Most visited museums in the world

Do you like museums? Are you curious to see which are the best museums in the world? I’ve got you covered! Let’s see which are the most visited museums in the world – and the top museums by categories: most visited museums in the US, most visited museums in Europe, most visited museums in ….

Findings regarding museum visitors statistics

European museums rule the top

The top of the most visited museums in the world released by AECOM is dominated by European museums.

There are 5 museums from London among the top 20 most visited museums in the world – no other city has that many museums in this top. Apart from these museums from London, the top includes also museums from Paris, Vatican City, Madrid, and Saint Petersburg.

There are 9 museums from Europe among the top 20 most visited museums in the world, 6 of them being among the top 10.

Record visitors for The Louvre Museum, Paris and the Natural History Museum, London

The Louvre Museum in Paris holds the first position in the top with a record number of visitors – 10.2 million visits (its previous record was 9.7 million visits in 2012).

Having visited the Louvre, I can say that I think this position is well deserved. It is home to numerous artifacts and masterpieces, paintings and sculptures, as well as art objects from across the globe. While I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to visit it, I consider it a not-to-miss attraction in Paris.

The Louvre - Paris, France is the most visited museum in the world. Discover the top 60 most visited museums in the world from this article.
The Louvre

If you need more ideas for your Paris trip, here is your Paris bucket list for your first visit and an itinerary for 1 day in Paris.

The Natural History Museum in London also had a surge of visitors (17.8% growth to 5.2 million). Discover London like a local through secret attractions and here’s a complete guide to London for first timers.

What influenced the number of visits

Among the factors that lead to these growths in the number of visitors are special temporary exhibitions, collaborations with celebrities (Beyonce and Jay Z filmed a video at the Louvre), and special events.

Personalized experiences, using new technology to lure visitors, also contributed to the impressive number of visitors at these world’s most visited museums.

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The number of visits to museums in 2018 was similar to the one from 2017 – a 0.1% growth: from 108 million visitors to 108.1 million visitors.

Top 20 most visited museums in the world

Here are the world’s most visited museums, as presented in the study:

  1. Louvre, Paris, France
  2. National Museum Of China, Beijing, China
  3. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, NY, U.S.
  4. Vatican Museums, Vatican, Vatican City
  5. National Air And Space Museum, Washington, DC, U.S.
  6. British Museum, London, U.K.
  7. Tate Modern, London, U.K.
  8. National Gallery, London, U.K.
  9. Natural History Museum, London, U.K.
  10. American Museum Of Natural History, New York, NY, U.S.
  11. National Museum Of Natural History, Washington, DC, U.S.
  12. National Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC, U.S.
  13. China Science Technology Museum, Beijing, China
  14. State Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia
  15. Zhejiang Museum, Hangzhou, China
  16. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, U.K.
  17. Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
  18. National Palace Museum (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan
  19. National Museum Of American History, Washington, DC, U.S.
  20. Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China

 

Grouped by country, as you can easily see, there are:

  • 6 museums from the U.S.
  • 5 from the U.K.
  • 4 museums from China
  • 1 from France
  • 1 from Vatican
  • 1 from Spain
  • 1 from Taiwan
  • 1 from Russia

 

Top 20 most visited museums in the world. Discover world's most visited museums and visit them all :) #museum #topmuseum #travel #culture

Top most visited museums in Europe

As mentioned above, several European museums saw significant growth in the number of visitors. More than that, Europe has numerous museums in the top 20 most visited museums in the world.

This is no surprise as these museums are also some of the best museums in the world covering different domains (though art museums seem to be dominating the top.)

The most visited museums in EMEA - discover the best museums in Europe
Vatican Museums, Vatican, Vatican City – Bramante Staircase

Top 10 most visited museums in EMEA

  1. Louvre, Paris, France
  2. Vatican Museums, Vatican, Vatican City
  3. British Museum, London, U.K.
  4. Tate Modern, London, U.K.
  5. National Gallery, London, U.K.
  6. Natural History Museum, London, U.K.
  7. State Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia
  8. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, U.K.
  9. Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
  10. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Here are the top 20 most visited museums in EMEA

Top 20 most visited museums in EMEA. Discover the most visited museums in Europe #europe #travel #museum #culture

If we group museums by country, the top looks like this:

  • 7 museums from UK (6 in London, one in Edinburgh)
  • 4 museums from France (all in Paris)
  • 2 from Spain
  • 2 from The Netherlands (both from Amsterdam)
  • 2 from Russia
  • 1 in Vatican
  • 1 from Italy
  • 1 in Poland
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These are some of the most famous museums in Europe – and it is no surprise to see them in this top. They are big museums, that afford to make investments, get new pieces, have collaborations, special exhibitions and events.

They are all worthy to be visited, obviously, and they are all mesmerizing.

