The 20 Most Beautiful Museums in the World


[Editor’s note: It’s Labor Day, so your devoted Flavorwire team is taking a break. To keep you entertained, we’re leaving you with our most popular features of the summer months. This post originally ran July 7th.] This week, we were blown away by this gorgeous concept for a “spiral garden museum” in Taipei, which sadly didn’t make it into the final round of the design competition and thus will never become a reality. Though we’re disappointed, the project reminded us of the gloriously beautiful museums that already exist in our wide world, so to bind our wounds over the Taipei garden museum (and to indulge in a little architecture candy) we’ve collected twenty of the most lovely here. After all, what better way to store and display some of the world’s greatest artwork than in a structure as well-designed and beautiful as the art itself? Click through to see our picks for the most beautiful museums from all over the world, and if we’ve missed your favorite — or if the Guggenheim makes you gag — let us know which ones you’d choose in the comments!

The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar. Designed by I. M. Pei. Photos via and via.

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1794. Photos via and via.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO. Original limestone building from the 1930s, modern extension designed by Steven Holl. Photos by Roland Halbe via The New York Times .

The Hanoi Museum, Vietnam. Designed by GMP Architects. Photos via.

Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain. Designed by Frank Gehry. Photos via.

The Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. Photos via and via.

Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX. Photos via and via.

The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark. Photos via and via.

The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada. Photos via and via.

MAS Museum, Antwerp, Belgium. Designed by Neutelings Riedijk. Photos via and via.

The Louvre, Paris, France. Photos via.

The Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria. Photos via and via.

The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL. Designed by HOK. Photos by Morris Moreno, via Designwire.

The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Once the home of the Dalai Lama, the building is now a Chinese museum. Photos via and via.

The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA. Photos via and via.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photos via.

Claude Monet’s House and Gardens, Giverny, France. Photos via and via.

Moscow State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia. Photos via.

Chora Museum, Istanbul, Turkey. Photos via and via.

Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil. Photos via and via.