The Best Museums All Over the World

A museum is an institution dedicated to preserving and interpreting the primary tangible evidence of human culture and the environment. It differs from a library, with which it is often compared, in that the items housed in museums are generally unique and communicate directly to visitors. The idea of a museum has its roots in the human propensity to collect, inquiry into the past and communication of findings, with evidence of these activities dating back millennia.

It is hard to imagine any place in the world without a museum, and while most have collections that will make your jaw drop, there are some which are truly unsurpassed. Some are so large they are considered museums unto themselves, others so specialized they are a must-see destination for any history buff. This list aims to highlight some of the best museums all over the world that are worth traveling for.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the world and a must-see for anyone who loves art. The collection spans 6,000 years of history covering the globe from Egypt, Greece, Rome and Africa to Europe and America and includes masterpieces like Adam and Eve by Bosh, Death of the Virgin by Vermeer, The Three Graces by Degas, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Botticelli, The Family of Carlos V on Horseback by Velazquez, Las Meninas by Raphael, Self-portrait by Van Gogh and many more.

This museum requires a full day to see just some of the many masterpieces on display and has an incredible variety. Some of the most interesting exhibits are the Gold Rooms, which showcase golden treasures from Eurasia, including the Rosetta Stone carved in 196 B.C, and the Egyptian Gallery, which has the most complete collection of Egyptian antiquities outside of Egypt. The museum also has a wonderful collection of European paintings and crafts, and a whole wing dedicated to American arts and culture, including an exhibition of a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie House.

It’s hard to think of another art museum as great as the Louvre, a true wonder. From the iconic Mona Lisa to masterpieces by artists ranging from Rembrandt to Van Gogh, this is the ultimate museum for art lovers, and the most visited in the world. Its vast collection encompasses everything from ancient Egyptian treasures to the treasures of King Tut and it is easy to spend days exploring its rooms and galleries.

The US saw a recovery in 2022 after the pandemic, with some major museums seeing visitor numbers return to pre-pandemic levels. However, some institutions still face challenges as they adjust to a new normal, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, which has seen visitor numbers down 45%, and the Denver Art Museum, which has dropped by 40%. Meanwhile, China’s zero Covid strategy has led to frequent lockdowns and draconian rules that have hampered visitors, while Russia’s isolation has made it harder for people to travel within the country.