The 12 Best Museums Around the World

Explore incredible museums in some of the worlds most enthralling locations
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Published on: March 6th, 2024

Last updated: April 19th, 2024

The best museums in the world are sanctuaries of knowledge, history and art; spaces where past and modern culture is preserved and shared, designed to deepen your understanding of a particular place or subject. Spending a few hours wandering through their hallowed halls is a fantastic way to slow down, look closely and gain new perspectives on everything from ancient civilisations and classical masterpieces to contemporary works and complex conflicts.

1. The Louvre, France

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic museum than the Louvre in Paris. This is the largest museum in the world, covering over 60,600 square metres (652,000 square feet). The building dates back to medieval times, previously serving as both a fortress and a royal palace, and has been progressively expanded – culminating in today’s emblematic glass pyramid.

Need to know: If you’re visiting the Louvre with kids (ages 6–12), we can arrange a guided scavenger hunt that’s both engaging and educational.

the louvre, paris

2. Uffizi Gallery, Italy

The Uffizi Gallery is an essential stop in Florence, especially if you appreciate Italian Renaissance art. This world-famous museum can also be an intriguing experience for travellers of all ages, with customised and kid-friendly guided tours that bring history to life. 

Need to know: Although a wonderful all-rounder museum, The Uffizi proudly highlights works of art by female artists, particularly self portraits.

Uffizi Gallery

3. Tate Modern, England

Located right beside the River Thames in London, Tate Modern houses a stunning array of contemporary art from around the world. Beyond its permanent collection, it also has exceptional temporary exhibitions on everything from performance art to climate activism.

Need to know: We highly suggest visiting Tate Modern on a guided walking tour of Bankside, an area that also includes Shakespeare’s Globe and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Tate Modern, London

4. Apartheid Museum, South Africa

Opened in 2001, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg tells the story of South Africa throughout the 20th century. It documents the institutionalised racism and authoritarian regime of apartheid, providing a first-hand look at the injustices and legacies of this period of history.

Need to know: Pair the Apartheid Museum with a visit to Soweto, a township that was instrumental in ending apartheid, where you can also see Nelson Mandela’s former home.

Soweto

5. War Remnants Museum, Vietnam

One of the most valuable purposes of the top museums in the world is to help visitors broaden their perspectives. That’s certainly the case for the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, which documents the Vietnam War and the First Indochina War from a Vietnamese viewpoint.

Need to know: The War Remnants Museum includes not only various photography exhibitions, but also old military equipment like helicopters, bombers and even a guillotine.

helicopter at War Remnants Museum, Vietnam

6. Bangkok National Museum, Thailand

Housed in a former palace, the Bangkok National Museum celebrates the history of Thailand through exhibitions of art, cultural items and ancient artefacts. Here you can see everything from prehistoric archaeological finds and sculptures to royal possessions and historical weapons. 

Need to know: Make sure to visit each of the museum’s three buildings: Siwamokhaphiman Hall, Buddhaisawan Chapel and Tam Nak Deang, also known as the Red House.

Temple in National Museum Bangkok Thailand

7. Tokyo National Museum, Japan

The Tokyo National Museum is an obligatory part of any cultural tour of the Asakusa District. The largest art museum in Japan, it’s an excellent place to dive into Asian artistic and cultural heritage. Check out the collection of Greco-Buddhist art, which reflects a unique fusion of styles.

Need to know: This museum is located within Ueno Park, which also happens to be a lovely place to walk around – especially during cherry blossom season

Tokyo National Museum in Tokyo, Japan

8. Naoshima Island, Japan

The entirety of Naoshima Island is essentially an open-air museum. Located in the Seto Inland Sea, it’s full of world-class art museums and contemporary architecture. Visit the underground Chichu Art Museum and Benesse House, known for its enormous seaside pumpkin sculpture. 

Need to know: In addition to being an art museum, Benesse House doubles as a chic hotel. If you choose to stay overnight, you’ll get after-hours access to the museum’s exhibitions.

Naoshima island

9. National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Egypt

Commonly known as NMEC, this intriguing museum in Cairo will take you on a journey through Egyptian culture, all the way from prehistory to the modern age. Its Royal Mummies Gallery features no less than 20 mummified kings and queens and several ornate coffins.

Need to know: We can arrange a private tour with a curator, as well as an exclusive dinner on the museum grounds with views of Ain el-Sira Lake.

National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo

10. Museo Larco, Peru

The privately owned Museo Larco isn’t your average museum. This peaceful oasis in the heart of Peru’s capital, Lima, is known for its pre-Columbian artefacts, gorgeous gardens, extensive storerooms that are open to the public and a captivating collection of ancient erotic art.

Need to know: Museo Larco is one of our can’t-miss spots in Lima. For the full experience, allow us to organise an after-hours tour so you’ll have it all to yourself.

Larco Museum

11. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico

Perhaps the best museum in the world for Mesoamerican history, Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology is a truly epic attraction. Beyond its extensive exhibitions spotlighting ancient civilisations like the Maya and Aztecs, the building itself is also an architectural icon.

Need to know: Join an expert guide for an evening tour of the museum to see legendary artefacts – including the colossal Aztec sun stone – up close and without the crowds. 

National Museum of Anthropology

12. Museo del Oro, Colombia

The name of this place, which translates as the Gold Museum, is a clue to its contents: tens of thousands of gold artefacts from pre-Hispanic Colombia. Its exhibitions are quite literally dazzling, easily earning it the title of our favourite museum in Bogotá.

Need to know: Don’t miss the Muisca raft, which depicts part of the legend of El Dorado, or the famous Poporo Quimbaya, a masterfully constructed gold container.

Museo del Oro, Colombia

 

Embark on a Journey of Discovery

Awe-inspiring museums abound the globe. Immerse yourself in the art, history and culture of far-flung destinations or marvel at treasures closer to home.

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