The World’s Most Popular Museums

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Even if you slept through Art History 101 and have never set foot in a gallery outside of a class trip, there’s something about travel that can convert even the most culturally obtuse.

In honor of International Museum Day (May 18), we’ve pulled together the most visited museums on every continent. Happy touring!

EUROPE

paris the louvre

Louvre, Paris, France
Why You’ll Go: The Mona Lisa, The Inverted Pyramid, and Venus de Milo.
But don’t forget: The ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurabi.

 

NORTH AMERICA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Why You’ll Go: The Amathus sarcophagus, Temple of Dendur, and Costume Institute.
But don’t forget: The rooftop sculpture garden.

 

ASIA

National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Why You’ll Go: The Jadeite Cabbage, ancient calligraphy, and silk paintings.
But don’t forget: The Zhishan Garden, a classical Chinese garden that incorporates traditional feng shui, ponds, and pavilions.

 

SOUTH AMERICA

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Why You’ll Go: Theater, music, visual arts, film…this cultural mecca has it all.
But don’t forget: Keep an eye out for special exhibitions by notable artists like Dali.

 

AFRICA

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt

The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt
Why You’ll Go: Mummies, hieroglyphics, and pottery.
But don’t forget: King Tutankhamen’s solid gold death-mask, a contender for most beautiful object ever made.

 

AUSTRALIA

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Why You’ll Go: The unique blend of indigenous Australian, European, and Asian art.
But don’t forget: Between May and August, the museum holds ‘Melbourne Winter Masterpieces,’ annual special exhibitions that have included Monet, Picasso, and Dali retrospectives in past years.