We know it’s cruel to make you wait a month to read about the last few museums we think should be on everyone’s list when jet-setting across the globe. But we also feel doing it this way builds up the anticipation to see what museums make our list. Without further ado, we present to you, our loyal readers, the last museums we think are worth your time when going abroad.

  • National Museum of Korea, Seoul — Switching continents, this is the only Asian museum that grabbed our attention. Though it may be much smaller than the European museums we’ve written about, this museum is still rich in history and artwork. A museum with a long history, it wasn’t until 2005 that the National Museum of Korea called its current building home. In fact, during the Korean War, the 20,000 works it held at the time were moved from the museum’s location to the city of Busan in order for them to be preserved and protected. The three floors that make up this museum all house different galleries and collections. On the first floor, you can find the Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery with artifacts from Korea. The second floor is home to the Donation Gallery and Calligraphy and Painting Gallery where the art displayed shows styles traditional to Korea. And the third floor is where the Sculpture and Crafts Gallery is located. On this floor, visitors will find works that represent the Korean Buddhist culture.


While this building may be small, the works it holds totals 310,000 pieces of art, not all of which are displayed at once. Approximately 15,000 items are on display at the National Museum of Korea at any given time. National treasures also call the museum home and include a gold crown, incense burner and a ten-story pagoda, among many other priceless items. When visiting this museum, the art and artifacts will be entirely different than what Westerners are used to, so plan a full day at the National Museum. Plus, did we mention admission is free? The National Museum of Korea operates Tuesday-Sunday, and is closed on Mondays and January 1. But do know that if you’d like to venture into the Special Exhibition Gallery, there is a separate fee.

  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris — Traveling back to France, when you’re there, the Louvre isn’t the only French museum you should visit. The Musée d’Orsay probably gets the title of Most Interesting Building, as this museum was initially a railway station before becoming a museum. Well, the railway station was built for the Universal Exhibition of the 1900 World’s Fair. After the fair, before it became a museum, d’Orsay had many roles besides being a railway line. Suburban lines still used the station, but it was used for mailing services in the area and even had a number of films shot there before the French government decided to turn it into a museum. Actions to turn the railway station into a museum began in the 1970s. The museum officially opened its doors to the public in 1986.


When those doors opened, the Musée d’Orsay had roughly 2,000 paintings and 600 other pieces of artwork. Now, the collection has since expanded and solely holds art that was created during 1848 to 1915. Why such an arbitrary era? Well, the Musée d’Orsay only holds impressionist and post-impressionist art. Because of its specific date range, the museum has the largest number of impressionist and post-impressionist pieces in the world. Visit here and you’ll see artwork from Manet, Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Seurat and Renoir (whose birthday happens to be this month!). One of the most notable artists in the museum is Vincent Van Gogh. Musée d’Orsay is the home of “Starry Night over the Rhone” and “Self Portrait.” This is also the museum you’d be able to see many of Monet’s water lily paintings. When planning a day here, note that the museum is closed on Mondays, May 1 and December 25. Though admission to this museum isn’t free to everyone, it is free on the first Sunday of the month and to those under 18.

There you have it. Wrapped up in three separate blog posts, our list of international art museums is complete. For some of us, traveling abroad may not be a trip happening in the near future. But when an opportunity to do so does come up, plan accordingly. Which means, of course, plan to visit some fine art museums while traveling! ​​

If you think another or a different art museum should’ve made our list, let us know your thoughts in the comment section. It may not be too late!

Author: lansend