I’m a massive sports fan. When arriving in a new city I look to see if there are any sports museums and/or sports halls of fame nearby.
For me sports museums are interesting, inspirational, historic, and as a bonus, often interactive.
I experienced VR for the first time at the Besiktas Football Museum. That shit is trippy!
As a tourist, there’s one problem with sporting museums and halls of fame.
Many of them don’t have a marketing budget (often run by volunteers). So you won’t find many of them on TripAdvisor and they have no footprint on Google unless you search something specific.
Every time I get to a new country, I’m making a bunch of searches in hope like:
sports museums XYZ
wiki sports museums XYZ
halls of fame XYZ
football museums XYZ etc.
Fortunately I haven’t landed on anything NSFW. Yet.
Anyway, making these searches is tedious. So I decided to do something to help me out going forward. This map was made for me but maybe you’ll find it useful too.
I spent a day Googling up a storm, getting the names of all the sports museums and halls of fame I could find. The result was over 300 pinned locations around the world.
(click here to open the map in a new window)
* This is far from a complete list. There’s no doubt a lot of museums are missing from South America & Africa. And A LOT of football museums need to be added. If you have any additions please email them to me: [email protected] or drop a comment below.
From The Map I’ve Visited:
- Camp Nou Museum (blog post)
- Barcelona Motorcycle Museum
- Barcelona Olympic Museum
- Besiktas FC Museum (blog post)
- Galatasaray Museum (blog post)
- Fenerbahce Museum
- Museum Of Sport & Tourism (blog post)
- Museum Of Legia Warsaw (blog post)
- Thessaloniki Olympic Museum
- Shimano Cycling World (blog post)
- Singapore Sports Museum (blog pos)
- Blades Of Glory Cricket Museum (blog post)
- National Sports Museum (Melbourne)
- MCC Museum (Melbourne)
- Martial Arts History Museum (blog post)
- New Zealand Rugby Museum (blog post)
6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Visit These Spots
If you need to convince your friends and family to visit any of the museums above, I’ve put together six reasons why they need to join you for a visit.
1. They’re Great For Rainy Days
They are great on any day, but visiting hall a fame or sports museum is the perfect way to spend time when it’s wet. They’re almost always inside, and you can spend hours in some museums (granted some only require a 10-15 minute visit)
2. The Interactive Fun Factor
As museums look for new ways to bring new people in, interactive activities are a major drawcard. In the Barcelona Olympic Museum you could test your jumping height, and in the Besiktas FC Museum there were a few VR headsets.
3. Sports As A Subculture
While we may think of a cities culture in general terms, it’s usually comprised of lots of subcultures including sports. It was interesting to see how sports helped bring everyone together in Poland after WWI and in Sarajevo, the 1984 Olympic memorabilia from the Olympic Museum that was destroyed in the war during 90’s can be still seen.
4. The Evolution Of Technology
This is always fascinating. See the old equipment sportsmen and women used to use! How they were able to play to using some of that gear is impressive.
5. The Conversations During & After The Museum
As you walk around a museum, you’ll find plenty to chat about as we can all relate to sports in some way. If you can get a guided tour, take the opportunity as they’ll be able to offer their own insights beyond the displays. The conversation doesn’t stop there, you’ll be able to bring up stories and fun facts for weeks after your museum visit. Who knows, you might even be able to answer a random pub trivia question on sports after your visit. Some museums are run by volunteers, they are always happy to chat and you could always take them out for a beer afterwards.
6. The Inspiration
This is particularly true for sports halls of fame that focus on athletes. The ones featured all have a story to tell as they made their way to the top of their sport. They weren’t all natural talents, they all had to work hard and have a great story to tell.
Not all of the reasons will apply to all the museums of sport, but if you can get one or two points and keep on pushing them, they’ll be there to join you.