Den Bla Planet in Copenhagen. (Photo: Adam Mork)


Curators and architects pulled out all the stops in this year's lineup of the world's biggest and best museum debuts. It's hard to decide what gives these museums more "wow factor": the edgy building designs, or the fun new ways visitors are tricked into learning. Either way, no uniformed museum security guard could begin to shush our excitement about the hottest new museums for 2013.

Read on to see how England unveils Henry VIII's favorite warship for the first time, Sweden dresses ABBA fans in fabulous glam-rock style, San Francisco tinkers Exploratorium-style in its new Pier 15 location, and more.

Den Bla Planet, Copenhagen, Denmark
Opened: March 22, 2013

About a mile away from Copenhagen Airport (an easy walk during a layover) is Denmark's new national aquarium, rising up at the edge of the Baltic Sea like a massive swirling white eddy. Den Bla Planet's modern design is a striking sight from the air. Inside, the wavy walls and ceilings emulate an underwater scene, while sweeping views of massive curved tanks add to the effect. See hammerhead sharks, rays, and schools of fish from a clear tunnel that cuts through the aquarium's largest tank. Visit the Amazon-rainforest exhibit during feeding time to observe Europe's largest school of piranhas, or head outside and see the playful sea lions.

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