Top 6 museums to include on your Europe holiday itinerary

Top 6 museums to include on your Europe holiday itinerary

Whether you love history, art, culture or music, adding in a museum or two to your European holiday is a must. From mechanical musical instruments to historic pinball machines, museums are a great way to learn about a country’s history. Immerse yourself in the culture and be entertained at these top six European museums.

1. Louvre, Paris, France

The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and has many masterpieces with more than 35,000 artworks dating from the seventh century B.C. to the mid-19th century. One of the highlights to see is the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ painted by Leonardo da Vinci, whilst other popular artworks include the Winged Victory of Samothrace, The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault and the Great Sphinx of Tanis. Enter via the iconic glass pyramid in the central courtyard, designed by architect leoh Ming Pei. Once a medieval fortress created for King Philippe Auguste in 1190, today visitors can also admire the ancient foundations, the remnants of the medieval moat and dungeons within the Medieval Louvre section.
Explore the Louvre in Paris, France

2. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum is among the world’s finest art museums, home to a staggering collection of artworks and artefacts from the Dutch Golden Age to present day art. Discover masterpieces from Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer with 8,000 objects in 80 rooms across 800 years, illustrating the history of Holland. Be sure to see the Night Watch, Rembrandt’s most famous painting, walk through the Gallery of Honour featuring great works from the 17th century in the alcoves and view the unusual objects within the Special Collections including miniature silverwork, fashion, glass, porcelain and impressive armoury. Don’t forget to explore the Rijksmuseum’s colourful gardens for some quiet time and reflection.
Visit the Rijksmuseum during the 15 day Splendours of Europe river cruise.
Explore the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3. Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum, Rüdesheim, Germany

The charming German town of Rüdesheim is well known for its Riesling wine, whiskey-laced coffee and picture perfect Rhine River location, Rüdesheim is also home to Europe’s largest collection of mechanical instruments, spanning three centuries. 
Approximately 350 mechanical music instruments, which have been lovingly restored by founder Siegfried Wendel and family can be found within Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum, situated within the 15th century Brömserhomanor. Watch and listen as mechanical instruments of all shapes and sizes come to life. From a tiny snuff box with a musical songbird dating back to the early 19th century to enormous orchestrations such as the 1909 Hupfeld Violina Phonoliszt, showcasing a player piano and player violins. You can also view Bernhard Dufner’s Band of 27 dolls, each playing a different instrument – the largest Doll Automation calliope ever built.
Visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum on the 15 day Splendours of Europe river cruise.
Visit Rüdesheim, Germany, the home of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet Museum

4. Mozart’s Birthplace, Salzburg, Austria

For Mozart fans and history buffs, a visit to Salzburg will lead you to the important mustard coloured house, “Hagenauer Haus” at No. 9 Getreidegasse, the birthplace of the child prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born on 27 January 1756, Mozart lived here on the third floor with his family before moving to a more spacious residence across the river. Journey inside this three-storey exhibition and uncover the details of Mozart’s life from his early years to his family relationships and his first musical performance. Admire Mozart’s early instruments including childhood violin, concert violin, clavichord and pianoforte, alongside portraits, everyday utensils and furniture.
Visit Mozart’s Birthplace on the 15 day Splendours of Europe river cruise.
Visit Mozart's Birthplace in Salzburg, Austria

5. The Museum of History in the Bratislava Castle, Bratislava, Slovakia

Rising above the city of Bratislava is the historic Bratislava Castle, dating back to the 11th century, and home to the Museum of History, also known as the Slovak National Museum. Here you can learn the development of society in Slovakia from the Middle Ages to the present day with 250,000 objects compiled from national history, arts, sculpting and painting to culture, numismatics, warfare, clocks, silver items and historical furniture.

Stroll through the permanent exhibitions of The Witness of the Past, The Castle Gallery, Music Hall, Bratislava Castle on The Prints, and How the Time was Measured. Whilst you’re here, climb the winding staircase of the Crown Tower and be rewarded with spectacular views of the whole city and Danube River.
Visit The Museum of History on the 15 day Splendours of Europe river cruise.
The Museum of History in Bratislava Castle, Slovakia

6. Flippermuzeum (Budapest Pinball Museum), Budapest, Hungary

Take a step back in time to your childhood years on a visit to Budapest’s Flippermuzeum and challenge your friends and family to a game of pinball. Tucked away in a basement in Újlipótváros on the Pest side of the river, this quirky, interactive museum is not your usual go-to tourist attraction, however those looking for a break from visiting the traditional museums and art galleries or have a few extra days to spare, this museum is worth a visit.

As Europe’s largest ongoing interactive pinball exhibition, the nostalgic space houses 130 fun machines dating back to the end of the 19th century alongside today’s state of the art pinball tables which can be played to the heart’s content. Try out the classic Humpty Dumpty, dating back to 1947 and one of the first pinball machines ever made with flippers and admire the unique 1880s bagatelles on display.
View of Budapest, Hungary
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