Tag Archives: #museums

French Royalty and the Palace of Versailles

No matter what your first thoughts of France are, it is undoubtedly full of history. The opulence of France is on full show and there is probably no better place to see this wealth than the Palace of Versailles.

Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles taken from the golden gates

Like many tourists to France we decided to make our way to the Palace to spend a day visiting the royal residences and relaxing in the gardens.

After leaving the B&B Hotel Paris Porte de la Villette a little later than we had hoped for, we hop on the 9 am train to Versailles. Train tickets can be purchased from the train stations. Just tell the ticket office we’re you are going and they will give you the right ticket. Likewise, you can use the automated ticket machines to select your required tickets. Please note; conductors do check your tickets so if you select the wrong one you may find yourself being fined or paying for another ticket. This depends on how the conductors are feeling on the day.

When arriving at Versailles station it is a short walk around to the Palace. Just follow the signs and masses of other tourists. Online purchasing is a good idea as you won’t need to line up for tickets at the ticket office. Unfortunately, you will see need to wait in the entry line unless you’ve purchased a “skip the line” ticket, through a third-party operator, for an extra cost.

Palace of Versailles
The ticket office for the Palace of Versailles

We were lucky on the day we were there as everyone wanted to buy tickets from the ticket office. Therefore, no one was using the hidden ticket machines in a different room. We quickly purchased our tickets for the palaces and gardens and headed to the huge line up.

Palace of Versailles
The crazy long line up at the Palace of Versailles. It took 2.5-hours to get through.

Now, we were prepared for the wait, we had some water, some snacks and our entertainment devices to keep us occupied. If fact Josie and I used to time to write a few posts whilst we waited. The girls listened to some music and sang, harmonising the day away.

It was a 2.5 hour wait but the lines constantly moved, so there was a sense that you were going somewhere. Group tours through travel agencies are always available. These tours get you into the grounds quicker, but you have a limited time for your visit to the Palace and gardens. And the Palace of Versailles is a take your time attraction.

When you make it to the front of the line, you will need to pass through a security checkpoint. So, make sure you are sensible and leave any sharp implements in your room. We have seen people try to enter with their favourite Swiss Army knife, only for it to be confiscated.

Once you’re past the security check the Palace of Versailles shows you its wealth around every corner. This Palace has seen Kings and Queens grace these beautiful halls and their need for luxury is incredible.

Palace of Versailles
The stunning architecture of the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Hall of Mirrors

Once through the Palace buildings you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the enormity of the Palace grounds. Water fountains, sculptures, manicured lawns and flower exhibits are everywhere. Make sure you grab a map so you don’t get lost.

Palace of Versailles
A small garden courtyard inside the Palace of Versailles

As mentioned earlier, you should make a day of it. The gardens contain a cafe and restaurant if you are feeling hungry. We ate a nice lunch in the La Girandole Versailles garden cafe at a slightly elevated price. However, it was great to relax for a little while before exploring the gardens more.

Palace of Versailles
Unfortunately, we were unable to get a good photo of the cafe.

Our Passport Ticket also gave us access to the Petit and Grand Trianons, which once housed the Queen’s, Princess’ and Princes of France.

Palace of Versailles
The entrance courtyard of the Petit Trianon

These Trianons are located outside of the main palace grounds with separate security checks being performed at each site.

Palace of Versailles
The Grand Trianon and its gardens

A fantastic day, the Palace of Versailles is an ideal day getaway from Paris. So, spend a day or book some accommodation in Versailles and tell them Simon of Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Palace of Versailles

Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Ph. + 33 1 30 83 78 00
Website: www.chauteauversailles.fr

  • Prices range from € 20.00 – € 30.00 for Passport ticket entry
  • Full ticketing information available here
Opening hours

from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays

Estate of Trianon
from 12:00 pm to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays

from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm

Coach Gallery
from 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm
closed on Mondays

Book accommodation in Versailles here.

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Rembrandt, the Renaissance and the Rijksmuseum

King’s Day in Amsterdam is a huge celebration. Residents set up little stores in front of their houses selling whatever they can. The city of Amsterdam closes its streets and road to cars, and people flock to the canals to party. Music blares from every corner and every pub. The canal boats are full of people drinking and dancing with plenty of patriotic Dutch chanting. It is truly an amazing experience to be around the celebrations because you can’t help but get caught up in it.

King’s Day celebrations in Amsterdam. Orange people everywhere.

