My Top 20 Museums/Galleries in the World

This is such a tough one – at first, I wanted to do my top 10 favourite museums but it soon became apparent that there was no way I could whittle it down to that few a number, so instead I compromised with myself and made it a top 20. Top 10s are overrated anyway, right?

 

NUMBER 1: The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

It’s not only where the Met gala is held every year, there’s also ART in here. A heck of a lot of it, actually. 

In all seriousness, this museum is beautiful to walk around and houses some of the most incredible things including Egyptian Mummys, European sculptures, musical instruments and of course, historic art from around the world, such as works by Pollock, Van Gogh, O Keeffe and oh so many more.

Personally, I would recommend leaving yourself at least a half day to explore although a full day would be preferable. 

Location: New York, USA

Entrance Fee: $25 for adults; $17 for seniors; $12 for students. The ticket includes exhibitions and are valid at all Met locations.

Website / Instagram / My New York Museums Blog Post 

 

NUMBER 2: The Louvre

A beautiful museum inside and out, that doesn’t only hold the Mona Lisa (as a lot of people seem to think). You can also see the Venus De Milo sculpture, Liberty Leading The People painting and even Napoleon’s Apartments. 

My favourite ever visit was with my mum, to one of their late openings – we were the only people wandering around Napoleon’s Apartments and it really did a feel a bit like ‘Night At The Museum’ (without anything coming to life, sadly). 

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Location: New York, USA

Entrance Fee: €15 in person /€17 online with fast entry/ free every first Saturday of the month.

It’s also always free for under 26 year olds from within the EEA and free for under 26 year olds worldwide on Friday evenings.

Website / Instagram / My Paris in Autumn Vlog

 

NUMBER 3: Tate Modern

There are so many things about the Tate Modern to love – for me personally as a Londoner, I will never get over the fact that whenever I want I can just walk into the Tate Modern for free and see some of the world’s best modern art pieces. Or, for a small price, you can see various exhibitions that are always meticulously put together and not something you see everyday. 

Plus, the building itself is a work of art. It was only recently renovated and the view from the tower is incredible (although the people in the flats opposite don’t think so). Also, there are various other locations around the building where you can get great views of the Thames. 

Location: London, England

Entrance Fee: Free (additional costs apply for entrance to special exhibitions). Memberships are also available which give free entrance to exhibitions (such as the Olafur Eliasson exhibit pictured below).

Website / Instagram / My Tate Modern Blog Post 

 

 

NUMBER 4: The Henry Ford

A bit less well known than the above but still very much worth a visit if you’re in the area. We visited while on a road trip, travelling between Chicago and Toronto and I’m so glad we did. 

Henry Ford didn’t only produce cars, he also collected a lot of things. Initially this was for a private collection but it then turned into a museum and holds some of the craziest things, such as the Rosa Parks bus, a Wright Brothers plane, the rocking chair Abraham Lincoln was shot in while at the Ford Theatre, a Dymaxion house and so much more. 

As well as the museum, there is are Ford Factory tours on offer and ‘Greenfield Village’, where you can experience American history through replicas of famous sets such as Edison’s lab and the Wright Brothers’ workshop. I personally didn’t visit those as I didn’t have time but I would like to return and see everything on site, one day. 

Location: Dearborn, Michigan, USA

Entrance Fee: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for seniors and $18.75 for 5-11 year olds. Memberships are also available.

Website/Instagram / My Henry Ford Museum Blog Post 

NUMBER 5: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

In some ways similar to the Henry Ford, in that this museum houses a real variety of objects, which makes it such an interesting place to walk around. It covers American history as a whole and therefore has everything from Popular Culture artefacts such as Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to the Star Spangled Banner. 

I personally loved the transport section, all about how transport had a big impact on America’s history including a mixture of items, from the first car driven across America to an early Harley Davidson; all displayed beautifully. 

And of course, as with all Smithsonian museums – visiting is free! 

