The 10 Best Museums In the World (An Insiders Guide)

We know an awful lot about what it’s like living in the 21st century, but it’s always interesting to be able to walk into a place and feel like you’ve traveled back in time. Important cultural, artistic, or historic artefacts aren’t something you come by every day.

In the best museums in the world, however, there’s a never-ending supply of them. Usually the museum structure itself is an important part of history! We’ve done the hard work for you, to bring you a guide of the best museum tours in the world!

Delphi Museum

Hours of Operation: Daily 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

The Delphi Archaeological Museum is one of the most popular in all of Greece, largely due to its enormous collection and quality of artifacts from the active archaeological site next-door.

Covering a whopping thousand years, it dates from the Late Helladic period to the early Byzntine era. Between 14 rooms on 2 levels, you’ll get to see plenty of statues, pieces of architecture, art, and more with a Delphi Tour.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Sphinx of Naxos
  • Treasury of The Siphnians
  • Twins of Argos
  • Chryselephantine Objects
  • Delphic Hymns to Apollo
  • Cyclix of Apollo
  • Dancers of Delphi
  • Statue of Antinoos
  • Charioteer

Acropolis Museum

Hours of Operation:

  • Mon – Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 9 am – 8 pm

Located right next to the incredible Acropolis Hill and the Parthenon, this museum sits perched above Athens. This archaeological museum is not to be confused with the ancient citadel of the same name, but you can easily visit before or after (we recommend taking a tour of the Acropolis.

Featuring over 3,000 famous artifacts from the Athenian Acropolis, the museum offers incredible insight into life here. From the prehistoric era ‘til the end of Antiquity, they’re beautifully displayed in this glass structure.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Parthenon West Frieze
  • Parthenon South Metope
  • The Erechtheion’s Caryatids
  • Head of Statue of Alexander the Great
  • Statue of the Antenor Kore
  • Statue of the Kritios Boy
  • Statue of the Calf-Bearer

Acropolis Museum

Vatican City Museum

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Did you know that Vatican City is literally its own country? Pretty crazy, right? And this country has a sprawling labyrinth of secret rooms, galleries, with a wide array of art and artefacts inside. The massive collections were gathered by the popes started from the 17th century onward.

We highly recommend doing a guided Vatican tour with a guide to lead you through the infamous Sistine Chapel and some of the best Renaissance paintings and Roman sculptures in the world.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Augustus of Prima Porta
  • Artemis of Ephesus
  • The Crowning of the Virgin
  • Statue of Hercules in Bronze
  • The Borgia Apartments
  • The Colossal Statue of Augustus
  • Sistine Chapel’s Ceiling
  • Raphael Rooms

Borghese Gallery

Hours of Operation:

  • Friday – Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Wednesday: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm

Known for its incredible military and cultural history, along with some of the most magnificent architecture in the world, the Borghese Gallery sits in Rome, Italy. While it is a small museum, it’s packed with some of the most impressive sculptures to have ever been carved.

This pristinely-curated collection is easily one of the best viewing experiences, even considering the other world-class museums in Rome.

As gallery visitors are capped at 360 per every 2 hours, you must reserve your tickets in advance. However, you can get around this by simply booking a Borghese gallery tour which typically pick you up at your hotel and let you skip the line.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Daphne & Appollo
  • The Rape of Persephone
  • David with the Head of Goliath
  • Madonna and Child with St. Anne
  • The Deposition
  • Bernini’s David
  • The Sleeping Hermaphrodite
  • Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix

St. Mark’s Basilica

Hours of Operation:

Every day from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm

St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful in all of Italy, with a history that stretches all the way back to the 9th-century A.D.! One of the most impeccable examples of Byzantine, Gothic, and Romanesque architecture, it’s worth going just for the construction, alone! Add in the precious relics and artworks housed inside, and you have a must-see museum.

To take full advantage of the history and stories behind this marvelous palace, go ahead and sign up for a guided St. Mark’s Basilica tour.

