The best museums in the world

Museums are a great way to get an insight into either the past or a subject you may not be so familiar with. Acting as repositories for the important stuff that has affect or been affected by humanity over the years, museums are a great way to explore different cultures and most importantly learn about the importance of each and every object on display - plus, it's a great way to stay warm and dry if the weather isn't great!

Natural History Museum, London, UK

brown cathedral during daytimerIf you're visiting London, then a trip to the National History Museum is an absolute must. Occupying a truly magnificent Victorian building in West London, this gigantic museum covers everything from geology and geography to giraffes and gazelle. From the earthquake experience on the top floor to the endless collections of animal specimens around the world, you can spend many hours getting up close and personal to cheetahs, elephants, wolves and even the world-famous skeleton of a colossal 22.5 metre blue whale. Oh, and the whole museum is completely free to visit, apart from certain temporary exhibitions.

Our favourite part of the museum however is the extensive collection of dinosaur remains and fossils. You won't find anything else in the world that gets so close to Jurassic Park, with real dinosaur bones arranged together to give a true scale to creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago. If you can't make it to London, then keep an eye out for Dippy the diplodocus, who is current doing a tour of the UK.

The 9/11 Museum and Memorial, New York, USA

red rose flower on tombThe 9/11 terror attacks shook not just New York, but the entire world, and the 9/11 museum tells the story of the people who lost their lives in the World Trade Centre and the rescuers who worked tirelessly to save the survivors. From the day itself to the renaissance that has seen New York bounce back from tragedy, the museum does a fantastic job of explaining exactly what happened and how humanity can respond to atrocities on such a large scale.

The Louvre, Paris, France

Louvre Museum, Paris

Although you might recognise the Louvre as an art gallery (and home of course to the Mona Lisa), the entire museum complex holds some of the most important items and artefacts in world history. You'll find the Venus de Milo, the Great Sphinx of Tanis, The Lamassu and countless paintings including the Raft of Medusa, the Coronation of Napoleon, and Liberty Leading the People. At 17 per adult ticket, it's an absolute snip compared to other attractions in Paris.

The Smithsonian, Washington DC, USA

Photo: Noclip

The Smithsonian is actually a complex of 19 museums and galleries, exhibiting everything from moon landing modules to woolly mammoths. 

Located on the Great Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian is the ultimate exhibition of both American innovation and gloval achievement. Both the beauty and the downfall of the Smithsonian is that there's so much to see. You could go a hundred times and still see something new, but if you're only visiting for the day then you may end up missing out on some of the important stuff. 

It can also get pretty busy, especially on national holidays and at weekends, so book tickets well in advance. What you'll get oodles of however are world-famous artefacts and cultural cornerstones. From the Wright Flyer, the world's first functioning aircraft to the slippers worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the whole complex is a mish-mash of pop culture, innovation and history. You can be learning about the wonders of Yellowstone National Park in one building, before learning the story of the American struggle for independence in the next - it's pretty diverse! 

The British Museum

Our second London entry on this list takes the crown, and deservedly so - it's a truly epic journey through British History, covering both the bad and the good. Providing a home for incredibly important artefacts like the Rosetta Stone (used to decipher Ancient Egyptian), the stunning Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon helmet, the controversially-acquired Parthenon Marbles, and one of the best collections of Egyptian mummies in the world.

Although some objects were taken from their original homes at the height of the British Empire, the British Museum does a good job of curating, preserving and sharing these international treasures with the world. You'll also pay absolutely nothing to see every corner of the museum in its full glory.


Honourable mentions: The Imperial War Museum, London, The Prado, Madrid, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.