After the celebrations, we needed a day to relax and be a tourist at a leisurely pace. Therefore, the next day we decided to head to the Rijksmuseum. Catching the number 5 tram from Kronenburg we are at the Rijksmuseum in approximately 30 minutes. Once you alight from the tram it’s a nice walk towards the museum and the I Amsterdam sign. This sign is very popular for tourist’s taking photos and we are no different. Stopping and posing for that perfect shot.

The I Amsterdam sign near the Rijksmuseum. It’s very popular with tourists

On this day entry into the museum was quite quick. We did have a short line up outside the turnstile door and then another short wait to purchase tickets. Bags that are backpack size and larger must be checked in, into the cloak room. Then it’s another small line up as security view our tickets as we pass by.

The Rijksmuseum houses some of history’s greatest masterpieces, from artists such as Rembrandt, van Gogh and Vermeer. As you walk through each room and examine the artworks from the different centuries displayed, you will be amazed by the intricate and sometimes massive canvasses. Each depicting scenes from historical events or portraits of important and everyday people.

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Jan van Scorel’s Maria Magdalena

I must admit it was a thrill to walk into a large room and turn to see Rembrandt’s The Night’s Watch covering an entire wall. This wonderful painting is truly beautiful and intricate in detail. From the subjects having their own personalities and expressions, to the frills and embroidery on their uniforms.  Rembrandt has depicted this scene with the class and elegance of a master. And the crowding of spectators around this painting proves it still has its appeal.

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Rembrandt’s The Night’s Watch is such an amazing painting, the crowds surely appreciated it.

Continue through the room and you will come across some of the works by Johannes Vermeer. Vermeer’s most famous work “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” is situated in The Hague, but you can still see works like The Love Letter showing his unique subject style.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Johannes Vermeer’s The Love Letter

Even if you don’t know much about art, there are a few artists throughout history that you may have heard of such as Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Pollock or even Warhol. Van Gogh is one of those artists that had an intriguing story. Unsuccessfully as an artist during his life, he lived a tortured life stuck in his own mind. That torment lead to him cutting off his ear and eventually shooting himself. His ‘self-portrait in a felt hat’ is a reminder to us that genius is sometimes hidden behind different faces. A small piece of art in size, a lot like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, it still holds its fascination. The distant stare in that drawn face radiates his self-anguish.

Van Gogh’s Self Portrait in a felt hat.

The Rijksmuseum has been a special place to see some of the classics. The museum of course has a café, a restaurant and a souvenir store in case you want to take a memento home. The museum has a lot of things to see so it will take a good day to complete. For a more comprehensive experience take the Rijksmusuem’s audio tour for a few extra Euro (€). An excellent museum, add it to your list of things to do in Amsterdam and tell them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Rijksmuseum

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ph. +31 (0) 6747 20 000
Website: www.rijksmuseum.nl

  • Adults: € 17.50
  • Youth t / m 18 years Museumkaart, Friends of the National Museum , ICOM, Rembrandt Association, KOG, VVAK, BankGiro Lottery VIP CARD: free
  • CJP, Stadspas, EYCA: 50% of the regular ticket price
Opening hours

Every day of the year from 9 am to 5 pm. The museum is also open during the Christmas and New Year’s.

Rijksmuseum Garden, Empire Shop and Café without entrance ticket to visit from 9 am to 6 pm

Book accommodation in Amsterdam via Booking.com

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Knowing how the Vikings lived – The Viking Ship and Norwegian Folk Museums, Oslo

Norway offers the budding traveller a chance to experience some wonderful culture and history. From the days of Vikings, the battles and worshipping of the Norse gods, Norway has a bit for everyone. We found our time in the capital of Oslo a wee bit cold but a completely awesome experience. This was due to the people we shared our time with during the International Bookcrossing convention and the must see Viking Ship and Norwegian Folk Museums.

The Viking Ship Museum (Vikingshiphuset) which exhibits some old funeral Viking ships found throughout history. These full-sized vessels are buried once the leader of a clan dies or is killed in battle.

Museums of Norway
The preserved Gokstad on display in the Viking Ship Museum

This unique museum displays three of these funeral vessels found in Norway. The Gokstad, Oseberg and the Tune are preserved vessels carefully excavated and reconstructed within the museum. At different stages of decay, each vessel has different artefacts on show.

Museums of Norway
Sleigh artefact found in on the the Viking Ships

From pottery, textiles, weaponry and farming equipment, the Norwegian’s believed that the same things you needed to live everyday life back then was the same things you’d need in your afterlife.

