived together. You couldn’t get married at that time in Iceland unless you had your own land so many of these people would stay together for years forming close bonds. People survived the best they could in a harsh isolating environment. We found their determination and hardiness is really inspiring. Shared by Shobha at Just Go Places
Museums Around the World: IRELAND
Imaginosity- The Dublins Children Museum
The Dublin Children’s Museum, Imaginosity, is a museum of a different type. There are no famous artworks on the walls. No marble busts or statues to marvel at. Instead, it is an interactive children’s museum dedicated to the success of under 9’s. It is a place where children are encouraged to be just what they are, children. Imaginosity is where imaginations are encouraged, with a range of areas and activities to suit play of all types. From the diner-style café, to the real Audi A1 in the middle of the floor, children and adults alike can enjoy play in a safe environment. There is a grocery store, complete with trolleys and cashiers. Children can also learn about construction and anatomy. They can even pretend to be a post office worker, banker or librarian. And if that’s not enough, there is a huge climbing frame in the centre of the museum spanning three floors for little ones to enjoy physical activities. The roof top garden allows children to learn how the ‘Eco Building’ works, as well as nature, wind and solar power. It is truly a wonderful place in Dublin City to visit with kids and to let them be kids. Shared by Catherine at BattleMum
Museums Around the World: ITALY
Vatican Museums, Rome
I’ve been to a lot of famous museums in various parts of the world, but nothing comes even close to the experience I had in the Vatican Museums. Situated in the heart of the Vatican City, the museums’ display a collection gathered through the centuries by various Roman Popes. From Egyptian mummies to numerous Roman artifacts, from Pope apartments to the Sistine Chapel, these museums seem to have everything! But don’t think, even for a moment, that they are historical museums. The amount of Renaissance masterpieces inside is second to none. Additionally, there is also a collection of modern religious art that displays art titans like Picasso, Dali and Vincent van Gogh.Galleria delle carte geografiche (The Card Gallery) and Stanze di Raffaello (The Rafael Rooms) are some of the most beautiful salons you’ll ever see, but the real star of the museums, the main highlight, the cherry on the top, is The Sistine Chapell. With its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and walls painted by Raphael, The Sistine Chapell is a place loaded with so much energy that is hard to describe. Nothing you read about it can can prepare you for this experience. It’s just one of those things you must go and live for yourself. All in all, the Vatican Museums are a bucket list place that should be visited at least once in a lifetime, and if you haven’t done it yet, I urge you to buy that ticket to Rome as soon as possible. Shared by Slavi at Global Castaway
Castello Sforzesco, Milan
Shared by Katy at Untold Morsels
Museums Around the World: JAMACIA
The National Gallery of Jamaica
The National Gallery of Jamaica is arguably the most significant cultural art hub in Jamaica. Located in the island’s capital city of Kingston, this art gallery features a plethora of Jamaican fine art pieces ranging from paintings to sculptures created by talented and celebrated Jamaican artists & sculptors. A visit to the National Gallery of Jamaica reveals a deep cultural history rooted in Jamaica’s pre-colonial and colonial past. Within the gallery’s permanent exhibition artworks range from ancient Taino relics (the indigenous people of the island) to artist renditions of Jamaica’s British colonial days. What’s always fascinating for me is experiencing the rich and diverse history of Jamaica through the artist renditions/visions of all the Jamaican artists whose works are on display. The most notable contributor for me, however, is Edna Manley who is considered to be “the mother of Jamaican art”. Her works highlight Jamaica’s rich African ancestry and highlight not just the struggles of slavery but also the triumph of the enslaved peoples. Another interesting aspect of the National Gallery of Jamaica its transient exhibitions. Modern-day artists, who are usually students from the local Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts, are invited to exhibit artworks which represent the current ideas and politics of Jamaica. The gallery comes to life through the eyes of these young local artists as their works are not only represented through paintings and sculptures but also through digital media and music. Shared by Toni-Ann at The Swiss Freis
Museums Around the World: JORDAN
The National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan
