Museums are great to visit while traveling. From art to ancient artifacts and architecture, there is so much to discover and museums have the ability to preserve that. I could spend hours at a time at the Art Institute in Chicago or the Louvre in Paris. There's something about the environment of a museum that makes you never want to leave. With that in mind, we have a two part post for you sharing museums to visit around the world and museums to visit in the US. It's incredibly difficult to narrow this list down so please bare in mind that these are not the only museums in the world to visit. If you have any particular recommendations, share them in the comments below!
Kuala Lampur Butterfly Park | Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Watch butterflies dance in arguably one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Not a museum in the traditional sense but spectacular nonetheless. It is the largest butterfly garden in the world coming in at about 80,000 square feet and serves as the home to more than 5,000 butterflies.
Louvre | Paris, France
I cannot write this list and not include one of the most magnificent museums in the world. The Louvre has a long and remarkable history. They aren't quite sure the very beginning of the area but the building we all know today began as a fortress for protection and the assimilation of power. From there it later became the residence of the French monarchy who up until this point mainly lived in the Loire Valley. That's why the Loire Valley has one of the highest collection of castles in the world. The Louvre has seen historical moments from the Crusades to the Revolution to recent war discussions and more. It's now a museum with some of the most well-known pieces of art including the "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci (truly spectacular) and artifacts from all around the world that date back for centuries.
Musée de l'Orangerie | Paris, France
Remember the scene in Midnight In Paris where there looking at the giant water lily paintings by Monet? This is that place. I've mentioned before how I had the pleasure of seeing that movie for the first time while I was in Paris. Several of us were dying to visit this museum and believe me, it was absolutely as spectacular as you could imagine. The enormous watercolors are truly breathtaking. You are able to be within feet of them as well as some of Picasso's most famous pieces. It's truly an experience unlike any other AND it's not super crowded because it's a bit tucked away so you really get to spend time with the art.
Palazzo Pitti Florence | Florence, Italy
The Palazzo originally served as the royal home for the Medici family followed by the Lorena family and Savoia family. It is now home to several museums including the Palatine Gallery, the Silver Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Costume Gallery, the Porcelain Museum and the Museum of Carriages. It's also known for the Boboli Garden, one of the largest Italian-style gardens, and is constantly under renovation to preserve the history of the property. The "Galleria degli Uffizi" is one of the most well-known museums in the world with a large collection of art from the Renaissance period from masters like Botticelli, Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello and more.
Serpentine Galleries | London, England
For the modern and contemporary art lovers, this one is for you. Opened in 1970, the gallery was originally created to showcase up and coming modern and contemporary artwork from UK artists. It's since hosted shows from up and comers to well-established artists and architects.
The Hanoi Museum | Hanoi, Vietnam
Interesting simply for it's structure, the Hanoi Museum carries art and artifacts from the city's history over the past thousand years. It's home to over 50,000 artifacts and is built to resemble an inverted pyramid.
The Royal Ontario Museum | Ontario, Canada
The Royal Ontario Museum is home the the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, and architectural phenomenon. The museum itself is home to everything from art and historical artifacts to a library. It is a work of pride to the local community with a history that goes back about one-hundred years.
The State Hermitage Museum | St. Petersburg, Russia
Originally "The Winter Palace," this museum saw the rise of Catherine II, several art acquisitions marking historical moments, the rise of Emperor Nicholas I, the opening of a public museum, war, revolutions and more. The building itself has seen so much history, the collections inside only add to it's charm. It carries collections from ancient artifacts to beloved art pieces from da Vinci and Matisse.
Underwater Museum of Art | Cancun, Mexico
This museum is most interesting to me because of how unique it is. The "museum" is home to over 500 life-size sculptures all underwater. Their goal is to demonstration the important interaction between art and the environment. There are a variety of ways to experience the museum from a glass-bottom boat to scuba diving.
Vatican Museums | Rome, Italy
The Vatican Museums are a combination of museums and galleries with collections curated originally by Pope Julius II. Many popes after continued excavations and collections which led to more museum openings which has resulted in what we now know today as the Vatican Museums. It is a magnificent collection of art and history making it a must see if you are in Rome.
A few others not in this list include Musée d'Orsay in Paris which is home to the largest Impressionist art collection in the world (my favorite era), The Acropolis in Greece, The Prado in Madrid and more. Have you visited any of these museums? What would you add to our list?