Even if you slept through Art History 101 and have never set foot in a gallery outside of a class trip, there’s something about travel that can convert even the most culturally obtuse. In honor of International Museum Day (May 18), we’ve pulled together the most visited museums on every continent. Happy touring!
Louvre, Paris, France
Why You’ll Go: The Mona Lisa, The Inverted Pyramid, and Venus de Milo.
But don’t forget: The ancient Babylonian Code of Hammurabi.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Why You’ll Go: The Amathus sarcophagus, Temple of Dendur, and Costume Institute.
But don’t forget: The rooftop sculpture garden.
National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Why You’ll Go: The Jadeite Cabbage, ancient calligraphy, and silk paintings.
But don’t forget: The Zhishan Garden, a classical Chinese garden that incorporates traditional feng shui, ponds, and pavilions.
Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Why You’ll Go: Theater, music, visual arts, film…this cultural mecca has it all.
But don’t forget: Keep an eye out for special exhibitions by notable artists like Dali.
The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt
Why You’ll Go: Mummies, hieroglyphics, and pottery.
But don’t forget: King Tutankhamen’s solid gold death-mask, a contender for most beautiful object ever made.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Why You’ll Go: The unique blend of indigenous Australian, European, and Asian art.
But don’t forget: Between May and August, the museum holds ‘Melbourne Winter Masterpieces,’ annual special exhibitions that have included Monet, Picasso, and Dali retrospectives in past years.