I have a confession to make.
I don't really like museums.
There are varying reasons for this. As I said to begin with, I want to know about people, places and their history, but I often find museums very boring. I don't like the constant lines of exhibits, with a boring explanation. It reminds of boring, dull school trips when I was a child, and then I become easily distracted and bored. Recapturing my attention once I've wandered across into boredom is pretty hard.
In Amsterdam I stayed just behind Museumplein. On my very doorstep there was the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. I went to the Van Gogh museum an hour before it closed and, for me, that was enough time to see everything I wanted to. What did I get out it? Not a lot, I'm not an art lover, I don't know how to appreciate things like that. Though, I got to see the Sunflowers in person. I didn't even bother to venture to the Rijksmuseum.
Well, it was under construction, and the sign outside said that more than 33% of the museum was out of bounds, yet the admission price had no discount, and I quite simply refused to pay full price to get into somewhere and only be able to see two thirds of it. That sounded like a rip off museum, and I don't even feel like I missed out.
To the contrary, I really enjoyed visiting the Anne Frank House. It was heart breaking, and sad, and surreal to be stood where she had spent years hiding. Another museum I found really interesting was Casa Batlló, which I would recommend over La Sagrada any day of the week. Both are designed by architect Antoní Gaudi, and both are absolutely spectacular, but if you've only got limited funds, I would go in Casa Batlló instead of the church. I found the interior disappointing in comparison to the exterior, the external work is absolutely something else.
More recently I visited the Jewish History Museum in Berlin, and I absolutely hated it. My reasons? The audio guide. It was long, and drawn out, there was weird music breaking up the incredibly mundane speech- which actually did nothing except to make the whole thing a damn sight longer. We were there for more than 3hrs, and we came out incredibly depressed. I would also say that around 80% of the museum is about pre- WWII history, and all of which is incredibly sad. By the time you get to that bit, and you've already heard how tough life is in Germany for Jew's, without the horrors of Auschwitz and other death camps they were sent to across Europe. I actually stopped listening to the audio guide before I got to that bit and scanned the walls for information instead.
The one exhibit I enjoyed in the Jewish Museum
There are still museums I want to visit, including The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb and La Pedrera in Barcelona. I think they are both places that will interest me, at least I hope they are, if not you'll be checking back in a couple of months when I am, again, writing about how bad I am visiting museums!
Do you visit museums when you travel? Do you enjoy it? What has been your best/ worst experience?