TripAdvisor announced the Travelers' Choice award winners for the top-rated museums in the world.
Madrid's Prado museum came in fourth place, ahead of Paris' famous Musee du Louvre at fifth place. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art came in first worldwide, followed by the Musee d'Orsay in Paris at second place and the Art Institute of Chicago at third place.
The awards were based on an algorithm that took into account the “quantity and quality” of reviews through TripAdvisor over the past year, according to the travel site.
“These world-class museums provide an enriching experience that can be both inspiring and educational for travelers around the globe,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
The travel website also rated museums for individual countries, including Spain. The Local takes a look at what makes Spain's top ten museums so great.
1. Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Photo: Brian Snelson / Wikimedia Commons.
The Prado museum is a sight to see, both inside and outside. Featuring a jaw-dropping range of European art, including by Francisco Goya, Rembrandt, Raphael, El Greco and Diego Velázquez.
The building itself is grandiose and breath-taking, with white sculptures and towering columns lining the outside facade, painted in a soft rose colour.
Best review on TripAdvisor review to sum it up: “So many masterpieces, so little time.”
2. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Photo: EducaThyssen / Flickr Creative Commons.
Just steps away across the road, the Thyssen boasts more modern work as well as paintings dating back to the 14th century. It showcases art from some of the most renowned Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists like Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh.
Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali are also represented, along with American artists such as Edward Hopper.
Best review to sum it up: “It was difficult to choose what NOT to look at.”
3. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Wikimedia Commons.
The museum building, designed by Canadian-American Frank Gehry, has been called one of the most important works of contemporary architecture, if that reveals anything about the quality of art on display within. The Bilbao Guggenheim is home to work by modern and contemporary artists including Richard Serra, Jeff Koons and Jenny Holzer.
Best review to sum it up: “Amazing building and a cool experience.”
4. City of the Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Photo: O Palsson / Flickr Creative Commons.
Another museum that delivers a stunning first impression just from the outside, this Valencian entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex has been a huge draw for tourists since it first publicly opened its doors in 1998. The complex is made up of various buildings including a cinema, planetarium, opera house and Europe's largest oceanographic aquarium.
Best review to sum it up: “Fun and interest for all… A perfect day for the family.”
5. Sorolla Museum, Madrid
Photo: Luis Garcia / Wikimedia Commons.
Originally the home of Spanish portrait and landscape artist Joaquin Sorolla, the building is now a museum dedicated to his work. The main rooms are furnished as they were when he lived there, including the studio where he used to paint and a garden courtyard.
Best review to sum it up: “A real little treasure. It is a bit off the main drag but well worth the effort.”
6. Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres
Photo: Enfo / Wikimedia Commons.
Based in Salvador Dali's hometown, the design of the Dali museum was based on how the artist himself imagined it should be: “a labyrinth”, “surrealist” and like a “theatrical dream”. The museum features the single largest collection of Dali's work in the world.
Best review to sum it up: “Anyone with a passing interest in art should visit this. Fantastic and wonderful.”
7. National Art Museum of Catalonia, Barcelona
Photo: Kippelboy / Wikimedia Commons.
This Barcelona museum displays Catalan visual art, most notably Romanesque church paintings as well as Gothic, Renaissance and even modern art.
Best review to sum it up: “Stunning artwork, glorious architecture and beautiful gardens.”
8. Casa de la Guitarra (House of the Guitar), Seville
Photos: Tibor Kovacs / Flickr Creative Commons.
This museum in Seville showcases a different kind of art: guitar playing. The museum houses more than 60 guitars from over the past 300 years – and it's free to visit. The venue also holds daily flamenco shows with guitar music, singing and dancing.
Best review to sum it up: “Intimate evening of music and dance.”
9. Queen Sofia Arts Center (Reina Sofia), Madrid
Photo: Pedro Armestre / AFP.
Completing Madrid's “Golden Triangle of Art” with the Prado and the Thyssen is the Reina Sofia, made up of 20th century art. This is the museum that houses Picasso's moving masterpiece Guernica, depicting the bombing of a village during the Spanish Civil War. The museum also houses works by Salvador Dali, Joan Miró and Man Ray.
Best review to sum it up: “Stunning museum + Art for all tastes.”
10. Museum of Glass and Crystal, Malaga
Photos: Tyk / Wikimedia Commons.
This museum stands out from the rest of the artistic museums in the top ten in that its collection is mainly of glass, crystal and furniture, though is also features some paintings among decoration from various periods and cultures. Visitors can view glass works from Roman and medieval times, as well as Persian, Byzantine and Venetian works.
Best review to sum it up: “An oasis of calm and beauty”.