Location: Washington DC, USA

Entrance Fee: Free for all.

Website/Instagram /

 

NUMBER 6: KUMU

Another that isn’t as well known as some of the others but my goodness, should it be. With some of the most incredible architecture I have ever seen, as well as, Estonian Art from the 18th century onwards. 

There was hardly anyone else there the day we visited, which was especially surprising considering it was a rainy day – where else would you want to be but inside an art gallery! 

I didn’t know a lot about Estonian art before visiting so it was a great way to be introduced to their art scene, as well as their history. I would definitely say it’s a ‘must see’ if you go to Tallinn.

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Entrance Fee: €10 for adults / €7 for concessions (Students/Youth/Seniors/Estonian Armed Forces) / €20 for families (2 adults and their underage children) / free for children under the age of 8.

The museum also holds ‘One Euro’ wednesdays throughout the year (please check this page for more details)

Website/Instagram

 

NUMBER 7: Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

While living in Toronto, I made it my aim to visit as many museums as possible but of course, museums aren’t cheap so that wasn’t necessarily an easy task – I realised that if you are a resident there, you can borrow museum passes from the libraries (released first thing on weekend mornings) and so we were fortunate enough to experience the breathtaking museum that is the ROM. 

My best friend and I have always been obsessed with dinosaurs, and the ROM does not disappoint. We were there while a school group was visiting and it was so lovely seeing them all gasp at the large dinosaur skeletons on display. 

Of course, there’s much more there than just dinosaurs – inside and out, it’s overwhelming – focusing on art and history from around the world. There’s historic English armour, huge totem poles and gorgeous gems/rocks (some you’re even allowed to touch). 

Location: Toronto, Canada

Entrance Fee: $23.00 for adults / $14.00 for children aged 4-14 / $18.00 for seniors (65+), students and youth aged 15-19 / free for infants.

It’s free for all every third Tuesday evening of the month (530-830pm)

They also accept Toronto CityPasses.

Website/Instagram

 

NUMBER 8: V&A Museum

The V&A is another of London’s stunning free museums that us London residents are so lucky to have. Specialising in art and design, the V&A is one of my favourite places to spend a Sunday morning. 

It’s halls are filled with treasures ranging from furniture and sculpture, to fashion and fabric (yes their gift shop is incredible), plus, paintings and jewellery. Of course, their exhibitions are also fantastic – I’ve actually lost count of the number I’ve been to but they’re always very well put together, engaging and often highly visceral (If you are British/spend a lot of time here, I highly recommend getting a National Art Pass with which you can get discounts to many exhibitions and free entry to certain places). 

As well as all of the above, Victoria and Albert Museum is located in South Kensington, near to the Natural History and Science Museum, making it the perfect start to a great day out.

Location: Kensington, London, UK

Entrance Fee: Free (additional costs apply for entrance to special exhibitions). Memberships are also available which give free entrance to exhibitions.

Website/Instagram

 

NUMBER 9: ERM (Estonian National Museum)

I could talk about this for hours. This is the most unexpectedly incredible museum I’ve ever been to. Firstly, look at it! Situated just outside Tartu’s centre at the end of a runway, it’s an overwhelming building to come across. Secondly, it only gets better inside. And no, it isn’t all in Estonian.

Opened in 2016, its dedicated to Estonian art and history, and the range of objects they have inside is incredible – the first Estonian flag, a floppy disk holding old Estonian pop music, national costumes and even a collection of beer tankards. Then further to this, alongside each object is a digital display, onto which you can place a card (given to you by the museum), which will translate the text into your chosen language. Incredible.

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Location: Tartu, Estonia

Entrance Fee: €14 for adults /€10 for concessions (under 18s/retired people/students) to entire museum.

Separate prices for individual exhibitions.

Website / Instagram / My blog post on ERM

 

NUMBER 10: Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

I don’t care how old you are. Space is VERY cool. It’s no wonder this museum is the most popular in the entirety of the United States. 

