Some of the Best Museums in the Western World

Having a young child is truly a blessing. Everyday you get to watch them grow and change, as they take on the lessons you impart upon them and become their own person more and more as you beam with confidence and pride. But I can say first hand it’s not all fun and games however; not that I have a child, I don’t. But I can speak rather from the other side of the divide with a tantrum career crowned by a fit thrown in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam of such epic proportions it earned me infamy throughout my extended family. Can you really blame me? Museums are boring places for children, they don’t have the time nor taste for such refined endeavors. Here are 4 best museums you should definitely visit (without children).

1. British Museum, London

My favorite museum in London without a doubt. The British Museum probably has the greatest quantity of fabulous stolen goods of anywhere in the world. It’s like the ultimate den of thieves. Among the masterpieces ripped from the bosoms of their patron civilizations are the Marble statues and relieves from the Parthenon, pieces from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and the Rosetta Stone. It’s also a beautiful building with a gorgeous central courtyard sure to take your breath away.

Fun fact: the Museum started as the collection of one man: Hans Sloan, who also invented Chocolate Milk.

2. MoMA, New York

Probably the best collection of Modern Art in the world, the Museum of Modern Art is one of the places each corner turned reveals a treasure more glorious than the last. A museum that embodies its collection in its design as a building, MoMA is all about white, wood, and clean lines. Masterpieces include Monet’s lilies, Dalí’s Persistence of Memory van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. They also have excellent special exhibitions, notably the current Rain Room, where everyone in the space is dry as it rains all around them but a dry circle follows them wherever they move.

Fun fact: The beautiful sculpture garden at the Museum is itself a piece of modern art, designed by Brazilian landscape artist Roberto Burle-Marx.

3. Prado, Madrid

The Prado has one of the best collections of European Art in the world and far and away the best collection of Spanish Art. While that might not seem like a big deal initially, keep in mind that that means massive collections of Francisco de Goya, Diego Velazquez, and El Greco. Highlights of the collection include Velazquez’s Las Meninas, thought by many to be the best painting in the world, Hieronymus Bosch’s groundbreaking and seemingly anachronistic Garden of Earthly Delights and haunting, hypnotically horrific collection of Goya’s black paintings from the end of his life and descent into deafness and old age. Be sure to nip over to the nearby Museo Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s Guernica.

Fun fact: Velazquez, then a court painter, helped to assemble much of the Prado’s collection before the museum was built.

Velazquez’s statue guards the Prado

4. Louvre, Paris

The most famous museum of them all’s reputation is not ill earned. Right from the get-go one can tell the Louvre is special. Formerly a palace built by Phillip II, the building itself is lush and lavish, and I.M. Pei’s glass pymramids outside unmistakable in their simple elegance. Featuring a collection similarly jacked from the hearts and minds of subjected peoples across the world, the Louvre is a one-stop shop for any kind of museum go-er. Highlights include the Venus di Milo, the Nike of Samothrace and, of course, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Fun fact: There’s a mummy that haunts the museum named Belphegor.

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