The best museums in the world offer you a glimpse into past, present, and future realities. They teach you and engage you, causing you to look at the world differently. In many ways, museums are our travel guides through history, holding some of the world’s most precious treasures. Wherever you travel to, museums offer an affordable, fun-filled way to spend the day.
To celebrate this year’s International Museum Day, we asked some of the world’s best travel experts what their favorite museums were around the world. They each gave us two picks:
A certified travel addict, Don Nadeau (@DonNadeau) has been featured in the New York Times & USA Today as Priceline’s bidding strategist. He also owns bidontravel.com where you can find a plethora of tips for bidding on great destinations.
1. Canada’s National Gallery – Ottowa, Canada
If you venture north to neighboring Canada you will find the gem that is Canada’s National Gallery. This museum is located in what some say is “Ottowa’s most beautiful building,” and offers a glimpse into Canada’s artistic past, as well as some American and European classics. If you go after 5 p.m. on Thursday, admission is free!
2. Rijksmuseum – Amsterdam, Netherlands
In Amsterdam stands a masterful building housing some of the most sought after pieces of art, and artifacts from throughout history. That building is none other than the Rijksmuseum. Even if you don’t call yourself a “museum person,” the Rijksmuseum will leave you wide-eyed. The museum is very large, and tends to get crowded. Buy tickets online to skip the line, and go either earlier in the morning, or in the late afternoon to avoid the rush.
Jim Byers (@JimByersTravel) is a regular travel contributor to Canoe.com, The Dallas News, and the Houston Chronicle. He is based in Toronto.
1. Churchill Museum – London
Located in London, the Churchill Museum is one of five branches of the Imperial War Museum. Touted as one of the best historical attractions to visit in London, the museum gives you a glimpse into the underground tunnels and bunkers used by Churchill and the British army during WWII. Throughout your visit you will learn the story of Winston Churchill’s life, and get a great history of World War 2. Beware though; it is very easy to spend an entire afternoon soaking up everything this museum has to offer.
2. The Titanic Experience – Belfast, Ireland
This museum, located in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast, gives visitors an interactive journey through the life of the Titanic - from construction, to the devastating crash, up until present day. The exhibits are very hands-on and interactive. Kids can follow along and spot the standout characters throughout the museum. They also offer a short ride around the drydock to see where the ship was originally painted.
Jeni & Breeze of @MOMventureBlog are sisters-in-law who have a common wanderlust spirit. With six kids between the two of them, they are out to prove that you CAN still travel once you have kids. www.momventureblog.com
1. Dallas Museum of Art – Dallas, Texas
The Dallas Museum of Art is a fun, informative, and interactive museum for the whole family. Throughout the year, The Dallas Museum of Art offers gallery talks, lectures, concerts, classes, films, family activities, and more! The third Friday of every month is “Late Night” where the museum is open until midnight, offering an experience for all ages.
2. Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) – New York, NY
With more than 5,000 years of art from every corner of the world, the MET offers something for everyone. They also have a great METkids program, which gives kids interactive maps that help them explore the museum, keeping them involved and excited. During different times of the year, the MET hosts special exhibits, which is a great time to visit.
Whether you’re looking to pass an afternoon on a business trip, or are planning your next family getaway, museums are a great way to soak up history, learn a thing or two, and spend a few hours. Check your local communities website to see what hidden museums may be hiding in your city.