Museums provide the unique experience of seeing some of the greatest masterpieces of all time close up. Walking the halls of some of the famed museums allow the chance to learn about different societies, ideas, and values.
To celebrate some of the most incredible museums in the world, we have rounded up the winners of the TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards for 2014.
From Bogota to Chicago here are the top 25 museums in the world.
The Museo del Oro in Bogota, Colombia has more than 33,000 items of gold and emeralds crafted in pre-Hispanic times.
The collection includes bracelets, earrings, necklaces, breast plates, masks figurines, and rings created from 500 D.C. until the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century.
#24 The Museum of New Zealand is called Te Papa Tongarewa, which means 'the place of treasures of this land.'
The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, is located in Wellington. Te Papa is the national museum of New Zealand, and allows visitors to explore the treasures and stories of New Zealand. They have collections on art, history, pacific, Māori -- the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand -- and natural environment.
#23 The Inhotim is a giant art gallery set amid 500,000 acres of botanical gardens in southeast Brazil.
The Inhotim is a contemporary art museum in southeast Brazil. Founded by a mining billionaire Bernardo Paz, the contemporary art museum was once his own personal ranch. Paz converted the garden into a contemporary art space, and it opened to the public in 2006.
#22 The Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses has one of the most significant archaeological finds in the world.
The Terracotta Army is a collection of terra-cotta sculptures depicting the armies of the Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The army was discovered in 1974 when farmers digging a water well stumbled upon pieces of the broken terra cotta warriors. The farmers had accidentally discovered one of the most important archaeological excavations of the 20th century.
The 16,300-square-meter excavation has more than 7,000 life-size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations.
#21 The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington has a rock from the moon -- that you can touch!
The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. They have thousands of objects on display in the 161,145-square-feet space. They have the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charle Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Command Module Columiba, an Albert Einstein Planetarium, and public observatory.
The Rijksmuseum is a national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum has 8,000 objects of art and history on displace, among which some are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum's most famous painting is called The Night Watch.
The Louvre is one of the most well-known museums in the world - but it was not originally built to house a museum. The structure was built as a fortress - as Parisians feared that the Vikings would cross the sea from Scandinavia and raid Paris. The Louvre didn't become a fine arts museum until 1793.
The museum is now home to 35,000 masterpieces and some of the most famous pieces of art in existence: Venus du Milo, Liberty Leading the People, Milon de Crotone, Raft of the Medusa, Pysche Revived by Cupid's Kiss -- and of course, the Mona Lisa.
The Gallera Bordhese was originally built for Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1615 and
has a substantial collection of art from the Borghese family. Today the collection has some of the best masterpieces of Italian sculpture of the 17th and 18th century -- and even has four rooms dedicated to the works of Bernini.
In 1644, John Evelyn described the Galleria Borghese as 'an Elysium of delight.'
The institute in Brazil has a collection of European and Brazilian art, swords, armour and historical artifacts in a fake medieval castle, designed in the Tudor style. The armory collection is one of the biggest in the world, with nearly 3,000 objects from all over the world.
Once a church, later a mosque, the Hagia Sophia Muesum is an architectural marvel with 30 million gold tiles thoughtout its interior, and a wide, flat dome which was an impressive engineering feat at the time it was constructed in the 6th century.
The British Museum opened in 1753 and houses a permanent collection of over 8 million works. They have one of the largest collections of Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek sculptures. Some other treasures that can be found in the museum include: the Easter Island statue, one of the oldest mathematical instruments, and the earliest known image of Christ.
#14 The National Gallery of Art owns the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Western Hemisphere.
The museum is comprised of two buildings: one holds paintings form the fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries and the other exhibits modern art. The Sculpture Garden opened in May of 1999, and provides an outdoor setting for many works.
The Vasa Museum is a maritime museum in Stockholm that is home to the worlds only existing preserved seventeenth-century warship, called the Vasa. The ship sank in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was not salvaged for restoration until three hundred years later. The 69-mile long warship is almost fully intact.
In addition to the incredible ship, there are nine other maritime exhibitions to explore.
The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in London. Founded in 1824, it originally opened in a townhouse with only 38 paintings -- today it has a collection of over 2,300 works. Some of the artists on display include: Monet, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
#11 The National WWII Museum has a collection of more than 100,000 items, many of which were donated by War Veterans.
The National World War II Museum opened June 6 2000 -- on the 56th anniversary of D-Day. Founded by Stephen Ambrose, the museum tells the story of the American experience in 'the war that changed the world.'
The museum focuses on the contribution made by the Untied States in World War II, particularly on the battle of Normandy. It has many permanent galleries including: the Home Front, The D-Day Beaches, and Pacific D-Day galleries.
Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and is located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. It is a 45-acre campus consisting of indoor museums, outdoor monuments, memorials, gardens, sculptures, and research and education centres.
The website says: 'Since 1954, Yad Vashem has worked to fulfil its mandate to preserve the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust by collecting their names, the ultimate representation of a person's identity.'
The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish nation art museum, located in Madrid. The Museum has one of the largest art collections in the world, and is know for having works by Velasquez, Goya and El Greco. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings.
#8 The Acropolis Museum sits under the shadow of the Parthenon and has some of the most influential artifacts of Greek history.
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was opened in 2009 and has almost 4,000 works spread across an area of 14,000 square meters.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the world. It houses more than 2 million pieces of art spanning much of the history of human culture. The museum's permanent collections include works from nearly every time period and area of the world, including classical antiquity, Ancient Egypt, modern art, African art, Asian art, Isalmic art, and many more.
The Musee D'Orsay is housed in the former Gare D'Orsay -- a railway stating that was built in the nineteenth century. The Museum has a vast collection of works and has a particularly well-known collection impressionist and post-impressionist works. Notable artists include: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Rodin, Renoir, and Monet.
The Gallery of the Academy is located in Florence, Italy and is known for its impressive collection of statues -- include Micelangelo's famous David. One of Europe's first drawing schools, it is home to an extensive collection of Italian painters including: Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pontormo, and Andrea del Sarto.
The Getty Center sits atop a hill in Los Angeles and is well-known for its architecture, gardens, and spectacular views. The center also has an impressive collection of works by luminaries such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne. Many of the galleries also have skylights with computer-controlled louvres that are programmed to adjust depending on the time of the day to achieve optimal illumination of the space.
#3 State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace is one of oldest museums in the world, and use to be the main residence of Russian emperors.
The collection at the State Hermitage has more than three million works of art from all around the world. The Baroque sytle Winter Palace was home to the Russian monarchs until 1917, when the ruling dynasty was overthrown by a coup d'etat.
The National Museum of Anthropology is located in a huge park in Mexico City. The museum has an intensive collection of archaeological artifacts (originals or replicas) from the numerous ancient cultures in Mexico, including: Olmec, Mexica, Maya, Golfo, Aztec and others.
#1 The Art Institute of Chicago has 300,000 works of art in its permanent collection -- include the famous 'American Gothic' painting.
Founded in 1879, and guarded by two bronze lions at its entrance, The Art Institute of Chicago has one of the world's great art collections, including the trademark 'American Gothic' painting by Grant Wood. In grand total, it is home to more than 300,000 pieces of art, and hosts 30 rotating exhibitions and hundreds of gallery performances each year.
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