Museums worth seeing
Collected by Adriana Yampey , AFAR Local Expert
When traveling I need a good dose of art too. Some of these museums I have seen personally and the rest I would love to see in the future.
1121 Ninotaira, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0407, Japan
This is the view inside the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire at the Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森 in Japanese) in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. The spectacular grounds,...
225 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, USA
The JP Morgan Library's grand, old-world elegance immediately transports you to turn-of-the-century New York. And at that time, there was almost no one more powerful than financier JP Morgan. He launched U.S. Steel and even served as the...
This was a gorgeous day and a beautiful site to visit. No other tourists there so we had the entire place to ourselves. They knew how to build a well insulated house back then, well protected from the wind and feeling also soundproof. The Glaumbær...
Twilfit House, Jervis St, Dublin, Ireland
With its tumultuous history, the Irish often had nothing but stories, tales, and conversations to carry their legacies forward. The tradition of magic, wonder, and imagination has been a gift passed from one generation to the next. As evident in...
Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just down the street from the Anne Frank House is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. It feels more like a shop, shelves filled to the ceiling with a huge variety of Dutch cheeses, including the world-famous gouda and edam varieties. If you are strolling...
Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Located off the coast of Cancun, the Cancun Underwater Museum features more than 500 sculptures scattered across the ocean floor, allowing art lovers a unique perspective personal while snorkeling or scuba diving. Since 2010, sculptures have been...
Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
Strandpromenaden 2, 0252 Oslo, Norway
The once seedy Tjuvholmen, or “Thief Island,” is the city’s newest arts district. Its showpiece is the Astrup Fearnley Museum, which reopened last September in an elegant, sail-shaped complex designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. The open...
Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, UK
On its own, the architecture of the Natural History Museum is enough of a reason to walk through its doors one afternoon. The stunning archways and staircases create a grand backdrop to equally impressive exhibits, and you could spend countless...
Japan, 〒107-6290 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, ９丁目7−６ 東京ミッドタウン・ガーデン内
21_21 Design Sight is a museum designed by one of Japan's most famous contemporary architects, Tadao Ando. The naturally lit space, of which some 80 percent is underground, is home to Japan's first design museum. The simple lines of the building's...
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA
The Guggenheim Museum is a work of art in itself. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the building's iconic curved facade stands out on the orderly row of edifices lining its stretch of Fifth Avenue. Completed near the end of Wright's career (it...
220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
The interior architecture of Chicago’s MCA building is worth the price of admission. Four floors of exhibit halls branch off the central staircase pictured above, and the East and West facing glass walls have unparalleled views over Lake Michigan...
4th St SW & Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, USA
During three years of living in Washington, D.C., I made it my mission to visit as many museums as I could, and the National Museum of the American Indian quickly won me over. I was greeted by a live dance performance and welcomed into a circular...
2325 Av. Las Américas, Ponce, 00717, Puerto Rico
While San Juan’s got the buzz and the swagger, Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, Ponce, just a 90-minute drive to the south, maintains a quiet dignity. Gracious municipal buildings exemplify La Ciudad Señorial (The Noble City), especially its...
137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea and houses a comprehensive collection of Korean cultural artifacts that tell the story of Korea’s fascinating history, from ancient days to the modern era. There’s also the Children’s...
Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
The drive along the Northern coast from San Sebastian to Bilbao was amazing, filled with windy roads through the mountainous passes overlooking the gorgeous cliffs leading to the ocean. The main reason for going to Bilbao was to see the Guggenheim...
Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
I'll be the first to admit, a museum of printing didn't sound terribly exciting to me, at first. Antwerp Belgium's Plantin-Moretus Museum certainly changed my mind. This is the only museum on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the recognition is...
99/9 หมู่ที่ 1 Tambon Bang Muang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand
Staircase inside of the second floor of the Erawan Museum in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Museum is located in Samut Prakan Province (on the outskirts of Bangkok) and was built by Lek Viriyaphant, an eccentric Thai millionaire who was also...
1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
Fans of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí need not travel to Spain's Costa Brava to explore an exceptional display of his work. St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum houses the private collection of Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, the...
Rue Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
My favourite building in Brussels is the Old England on Mont des Arts, just around the corner from Place Royal. It’s a striking concoction of steel and glass in the Art Nouveau style Brussels is so famous for. But what’s on the inside is just as...
Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
One powerful and emotional experience in Amsterdam that shouldn’t be missed is a visit to the Anne Frank House. This home, where Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis during World War II, has...
60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A great way to spend an afternoon in Seoul: a good book and the genius of sculptor Louise Bourgeois at the Leeum Museum. A gentleman relaxes on ‘Eye Benches,’ while 'Maman' stands guard. It’s in Itaewon that Samsung planted the Leeum Contemporary...
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
One of the biggest stars of the five museums on Museum Island, the Pergamon was the last to open, in 1930. Built to resemble a Babylonian temple, it houses a trove of ancient treasures from the Middle East, with highlights that include the...
Perdana, Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The largest collection of Islamic art in South East Asia can be found in the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. There are four floors, spread over 30,000 square meters. Two floors are designated for permanent collections, while galleries in the other...
1 Rue des Unterlinden, 68000 Colmar, France
You'd be excused for thinking that this is a picture of Germany because it does have the traditional German style houses. It actually belonged to Germany for a brief time in history. It was taken from France in 1871 and was eventually given back...
191 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
It's said that Elvis recorded the first rock 'n' roll song nearby at Sun Studio. But to understand why Memphis was the perfect spot for Sam Phillips and Elvis to make that first rock record, a visit to the Rock 'n' Soul Museum is a must. The...
Cerrada Las Golondrinas 24, Alfredo Bonfil, 77560 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
If you have a hard time convincing your kids that sculptures and museums are cool, you might change their mind when they find out that Cancun's most famous sculptures are in a very unique museum: one that's underwater. The idea for the museum was...
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