Find the Right Museum for You

people on a staircase in a modern art museum

A museum curates different types of artifacts and artwork for people to explore and enjoy. It’s an educational space that can evoke many emotions, from wonder and curiosity to joy and sorrow. If you’re planning a museum trip but you’re not sure which one to visit, check out this guide to help find a museum that fits your interests, mood, and wallet.

1. Theme

There are museums for nearly everything these days. In addition to traditional museums and galleries that explore historical art, fine art, and modern art, you can experience the oddest of oddities at The Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia or The Museum of Bad Art in Canada. You can even check out pop-up museums that tour around the country like The Ice Cream Museum or The Museum of Selfies. Find a museum that fits your interests with a quick search on the internet. You may be surprised by what you discover. From bananas and toilet seats to Pez collectibles, there’s something for everyone!

2. Art Styles

sculptures and fine art in a museum

If you’re interested in art generally, you should probably narrow down your search. While some museums offer jack-of-all-trades exhibits with art from every style and period, you can find many museums dedicated to one specific type of art. Whether you’re a fan of Renaissance paintings, impressionist work, modern photography, or you just want to see modern art from a famous filmmaker, you’ll be able to find a museum to cater to your interests. Some museums update their exhibitions on a seasonal basis, so check back often to discover temporary collections that feature a surprising variety of artists, both old and new.

3. Atmosphere

Museum etiquette can really affect the mood in a museum. Some places require absolute silence and respect for the work — no disruptions allowed. If you’re feeling quiet and contemplative, these spaces might be for you. At other times, you might want to explore a space, converse about the work, and ask tons of questions. There are museums for you as well! To find this type of museum, check out local science, natural history, and children’s museums that are a lot more casual and carefree than fine art and modern art museums.

4. Cost

a crowded natural history museum

Museum costs can vary widely depending on the type of art they feature and their expected audience. Some places are completely free, others charge a nominal fee, while others require dropping a hefty amount to see special exhibits and enjoy exclusive access. You might spend over $100 to get a tour of art in The Vatican or view art for free at the Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey or the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C.

Finding a museum that interests you is quick and easy when you know what you’re looking for, and everything these days is available online. Consider these four guidelines when searching for a museum and make the most of every visit!