While medieval structures are scattered everywhere in Amman, Jordan, many visitors often overlook the city’s modern and contemporary side. The National Gallery of Fine Arts is a wonderful museum that houses, and exhibits works by artists from the Middle East and North Africa. The gallery is located about fifteen-minute uphill walk from Darat Al Funun, the centre of contemporary arts in Amman. If you prefer mainstream art, then the National Gallery of Fine Arts is the venue to while away your time in a quiet and leafy neighborhood comprising townhouses and apartments, a respite from loud and noisy downtown Amman. Some of the art works exhibited in the gallery are traditional paintings, oil and acrylic on canvas, lithography and sculptures. Shared by Kathleen at Where Is Kat Going
Museums Around the World: MEXICO
The National Anthropology Museum Mexico City
The National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City is the largest and most visited museum in the Mexico. And it was the perfect place for us to learn about Mexico’s history before diving deeper into the country and its ancient sites. The museum’s collection includes archaeological and anthropological artefacts from the pre-Columbian era. We particularly enjoyed the rooms that use artefacts to recreate ancient scenes. As it gives a tiny taste of what life must have been like back then. One of the museum’s most important artefacts is the Aztec Calendar Stone from the late post-classic era. The stone was carved out of solid lava and somehow managed to disappear for 300 years. Fortunately, it was found buried under the zocalo in Mexico City as it’s a stunning piece of Aztec sculpture. We recommend making use of the museum’s free one hour guided tour. The guides speak English and really help to make sense of Mexico’s complicated history. Even for us! The museum is enormous, but it’s modern, well laid out and a pleasure to walk around. And it should be everyone’s first stop in Mexico City. Shared by Audrey and Andrew at Gumnuts Abroad
Museums Around the World: THE NETHERLANDS
The Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam is one of the oldest museums in the Netherlands. For over 170 years this multifaceted museum has been home to diverse and varied artworks. It’s also the only museum in the Netherlands that offers Western art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum includes a world-class collection with old master paintings and sculpture, modern and contemporary art, pre-industrial household objects and industrial design. Some of the famous artworks at Boijmans are The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel, Not to Be Reproduced by René Magritte and the interactive Mirror Room by Yayoi Kusama. But Boijmans doesn’t only offers amazing exhibitions and permanent artwork, the surroundings itself are already a piece of art. Once you enter the courtyard, you feel inclined to grab your camera and snap photos of the striped floor. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen currently consists out of three buildings. In 2020 a new building will be added: the Depot, a large art storage facility with exhibitions and a café. This Depot will definitely be unique, as it will be publicly accessible. Shared by Lisanne at Weekends in Rotterdam
The Purse Museum Amsterdam
Imagine us on the plane on our way to Amsterdam and I am finally getting a chance to look at some information on our destination- Amsterdam. Our first time going, and I am totally behind the curve. Thank you to Kevin for making all arrangements for this trip. But atlas, what do I come across but the Purse Museum! For everyone who knows me- this is a museum you know I am checking out! Not only is it located in Amsterdam but its right across the canal from our hotel! The museum is filled with…you guessed it purses. They have the largest collection in the entire world, over 5,000 bags and purses. There are famous ones too; Madonna’s Versace bag, Margaret Thatcher’s bag and every designer you can name. Not only is it a museum but the canal house is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you finish admiring and coveting all the bags and purses, you can enjoy High Tea. A perfect girls day in Amsterdam! Shared by Sherrie at Travel By A Sherrie Affair the Waldorf Astoria is across the canal read more on this 5 Star hotel read here
Museums Around the World: THE NORWAY
The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
One of the most popular museums in Northern Europe, the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is unique and should be on everybody’s travel itinerary. Located on Bygdøy and close to many other museums, it is easily combined with a visit to the Norwegian Folk Museum. The Viking Ship Museum is best known for its three exquisite examples of ships used in Viking burials. The Oseberg ship, in particular, is an impressive sight as archaeologists were able to recover it nearly in its entirety. The ships are enormous in size and take up the majority of the museum building. Apart from the three ships, there are also other artifacts from the Viking era on display. They include items of daily use, such as sleighs, beds, utensils, and similar, as well as ornate items such as wood carvings. Visitors can also watch an audio-visual show which introduces the viewers to the Viking age and the Viking way of life. Although the museum is interesting in its current state already, it will improve even further in the future as it is set to be expanded in the coming years. The new wing will house new exciting exhibitions and continue the museum’s legacy in Viking research. Shared by Jacky at Nomad Epicureans
