For those of us to whom there is no better way to enjoy a new city than to immerse ourselves in the rich historical and cultural displays designed by the people who know the subjects well, there is no short supply of museums to meet our needs. However, having travelled to the classic museum cities like Paris, New York and London where does one go next? We have compiled a list of the five best city breaks for museums that threaten to usurp Paris, New York and London.
Being in a much younger country than many other, more famous museum cities, Seattle may not be at the top of the list for many museum lovers to visit. Most famous for Nirvana, Frasier and Starbucks, Seattle is often overlooked; however Seattle’s collection of museums and art galleries caters to all tastes (from Asian and Contemporary art, to Native American, Nordic History, Aviation and Railway museums) it is definitely worth a trip.
Perhaps most well-known for its laid back, bohemian vibes, Barcelona has long been an artist’s Mecca. With dedicated museums displaying the works of Dali, Picasso and Miro, the city itself being partly designed by Gaudi and the famous MACBA (modern art museum), it is little surprise people come from all over the world to immerse themselves in the arts. Branching out from the arts, the Catalan capital is home to an amazing array of museums; the best science museum in Europe (CosmoCaixa), the History of Catalonia Museum, the Museu de la Xocolata (a museum dedicated to the production of chocolate), The Museum of Erotica and much much more.
Located within the Mexican Capital, Mexico City, are over 150 museums with themes ranging from science, history, the Aztecs and Mayans, food, Latin art and much, much more. With a fiercely protected culture and a fascinating history it is a great place to experience Mexican culture and history.
The largest city in South Africa is a fascinating city to visit and has a broad array of equally enthralling museums. Scratching just the surface reveals the Apartheid museum, documenting a darker period of the country’s history. Digging a little deeper one can find museums dedicated to dynamite, medicine, African military history, Nelson Mandela and so much more. Although maybe not the most iconic or well-known museum city, the unique and broad mix of museums here make it a must for museum lovers.
Ranking highly in surveys assessing the most popular museum cities in the world, Shanghai has over 72 museums, four of which are in the top 100 globally. Almost 50% of locals visit the cities museums and galleries which is the second highest percentage in the world. It is little surprise that Shanghai truly is a paradise for museum lovers. From the bigger Natural History Museum and the Science and Technology Museums, to the lesser well known Jewish Refugee Museum and the Gallery of Antique Music Boxes, one gets the impression you could visit this city many times and never tire of its museums.