For so many travellers, the highlight of their time abroad can be summed up in one word: museums. Museums can be complex and very personal experiences or they can be wrapped up in treasured memories of groups. It is not always possible to leave a great museum remembering every piece; it's often enough to appreciate a few of the ones that really stood out to you. You take the memories that those paintings or sculptures evoked with you. The following list of the seven most amazing museums on earth is hardly complete. There are so many others that deserve space. Yet, this can be a great introduction.
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)
No one would dispute the place of the Louvre as the number one museum in the world. It has held that honor for many years now. The famous museum was originally a royal palace. It is now the home of some of the world's greatest and most treasured works of art. Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa ranks first on that impressive list of works, but there are hundreds more waiting to be seen.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York)
The Met, as it's more commonly known, is one massive museum. You would be hard pressed to see all of it in one day. The building holds exhibits dating from ancient times all the way to some of the most popular works of the 20th century. While visiting the Met, you might also visit its other building called The Cloisters. The site is situated in Fort Tryon Park. The whole building offers displays of medieval art.
Vatican Museums (Vatican City, Rome, Italy)
If you want to experience the thrill of looking up at the work of the great Renaissance painter Michelangelo, then you must visit the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City. The chapel also houses works by many of the other great Renaissance artists. Much of the site is used to display the Roman Catholic Church's extensive collection, dating from ancient times to more contemporary works of religious art. It is a massive structure stretching 9 miles at one point; it is perhaps one of the largest museums in the world. It is estimated that approximately four million visitors wander the halls each year.
The State Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia)
The State Hermitage houses over three million works of art and six separate buildings, placing it on the list of the world's largest museums. Today, it retains the Guinness World Record for world's largest painting collection. Visitors may also enjoy viewing the Hermitage's extensive collection of Western and Russian art.
National Gallery Of Art (Washington, DC)
Separated into two buildings designated East and West, the National Gallery can be found on the National Mall; it is a popular stop for those visiting Washington DC. For those who enjoy European paintings and sculpture, the West Building is the best place to start. You will be able to see works dating from the medieval period all the way up to the 19th century. Here you will see the works of such greats as Rembrandt, da Vinci, Monet, and Van Gogh. On the other hand, if you are more interested in modern and contemporary art, then the West Building is the place to be. It houses works by Pollock, Picasso, Warhol and others.
Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York)
If the West Building of the National Gallery isn't enough, you will want to travel to New York City to visit the Museum of Modern Art. It has been considered the most important and, indeed, influential museums dedicated to modern art in the world. You can look at Van Gogh's penultimate work "Starry Night" or wander a little farther a catch a peek at Warhol's iconic pop art piece, "Campbell Soup Cans." Picasso's famous "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" is also on display.
British Museum (London, England)
The British Museum holds a hallowed place in museum history. It has become a repository for more than 13 million objects collected from all over the world. It is foremost a museum of human history and culture. Many are drawn to the museum's vast collection of Egyptian antiques, the largest of its kind outside of Cairo. The big draw for many visitors is that admission to the British Museum is completely free of charge.