Museums Around the World: QATAR
The Museum of Islamic Art Doha
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha is a stunning piece of architecture by I.M Pei. He took months to research Islamic buildings around the world and finally came up with this iconic design. This museum sits on its own island along the Corniche in Doha. When viewed from front or the back, the 2 slanting windows on the top floor makes the building look like a shy woman in a burkah. As expected, within its walls are priceless artifacts from around the Islamic world. The most memorable room is the room of maritime navigational instruments that dates back centuries. In other rooms, priceless hand-woven silk carpets adorn the floor and decorative brass and porcelain collection tell stories of the mysteries of the Arabian world. It is easy to spend half a day here, taking the guided tour will give you a great insight into the cultures of the region. Shared by May at Eat Cook Explore
Museums Around the World: RUSSIA
The State Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg
I was absolutely blown away by the State Hermitage Museum on my recent visit to St Petersburg in Russia. Housed in 6 monstrous soviet-era building located on the banks of the Neva – 5 of which are open to the public – it is the 2nd largest museum in the world and home to over 3 million(!) pieces of art. The Palace was officially home to the Russian monarchy between 1732-1917 and its striking green facade is instantly recognized throughout the world. Inside the opulence and grandeur of the building themselves is just as it was during the time of the Tsars and the art displayed on its walls and throughout its rooms is mesmerizing. It also has the largest collections of Rembrandt’s outside The Netherlands and are all housed in one giant hall – although it can get a bit crowded in there when the museum is open to the public as they welcome over 10,000 people through its doors per day! I was lucky enough to visit the Hermitage with an early entry pass and got to enjoy this incredible museum with only a small number of people. Shared by Vicki at Make Time To See The World
Museums Around the World: THAILAND
The Hellfire Memorial Museum in Kanchanaburi
The Thai-Burma death railway was built by Allied prisoners of war and local slave labour during the course of World War II. Whilst most visitors to Thailand may journey as far as the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai in the town of Kanchanaburi to visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum you’ll need to take an open-backed pickup truck to get here. The museum is located close to the infamous Konyu Pass also known as Hellfire Pass. The museum is free and is open from 0900 to 1600. It contains personal stories memorabilia and videos but the most moving element of visiting here is the 2.5 KM audio guided walking trail. Here you are walking the route of the death railway. The jungle here is reclaiming the track, it’s a rough underfoot it’s hot there are mosquitoes take water and repellent, but do go. The audio guide that supports your walk is extremely moving and extremely informative. The part of the track that you walk on is justone-thirdof the route that the POW’s used to walk to and from their work. There’s a memorial to the men who suffered and died or survived here, but the stark walls of the cuttingand the silence of the jungle around serve as a far better headstone to the men of the Death Railway. “When you go home, tell them of us and say we gave our tomorrow for your today.” History was made here and many men died, if you stand quietly in the noise of the jungle you can hear the distant echoes of their memories. Shared by Sarah at ASocialNomad
Museums Around the World: TURKEY
Beşiktaş FC Museum in Istanbul
Visiting a football museum is always an interesting insight into the subculture of a city and how the game influenced some of the city officials’ decisions. At the Besiktas Museum, they start by telling the story of football in Istanbul in a step by step fashion which was really intriguing, as initially, football clubs were illegal in Turkey! This was done using information boards, memorabilia and photos. But what I loved most about the Besiktas Museum was the interactive features. There’s a VR headset where you’re on a rollercoaster going through the attached Vodafone Park. There’s a room that gives you an idea of how loud the Besiktas crowds get, they’re known as some of the loudest in the world. This was a fun way to show off something the supporters pride themselves on. And the final awesome interaction activity is the karaoke room where you can belt out the Besiktas football chants out at 10 am in the morning if that excites you. Besides that, with a club history that dates back to 1903, there is a large collection of trophy and memorabilia that has been preserved throughout the club’s history. Shared by Jub at Tiki Touring Kiwi
