9 Must-See Museums & Tours in Europe

History is everywhere. Whether you’re on a city break, or about to embark on an excursion to witness something historic, it’s very easy to walk past something and not realise how old or significant it once was.

To help you discover the history all around you, DFDS has created an easy guide to which museums and tours are a must-see when travelling in and around Europe.

Anne Frank House - Amsterdam

Address: Westermarkt 20, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Anne Frank’s House, situated in Amsterdam, is one of the most popular historic tours in Europe. The house, which was once home to Anne Frank whilst she and her family hid from the Nazis, is now a museum dedicated to the wartime diarist. In this museum, you can travel back to 1942 when Anne and her family hid in a secret annex of the house which was only accessible by a door disguised as a bookshelf. Over the two years that Anne Frank lived in the house, she wrote a diary that would later be published in over 70 different languages and become one of the most memorable in history.

Sadly, Anne Frank did not survive the war and after her family were discovered in 1944, she died of exhaustion in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Her diary was published in 1947 and the preserved annex has over 1.2 million visitors per year. Make sure you book in advance as this museum is very busy. If you need further information, it can be found here.

Dunkirk Battlefield Tour

Address: Dunkirk
Opening hours: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00
Price: €125 per car

Follow the guide in the steps of the allied soldiers on the beaches and streets of Dunkirk. This tour is the best way to discover the sites of Operation Dynamo and to find out how this brilliant evacuation was planned. The private tour offers a detailed and knowledgeable experience like no other and will take you to the evacuation beaches, the port, and British Memorial Cemetery. The tour pays tribute to all the soldiers evacuated in 1940. You can travel to Dunkirk on a DFDS ferry, here

Pompeii: Archaeological Park Tour

Address: Tempio Travel Info Point in the Circumvesuviana Train Station

Explore one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy and skip the queues! Enjoy a tour and discover the ancient roads of Pompeii led by a guide to experience what the Roman town was like before it was destroyed by the volcanic ash of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

Highlights include visiting houses and items that are almost intact from when the city was unearthed. Your guide will take you to see the Roman Amphitheatre and gymnasium and talk to you about how the Romans held their banquets.

Athens sightseeing tour

105 57, Greece
Opening hours: Starts at 08.30 and finishes at various times
Price: from £65

This Athens sightseeing tour takes visitors to discover some of Greece’s greatest treasures. With this tour, you have the option to either experience early morning or later in the afternoon to see the best that Athens has to offer. The tour also comes with an expert guide who will take you on a coach tour to the top of famous Athens sites such as the Greek parliament and Panathenaic Stadium, the stage of the first Olympic Games. Then you can climb on foot to see the ancient Acropolis of Athens and many buildings that beautifully cover the city. You will then be taken to visit the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus and learn insightful stories of ancient Greece.

Picasso Museum Barcelona

Address: Carrer de Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

The Museu Picasso is an art museum in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and it houses an extensive collection of artworks by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, where 4251 pieces of his work can be seen. The museum opened in 1963 and was the first museum that opened which was dedicated to his work and the only one which opened during the time that he was alive. The museum has free-entry days and times including the first Sunday of each month.

Rome Colosseum Tour

Address: Largo Gaetana Agnesi, Largo Gaetana Agnesi, 00184 Roma RM, Italy

The Colosseum has been an iconic landmark of Rome since it opened to the public in 80AD. It’s the largest amphitheatre ever built and is still the largest to this day despite its historic age.

This tour will offer you skip-the-line access to the Roman icon and your guide will entertain you with stories of the famous gladiator battles that took place within those very walls. You will explore the Roman Forum to see its ancient ruins like the Temple of Julius Caesar.

The Danish War Museum – Copenhagen  

Address: Tøjhusgade 3, 1220 København, Denmark

Travel back in time to Afghanistan as a young soldier helps you discover what different conflicts were like from a Danish perspective. The War Museum’s treasury offers unique war treasures, or you can even join the Danish Navy as they take you on board the king’s ship to experience the good and the bad of what life was like during various historical conflicts.

The Danish War Museum is in Christian IV’s historic Tøjhus, in the heart of the Danish capital. From weapons to pictures, this museum makes for a classic educational trip.

The Louvre Museum - Paris

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Step into the world's most-visited museum. Home to the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, the Louvre sees hundreds of tourists every day. Delve into Egyptian art before you get the chance to take in Greek beauty and then follow the museum round to experience stunning Italian paintings and the Eastern Mediterranean treasures of Europe. 

You'll have chance to see a multitude of different exhibitions taking place over the summer.

Germanisches National Museum, Germany

Address: Kartäusergasse 1, 90402 Nürnberg, Germany
Opening hours: from 10am
Price: £8

Germanisches National Museum is located in the centre of Nuremburg and offers a journey through 600,000 years of European art, culture, and history. This is the largest cultural museum in Germany which provides a fascinating insight into the cultural heritage of Europe. The museum houses a large collection of items relating to German culture and art ranging from prehistoric times to the present day.