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Top 10 Museums to Visit

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris. Consider yourself cultured? Learned? Knowledgeable? Or just plain inquisitive? Then get yourself to these places! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 museums to visit! For this list, we’ve focused on museums that feature primarily art and historical artifacts. These famous galleries have all earned a name for themselves and a spot on our list by educating people for years. Don’t skip any of these museums when you are traveling around the world! Special thanks to our users jkellis and Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérez for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Sean Harris.

Top 10 Museums


Consider yourself cultured? Learned? Knowledgeable? Or just plain inquisitive? Then get yourself to these places! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 museums to visit!

For this list, we’ve focused on museums that feature primarily art and historical artifacts. Subject specific attractions have been excluded because – while these museums are fascinating and informative – we’re choosing entries with a broader scope.

#10: Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam, Netherlands

A grand building located within Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the Rijksmuseum is the biggest, best and most visited attraction of its type in the Netherlands! Established in 1800 and housing an incredibly vast collection with over 8,000 artefacts on show – including works by countrymen like Rembrandt and Vermeer – it’s definitely not somewhere that can be skimmed over! One of the best examples of classic European celebration in the world, with its extensive combination of art and history, a day-tripper to this place can expect to take in a masterpiece or two!

#9: National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Athens, Greece

In terms of historical significance, there aren’t too many civilizations to trump Ancient Greece! And in terms of celebrating that significance, there isn’t a place that does it better than the National Archaeological Museum of Athens! The world-renowned Acropolis is extremely good, but this place is just a little better! If you have a penchant for pre-history or a soft spot for sculpture, then this should be on your bucket list! With a library that’s over a century old as an awesome added extra, one day just isn’t enough!

#8: Vatican Museums
Vatican City

The religious and historical influence wielded by the Catholic Church is immense, and Vatican City’s museums more than reflect that! Visited by between 4-6 million people each year, the buildings in themselves are stunning(!), but the things they house are even better! Playing host to some of the most important artefacts from history, particularly from the Renaissance period, the museum deserves a pilgrimage of its very own! Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is here, as are Raphael’s Stanze della Segnatura – it’s a marvelous place that’s difficult to believe actually exists outside of textbooks!

#7: Museo del Prado
Madrid, Spain

If you’re interested in art (and even if you’re not!), this is a place that you simply must see! The national Art museum of Spain, housed here is one of the biggest collections of European art in the world - and the biggest collection of Spanish art on the planet! From Francisco de Goya to El Greco to Diego Velázquez, there seems a world-famous piece on almost every wall! You’ll see Titian’s “The Fall of Man,” Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son” and even Velázquez’ “Las Meninas”... It’s mind-blowing!

#6: Uffizi Gallery
Florence, Italy

This place is another work of art within itself! Built in the latter half of the sixteenth century, this grandest of galleries has its two wings positioned in such a way as to create the effect of an ideal European street scene... Once you’ve finished gazing at the outside though, prepare for a treat tenfold on the inside! We go from Botticelli to Da Vinci, from Caravaggio to Rembrandt! A supreme collection begun by the famous House of Medici, it’s Italy’s finest archive of art!

#5: Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, USA

One of the largest museums in terms of its size, this New York City honey pot of art history can be found on the eastern edge of Central Park. If the park is the city’s lungs, then this place is its creative muse! With at least something from almost all of the European masters, the Met’s catchment area actually goes way beyond the typical classics! With extensive collections from the Far East as well as North America itself, it provides one of the most complete international experiences ever seen for its roughly 5 million visitors each year!

#4: Hermitage Museum
Saint Petersburg, Russia

Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, this mammoth museum of art and history has Russia in the record books! Although only a small part of the Hermitage Museum’s treasures are on show, it does boast the largest collection of paintings in the entire world! It’s a stretch of six incredibly impressive Baroque buildings situated along the Neva River, with many of the riches housed within the world famous Winter Palace. Russia is very good at grandeur, and never more so than with this place!

#3: Smithsonian Institution
Washington D.C., USA

We’re now entering the museum major league! Originally labeled the ‘United States National Museum’, the Smithsonian is a collection ofmuseums, galleries and zoos with its core found in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.! Known affectionately as ‘the nation’s attic’, with an assorted collection of over 137 million items spread across its bases, there really is nothing else like it in the world! Pop cultural pieces in one place, art and history in another… If you ever find yourself in D.C., take a walk between the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol... It’s a ‘golden mile’ of museum!

#2: British Museum
London, England

London seems full to bursting with brilliant museums, but the British Museum has to be the best! The National History Museum is well worth a visit, as is the National Gallery, but if time is limited, then there’s only one place you should be looking! Established in 1753, the BritishMuseum has over 8 million works from all over the globe. It documents human life and culture from the very beginning of time, with pieces like the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures drawing crowds - and all that without an entrance fee! Jolly good show!

Before we visit our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- American Museum of Natural History
New York City, USA
- Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Cairo, Egypt
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMa)
New York City, USA
- National Museum of China
Beijing, China


#1: Musée du Louvre
Paris, France

Statistically the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre is a major landmark within the culture-laden city center of Paris! It’s a combination of one of the world’s finest historical records, and one of the planet’s best art galleries! The Venus de Milo, Rigaud’s “Louis XIV,” “Liberty Leading the People,” “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”… all masterpieces. But, pride of place goes to Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, a piece worth paying the admission fee for alone, but the Louvre has lots more to offer as well! The palace and the controversial glass pyramid are international icons - it’s somewhere everyone should go see at least once!

Do you agree with our list? Which museum would you like to visit? For more cultured top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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