Museums Around the World: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Shared by Arzo at Arzo Travels
Museums Around the World: UNITED KINGDOM
The National Gallery Trafalgar Square London
Imagine strolling through the centuries of great artists. From Vermeer to Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Monet and seeing some of the world’s most outstanding artists work. The National Gallery is a treasure trove of art you may have never believed you could see in person. The National Gallery was built in 1824 and houses not only great artists’ works but brings in many fine artworks from across the world. The Gallery houses 2,300 paintings permanently that ranges from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Gallery also has art classes, free talks and tours for visitors, tourists and students. There are family activities, interpreters for the blind and deaf and the Gallery is fully accessible. The majority of the Gallery is free of charge however there are special exhibitions mounted yearly that do have a ticket price. The average cost of an exhibition is around £22 but as an example, 2018’s Monet Exhibition showcases paintings that have never been seen before. Before World War II, the Gallery decided to evacuate all the paintings to Wales to protect them in case of bombing and shelling. The paintings were sent to Penryhn Castle and the Universities of Bangor and Aberystwyth were they were carefully stored. In 1940 it was decided that since the Germans were getting closer due to the Battle of France that the paintings were going to be moved to Canada. However, Winston Churchill absolutely refused to allow this to happen. His telegram to Kenneth Clark the Director of the Gallery said “bury them in caves or in cellars, but not a picture shall leave these islands. Visiting the National Gallery is a must if you are in London. Shared by Faith at XYU and Beyond
SS Great Britain in Bristol
The SS Great Britain in Bristol, UK is no ordinary museum. This restored ship used to sail between Bristol to New York in the 1800s. Considered to be one of the most important historic ships in the world, it is a real privilege to be able to step inside and learn more about its history. There is a lot to see once you’re on board as the museum comprises various sections. These include the dry dock, the dockyard, inside the ship itself and a museum dedicated to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the ship’s creator. I would suggest spending at least 3-4 hours here as it will take that long to see everything. (Also a visit to the cafe comes highly recommended as the cakes and hot chocolates are really yummy!) We love that the museum is so engaging. There are lots of interactive displays, games for kids, videos and even a Victorian dressing up area! The museum has gone to great lengths to try and make the experience as true to the 1800s as possible. Walking around the ship you are able to see up close the kind of beds people slept on, the food they ate and the very limited space that was available. It feels incredibly authentic and is a real eye-opener to what life would have been like aboard the ship back then. Probably our favourite part of the museum is the ‘Go Aloft’ experience. Kids and adults have an opportunity to climb the rigging of the ship. Our 10 year old really enjoyed this and it is completely free for kids. A little nerve wracking perhaps for watching parents, but she tells me you get an amazing view of the city from up there! Shared by Suewan at RTW Families
Museums Around the World: UNITED STATES
USS Midway Museum San Diego California
The Art Institute of Chicago Illinois
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore Maryland
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum (B&O) was a favorite attraction on a recent trip to Baltimore in Maryland, US. It is situated in a not-very-prestigious area of town, but it ticked all the boxes. It is chock full of US railroad history including engines, carriages, and workshops. The museum actually has the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the US, and a brilliant civil war exhibit. What does it have? Based in the old B&O Mount Clare yards the manufacturing buildings and adjacent roundhouse turntable tell the whole story about an important segment of the US railroad. Mount Clare is the birthplace of American railroading, and the site of the first regular US rail passenger service starting in 1830 (although horse-drawn at the time). The museum displays some 250 pieces of rolling stock, 43 engines, and 15,000 exhibits. If you go between April and December, they have a mile of track and there are historic train rides. Why do we love it? The museum is run solely by volunteers and they are really knowledgeable. On your tour around, allow 2 hours at least and ask questions. If you are a history buff, like me, it is a brilliant place. The museum has the largest collection of Civil War railroad equipment in the world. This includes eight locomotives and cars that served during the war, signage, videos, and life-size historic dioramas. There is even part of Lincoln’s funeral train. It is very family-friendly, and I recommend it. Shared by Tracy at Pack The PJs