Most Popular Pieces

  • Pala d’Oro altar
  • Treasury
  • Museo di San Marco
  • Marble Inlay Flooring
  • Tomb of St. Mark

St. Marks Basilica

Tower of London

Hours of Operation:

  • Sunday – Monday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday – Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

Easily one of the coolest places in London, the Tower of London should be high on your bucket list of things to do while there. It’s the most secure castle in the entire country, seeing as it’s filled with various royal possessions. Heck, even the royal family themselves stayed here in times of war.

Dating back to the year 1078, the fortress has been used as a prison, palace, mint, and many other things. Needless to say, it offers appreciation for the past thousand years and gives insight into the way of life for different social classes throughout them. Take one a guided Tower of London tour and your expert guide will explain it all!

Most Popular Pieces:

  • The White Tower
  • The Chapel of St. John The Evangelist
  • The Tower Green
  • The Bloody Tower
  • Tower Bridge
  • Chapel Royal of St. Peter Ad Vincula
  • Line of Kings
  • Crown Jewels

Montserrat Museum

Hours of Operation:

24 hours a day, every day

Located right outside Barcelona, this monastery is visited by around 2 million people each year – many of which visit as part of a religious pilgrimage. Sitting on top of a mountain, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of Catalunya.

The Museum of Montserrat shows off a carefully selected collection of some of the most spectacular artistic and archaeological sites inside the abbey. There are 6 distinct collections – each with their own story.

If you’re in Barcelona, try booking a Montserrat Monastery tour for a day trip with all transportation and guidance included. You’ll gain valuable insight into the importance of religion to the Spanish, and how it’s changed over the last thousand years. Some tours even include exclusive liquor tastings, tours of wine cellars, and more!

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Saint Augustin and Saint Sebastian
  • Saint Jerome in Meditation
  • Jean de La Fontaine
  • En Venedor de Tapissos
  • Porte d’Aval
  • Abans del Bany
  • Madeleine
  • El Pati Blau
  • La Nena Petita I El Bon Companyó
  • La Nena

Prado Museum

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

This enormous gallery of classical art displays one of the world’s most expensive and sensuous collections, with over 8000 paintings and 700 sculptures. If you’re looking for inspiration, this is the best museum in Spain to find it. If you’re in Madrid, you have to stop here to explore these 3 floors (plus the basement).

As this museum does hold such a vast collection, you really should go with a guided Prado tour. Going it alone will be a bit empty as you likely aren’t going to have the background or story/metaphor that the piece was meant to evoke.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • Las Meninas
  • The Garden of Earthly Delights
  • Saturn Devouring His Son
  • The Third of May 1808
  • La Maja Desnuda
  • Cutting the Stone
  • The Three Graces
  • The Fable of Arachne
  • The Descent from the Cross
  • The Second of May 1808

The Louvre

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:00 am – 9:45 pm
  • Thursday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:00 am – 9:45 pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

You didn’t think we’d forget the arguably most famous museum in the world, did you? Is the Louvre worth visiting? Without a doubt, the answer is a resounding “yes”! If you take a guided Louvre museum tour, it’s that much more amazing.

This simply enormous museum resides inside what was originally built as a fortress in 1190. Located right on the Seine, this structure is so big that it covers a whopping 15 acres!

Reconstructed in the 16th-century as a royal palace, it’s had quite the history itself. From being emptied out in WWII per Hitler’s instructions, the Mona Lisa being stolen in 1911, and supposed hauntings, it’s a pretty interesting place.

Legend says that it would take around 200 days to see each piece of art for 30 seconds, so we highly recommend taking a guided tour. This way, you get to customize your itinerary to what you want to see and make the most of your time.

Most Popular Pieces:

  • The Mona Lisa
  • Venus de Milo
  • Winged Victory of Samothrace
  • Liberty Leading the People
  • Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
  • The Raft of the Medusa
  • The Virgin of the Rocks
  • The Coronation of Napoleon
  • The Seated Scribe
  • The Wedding at Cana
  • The Horse Tamers
  • The Winged Bulls
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