For a museum to be particularly stunning, it needs to be the whole package: house quality exhibits and possess eye-catching architecture. This is the case of the 11 Most Incredible Museums On Earth, which manage to ooze the “work of art” vibe from the first moment you lay your eyes on them. I know that there’s probably a general misconception that they’re “boring,” and I’m not going to lie – some of them are. It’s difficult to truly get into the moment when all you’re doing is stare at paintings, especially when you’re not passionate about the topic. But don’t fret, there are museums for you as well. Check out these ones below and see for yourself how a visit to a museum can turn into the most fun you ever had.
1. Musée d’Orsay
Location: Paris, France
Once nothing but a railway station, this museum ended up housing the largest and most valuable collection of impressionist and post-impressionist exhibits in the world. Many of the structures that decorate it on the outside and inside, the stunning clock dawning upon the guests included are fine results of France’s Beaux-Arts movement. That’s why they are carefully preserved.
2. The Natural History Museum
Location: London, UK
There are over eighty million items within the walls of the Natural History Museum, all divided into five main categories: botany, zoology, paleontology, entomology, and mineralogy. The museum’s main goal being offering guests the most immersive experience, there’s no surprise that so much work and details went into decorating the building. Animals and flora are embedded into ceilings, pillars, and walls. The rooms are perfectly adapted to their exhibits in order to provide the best atmosphere.
3. Guggenheim Museum
Location: New York, USA
A definite landmark for the Big Apple, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is famous for its unique architecture, which is presented in the form of a spiral. It took sixteen years for the constructions to conclude, but it was definitely worth it. The characteristic shape of the building allows for exhibitions to be displayed continuously from the bottom to the top.
4. Guggenheim Bilbao
Location: Bilbao, Spain
Architects, critics, and the general public alike have all united to stare in awe at what is considered to be one of the most important architectural works completed from 1980 onward. Given the fact that it houses exhibits of contemporary and modern caliber, it’s only fair for the building to be just as impressive.
5. The Hanoi Museum
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Built on the premise of resembling an inverted pyramid, the Hanoi Museum houses over 50,000 exhibits, all of which are rich in stories and historical meaning. The items are displayed similarly to the New York Guggenheim Museum, along the height of the building. In this case, many say that the interior of the building fades in comparison to its gorgeous exterior.
6. The Royal Ontario Museum
Location: Toronto, Canada
The truly captivating thing about the Royal Ontario Museum is “The Crystal,” an expansion of the original, historical building, which was finished in 2007. The design of the building heavily aims for a futuristic feel, creating a unique old-new contrast between the two wings. However, this bold architectural choice also drew the attention of many critics, who consider it to be one of the most dubious-looking, if not even ugly, buildings in modern times.
7. Monet’s House And Gardens
Location: Giverny, France
Not all beautiful museums have to be big scale displays of countless of exhibitions. This French commune used to be Claude Monet’s house, which was surrounded by some particularly splendid gardens. Today, they can both be visited and stepping in the gardens is certain to take you to another world, since all the flora is carefully taken care of and preserved, in order to keep the feeling as authentic as possible. Also, remember that bridge that appears in so many of Monet’s paintings? You can actually cross it.
8. Moscow State Historical Museum
Location: Moscow, Russia
Like many neo-Russian constructions, the Moscow State Historical Museum manages to greatly stand out curtsy of its intense scarlet hue. Located in the Red Square, where it’s surrounded by other brightly colored buildings, it displays exhibits telling stories of Russia’s history. In fact, the museum itself has a tale to tell, since it’s been a victim of the often rocky political conditions of the country.
9. Hedmark Museum
Location: Hamar, Norway
Although it’s not a singular building we’re talking about, but rather a system of structures and small museums, this isn’t what the Hedmark Museum is known for. Similar to the contrast found in the Royal Ontario Museum, it’s a representation of the past of the future, through the fact that a glass structure has been built around a medieval cathedral, which is now downgraded to the state of a ruin.
10. The Louvre
Location: Paris, France
Possibly the world’s most famous museum and definitely the most visited, the Louvre is outstanding thanks to the immensity of its collections and the spectacular exhibit space. Its trademark is the glass pyramid that, however, barely scratches the surface of its size. The best part of the museum is stretched underground. The Louvre is also an important subway station, with visitors being able to exit the train and head straight to the entrance.
11. The Museum Of Islamic Art
Location: Doha, Qatar
The Islamic world is truly fascinating, and there is no better way to properly honor it than by amassing some of its most valuable pieces of art within the walls of a stunning, representative building. Designed by the same mastermind that was behind the construction of Louvre’s famed pyramid, the museum was the first of its kind in the country and today houses the largest collections in Qatar.
A beautiful museum doesn’t offer us art only behind its walls. Many of them are impressive enough through the architecture of the building alone. And you know what they say, once a positive first impression is made, it’s easy to keep someone interested. These 11 Most Incredible Museums On Earth have definitely sparked my interest, and that’s enough to make me want to pay them a visit one day.