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston Massachusetts
Located in the Fenway–Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum feels like an east coast version of the Winchester Mystery House after finishing school in Europe. Its founder and namesake wanted visitors to contemplate each work of art from their own perspective. So, many pieces on display in the palatial, three-story museum do not include details about the artist, medium, or date like in traditional art museums. To get these details, guests must hunt them down. First, they have to match a wall of art to its silhouette on a laminated card, one per cardinal direction. After a match has been made — connecting the north wall of art to the north wall information card — only then can visitors separate a Rembrandt from a Rimini with certainty. Despite its non-traditional approach to displaying art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is chock full of 16,000 world-class pieces. Look for paintings by John Singer Sargent, sketches by Degas, and a letter penned by George Washington . At the world’s largest museum (the Louvre) a velvet rope keeps guests many feet from the world’s most famous painting (the Mona Lisa). But, you can expect a much different experience here. Touring this art museum is much more intimate, and you are encouraged to more closely examine the art provided you don’t touch it or use flash photography Shared by Sage at Everyday Wanderer
The Detroit Institute of Art Detroit Michigan
The Neon Museum Las Vegas Nevada
The Neon Museum isn’t your typical art museum. Rather, it’s a street art museum that celebrates vintage Las Vegas. The museum was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to collecting, preserving and studying the neon history of Vegas. The museum collection includes signs from iconic hotels such as the Sahara, Binnion’s Horseshoe and the Stardust. But they also have quirky pieces from trailer parks, dry cleaners and strip clubs. In fact, downtown has always has a regulation requiring businesses to have some signage in neon so that, even today, you’ll see neon signs at places like Starbucks and McDonalds. The museum building itself is also historically relevant because it’s housed in an old 50’s style model in the downtown area of the city. Their back lot is the “neon boneyard” which houses the sign collection. They run tours every day from 10am-2:30pm and pick up again after dark. They sell out and you should book ahead, especially on the weekends. Daytime tours are $19 and nigh time tours are $28. While you are in Vegas, check out this list of other retro things to do downtown and you will get the full measure of the city’s unusual history. Shared by Carol at Wayfaring Views
Pinball Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada
If you’re looking for something a little different in Las Vegas, try heading to the Pinball Museum. Also known as the Pinball Hall of Fame, the Pinball Museum is one of a kind. As the name suggests, the museum houses a huge collection of classic pinball machines. The machines date from as early as the 1930s right up to the 1990s. The vast majority are the iconic vintage machines from the 1970s and 80s, the heyday of the pinball craze. Incredibly, every single pinball machine is in full working order. All have been lovingly restored or cleaned up and are in pristine condition. At just 25 or 50 cents a play you can easily spend hours here. There are over 200 hundred pinball machines in the Pinball Museum’s impressive collection. Many machines have a short bio that reveals a little about them and their importance to pinball. The museum is the result of one man’s lifelong passion for pinball and is actually run as a charity. The majority of the museum’s profits are donated to the local Salvation Army. So the next time you’re in Vegas grab some change and head to the Pinball Museum. Shared by James at Where You’re Between
The Frick New York City New York
The Frick Collection. This place is glorious. It is uplifting. It raises the spirit. The wonderful museum on 70th street and 5th Avenue is the former home of Henry Clay Frick, industrialist and one of the more interesting characters from the Gilded Age. Two things about this museum have always fascinated me. The first is that it was an actual home. People actually lived here among the interior fountains, vast art collection, vaulted ceilings and rose gardens. And all right smack in front of Central Park, as if the park were its front lawn. The other point of my obsession with this place is the amazing art collection it houses; Renoir, Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Titian, El Greco, Manet and, count them…3 Vermeers with their signature light compositions. It also houses my single favorite work of art, Sir Thomas Moore by Hans Holbein. You can actually see the details of his chin stubble – a 5 o’clock stubble from the past. The red velvet of his sleeve is so realistic you can easily imagine the soft feel of the material. The house and the collection were donated by Mr. Frick and turned into a museum in the mid-1930s. During the Gilded Age from about 1870 to 1900, wealthy industrialists and business people built mansions along 5th Avenue, in front of Central Park in NYC. Most of these have been torn down but a couple remain. The Frick mansion is a prime example, a little peek into an age of ostentatious splendor. A brief insight into how the outrageously wealthy lived. Shared by Talek at Travels With Talek