Transfiguration Raphael, Vatican Museums. The best museums to visit in Europe
Transfiguration Raphael, Vatican Museums

In terms of the number of visitors, these museums had a 6.1% attendance growth, receiving 80.3 million visitors in 2018.

I admit I am sad not to see the Technical Museum in Viena among the top 20 most visited museums in Europe, especially as I belive this museums is one of the best museums to visit in Europe.

But then again there are so many great museums in Europe that are worthy of a visit!

Most visited museums in North America

The number of visits to the museums in North America saw a slight decrease – from 59.1 million in 2017 to 57.3 million 2018.

There were some spectacular changes in what the most visited museums in North America are concerned.

National Air And Space Museum, Washington, DC, U.S. Discover the top 20 most visited museums in the US - best museums to visit in the USA
National Air And Space Museum, Washington, DC, U.S..

The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (aka National Portrait Gallery) saw a growth of around 1 million, reaching an attendance of 2.3 million.

This is the result of the museum exhibiting the new portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, painted by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald.

The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (aka National Portrait Gallery). Discover the US best museums to visit
The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (aka National Portrait Gallery)

Other museums had variations in the number of visits due to their works or reopening or to the special events and exhibitions organized. The museums that made it on this top are definitely some of the world’s best museums to visit’.

Top 10 museums in North America

  1. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, NY, U.S.
  2. National Air And Space Museum, Washington, DC, U.S.
  3. American Museum Of Natural History, New York, NY, U.S.
  4. National Museum Of Natural History, Washington, DC, U.S.
  5. National Gallery Of Art, Washington, DC, U.S.
  6. National Museum Of American History, Washington, DC, U.S.
  7. The Museum Of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.
  8. California Science Center, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.
  9. National Museum Of African American History And Culture, Washington, DC, U.S.
  10. Houston Museum Of Natural Science, Houston, TX, U.S.
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And here are the top 20 most visited museums in the U.S.

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There was a 3% decrease in attendance at these best museums in the US.

Top most visited museums in Asia-Pacific

Wondering what are the most visited museums in Asia? Let’s see. But before the top, a few relevant facts discovered by AECOM.

The first interesting thing I read was that 11 of the top 20 most visited museums in Asia-Pacific are free to visit. More than that, there was an overall increase in attendance, while attendance to paid museums decreased by 3.2%.

AECOM says that this may not be the result of an existing fee, but rather the location and accessibility of the museums.

The second interesting fact is that three museums from China entered the top. In fact, The National Museum of China in Beijing remains number one in the an visited museums in Asia Pacific. The museum had an increase of 550,000 visits compared to 2017 reaching 8.6 million visits in 2018.

Great news come from Australia as well, as The National Gallery of Victoria had a 11.5% increase for 2018.

National Palace Museum (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan. Top 20 most visited museums in Asia Pacific - the best museums in Asia Pacific
National Palace Museum (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan

Top 10 museums in Asia Pacific

  1. National Museum Of China, Beijing, China
  2. China Science Technology Museum, Beijing, China
  3. Zhejiang Museum, Hangzhou, China
  4. National Palace Museum (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan
  5. Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China
  6. Hunan Provincial Museum, Hunan, China
  7. Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai, China
  8. Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou, China
  9. National Museum Of Korea, Seoul, South Korea
  10. National Gallery Of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

Here are the top 20 most visited museums in the Asia-Pacific area

Top 20 most visited museums in Asia Pacific. Discover the most visited museums in Asia-Pacific #asia #pacific #travel #museum #culture

If we look at the countries with the most visited museums in Asia Pacific, we see that there are:

  • 12 museums from China
  • 4 museums from Japan
  • 2 museums from Taiwan
  • 1 museum from South Korea
  • 1 museum from Australia

The report also recommends to keep an eye out on museums from Latin America – especially on The Museum of Tomorrow (Museu do Amanhã) opened in Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and the Biomuseo in Panama.

Top 60 most visited museums in the world - top 20 best museums in Europe, top 20 best museums in the US, top 20 best museums in the Asia Pacific #museum #europe #travel #asia #usa

Best museums in the world - discover world's most visited museums & the best museums in the US, best museums in Europe, best museums in Asia-Pacific #museums #travel #europe #asia #australia #usa

Top 20 most visited museums in the world and top museums in Europe, top museums in the US, top museums in Asia-Pacific. Your museum bucket list. #museum #bucketlist #travel #asia #europe #usa

photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, pin 1

4 thoughts on “Most visited museums in the world

  1. A very comprehensive list of museums around the world. I have only been to a few of these. I’m not surprised that 6 Museums in the top 10 in the world are in Europe.

  2. That was super interesting to read! I personally love the Natural History Museum in London, and it’s definitely one of the best Natural History Museums I’ve been to, so I can say that one definitely deserves its spot on the list!

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