One of my favorite travel activities is to visit museums. I just love the feeling that museums provide, which is hard to describe. Especially art museums where the feeling is more peaceful, quiet and contemplative. But I’ve been to several non-art museums too that I have really enjoyed about topics like aviation, space, science, and history.
What I like about museums also is that every person that visits one, has a different experience, we all learn something different and we all have different favorite pieces of it.
Below is a list of 10 of the best museums I have been to around the world.
1. State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg remains one of my favorite places to visit in the world. It is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world and focuses on art and culture.
It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and has been open to the public since 1852. Its collections comprise over three million items including the largest collection of paintings in the world.
The Hermitage is a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, of which 5 of those including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors, are open to the public.
Ticket Prices: State Hermitage Museum
400 rubles – Entry ticket to the Main museum complex
350 rubles – for adult citizens of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus (with proof)
Free entrance to the Main museum complex for: preschool children, school children, students (regardless of nationality), pensioners (Russian citizens), and every first Thursday of the month.
Main museum complex:
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30-18.00
2. Pompidou Center, Paris, France
The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Public Information Library), a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research.
The building was designed in the style of high-tech architecture.
It has been a pretty long while since I visited this museum but it definitely left a mark in me being crowned as one of my favorite museums in the world. But I am sure it is even better now. If you like modern art at all, you will not be disappointed.
Full price: €13 or €11, depending on the period
Reduced price: €10 or €9, depending on the period
Valid the same day for one admission to all exhibition areas at the Museum and for the View of Paris.
Free entry for everyone to the Museum, the View of Paris and the Galerie des enfants on the first Sunday of every month.
The Centre Pompidou is open every day, except Tuesdays and 1 May, from 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. Ticket desks close at 8.00 p.m.
3. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Van Gogh Museum is pretty straightforward. This art museum in Amsterdam is dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh (housing the largest collection of his paintings and drawing in the world) and his contemporaries. So, if you like Van Gogh, like me, you will love this museum.
I adored this museum. I was backpacking in Europe at the time, and you know what that means: in a budget. So €15 was a lot, it was half of my daily accommodation budget, but it was absolutely worth it!
On the same trip, the child in me wanted to visit LEGOLAND in our Germany stop but my backpacking buddy didn’t think the admission was worth it. I guess I’ll never know.
Located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South.
Visitors under 18 free
Free for Museumkaart holders, ICOM members, Rembrandtkaart holders, and I amsterdam City Card holders
Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and until 10 pm on Fridays.
4. Tate Modern, London, England
The Tate Modern in London is definitely one of my favorite modern art museums. The collections consist of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 until today. I have to say that one of my favorite things in there is the museum store.
And guess what? Admission is free! Except for special exhibitions. This is a must-visit while in London.
Located in the Bankside area of the London Borough of Southwark.
10.00–18.00, Sunday – Thursday
10.00–22.00, Friday – Saturday
5. Soumaya, Mexico City
The Soumaya, in the Polanco area, is fairly new in Mexico and it will catch your attention before even entering the building with its highly photogenic architecture. It contains a large collection with over 60,000 pieces of art; the majority consists of European works from the 15th to the 20th century. It also holds Mexican art and historical artifacts, as well as the largest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures outside of France.
Its all-white interior will lead you to believe that you are in a shiny silver cloud resembling the curves of Rodin’s sculptures.
Admission is free! And it is one of the stops of the Turibus.
Open everyday from 10:30 to 18:30 h
6. Haus der Musik, Vienna, Austria
The Haus der Musik (House of Music) in Vienna is very high in my list of enjoyment. It opened in 2000, and is the first museum of sound and music in Austria.
The building is full of exhibitions teaching about the world of music from the earliest human use to present day. It has several interactive and high-tech presentations that teach us about music in playful and scientific approaches. I especially enjoyed the famous composer rooms as I am a classical music fan.
Haus der Musik is located in the Old Town of Vienna, in the historic Palais Archduke Charles.
Adults 12,00 €
Students (under 27), senior citizens, challenged persons 9,00 €
Children under 12 5,50 €
Children under 3 Free
Open daily between 10 am and 10 pm.
7. Chapultepec Castle
This castle is the only Royal castle in North America and it is located on top of the Chapultepec Hill in the middle of Chapultepec Park at a height of over 7000 feet (2300 meters) above sea level.
I highly recommend exploring the Chapultepec Park surrounding the castle as well. The park boasts about 1600 acres including the zoo, the famous Museum of Anthropology and the Rufino Tamayo Museum.
Fun fact! In 1996, the castle was a film location for the Academy Award-nominated movie William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. Many views of the castle as the Capulet Mansion can be seen throughout the film.
Cost: $59 pesos. Closed on Mondays. Seniors and children can enter with free admission.
8. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
The Louvre is an icon, and you should probably not skip it if you are in Paris, but, I promise the Musée d’Orsay, on the left bank of the Seine, won’t disappoint. It has been a while, but I remember enjoying the art inside this museum more than at the Louvre.
The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound good.
€11 Full rate
€8.50 for 18-25 year olds who are not citizens or long-term residents of the EU AND from 4.30pm (except Thursdays) AND on Thursday evenings, from 6pm
Free on first Sunday of the month AND Under 18 year olds AND 18-25 year olds who are citizens or long-term residents the EU AND disabled visitors with one extra person AND Unemployed visitors
Open from 9.30am to 6pm daily, except Mondays
late night on Thursdays until 9.45pm
9. Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacan, Mexico City
The Frida Kahlo Museum known as “La Casa Azul” (The Blue House) is is located in the Colonia del Carmen neighborhood of Coyoacán in Mexico City. I suggest a visit if you are going to the area. The house is Frida Kahlo’s birthplace and home which was converted to a museum by Diego Rivera, her husband, in her honor. Today, the house displays artwork by both these artists plus some more folk art by other artists.
Ticket prices vary from $15 pesos to $100 pesos depending on your situation and the day you visit.
$60 pesos to be allowed to take photographs.
Open Tuesday: 10:00 – 17:45 h
Wednesday: 11:00 – 17:45 h
Thursday to Sunday: 10:00 – 17:45 h
10. Museum of Flight, Seattle, USA
My husband and I spent about 3 hours in this museum. If you like aviation and space, you will love the Museum of Flight, the largest private air and space museum in the world, just like we did. It was extremely educational and fun.
I enjoyed looking at all the many different kind of planes and prototypes and even going inside several of them including the famous tiny and fast British Airways Concorde and the Air Force One with a doggie door!, the first presidential jet.
There is also a flight simulator and a real space shuttle, which requires and extra fee to tour inside.
Adults cost $19
Youth (5–17) cost $11
Open 7 Days a Week 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.