Museums to us can be a real boom or bust experience. Sometimes you find a great and interesting collection, other times the place doesn’t live up to the hype. These are the best collections we have found, often free, but more importantly an engaging and well timed lay out that make a visit informative and leisurely.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
This is one of the ten largest museums in the world and a collection of over 2 million works of art. It is impressive and constantly adding exhibitions and opportunities to learn. Collections span all the major cultures and geographic regions of the globe. The recommended entry fee is $25 however the recommended portion of the payment is typed in small font and not promoted well, so one can visit for free, even if this fact is not readily apparent.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
This is a stunning piece of architecture that details all the various expansions and dynasties which Islam has shaped during its history. The building offers spectacular views of the city of Doha, a whole afternoon of learning and a welcoming environment in which to browse and learn.
Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C.
This complex of 13 free museums encompasses some of the great innovations in science, art and engineering. Most are located around the National Mall and include the Air and Space Museum, Museum of Natural History, Museum of National History and National Museum of the American Indian.
The British Museum London UK
The major museums in London are free and this is certainly one in which you would expect to pay. The sheer volume of classical works, especially carvings and sculptures from long past Middle Eastern destinations is wonderfully arranged into geographic places and time periods.
Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain
This is the crowning achievement of Madrid and it is free from Mon-Sat 6pm-8pm, Sundays and holidays 5pm-7pm. The collections are immense and show a variety of European and New World talent. The best approach is to come during several evenings to spread out the viewing.
National Museum of China, Beijing
This fairly new establishment (2003) will open a world of geology and history that many in the west are not familiar with. The dynasties, artifacts and natural development of this part of the world is on display in a enlightening style.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
This little gem in Ankara Turkey is a must see for archeology, Bible and fans of history of the Ancient Near East. It has relics of Hittite culture and various peoples who have occupied these lands for over 3,000 years. There is a small fee to enter but it is well worth it to see the wonders within and the museum is just the right size, you can take it all in around an hour and a half.