The Met New York City New York
If you are interested in world class art, you can’t miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC No other museum in the world has such a range of styles and time periods. The permanent collection spans over 5,000 years and has more than 2 million pieces in it. It would take hundreds of visits to truly see the entire museum. It’s one of my favorite museums in the world because every time I go, I discover something new. There’s so much to see at the Met, so I recommend picking what suits your interests best rather than trying to see everything. You can find Egyptian mummies and Greek pottery from millennia gone by. One special piece is the Temple of Dendur from 10 BC, an Egyptian temple permanently relocated to the Met. At the same time, you can also find portraits, sculptures, and decorative items from the last few centuries. If that wasn’t enough, you can also find a sampling of modern art as well. Some of the modern artists who are represented include Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gough. Some other famous art pieces on display include Monet’s “Water Lilies” and Jackson Pollock’s enormous splatter painting. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something you can appreciate at the Met. Shared by Allison at Eternal Arrival
Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia Pennsylvania
I was on a week-long trip to Philly when I ran into the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art. Situated atop Fairmount hill in Philadelphia, this museum was constructed in 1928. One of the largest art museums in the world, the space hosts special exhibitions round the year. With over 240,000 exhibits, the museum is one of the most attractive art museums of the world as per footfall. The collections include paintings, sculptures, antique furniture, jewellery, metalwork Chinese porcelain, textile works, ceramics and glassware. Don’t miss the works of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí! This Pennsylvanian museum also has a library that preserves books on art. Apart from the actual creative treasures inside, Philadelphia Museum of Art is popular for its Hollywood-connection. The stairs leading up to its east entrance have been featured in the movie series – Rocky and Creed. Often called the “Rocky Steps”, this is where Sylvester Stallone ran up as he played the character of Rocky Balboa. It is common to see Rocky-fans pose on the steps no matter what time of the day you visit this museum. While there’s a fee to enter this art museum in the USA, you can get around that rule on Wednesdays. That day, the museum is open until nine in the night and guests are allowed to pay what they wish. Shared by Oindrila at Oindrila Goes Footloose
National Civil Rights Museum Memphis Tennessee
We’d been roaming Tennessee and Mississippi in a heatwave, but on the day we arrived at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, the sky was full of gloom. While I can’t in any way pretend to you that visiting this museum is a happy experience, I can promise that it will affect you profoundly. Covering all aspects of the development of the civil rights movement, and beginning with a dark, atmospheric exhibit dealing with slavery, the experience walks you through the key events in the expansion of civil rights. Your trip begins outside the Lorraine Motel, with its iconic wreath on the balcony where Martin Luther King was shot. Once inside the museum and experiencing the passage of time through the Montgomery bus boycott, the Freedom rides, sit-ins at the lunch counter and the sanitation strikes, you may have pushed your location at the Lorraine Motel to the back of your mind. Then you emerge in the motel room, with cups on the table and a pretty bedspread, and you understand the ordinariness of the moments before the fatal shot was fired. Cross to the Legacy building opposite, and you’ll find yourself standing in the bathroom where James Earl Ray raised his gun. It’s a chilling moment, and one that will stay with you. I’ve been to many, many museums, but none has affected me quite so profoundly as the National Civil Rights Museum. Go with an open mind and open heart; it’s well worth your time, and your sorrow. Shared by Bernadette at A Packed Life
National September 11th Museum New York City New York
The National September 11th Museum is the most powerful museum I have ever visited. It is located underground where the base of the Twin Towers once stood. The artifacts you see inside the museum show how terrible the attacks were and its impact on New York City.
