Perhaps the malls don’t really attract you during the holidays. There are too many of those in Singapore anyway. But what about museums? Culture vultures can definitely benefit from a trip to the museums on vacation. Some of these are not just spectacular, but work to broaden your cultural and historical horizons. Do make time to visit one of these universally-acclaimed museums the next time you are in the city for a holiday!
1. Musee d’Orsay (Paris)
Coming out top in the latest Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for museums around the world, Musee d’Orsay is well-loved for its huge collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art, including those of Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir. The Parisian art gallery is housed in the former Orsay railway station. Its collection of art includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, graphic art and pieces pertaining to architecture and decorative art.
2. The British Museum (London)
The next time you are in London and are looking for a free activity, remember to check out the British Museum. The museum, founded in 1753, is the first public museum in the world and houses some 8 million works dedicated to human history, art and culture. These include books, manuscripts and ethnographic material, including some high-profile pieces like the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian Mummies.
3. Acropolis Museum (Athens)
This archaeological museum in Greece is devoted to the Parthenon and its surrounding temples. Located in the central neighbourhood of Makrigianni, the museum is propped up by concrete pillars, revealing the site’s archaeological excavation below. The architects of the museum have put detailed thoughts into integrating the structure into enhancing the viewing experience. The glass panelling and elevation of the floor in the museum allows one a clear view of the ancient city of Acropolis, with the Parthenon always in plain sight only 300 metres away.
4. The Louvre (Paris)
The Louvre needs no introduction. Even if you haven’t been inside the Louvre, you would have seen plenty of pictures featuring its iconic glass pyramid. The Louvre is France’s finest cultural institution, and one that you shouldn’t miss when visiting Paris. This is the largest art museum in the world and contains some 35,000 artworks on display. Of course, it is also the famous home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a giant in itself, housing a collection of more than two million items. The advice is to have a plan before you come if you are short on time. Some of the iconic pieces you shouldn’t miss include “The death of Socrates”, “Adam and Eve”, “Hatshepsut Seated” and the numerous stunning European paintings by Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, Rodin, and other luminaries.
6. The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Italy
The Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani), located in the Vatican City, are one of the key attractions on a visit to Rome. A visit to the Vatican Museums usually includes the Sistine Chapel, where you can see Michelangelo’s most famous frescoes. Some of the main attractions here include not just the Sistine Chapel, but also the Raphael Rooms that contain some of the finest works of Italian art from the Renaissance and High Renaissance.
7. State Hermitage Museum And Winter Palace In St. Petersburg
The Winter Palace was the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Magnificently located on the bank of the Neva River, this Baroque-style palace perhaps better known as the main building of the Hermitage Museum. The green-and-white three-storey palace is a marvel of Baroque architecture and contains some lavishly decorated halls and rooms, many of which are open to the public.
Highlights range from a unique collection of seventh-century BC Scythian gold to an astonishing collection of Rembrandts, great paintings by Leonardo, Michelangelo’s unfinished sculpture of a crouching boy, and numerous archaeological findings
Many of these museums are either free or only requires a small entrance fee. Set aside some time to visit them on your next trip and be prepared for an unforgettable experience! Before you go, don’t forget to get your travel insurance ready!