Containing many planes, rockets and helicopters, including a Concorde and the space shuttle ‘Discovery’, it’s a kid and adult’s dream walking around staring up at these huge objects. 

Again, as a Smithsonian museum, it is of course free.

Location: Washington DC, USA

Entrance Fee: Free for all.

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 11: MOMA

New York’s museum of modern art is cool, fun and of course, artsy as hell. It’s a little slice of heaven for East Londoners like myself. 

And of course, it’s full to the brim with modern art. My personal highlights were Monet’s Waterlilies (which my mum took a long time to realise was the real thing) and Jasper John’s ‘flag’. 

Location: New York, USA

Entrance Fee: $25 for adults / $18 for seniors (65+) / $18 for visitors with disabilities / $14 for students / free for children under 16s and active military.

It’s also free every Friday evening from 530-9pm. Plus, they accept New York Passes.

Website / Instagram / My visit to MOMA

 

NUMBER 12: Centre Pompidou

Visiting the Pompidou felt like a bit of a dream for me – it was heavily featured in my high school French textbooks and I had wondered for years what was inside those tunnels. Thankfully, they didn’t let me down. 

The Pompidou is always full of surprises – another gallery I could happily wander around for hours; set across a few floors, some housing permanent exhibitions and other temporary. No matter what, I’ve never been let down. 

Whether it’s a sculpture that reacts to heat when you touch it or a multicoloured room of dreams, you don’t see things like this every day. Plus, the area around the Pompidou is my favourite in all of Paris and definitely worth exploring if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Location: Paris, France

Entrance Fee: €14 full price / €11 for concessions (entire museum) / separate amounts for each individual exhibition

The first Sunday of each month is free for all.

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 13: Musee D’Orsay

Again, look at it. It genuinely looks like that. The big clocks you’ve seen all over Instagram? Also real. 

It’s always such a bonus walking around a museum that’s as beautiful as the art it contains and the Musee D’Orsay does that to such an extent, it’s almost showing off. 

Yes it’s generally quite busy but so what, it’s worth it. There’s a lot to see but whilst inside, you should make sure to stop by Edouard Manet’s ‘Lunch on the Grass’ and Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. 

View this post on Instagram

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A post shared by Abi – TravelTeaTv (@travelteatv) on

Location: Paris, France

Entrance Fee: €14 for general admission / €11 for reduced prices / free for under 18s and under 25s from within the EU

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 14: Rijksmuseum

A highlight of any trip to Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum is huge (the walking distance of the galleries is 1.5km). Dedicated to Dutch art and history, I would give yourself a good day to really make the most of the museum and see as many of the masterpieces as you can, such as ‘The Night Watch’, ‘The Milkmaid’, ‘The Battle of Waterloo’ and more. 

Also make sure that you make time to explore the outside of the building too – fun fact, it’s the only museum in the world that has a road in it (open for bicycles only!) 

 

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Entrance Fee: € 20.00 for adults / free for children aged 18 and under

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 15: Art Gallery of Ontario

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Location: Toronto, Canada

Entrance Fee: $25 for adults / always free for under 26s / free for all every Wednesday evening 6-9pm

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 16: British Museum

There’s a lot of competition for it but the great court of the British Museum has to be the most awe inspiring. I’m taken aback every single time I walk into it – it’s just an incredible feat of architecture and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. 

On top of that, it holds treasures from around the world (to be fair, mostly not British). The most popular I would say, is the Egyptian wing: mummies, sphinxes and all that jazz right up close. 

I personally love to have a good old gander at as many galleries of the museum as possible but due to it’s size, it’s difficult to get through them all in one day. My personal favourites are some of the more specific such as money and jewellery, which take you all the way to the present day. 

Location: London, UK

Entrance Fee: Free (additional costs apply for entrance to special exhibitions). Memberships are also available which give free entrance to exhibitions.

