Amazing museums to explore on a city break around the world

Nyhavn in Copenhagen

Planning a city break? Stopping at a museum can be a great opportunity to slow down and absorb some culture, whether your an art lover or a history nerd, there’s sure to be something in our list for you.

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Read on to find some amazing museums to explore on a city break…

Copenhagen

Head to the capital of Denmark to visit some fantastic museums such as the Arbejdermuseet and Ny Carlsberg.

Arbejdermuseet, aka the Workers’ Museum, is a great place to visit to experience the lives of working class Danes. Children can learn about the lives of working class children in the past and you can stop for a chicory coffee in the museum’s 1950s cafe.

The Ny Carleberg Glyptotek is an art museum built around the collections of Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of the Carlsberg breweries. Exhibitions can be anything from Egyptian statues to more contemporary artwork. It’s worth visiting in the winter to enjoy a drink in the Cafe Glyptotek overlooking the indoor greenery of the Winter Gardens. Bliss.

For the more adventurous tourist, you can take a day trip to Roskilde on the train to visit the Vikingskibsmuseet – or Viking Ship Museum.

Lisbon

No trip to Lisbon would be complete without a trip to the botanical gardens: Jardim Botânico da Universidade de Lisboa. Designed in the 19th century as a scientific garden, it’s now home to a fascinating wealth of plants from every corner of the world and some areas have a distinctly tropical feel!

Contemporary art lovers should make for Museu Coleção Berardo, which houses collections of contemporary and modern art, including works by Picasso, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. The best part? It’s free all day on Saturdays.

Museo do Design eda Moda (MUDE) is temporarily closed for renovations, but the institution is taking art to the public through its MUDE Outside programme.

History buffs should make for São Jorge Castle, an ancient fortress overlooking the city which dates back to the 11th century.

San Francisco

Museum of GLBT History celebrates and makes LGBTQ history available to the public to promote understanding – it’s a vibrant mix of history, culture and the arts. Recent exhibitions include Empowerment in Print, which shows how print has been used to share LGBTQ communities and voices.

While you’re in the city, don’t miss a trip to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It’s now more open than ever, with 45,000 square feet of art-filled public spaces to explore. There are ongoing exhibitions of pop art, plus paintings and sculptures from 1900 to the present day.

London

The Natural History Museum‘s famous diplodocus skeleton, Dippy, is currently on tour around the UK, but there’s no shortage of other exhibits to enjoy here. Roam around the museum to discover more about evolution – both human and animal. Entry to the museum is free, but there may be a charge for some exhibitions. Can’t get to the museum? There are plenty of great volunteer projects that you can get involved with outside the capital.

If you love great design, stop off at the V&A Museum which has one of the world’s largest collections. Why not take a sketchpad with you and take the time to draw some of the exhibits? Again, entry is free.

If you’re visiting London in the summer, you might want to pop into Buckingham Palace. an official royal residence since 1837. Sadly, the Queen is unlikely to be at home.

Melbourne

Melbourne’s iconic Old Treasury Building is a great place to take in the history of the city and Victoria. And it’s free, which is always a bonus!

If that hasn’t satisfied your history cravings then check out Museums Victoria – Australia’s largest public museum organisation. At its member museums, you can learn about everything from Vikings to Aboriginal culture and immigration.

Osaka

In a corner of Hattori Ryokuchi Park, you’ll find the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farm Houses. Explore 11 beautifully preserved buildings which date back to the 17th century.

Delve further in Osaka’s past with a trip to Osaka Museum of History, which includes artefacts from ancient times to the present day. The museum offers great views of Osaka Castle, which is also well worth a visit.

Ottawa

Get to grips with Canada’s story at the Canadian Museum of History. Its Canadian History Hall tells the tale of the nation’s origins, but that’s not all – there’s also a fascinating and ever-changing selection of exhibitions including Dreamworks Animation and the Canadian Stamp Collection (if that’s your thing!).

If you’re more into the natural world, check out the Canadian Museum of Nature or get techy at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum.

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Stockholm

Discover all things Sweden at the Nordiskamuseet – the country’s largest collection of cultural history. There’s everything here from 1950s fashion exhibitions to collections of quirky Swedish folk art. You could lose hours exploring this place.

Another place worth a visit for Scandi inspiration is the Nobel Museum, which shares the ideas and vision of over 700 Nobel Prize winners. Impressive.

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Photos by Stig Ottesen, Anna Dziubinska, Maarten van den Heuvel, Luca Micheli, Linda XuGalen Crout, Marc-Olivier Jodoin and Marten Bjork on Unsplash