Dream Dates: The Best Museums in the World
So, Gladstone Pottery Museum might be one of the best museums in our home city of Stoke-on-Trent, but what are the best museums in the world? We LOVE museums. As well as general huge museums, like the British Museum, we have visited museums to niches such as football, archaeology, science, industry, and religion. For our dream dates, we expand our search to the entire world. We ask ourselves, “which museums would we visit if money were no object?” Here are our recommendations.
Smithsonian Institution – Washington DC, USA
The world’s largest museum complex, with a staggering nineteen museums to its name. You could conceivably spend weeks going round them. Some of the most famous exhibits include the collection of American First Ladies’ gowns, the Star-Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, and the Starship Enterprise from the original Star Trek!
National Museum of Anthropology – Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico’s top museum is an awe-inspiring place. Delving into its own history before Columbus and the Europeans arrived in the Americas, it really does feature some wonderful objects. Ones not to miss include the Stone of the Sun (the Aztec calendar stone), and the Aztec Xochipilli statue.
The British Museum – London, UK
We have been here a number of times, and are always in awe of its scope. It is impossible to see everything, even over numerous visits. There are over thirteen million priceless objects inside, including the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, Lewis chessmen, and Samurai armour. The building is just beautiful, too.
Art Institute of Chicago – Illnois, USA
One of America’s oldest and largest art museums, this Chicago landmark contains more classic works of art than you can imagine. Some its iconic works include Wood’s American Gothic, Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, and Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. The art collections go back to ancient times. Unmissable.
Louvre – Paris, France
The Louvre is the largest museum in the world, and the most visited. Both of us have been there, but not, as yet, together. The museum is housed in a medieval fortress, and yet it is the striking glass pyramid that will catch your eye first. Of course, despite the crowds, you would be foolish to miss the Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo.
Egyptian Museum – Cairo, Egypt
Somewhere we have been desperate to visit together for years is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Amy went on a short trip from Cyprus when she was younger. Imagine being in the room with the gold mask of Tutankhamun! Of course, there is the new Grand Egyptian Museum that is being built near to the Giza Pyramids. However, information on the progress of this is hard to find.
State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace – St Petersburg, Russia
One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, this Russian landmark was founded by Catherine the Great. The six historic buildings that house the collections includes the Winter Palace, where Russian emperors once lived. Don’t miss the Hermitage cats, a group of around sixty real-life cats that have made the museum their home. As well as artworks from Michelangelo and Raphael, you should check out the Treasure Gallery, and marvel at how much it must all be worth.
Museum of New Zealand – Wellington, New Zealand
This colourful museum focuses on New Zealand’s own rich culture and history. For the next couple of years or so, you can see the larger-than-life exhibition about the First World War battle of Gallipoli.
National Palace Museum – Taipei, Taiwan
This huge and wonderful collection takes in 8,000 years of Chinese art and history. Most of its pieces were collected by Chinese emperors (including Ming) over the years, and range from the Neolithic age to the modern day. Don’t miss the jadeite cabbage, and the meat-shaped stone.
Museo Del Prado – Madrid, Spain
You will find one of the world’s best collections of European art inside The Prado Museum. The most famous of which is Velazquez’s Las Meninas. Seeing so many fine works of art from the masters themselves is sure to be an awe-inspiring experience.
Have you been to any of the best museums in the world? Which others would you recommend?