No matter if you like fine art or history, a few museums will take your breath away and you should visit (at least once) in your lifetime. The world’s most famous museums and art galleries give their guests a great chance to see some of the world’s best works of art up close while keeping their amazing collections safe for future generations. From New York to Paris and Rome to St. Petersburg, here is my list of the 10 best museums in the world (or at least the ones that pleased me the most) with unique exhibits that teach and inspire. Even though many of these sites are closed right now because of the coronavirus spread, you can still check out parts of them.
10. RIJKSMUSEUM, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
The Rijksmuseum, in the middle of Amsterdam’s Museum Square, is a world-class art museum. Under its original name, “Nationale Kunstgalerij,” the museum initially welcomed visitors in the year 1800. Once located in The Hague’s Huis ten Bosch, the museum made the transfer to Amsterdam with the city’s designation as the Netherlands’ capital in 1808. From their overall collection of 1 million items spanning the years 1200 to 2000, the museum now has 8,000 works of art and historical artefacts on exhibit. If you’re short on time but yet want to see some of Dutch’s most impressive artwork, the Gallery of Honour is the place to go.
9. EL PRADO, MADRID, SPAIN
In 1785, architect Juan de Villanueva created the building that now houses the Museo Nacional del Prado. On the orders of King Charles III, it was built to hold the Natural History Cabinet. But the building’s end use, as the new Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures, was chosen by the monarch’s grandson, King Ferdinand VII, with the help of his wife, Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza. The Prado opened to the public in 1819, and it is now one of the most famous places in the art world, with more than 10 million people visiting its website and 3 million people going there every year.
8. THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (MOMA), NEW YORK, USA
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was started in 1929 as a teaching centre. Its goal is to be the world’s best museum of modern art. The museum shows this dedication by putting together, keeping, and documenting a collection of the best quality that reflects modern art’s vitality, complexity, and changing patterns. MoMA’s collection has grown from an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing to include 150,000 paintings, sculptures, and design objects, as well as 22,000 films, videos, media works, film stills, scripts, and historical records.
7. THE VATICAN MUSEUMS, VATICAN CITY, ITALY
Even though the Roman Catholic Church’s governing body and its leader, the pope, live in Vatican City, this small independent city-state in Rome has a lot of cultural draws that people of all faiths can enjoy. The world-famous Vatican Museums are an important part of any trip to Vatican City. They show pieces from the huge collection that the Catholic Church and the pope have built up over the years. This collection includes some of the world’s most famous Roman statues and the most important works of Renaissance art.
6. THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, WASHINGTON DC, USA
With 19 museums and the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s biggest museum, education, and research centre. In 1846, the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) gave money to start the Smithsonian Institution “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, a place to increase and spread knowledge.” There is so much to see that if you spent one minute every day and night looking at each object on display, it would take you ten years to see only 10% of the whole place. So, it’s best to focus on only one or two shows at two or three different museums.
5. THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
The State Hermitage Museum is the second-largest art museum in the world. It was started in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great bought a big collection of works from the Berlin trader Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. Today, the museum has more than 3 million pieces of art and objects from around the world. It has paintings, drawings, sculptures, works of applied art, pieces from archaeology, and coinage items. The collections are in six old buildings along Palace Embankment. One of these is the Winter Palace, which was once the home of Russian rulers.
4. THE UFFIZI GALLERIES, FLORENCE, ITALY
The Uffizi Galleries in Florence are on the first and second floors of a big building planned by Giorgio Vasari and built between 1560 and 1580. It is known for its amazing collections of sculptures and drawings from the Middle Ages to Modern times. Some of the works from the 14th century and the Renaissance are total masterpieces. The Gallery also has a priceless collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family. These statues and busts line the hallways and are copies of lost Greek carvings made in ancient Rome.
3. THE BRITISH MUSEUM, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
The British Museum in London started in 1753 and opened in 1759. It was the first national museum to be open to people from all over the world and to cover all areas of human knowledge. No other museum has exhibits with the same level of depth, range, beauty, and importance. With its eight million items, we can learn about the wide range of human cultures, from small villages to huge nations. We can also see how people have given different shapes and meanings to every part of life and how closely they are all related.
2. THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the biggest art museum in the United States. Locals call it “the Met.” The museum is in two of New York City’s most famous places: The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. It has art from all over the world that dates back more than 5,000 years. Since it opened in 1870, The Met has tried to be more than just a collection of rare and beautiful things. The museum’s galleries, exhibitions, and events bring art to life every day, showing new ideas and surprising links across time and across countries.
1. LE LOUVRE, PARIS, FRANCE
When people go to the Louvre and look at its collections, they can learn about Western art from the Middle Ages to 1848 and about a lot of old cultures. But there is also another past to learn about. The museum’s grand palace, which was built in the late 1100s, is a great example of architecture. From 1200 to 2011, the most innovative builders built and improved the Louvre. This royal house was the centre of power for a long time, and French heads of state lived here until 1870. It is one of the most important places in the history of Paris and France.
Famous Museums: Wrap Up
In conclusion, the top 10 best museums in the world have a wide range of cultural, historical, and artistic gems that both entertain and teach tourists. These museums, like the Louvre in Paris, the British Museum in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, have amazing collections and exhibits that span ages and countries. They offer tourists immersive experiences that let them learn about and enjoy art, science, and history. With their carefully chosen exhibits, state-of-the-art facilities, and informed staff, these museums help us understand and appreciate the richness of our world history. Going to these top museums is not only a treat for the senses but also a deep journey of learning and discovery.