Regardless of whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or just someone who likes to wander around big buildings looking at beautiful old things, museums can be a wonderful way to spend your time when you travel, especially on a rainy day. We take a look at some of the world’s best.
The Louvre, Paris
The most famous and arguably the greatest art museum in the world, the Louvre draws millions of art fans every year, keen to see some of the world’s greatest masterpieces themselves. With pieces from the very beginning of antiquity right up until the 19th Century, this former fortress first opened as a public museum in 1793. With over 30,000 paintings on display, the Louvre is home to the Venus de Milo, numerous works by Titian, Raphael and Botticelli, and of course the most famous of them all, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Imperial War Museum, London
As a military history buff, the Imperial War Museum is an absolute must. The museum is within walking distance of the tube station and is free entry. It has been refurbished not long ago with a new World War I gallery which is simply fascinating and provides interesting information from all historical eras of war. A few hours is needed here to see everything.
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
The largest and most impressive museum in the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum has a large collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer (of Girl With a Pearl Earring fame).
The Prado Museum, Madrid
One of the “Big Three” art museums in the Spanish capital (the other two being the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen) The Prado houses some of the best collections of European art from the 12th right up to the 19th Century. The most precious pieces are those by Spanish masters Goya, Velazquez and El Greco.
The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum is gigantic, housing an impressive collection of over three million works from all over the world. Made up of a large complex of six historic buildings that includes the Winter Palace, this incredible museum priceless works of art by Da Vinci, Reubens, Michelangelo and Rembrandt.
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence
One of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world, the beautiful Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy is housed in a 16th Century palace, creating a breathtaking backdrop for its large collection of Renaissance paintings and sculptures from classical antiquity. One of its most famous pieces is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Known to most as simple The Met, New York’s enormous art museum is situated on the eastern edge of Central Park in New York City opened its doors to the art-hungry public in 1872 and holds over two million works of art spanning several centuries and just as many time zones, covering virtually every form of art there is.
The Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Home to an awesome 120,000 different pieces from ancient Egypt, Cairo’s Egyptian Museum is a fascinating journey back in time to one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations. With everything from papyrus and coins to objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamen and an impressive 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times, the museum is one of the highlights of a visit to the Egyptian capital.