Museums of Norway
Cooking pot found on one of the Viking Ships

The museum, although small offers us a good insight into ancient Norwegian life. The Viking Ship Museum has educational and fun activities for children as well as a video projection played over the vessel, the Tune which is quite good. The whole museum experience takes about an hour to complete.

Museums of Norway
Video projection over the Tune

Once you’ve finished at the Viking Ship Museum head to the larger Norwegian Folk Museum (Norsk Folkemuseum). This impressive museum highlights Norwegian life across the eras. Incredibly they have a full-sized town building from different periods. These buildings have been painstakingly moved from their original locations to the museum grounds. Some of the buildings are open to the public, so go inside and discover what it would have been like to live during those times.

Museums of Norway
Old township inside the Norwegian Folk Museum

After you’ve investigated these abodes continue around to the working barn and visit the various animals. After that head inside for a coffee or walk through the other exhibits on offer.

Museums of Norway
Goose inside the working barn

The Norwegian Folk Museum is very large so, many people do the Viking Ship museum early then spend the rest of the day in the Norwegian Folk Museum.

Museums of Norway
The Norwegian Folk Museum

We really enjoyed roaming around the village buildings and embracing The Norwegian way. So why don’t you do the same and visit the Viking Ship and Norwegian Folk Museums and them Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the Viking Ship Museum

Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo, Norway
Ph. (+47) 22 13 52 80
Website: www.khm.uio.no

The Viking Ship Museum

Open daily
1 May – 30 September: 09:00-18:00
1 October – 30 April: 10:00-16:00



NOK 100

Children under 18



NOK 80

Season ticket, adults

NOK 400

Staff and students at the University of Oslo, refugees and asylum seekers


Groups,10+ pax

Groups do not need to make a reservation in advance. Please download our contract form as pdf

NOK 50 per person


Additional Information for the Norwegian Folk Museum

Museumsveien 10, Bygdøy, 0287 Oslo, Norway
Ph. (+47) 22 12 37 00
Website: www.norskfolkemuseum.no

Open daily
May 15 – September 14:  Every day 10:00 – 18:00
September 15 – May 14:  Weekdays 11:00 – 15:00,  Sat and Sun 11:00 – 16:00

Fees 2017

Adults  NOK 130
Children  NOK 40
Children under 6  FREE
Family  NOK 260 (Parents/grandparents with children)
Reduced  NOK 100 (Groups over 15, retired, students)
OsloPass FREE (Run on selected Sundays, check VisitOslo website for more details)

Accommodation is available in Oslo through Booking.com

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Inspired by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Australia’s capital, Canberra has so much to offer tourists. This well designed city stretches out over the lush landscape providing visitors and residents with a picturesque city. From the top of Mt. Ainslie one can see the major sites of Canberra from the Australian War Memorial down ANZAC Parade to Australia’s Parliament House. Canberra is the home to some great artistic and historical attractions. Personally, I don’t think you should visit Canberra without seeing the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, the old and new Parliament Houses or the Australian War Memorial. Getting to these sites is relatively easy and the best thing of all is many of them are free.

Mt Ainslie from the war memorial to parliament house
Looking down from Mt Ainslie

On this trip Ourworldinreview came to Canberra to experience as many of these free attractions as possible starting with the National Gallery of Australia. The gallery is located in Parkes and houses some of the finest pieces of domestic and international art of our time.

Canberra art gallery
Fabulous art pieces spread out along corridors and rooms inside the National Art Gallery

Upon entry, this large building opens up exposing the main visitor area. To the right is the art galleries souvenir store and to the left is the entrance to their visiting exhibition. In this case their current exhibit is the Versailles collection: Treasures from the Palace running until the 17th April 2017.

The National Art Gallery contains masterpieces from some of history’s most well known artists. From international greats like Cezanne, Monet, Warhol and Pollock, to Australia’s own Sidney Nolan and Arthur Streeton.

Art Gallery Canberra
Sidney Nolan’s Burning at Glenrowan
Canberra Art Gallery
Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles
Canberra art gallery
Claude Monet’s Waterlilies

Take your time walking down the corridors and through the rooms to see these magnificent works of yesteryear. Additionally, make sure to check out the ideas of today’s upcoming artists, because some of their pieces are fascinating.

Depending on how much you like art, you can easily spend a few hours investigating the corridors. Don’t worry if you’re hungry, as the National Gallery of Australia to gallery has two cafes so you can  rest those weary legs. Their Street cafe is located outside the main entrance and the NGA cafe can be found on the lower ground floor.

