National Palace Museum in Taipei
A display from Terracotta: The Rise And Legacy Of Qin Culture at the National Palace Museum, in TaiwanTyrone Siu/Reuters

Interested in time travel? Wish to feel that chill down your spine as you stare into the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex or imagine the exhilaration the Wright brothers may have felt as they took their first flight? Head to a museum then!

The global community of the guardians of history celebrate International Museum Day on 18 May, as a reminder that "museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples".

The commemoration that started in 1977 to encourage people to understand the importance of these institutions has grown to take on some of their biggest challenges and celebrate the integral role they play in society.

Each year, a new theme is chosen on which to celebrate the day and the focus for 2016 is "Museums and Cultural Landscapes" through which they aim to safe keep and protect the heritage that lies within their walls.

In keeping with the celebrations, IBTimes UK has compiled a list of the world's most amazing museums.

Le Louvre, Paris, France

Le Louvre
Le Louvre in Paris is the world's biggest and busiest museumsChristophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Getting into the Louvre is almost as challenging as visiting most of the displays. Home to some of the most popular works of art, the museum was previously a medieval fortress and the palace of the kings of France before being converted. The Great Sphinx of Tanis from the Egyptian collection, the sculpture of Vénus de Milo and obviously Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa are some of the popular displays here.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex
Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Smithsonian InstitutionMark Wilson/Newsmakers/Getty Images

If there is one thing that Ben Stiller taught us in A Night In The Museum is that there is nothing boring about them. The institution in Washington DC is not one but a collection of 19 museums, galleries, research stations and the National Zoological Park. The complex boasts of more than 137 million objects relating to American history from the Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer to the Apollo 11 command module.

The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

Parthenon frieze
Parthenon frieze fragment at the Parthenon hall of the new Acropolis museumLouisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the fact that the building itself exudes modernity, it holds artefacts from one of the world's most celebrated civilizations. The Acropolis Museum lies on the archaeological site of Makrygianni and the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens and it is home to a wealth of Greek history. Find marble statues of Greek gods and goddesses and explore details in the frieze of the Parthenon while you are here.

The British Museum, London, England

The mummy of Nesperennub
The mummy of Nesperennub from the British MuseumSuhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

The best place to view Egyptian artefacts is obviously Egypt, but the second best place is the British Museum, which is home to the famous Rosetta Stone, the colossal granite head of Amenhotep III and even a collection of mummified cats. Also find Hoa Hakananai'a, the Easter Island statue and the Elgin Marbles from Greece.

State Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia

The State Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg in RussiaSean Gallup/Getty Images

Spread across six buildings along the Neva River, the State Hermitage has managed to gather a extensive collection of art works from around the world. It contains paintings by some of Europe's most famous artists, including Rembrandt, Rubens, Tiepolo, Titian, da Vinci, Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne, van Gogh and Goya.

Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

The Three Graces by Rubens
The Three Graces by Rubens can be found at Madrid's Museo del PradoMarco Secchi/Getty Images

The national museum houses a large compendium of art works, collected over the centuries by Spain's monarchy. The Three Graces by Rubens, Francisco de Goya, La Maja Desnuda and La Maja Vestida are among the museum's most prized art works.

The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, Italy

The Vatican Museum
Visitors make their way through the Raphael Rooms in one of the Vatican Museums Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

It does not take a visit to a museum to know that Italy is a treasure trove of historic culture but it does enhance the whole experience. A combination of heritage architecture and art are what make the Vatican Museums some of the best in the world. Rapahel's works hold a special place of importance here, from the famed Sistine Chapel to the Raphael Rooms. Caravaggio's Entombment and the porphyri sarcophagi of Constance and Saint Helen, daughter and mother of Constantine the Great are also worth the visit.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pieces from the Islamic art collection at Metropolitan Museum of ArtEmmanuel Dunande/AFP/Getty Images

The Met is the second largest museum in the world, after the Louvre, with more than two million items ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts to Islamic art and comparatively modern American pieces. Find pages from the Blue Qur'an as part of the Islamic art collection, The Amathus sarcophagus from Cyprus, Hokusai's The Great Wave Off Kanagawa painting and what are believed to be around 40,000-year-old Australian Aboriginal rock paintings. The Museum of Costume Art is a favourite with those interested in the history of fashion, but it does not house a permanent installation.