museum review and insider tips

Visiting museums while traveling is one of my favorite things to do! Art museums are inspiring because it gives you a chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes. History museums always fascinate me and remind me that some of the minor inconveniences of today are pretty minimal in the scheme of things

Because I love museums so much, today I’m rounding up my favorite museums around the world, and the ones I hope to visit!

1. Anne Frank House – Being here left me with a loss for words. Learning about the Holocaust in school there was an obvious empathy and sorrow for the situation however being there in the home Anne and her family hid in made it feel very real. I wrote about our experience in my Amsterdam recap – check it out here.

Insider Tip: It’s almost always fully booked so make sure to purchase your tickets in advance. Tickets are available on the site 2 months prior to your visit date.

2. American Museum of Natural History in New York – I’ve been to this museum a handful of times and it continues to amaze me. I love the many floors and exhibits and how walking a few feet can transport you to a different time.

Insider Tip: Block off at least a half a day for a visit here. It’s enormous and not the type of museum that you can visit for only a few hours. It could take 1-2 full days to see everything.

3. Rijksmuseum – We almost didn’t visit this museum while in Amsterdam and I’m so glad we did. It’s the home to artists like Monet, Vincent van Gogh and hundreds more. The architecture of the building itself is stunning too so it feels like every turn there’s something beautiful to see.

Insider Tip: This is a great stop if you’re exploring and looking for something to do! Tickets are easy to get on the spot and although it’s huge, not every floor felt like a “must see.”

4. Natural History Museum in London – Although I didn’t love this one as much as I love the one in New York, the architecture of this building was one of the best with its high ceiling entryway and intricate patterns. I loved that in the Earth Hall there was an escalator that you rode through a giant planet Earth.

Insider Tip: There was a bit of a wait when I visited but the line moved quickly! There’s also a lot of ground to cover so grab a map and prioritize the areas you’re most interested in.

5. Warner Brothers Studio Tour – I wrote an entire blog post on this because I loved it here so much. For any Harry Potter fan getting a glimpse into the magical world is incredible. The tour is at your own pace and you can walk through the Forbidden Forest, walk through Private Drive (and see the cubby under the stairs), and on the wooden bridge that infamously collapses during the final battle.

Insider Tip: This is another one where tickets sell out really fast! Book in advance if you can. If you are unable to, then don’t give up. We hadn’t planned on visiting London when we were in Europe last year but have travel issues getting to Paris and pivoted last minute. The museum does ticketing online and is a live queue so if someone cancels or tickets become available, they’re loaded onto the site. This is how I was able to snag tickets just a few days before we visited!

6. Westminister Abbey – I’ve been here twice and it has a permanent spot on my must do’s while I’m in London. The history within its walls is unparalleled and astounding. I talked about it in my London recap but people like Darwin are buried here.

Insider Tip: Do the guided tour rather than doing it self-guided. There is a lot more meaning to everything when an expert is pointing it out to you. When I went the second time we opted for a self-tour but we missed a lot of the significance.

7. Trinity College Library – Visting this while in Dublin was a spur of the moment decision! Although it’s technically a library, most of the books are old and valuable that you can’t actually touch them so it felt very museum like. I’m an avid reader so the floor to (arched) ceiling books was a dream come true.

Insider Tip: The library hosts special events throughout the year. If you’re there during an exhibit then it can be hard to get tickets. The line was wrapped around the campus while we were there however we were able to get tickets online and cut in front of the long line!

8. Griffith Observatory – This is here because the view is unbelievable. You can see the Hollywood sign, the rolling hills, and busy LA streets down below.

Insider Tip: Don’t try and drive your car to the front of the observatory. The parking lot will be full and you’ll sit in traffic for a long time. Park your car at the foot of the hill and take the hike up – the views will be worth it.

9. Guinness Storehouse – A staple in Dublin and a really fun museum to visit. Although we aren’t huge Guinness fans, seeing the precision behind the making of the beer is fascinating.

Insider Tip: The top floor has the best view of the city! When you make it to the top floor, immediately scope out available seating. The comfy seats are right next to the huge windows and are coveted spots. Once people stake their claim, they stay there. Seating first, beer second – you’ll thank me later.

10. London Film Museum – While I was here during college we saw incredible sets and props from classic movies like Bourne Identity and Harry Potter. You can go at your own pace which allows you to soak in details from your favorite movies in particular.

Insider Tip: It looks like this has changed pretty drastically since I was here! It moved locations and now has a James Bond car feature that looks cool.

Top Museums On My Bucket List

  1. The MET – With over 5,000 years of art, I know this stunner would be amazing to visit.
  2. The Louvre – Although I’ve seen the pyramid outside of this museum, I never went inside. Since we didn’t get a chance to visit Paris due to the travel complications I’ve mentioned, it remains high on my bucket list.
  3. Sistine Chapel – We plan on visiting Italy next year and this will undoubtedly be one of our stops

What are some of your favorite museums around the world? Leave me a comment below!

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