One of the best parts of visiting a big city is the easy availability of culture—museums, art galleries, and iconic landmarks—available to explore. And an air-conditioned museum is especially nice on a hot summer day. Beat the heat and check out these art collections, natural history museums, and more in our favorite cities around the world this summer.
Art Institute of Chicago — Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s quintessentially Midwest summers are hot and humid, thanks to its location along the shores of Lake Michigan. While you’re walking through downtown, stop at the Art Institute of Chicago, with over 300,000 artworks made up of paintings, sculptures, photos, and drawings—and don’t miss classics like American Gothic.
Vatican Museums — Rome, Italy
Keeping the summer temps of this beloved city in mind is always a good call, and since it’s likely already on your agenda, save the Vatican Museums for that mid-day heat. It’s one of the largest and most prolific collections of art in the world—stroll through the different museums depending on your interests, including the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, Raphael’s Room, and the iconic Sistine Chapel. (But despite the heat, be sure to dress modestly—the Vatican has a strict dress code.)
American Museum of Natural History — New York, New York
Escape the sweltering New York City heat and make like Holden Caulfield with a visit to the largest natural history museum in the world, the American Museum of Natural History, located right across from Central Park. Bounce from 26 different interconnected buildings showcasing everything from 11,000-year-old mammoth skeletons to the evolution of our solar system and beyond.
The Louvre — Paris, France
After promenading the sunny Parisian plaza surrounding it, enter the Louvre through its iconic pyramid and immerse yourself in one of the richest art collections in the world. Wave hello to Mona Lisa as you navigate this multi-level museum with more than 35,000 works of art and artifacts— discover treasures from the Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks, Romans, and more as you explore.
British Museum — London, England
When the Thames River breeze isn’t supplying enough of a cool down, step inside London’s British Museum and to fill up on over 2 million years of human history, art, and culture. Don’t miss some of the museum’s most famous objects, including the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures, and Crouching Venus.
Walt Disney Family Museum — San Francisco, California
Inside San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum, visitors of all ages are welcomed to ignite their imagination and get acquainted with the life story of Walt Disney. From interactive galleries to exhibits narrated by Walt himself, you’ll leave the museum with a magical outlook on life and creativity…and of course, you’ll leave a bit cooler.