Website/Instagram

 

NUMBER 17: London Transport Museum

Part of me desperately wanted to put this at the top of the list but I’m very aware that is specific to me (and my boyfriend) because of our shared, slightly obsessive love for transport, and in that way it didn’t really make sense to put as number one. 

Saying that, please know that this is a great museum and one I really, really recommend you visit. It’s full of tubes, buses, taxis and everything else transport related to do with London, including a lot of interactive exhibits and memorabilia from the past. 

I obviously am not a kid but I’m aware its always a big hit with them and there are even some sections just for them. Also, the fact that the ticket is valid for an entire year, makes it a great purchase as you can come back whenever you feel like it (of course, I understand this only really makes sense if you come to London regularly, but still!) 

Location: Covent Garden, London, UK

Entrance Fee: £18 at the door (£16.50 online) for adults / £17 at the door (15.50 online) for concessions / free for under 18s. Ticket valid for 1 year from purchase.

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 18: National Museum of Scotland

Every time I go to Edinburgh, I insist on visiting this museum. It has all of the things I love to engage with – planes hung from the ceiling, dinosaur skeletons and of course, some National treasures: Dolly the sheep and the famous Lewis chess pieces. That, AND an amazing view from the roof. 

Plus, as with all but one of the UK museums I’ve thrown into this list, the National Museum of Scotland is free. That, alongside its location in central Edinburgh makes for a perfect rainy day activity for all ages (and budgets). 

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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Entrance Fee: Free for all

Website/Instagram

 

NUMBER 19: Museum of Broken Relationships

I’d never cried in a museum and honestly, never really thought I would. The Museum of Broken Relationships is… Different to other museums. 

It’s founded on items related to people’s relationships and come alongside stories the owner has written about the objects in question. Some are funny ‘He stole my best friend, so I stole his toaster’ for example and others are much deeper – long tales of how the relationship with their mother affected their life, or what an abusive ex boyfriend’s watch reminded them of. 

There are a few locations of this around the world but I’ve only been to the one in Zagreb, so can’t comment on the others. Nonetheless, as they’re based on the same concept, I would assume they’re fairly similar and in that way worth your time. 

No, it’s not the usual museum experience. It’s better. Just make sure you bring a pack of tissues.

Location: Zagreb, Croatia (And Los Angeles)

Entrance Fee: 40kn general admission / 30kn concessions (pupils, students, people with disabilities, seniors 65+)

Website / Instagram

 

NUMBER 20: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I’m throwing this one in here because, well, it’s cool as hell. If you like rock music they’ve got a thousand and one pieces of memorabilia from bands old and new alike. Rolling Stones? Check. Nirvana? Duh. Prince? Why of course! The list goes on and on. 

Now, I’ve imposed a limit of only 20 on this list but I do think it’s worth mentioning that if you’re more into country music, then Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame is on par in terms of the incredible pieces of memorabilia they house from country music stars such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. 

Basically, hall of fames are pretty damn good right?

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Entrance Fee: $28.00 general admission / $18.00 for under 13s / free for members and children aged 5 and under.

Website / Instagram

 

 

3 thoughts on “My Top 20 Museums/Galleries in the World

  1. mphtheatregirl says:

    I don’t exactly remember the names of all the museums I went to.

    Here are some:

    The Louvre- I honestly don’t remember going to this French museum. I was only 7, but only know I went because my family told me

    The Natural History Museum- been there

    Art Institute of Chicago

    City Museum- well, this was one of my favorite children’s museums. Located in St. Louis- well, there are these fun outdoor playgrounds and fun things to do inside

    Museums found in Forest Park- when it comes to Forest Park, the Zoo and the Museums are free. Forest Park is actually bigger than Central Park: that surprised me. This is located in St. Louis.

    I actually need to admit: never once been to a museum in London. Been to London, but not a museum.

    Liked by 1 person

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