A couple of the pieces that affected me the most were:
The Last Column – It was the last column of the buildings to be removed from Ground Zero. Many first responders were thought to be buried nearby and the column became an unofficial memorial as people wrote messages to their loved ones, friends, and colleagues on the steel.
The Survivors Staircase – The Vesey Street stairs which remained largely intact after the attack and was the path to safety for many survivors.
A majority of the Museum’s artifacts are inside the Timeline Exhibit, which shows minute by minute how the events of the day unfolded. In addition to the artifacts, you will also watch news clips and hear recordings of phone calls and voicemails.
Another exhibit called “Before and After 9/11” tells the story of the first attack on the World Trade Center and the recovery process after September 11th. They also have a Memorial section where you can learn more about each victim. In the Recording Studio, you can record your thoughts about the Museum or the events of that day.
The September 11th Museum is not a museum to go through quickly. I would recommend allowing five hours for your visit. When you go to 911 Museum, you should also allow some time to visit the September 11th Memorial. Walk around the fountains and read the names of the victims of the attacks. It’s powerful as well.
Shared by Anisa at Two Traveling Texans
The USSS North Carolina in Wilmington North Carolina
This battleship memorial museum has called Wilmington, North Carolina home since 1962. Here you can take a walk on the most decorated American warship of World War II! Explore the decks where navy men lived, slept and fought the war. On the USS North Carolina you can explore the main deck, several interior decks and two-gun turrets. You even get to look at one of the world’s 9 surviving Kingfisher aircrafts, which is a rare experience. Once you arrive you can choose a self-guided exploration or a guided 2-3-hour tour. We decided to explore on our own and ended up spending over 5 hours on board! From the main deck you can head down 4 levels and up 3 to get a really great feel for how life felt on this massive ship. You’ll see posters and displays along the walls that give a look into the experiences some soldiers had. They also explain what purpose each area served during the war, so you can really envision what life was like for these soldiers. Visiting the USS North Carolina is an amazing, humbling and eye-opening step back in time. You definitely don’t need to be a war buff to appreciate the experience that this museum offers! Countless museums and tours later and this are still our favorite museum visit ever!
Shared by Amanda at The Traveling Blizzards
Museums Around the World: VIETNAM
The Ho Lo Prison Museum in Hanoi
Ho Lo Prison Museum is not the most pleasant museum you will be visiting in your backpacking in Vietnam. This is located in Hanoi which displays and educate the travellers about what happened during the grim Vietnam war from 1955 to 1975. The war was not intense in the beginning, but conflicts add up and everything went ugly. This museum shows the war between the north of Vietnam which was supported by the Communist countries such as Russia and China while the south was backed up by the United States of America. Not only the locals but also the soldiers suffer in this war were a lot of victims lost parts of their body, developed birth defects, and worse, lost their family. It was very bad that Vietnamese and had to escape their own country to seek a sanctuary all over the world. Visiting Hoa Lo Prison will break your heart, but it is a must to go when you are in Hanoi. Shared by Mary at Move to Vietnam