For the history or art lovers among us, I present some of the most kickass museums to visit in your lifetime.
10. Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Yes, pot is legal in Amsterdam. Yes, so are ‘shrooms…so is prostitution. BUT Amsterdam is wayyyyyy more than that. It’s a city of canals that light up at night. It’s a city full of flowers and color in the spring like you wouldn’t believe. It is also a city where Anne Frank hid, and it’s a city where Van Gogh has his paintings displayed. You know, the painter of Starry Night, Bedroom in Arles, Sunflowers, and many other masterpieces. Well, this city has blessed us all with a museum full of his masterpieces, drawings, and even his personal letters. It’s well worth visiting if you’re swinging by this crazy town.
9. The Acropolis Museum (Athens, Greece)
Ahh the arts of antiquity. This little but mighty museum has so much inside, from Acropolis reliefs to busts of famous leaders. There are even ruins under the museum as you walk inside. If you’re in Athens and want to take a peek at more art around the Acropolis, this is the best spot to look (other than the Acropolis itself).
8. Smithsonian Natural History Museum (Washington, DC, USA)
If you’re a natural history museum lover, this is just the place. It’s a Smithsonian museum, which means it’s free! Yay! It also has a wide variety of exhibits, from fossils and various animal species to gems and the Hope Diamond, as well as mummies and displays about evolution. Be sure to check out the special exhibitions while you’re there!
7. The Art Institute Chicago (Chicago, USA)
This is a museum I just keep on visiting, and for good reason: it’s amazing! If you have used all your time off, but are dying to see the famous French paintings you’d typically see in Paris: go here. There’s a whole wing for impressionists here, including my favorite painting! Think Degas’ ballerinas, Monet’s gorgeous French fields and sunsets on the beach, and George Seurat’s lovely pointillism paintings. Also, you can’t miss the modern art, including some Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso pieces.
6. The MET (New York City, USA)
Whether you’re a Gossip Girl fan, follow celeb gossip and hear about the Met Gala each year, or you just appreciate fine art and fashion, this is the place for you. Each year in NYC they put on an exhibition regarding fashion in which the Met Gala celebrates. I visited a couple of years ago when the exhibition was China Through the Looking Glass. This year: Man X Machina. These are only on display for a few months, so be sure to check the website before visiting. Aside from the fashion, there’s also wonderful art from around the globe to appreciate there.
5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC, USA)
While a visit to this museum is incredibly sad, it’s also very moving. It educates you regarding the Holocaust, what the victims went through, and the timeline of events. It is a place to remember and honor the victims, and educates visitors about genocide and how to prevent it. This museum does a wonderful job; it even gives you a pamphlet about a person who went through the Holocaust. You turn the pages as you change floors to learn about their story, what they went through, and how they ended up. It gives you a more personal connection. Make sure to reserve your visit online, as it’s a crowded museum.
4. Pergamon Museum (Berlin, Germany)
When you think of Berlin, most don’t think about the amazing museum island this city offers. Berlin has such an incredible history with the Berlin Wall, TV Tower, Brandenburg Gate, etc. However, a trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without a trip here. This museum in particular is badass. Ever thought about walking through the gates of Babylon? You can do that here! Want to act like you’re in Greece thousands of years ago hanging out on the Pergamon Altar? You can do that too! Anyway, there are tons of really awesome historical pieces throughout this museum. They have the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Museum of Islamic Art all included here.
3. Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
If you’re ever in Rome, the Vatican is a must-see. The Sistine Chapel alone is worth the visit. There are rooms and rooms full of Renaissance paintings, altar pieces, and sculptures. It’s enough to be overwhelmed, but be sure to book a tour guide and go early; this place gets crowded fast.
2. British Museum (London, UK)
So we all know that the British basically ruled most of the world at one point, right? Well, they have a museum dedicated to a lot of the antiques, art, and artifacts they’ve collected over the years. Sound pretty cool? That’s because it is! Let’s not forget that they have the Rosetta Stone, sculptures from the Acropolis in Athens, and even mummies… lots of mummies. Seriously, this is a cool museum.
1. Museum L’Orangerie (Paris, France)
A museum list wouldn’t be complete without an art museum from Paris. While they have many notable museums (D’Orsay and Louvre being the most popular), this is easily the best, and hardly anyone knows about it. Monet gave his most famous paintings to this museum and even helped design the rooms the Water Lilies would be placed in. So that alone is pretty sweet. Combine that with their acquisition of the Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume collections of art, this museum, while small, is stocked full of impressionist and post-impressionist art. If you’re into French Impressionist paintings, love Monet’s Water Lilies, and are in Paris, you have to see this place.”