Additional Information for the National Gallery of Australia

Parkes Place, Parkes ACT 2600
Ph. (02) 6240 6411
Website: www.nga.gov.au

Trading Hours

Daily 10:00am – 05:00pm (except Christmas Day)

Entry Fee

Free to main gallery

Visiting Exhibit – Versailles: Treasures from the Palace

Accommodation is available in Canberra


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The South Australian Maritime Museum

We recently visited Port Adelaide and experienced some of the fabulous things they have on offer. From dolphin cruises, ghost tours, and the museums, Port Adelaide’s history is available to be experienced by everyone. Actually, there is an interesting write up by our partner site Josie Wanders regarding “Things to do in Port Adelaide”. So, after reading this article, head over and find out what other things are on offer. One of those ideal places to visit is the South Australian Maritime Museum.

Located in a historic building in Port Adelaide the South Australian Maritime Museum is three levels of displays and interactive education. Entry via the main entrance leads into the museums shop with fun and exciting things for those people who are awestruck by the prospect of maritime life and history.

Maritime Museum
Entrance and exit through the museum’s shop

South Australia’s colourful maritime history is completely on display as you investigate the various areas within the museum. As soon as you walk through the two big sliding doors you are greeted with a full-sized ketch. Active II is a replica of the original working vessel the Active. The museum gives it visitors a chance to climb on-board and investigate the areas around a ketch. Climb into the hold and get a feel for the cargo space and how the stevedores would have had to manoeuvre around the hold to discharge and load the goods. Then check out the forecastle for crew accommodation and compare it with the Captain’s cabin. Also, see if you can fit in the ship’s galley where the meals were prepared.

Maritime Museum's Ketch
Climb aboard the Active II and check out what a working ketch looks like.

You will notice on some walls the various figureheads that used to be mounted on the bow of vessel to ward off evil spirits or to ram and scare rival vessels. It is amazing how much work goes into the carving of these figureheads and sculpting that perfect showcase.

Maritime Museum
Vessel figureheads, amazing craftsmanship!

Moving through the doors the next exhibit is about the importance of the Australian Navy in our maritime history. The models of naval ships, the uniforms and some of the equipment used to measure distance, time, location and direction are all on display.

Maritime Museum
Where was Captain Matthew Flinders on a certain date?

If you work your way downstairs the museum has an area dedicated to the migration of people into South Australia. They have some computers set up if you wish to discover if any of your relatives migrated to South Australia by ship. This area also gives the visitors an idea about what it was like on those vessels from the early 1800’s to the mid 1900’s. Climb into an old sleeping bunk to see how comfortable it is…..or isn’t!

Maritime Museum
Hop in and test out the beds the first colonists used to travel from England.

Now head on up to the top floor, here you will find exhibits about life on the LeFevre Peninsula. Check out the old surfboards, jump on the spring-loaded surfboard and test your balance, but be careful. Look at the old carnival sideshow clowns, or the range of old fishing rods.

Maritime Museum
Surf’s Up!
Martime Museum
Fishing anyone?

Keep on moving and you will discover the shipwreck area of items found from various shipwrecks around South Australia. Finally walk around and discover the ships and families that serviced Port Adelaide and some memorabilia donated by these proud family members.

Maritime Museum
Entry to the lighthouse is included with your museum entry.

Another unique thing about the South Australian Maritime Museum is that once you leave, the Port has other exhibits associated with the museum. Your entry ticket also gives you the opportunity to visit the lighthouse on fisherman’s wharf and look at the retired tugboat the Yelta moored alongside.

Maritime Musuem
A tugboat called Yelta moored alongside the lighthouse

Overall the South Australian Maritime Museum is the most known museum in the Port. And although it is not huge, it offers a good few hours of discovery. I really like the museum, but that may be due to my family’s maritime background. I’ve always been drawn to the Maritime Museum, so hopefully you and your family will be too. Once again I recommend incorporating the South Australian Maritime Museum with another fun activity like the Railway or Aviation Museums. So, enjoy your day, enjoy the museums and tell them, Simon from Ourworldinreview sent you!

Additional Information for the South Australian Maritime Museum

126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide SA 5015
Ph. (08) 82407 6255
Website: www.maritime.history.sa.gov.au

Trading Hours

Daily 10:00am – 05:00pm

Entry Fee

Adult: $12.50
Concession: $8
Child: $6
Family $29.50

Accommodation is available around the Port Adelaide area

Book now with Booking.com

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