I think we’ve all got those not-so-fond childhood memories of being dragged around dull as ditchwater museums. Endless cabinets of boring things, all locked away so you can’t even touch them, and room after room of the same. But times, they are a-changing and it’s not the little or independent museums leading the way, but some of the world’s most visited museums.
Metropolitan Museum of Art – 6.2m visitors annually
It’s easiest of all the jump into the fun at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A new tour by Museum Hack just started and it aims to open your eyes to the wackier side of things. You might think such a behemoth wouldn’t have one, but rest assured it does. Fun and games, attention to oft-overlooked details and being a little silly are all on the menu as you head off to ignore the big names and get to know the museum’s personality.
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British Museum – 5.6m visitors annually
If, like us, you just don’t have enough time in your life to explore even one quarter of the rooms at the British Museum, but you do like a treasure hunt, then you need this BBC podcast. Documenting the 100 must-see items in the collection, the helpful site even breaks these objects into categories and we’ve uncovered a map too so you needn’t take any unnecessary detours.
The Louvre – 9.7m visitors annually
I’ve got a suspicion that this is the most visited museum in the world because it’s so easy to get lost in the vast building, meaning there will always be whole sections you’ve missed, and want to go back for! If you’ve got kids in tow trawling through halls and halls of marble figures searching for the must-sees can certainly get you down. Never fear – Paris Muse Clues have an interactive treasure-hunt style tour for them (and you) which also takes you to the big name attractions like the Mona Lisa.
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The Vatican Museums – 5m visitors annually
It’s not hard to find tours or podcasts to this wonderful museum, but something a little out of the ordinary is taller order. We’ve heard great things about Sister Wendy’s touchingly spiritual guide to the highlight of the museum – the Sistine Chapel. Taking you away from the wranglings about the work with Michaelangelo and the other artists and ignoring the details about who painted what, it gets straight to what it all means – no history lesson included.