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teacher on summer break strolling through a must visit museum

Summer break is around the corner and teachers are planning their summer getaways! If you’re planning on traveling internationally, now is the time to start booking.

If you’re a museum enthusiast, we’ve got you covered with our list of must-visit museums. With over 50,000 museums worldwide, it can be overwhelming to choose which ones to explore. That’s why we’ve curated a list that includes some hidden (and not so hidden) gems like the Museu in São Paulo, the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo, The Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota, and the Mini Bottle Gallery in Oslo. 

These museums offer unique exhibits and experiences that are sure to spark interesting conversations and leave a lasting impression. So start planning your itinerary and add these museums to your travel list for the year!

Cairo | Egyptian Museum

  • Entry Fee: EGP 200 ($6 USD)
  • Address: El-Tahrir Square, Ismailia, Qasr El Nil, Cairo Governorate 4272083, Egypt
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am-5 pm

The Egyptian Museum houses the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including King Tut’s tomb and treasures.

With an impressive display of over 120,000 items, the museum offers an intriguing insight into the burial practices and culture of ancient Egypt. Visitors can marvel at the mummies of pharaohs and their families, and journey through time to discover the wonder of one of the world’s most advanced civilizations.

For educators seeking to expand their knowledge and provide a glimpse into the past for their students, the Egyptian Museum is an essential destination. At the Egyptian Museum, you’ll be able to delve into the fascinating and mysterious world of ancient Egypt and gain a deeper appreciation for this civilization. 

Tokyo | Ghibli Museum

  • Entry Fee: 1,000 yen ($10 USD)
  • Address: 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 am-6 pm

The Ghibli Museum in Tokyo is a must-see destination for fans of the beloved Studio Ghibli movies. The museum offers exclusive short films, original artwork, and interactive displays showcasing the creative process behind Studio Ghibli’s most iconic films such as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away,” and “Princess Mononoke.”

But the museum isn’t just about the movies – it’s also a whimsical and immersive experience that transports visitors into the magical worlds of Studio Ghibli’s films. 

Located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, Tokyo, the museum’s surroundings are just as enchanting as its exhibits. Visitors can take a stroll through the park’s cherry trees, visit the large pond, or even check out the zoo. So if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli or just love immersive experiences, the Ghibli Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Oslo | The Mini Bottle Gallery

  • Entry Fee: 85 Norwegian Krone (NOK) ($8 USD)
  • Address: Kirkegata 10, 0152 Oslo, Norway
  • Hours: Saturday & Sunday 12 pm-4 pm

The Mini Bottle Gallery is dedicated to, you guessed it: miniature bottles!

The gallery has over 53,000 bottles from all over the world, some of which are over 100 years old. You’ll see different shapes, colors, and labels while learning all about the history and culture behind the beverages they once contained.

Swing by the gift shop on your way out and buy yourself an original or replica miniature bottle souvenir. There’s a variety of bottles from around the world available for purchase, including rare and vintage items. 

São Paulo | Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP)

  • Entry Fee: R$45 (Brazilian Real) ($9 USD)
  • Address: Avenida Paulista, 1578 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP, 01310-200, Brazil
  • Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm; Thursdays, 10 am-8 pm.

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) boasts an impressive collection of European and Brazilian art, featuring works by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Cézanne, as well as important Brazilian artists like Anita Malfatti and Portinari. But what sets MASP apart from other art museums is its innovative approach to displaying its collection.

Instead of traditional wall hangings, MASP presents its artworks on clear glass easels in the middle of the museum’s spacious galleries, allowing visitors to see both sides of the works and appreciate their details and textures from different angles.

The museum’s modernist architecture, designed by Lina Bo Bardi, is also a work of art in itself, with suspended galleries and bright red supports that are as fascinating to explore as the pieces they contain. For art lovers and anyone interested in experiencing a unique and dynamic approach to museum display, MASP is definitely a must-visit destination.

Cancun | MUSA Underwater Museum of Art

  • Entry Fee: $50+ USD
  • Address: Cerrada Las Golondrinas 24, Alfredo Bonfil, 77560 Cancún, México
  • Hours: Monday-Sunday 9 am-2 pm

If you’re heading down to Cancun, Mexico, you’ll definitely want to make a stop at the MUSA, located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone. The Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) in Cancun is an underwater museum consisting of over 500 sculptures submerged in the ocean depths. Created by various artists, these sculptures have become a home to a wide variety of marine life, including fish, corals, and other aquatic organisms. 

Visitors can explore the museum by snorkeling, diving, or taking a glass-bottom boat tour, giving them an up-close view of the sculptures and the marine life surrounding them. The museum serves an important ecological purpose as well, as the sculptures promote the growth of corals and other marine life, and serve as a protective barrier for the nearby coral reef, one of the largest in the world. The MUSA is a must-visit destination and opportunity to experience art and nature in an innovative way.

Chicago | National Museum of Mexican Art

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608, United States
  • Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-5 pm; Closed Mondays

Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art is a celebration of Mexican culture. 

