Museum lovers click the back button now or risk being utterly offended. I got chatting to an older gent in a restaurant in Florence a few years ago and he mentioned how comical he found it that so many young people seem to visit museums solely to impress others (particularly the opposite sex). I’m attached, so thankfully I don’t need to visit a museum for that reason, in fact he hates museums as much as I do. Result! I don’t have to pretend that I’m some sort of cultured intellectual. Phew! That conversation in Florence though has inspired me to think about the reasons why I choose not to visit museums when I travel. Read on to find out why I’ve become such a museum boycotter.

The Subject Matter Rarely Interests Me
Don’t get me wrong I have visited several museums in my time. I’ve visited the Louvre, Museo Galileo, the Vatican museums to name a few… I genuinely cannot recall enjoying a single one. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve paid a museum entry fee, wandered around aimlessly pretending to be moderately interested in the artefacts, only to find myself sat in a local bar 30 minutes later questioning why I just wasted yet another £10 to basically walk in and out of a museum. I stand by my opinion that once you’ve seen one Renaissance painting you’ve seen them all.

There’s No Such Thing As ‘The Great Indoors’
Scotland is not well known for its good weather. My pasty Scottish skin usually only sees real sunshine a couple of times a year when I travel to a warmer climate. I spend 5 days a week stuck in an office so travelling is a great opportunity for me to get outside. Even when it rains you will still find me wandering around, a little drop of rain never hurt anyone.

I Hate Being A Tourist
When I travel, all I want to hear around me is the dulcet tones of the local language. I remember in my early 20s, standing in line for the Louvre and I stupidly let two other young tourists cut in front of me. I was travelling solo and thought it would be good to chat to some fellow travellers. Boy was I wrong! I had to spend the next hour and a half listening to them mock the French, boast about smoking weed, and force a smile throughout their various unimpressive tales from their Euro trip which of course their parents had (unsurprisingly) paid for. I awkwardly walked around with them until I was able to make my excuses and run in the opposite direction. Seeing the Mona Lisa was the biggest anti climax. The portrait is approximately 77cm x 53cm and hangs on its own wall at the end of the room. The portrait is safely blocked off and hoards of tourists surround it trying to take a perfect snap. It’s true what they say, her eyes do follow you around the room but it’s less impressive when you are trying to crane your neck and avoid getting smacked in the face with a selfie stick!

Let’s Agree To Disagree
Unless the subject matter of a museum is something that really appeals to me I will continue my boycott. I can appreciate that some people may genuinely like museums but for me I don’t find it to be an authentic experience. I learn so much more about a place through exploring the streets and chatting with locals. You don’t tend to find the locals perusing the artwork, museums are made for tourists and that’s just not me. I would much rather spend my money at a local bar or restaurant trying out my pidgin language skills. Museum lovers revolt!

13 Replies to “Why I Won’t Visit Museums”

  1. Great post.

    I think some museums are worth it, particularly when it is on a topic that interests you (for me, war museums are up there).

    However, generally I agree. I recently relocated for work and visited a few museums to help understand the culture better. It didn’t help. A few nights in a local pub, and a birthday party invite later, I have learnt a lot more than I ever could from looking at “traditional clothing worn in the 1850’s”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funnily enough I’ve never actually been to a war museum. I find anything related to World War II particularly interesting so maybe that would change my opinion 🙂 I do agree with you though it’s people you learn the most from. Where have you relocated to?

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      1. Ahh you should try one or two and see what you think. A great city to visit with some excellent war museums, as well as many other amazing experiences is St Petersburg.

        I’m in Manila, Philippines just now, working between here and China from next month.

        Last weekend I attended an 18th Birthday party, been awhile since I was last invited to one of those, only to learn that it is called a Debut here – it was almost like a one-sided wedding. Very interesting.

        Where is your next trip?

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      2. I’ve never done St Petersburg. One for the ever growing travel list! Wow, how amazing to have the opportunity to live and work in that part of the world. Do you blog? You should share your experiences online 🙂

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  2. I love modern art and i love history so I like museums. I spent my childhood in NY going to museums because my mother loved them. I think that makes a difference. I notice people who didn’t grow up in them, don’t usually like them as much. I will have to read more of your blogs to find out what it is that you love when you travel. T
    hanks for finding me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may have a point! I didn’t really visit art museums in my younger years. I do like history though. I think I’ve learnt to only go into museums if I really am interested in the subject matter. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

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  3. I love museums and I’m genuinely interested in art, but I really agree with this post! I see many people at museums who don’t seem to be enjoying themselves at all, and I wonder what they’re doing there and how they’re just wasting their valuable vacation time 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post!! I don’t hate all museums, but I definitely limit art museums when I’m travelling. Your comment about “once you’ve seen one Renaissance painting you’ve seen them all” certainly rings true to me. I like modern art better. I’ll take the D’Orsay or London’s National Portrait Gallery over the Louvre any day. For me, though, it’s churches/cathedrals. I can see castles all day long, but one historical church is enough for me. They’re another example of “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”

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    1. Haha, yes! Cathedrals, I totally agree. It’s just not my kind of thing. Each to their own though. I love museums on history. Particularly WWII. I think the sentiment I was trying to get across was that I won’t just go somewhere just to say I’ve been. I really need to have an interest in the subject. Thanks for taking the time to read and stopping by my site 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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