Here I come to say why I may avoid going to museums. These are also some reasons why you should not visit museums. There is always some need to provide two sides of each story, each idea or choice. It’s not enough to say how to visit a museum, how to enjoy taking pictures in museums, or how to embrace them. This article challenges nice sides of museums and provides reasons against them.
There are real reasons to dislike museums. Behind each of these reasons, I say why it’s not that big deal. In other words, I go from disappointment to satisfaction with just a few shifts in the mindset. Because we all eventually love museums we visit.
1.You can get tired
Is there anything you can hear that can be more annoying than “you look tired”? People say it because they want to be nice, show empathy, and with good intentions generally. It’s just not that nice to hear. Tired people look messy and disoriented. A visit to a museum is exhausting, both physically and mentally.
Larger museums make us walk for hours. Smaller museums may still be challenging in terms of information and content they provide. Then, try coming back to a hostel after a day of visiting one or more museums. Try talking to people you find there. Try coming in front of your family or friends. They will tell you to relax. Life is beautiful without visiting museums, yeah?
On the pictures: Galeria di Brera, Milan, Italy
What to do?
Simply, avoid getting drained. Plan your visits to museums wisely. Take your time to sit down and relax during a visit.
See also: How to visit a museum?
2.You will miss socializing with your friends, family…
Once you are in a museum, it means that you are not spending a quality time with other people. This quality time can happen at someone’s home, in a bar or restaurant, walking or biking, at any time, but certainly not in a museum. This is a pretty good reason to dislike museums, and reasons why you should not visit museums. Museums are places to learn and discover and not to joke or have fun.
On the first picture: Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon, Portugal
On the second picture: Museu de Arte, Arquitectura e Tecnologia, Lisbon, Portugal
Hmmm, why do I name my blog “Fun Museums”?
There is something called work-life balance. There is also something called museum-outside museum balance (hahaha). There were many times I gave up going to a museum just to stay more time with someone I hadn’t seen for a long time. I just make sure to visit enough museums to entertain my readers, but still, keep my socializing on a good level.
I will not skip mentioning that visiting museums with family and friends can be a great experience for socializing, but it’s not the topic of this article 😀
See also: Embracing Museum 2018
3.When visiting museums, you need to skip your meals and sacrifice your healthy diet
It was in April 2011. 7 years ago. I was a student, trying to figure out a topic for my masters thesis. I was in Lisbon, and the day was a mix of rainy and sunny hours. I decided to visit the beautiful Gulbenkian Museum and its garden. Before going there, I spent the whole morning taking pictures of the downtown squares, Avenida da Liberdade, and the Eduardo VII Park. Lunch? I forgot that such a thing exists. I just ran into the museum, and spent the following 3 hours inside, going subsequently to the garden, trying to find more inspiration for something that frustrated me and it was the thesis.
Guess what? I didn’t eat anything the whole day, and it was 7 pm already! As a consequence, I had a strange pain in my leg muscles, I guess it was because of some kind of pressure. I did not feel hungry. I didn’t even feel like I was running out of energy. I just noticed my legs hurt. I had dinner at about 8 pm, and couldn’t sleep at night because my legs could not relax.
On the picture: Certified Vegan Restaurant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia
The best thing ever – museum restaurants! It means that this is not even a reason why you should not visit museums.
They exist. Museum restaurants are usually awesome. In some big European cities, it’s a cheaper option than anywhere outside around that particular museum. It’s just necessary to stop being stupid like I was on that day in Lisbon.
See also: 6 incredible museums in Lisbon
4.You will miss beautiful outdoor experiences in the city you are visiting…
Quoting many frequent travelers, I can say that travel schedules usually suck. There is not enough time to do anything. Many cities are just too big to be observed in a few days. Usually, we don’t have more than few days. Why bothering with museums if there are so many beautiful outdoor experiences, parks, streets, viewpoint, and all kind of things to enjoy?
To be honest, I already visited way more countries than it seems on my blog. I work on my blog since early 2015, while I visited some of these countries years before. I didn’t visit any museum on some of these trips.
On the pictures: View from the terrace of the Gallery of Modern Art, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Some museums provide the best outdoor experiences!
Don’t dismiss visits to museums during your trips. Note that some museums are quite small and easy to visit, and some of them have the best views of the whole place you are visiting.
See also: The Gallery of Modern Art in Dubrovnik
5.You might get bored or disappointed
The only thing that is worse than getting tired is to get bored. Some museums are boring. Some museums just show their collections instead of telling stories. There are many museum professionals who are kinda afraid of getting closer to people who visit museums.
Imagine you chose to visit a museum that sounds appealing. It seems that the museum has a topic you are interested in, or it seems to give you answers to your questions. However, once you buy the ticket and enter, you just find a mediocre experience. The rooms are dark or unattractive. The exhibition design does not exist and reminds of the remote decades. There are no labels, explanations, or any kind of texts about things that on display, let alone technology.
It’s frustrating and sometimes miserable.
Understanding is the key.
Is this a reason you should not visit museums? Sometimes. Some museums are so exciting and interesting that it’s beyond words. Other museums have less fortunate situations, for a range of reasons. Do not judge. Enjoy a possibility to discover new things. I usually just try to do a smart selection of museums to visit. Rarely I get disappointed. When there is not enough time to visit a city, ask for recommendations. Let others tell you which museums will give you the finest experiences.
6.You may find a new obsession
Obsessions, if you have any, are funny things. People occasionally make massive success by being obsessed with something (check the story of Steve Jobs haha). Museums are highly likely to ignite or reignite an old passion or obsession. Why is it bad? Because once we are back to “normal life” with “everyday duties” such thing may disturb our concentration. Real life is outside, not inside museums (unless you work in a museum or with museums, then this point is not much valid to you), and obsessions want to take us back to some kind of imagination.
Although some examples prove otherwise, most of us will not take much advantage of obsessions.
On the picture: Museum of Puppetry, at the Ljubljana Castle, Slovenia
Appreciate your hobbies and free time.
Free time is an underrated thing. Visiting museums is always a good idea, but hobbies and obsessions may be better.
See also: How to travel?
7.You might, possibly, end up reading Fun Museums too much
I can’t judge you, it’s tempting. I wish I had more time and possibilities to visit more museums and write about more museums. But spring season will soon come, and I will visit about 20 hot museums by the end of May 2018. You will become curious which museums they will be… and I’ll tell you soon.
Inspire yourself with inspiring museums.
Or, you might want to write articles about museums. You are always welcome to share your museum inspiration. From now on, I’m accepting guest posts. Currently, I can’t guarantee any pay for guest writers, but the ones who join now will have a special place in the development of the Fun Museums Movement. So, if you have more questions, here I am – lana[at]funmuseums[dot]com.
See also: About me