The museum features an impressive collection spanning a history of 10,000 years. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant colors and textures of traditional and contemporary art pieces, attend cultural events and exhibitions, and learn about Mexico’s fascinating history and contributions to the world of art.

The best part? The museum is completely free and open to the public, making it an accessible destination for everyone who wants to appreciate and learn about Mexican art and culture.

For teachers looking to expand their cultural knowledge and incorporate new ideas into their curriculum, the Dia de los Muertos Museum in Chicago is a must-visit destination. This unique museum showcases beautifully crafted altars, artwork, and other artifacts that honor deceased loved ones and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Mexico.

With workshops and presentations available, educators can learn more about Mexican history and art and bring these valuable lessons back to their students. Plus, the museum boasts works by internationally renowned artists like Diego Rivera, offering a truly enriching and unforgettable experience.

Reykjavik | Icelandic Punk Museum

  • Entry Fee: 1,000 Icelandic Krona (KR) ($7 USD)
  • Address: Bankastræti 2, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10 am-10 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12 pm-10 pm

The Icelandic Punk Museum is dedicated to the punk rock scene in Iceland, with exhibits and artifacts from the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the museum’s highlights is its interactive displays, allowing visitors to play with instruments, listen to rare recordings, and even watch a video of an Icelandic punk concert. This hands-on approach provides a memorable experience that immerses visitors in Iceland’s punk culture and music.

While the museum primarily focuses on the history and culture of Icelandic punk music, it also explores the international punk scene and its influence on Icelandic music. The exhibits detail the impact of legendary bands like The Clash and the Sex Pistols on the Icelandic punk movement and how it evolved from there. It’s a unique and educational opportunity to learn about Iceland’s contribution to the punk genre and how it has been shaped by international influences.

Overall, the Icelandic Punk Museum is a must-visit destination for any music enthusiast, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that celebrates the spirit of punk rock.

Austin, Minnesota | The Spam Museum

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 101 3rd Ave NE, Austin, MN 55912, United States
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm; Sunday 11 am-3 pm
  • Virtual: Schedule free virtual tours

If you’re Hawaiian, Asian, or from the Pacific Islands, you know that we hold Spam near and dear to our hearts. If you love Spam, a visit to the Spam Museum is a must!

This 14,000 square foot museum has exhibits that showcase Spam’s history and its enduring influence on cuisine worldwide. 

What can you do at the Spam Museum? Learn about Spam’s role in World War II, see how its packaging has evolved, and stop by the World Market exhibit to see the various flavors of Spam available globally. The Spam Brand Wall of Fame is a must-see exhibit featuring artwork, advertisements, and memorabilia spanning 70 years of Spam history. 

The museum also has interactive exhibits where you can test your knowledge, listen to famous jingles, and take photos with the Spam Can mascot. Don’t forget to try the Spam-centric dishes at the museum’s restaurant, The Hormel Institute. Whether you’re a Spam fan or simply curious, the Spam Museum is definitely worth a visit.

Fun facts about the Spam Museum:

  1. The Spam Museum is located in the town of Austin, Minnesota. 
  2. The facility produces 350 cans of Spam per minute.
  3. Hawai’i consumes 7 million cans of Spam per year.

More Mandatory Museums

  • Paris | The Louvre: Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, lives here. One interesting fact about the Louvre is that the museum was not always intended to be a museum. In fact, it was originally built as a fortress in the 12th century to protect Paris from Viking attacks. Over the centuries, it was transformed into a royal palace and later into a museum during the French Revolution.
  • London | The British Museum: One of the world’s largest and most comprehensive museums, The British Museum has a collection that spans over two million years of human history and culture.
  • Washington, DC | Smithsonian Institution: The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoo. It covers a wide range of topics, including natural history, art, and culture.
  • New York City | MoMA: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the most visited museums in the world. It’s home to a collection that spans 5,000 years and includes more than 2 million works of art. The Met, as it’s known locally, is also a research center and a leader in conservation efforts. A visit to the Met can easily become an all-day affair with its various special exhibitions and other programs. If you’re planning on taking your class on an outing to the Met, check out their teacher’s guide for helpful tips on how to plan your visit along with other ways educators can get involved at the museum.
  • Taipei | National Palace Museum: The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has a collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese art and artifacts, including some of the world’s most famous jade carvings, bronze vessels, and calligraphy.
  • Canberra | National Museum of Australia: The National Museum of Australia explores the country’s history and culture, with exhibits on indigenous cultures, European settlement, and contemporary Australian society.
  • Antarctica: There are no permanent museums in Antarctica, but some research stations have small exhibits showcasing the history and geology of the continent.

Travel more by teaching abroad

Sometimes a short break just isn’t long enough. If you’re thinking about traveling more, consider teaching abroad!

We frequently post ESL jobs and K12 teaching jobs on our job board so that talented teachers like you have an opportunity to change the lives of students around the world while you get to experience it.

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