Care to know what the most visited museums in the world are? In this article, we have provided you with great collections of museums all over the world that will definitely interest you.
There are just over 55 thousand museums on the planet. Taking a tour of each of them would be an impossible mission, however, there are some that due to their importance, history and beauty have been placed as the most sought after by travelers and art lovers, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the MoMA or the Museum of Anthropology.
It would make no sense just listing the museums around the world without giving insight on what a museum really means, let us quickly brush through the meaning of museum.
What Is A Museum?
A museum is an institution created with the idea of acquiring, conserving, studying and exhibiting collections of paintings and other objects of historical, cultural, artistic or scientific importance. While some of them are open to the public through permanent exhibitions, others are temporary.
The most visited museums in the world
Below is the list of the most sought after museums in the world and each with its distinct detail.
1. Louvre Museum – Paris France
The Louvre Museum is one of the great attractions of the French capital and it is the most visited museum in the world till the time of publishing this article, it was conceived as a war fortress since the 12th century. With 9.6 million visits in 2019, the Louvre is currently the most visited museum in the world. The museum, located on the banks of the River Seine, has around 35,000 works, ranging from prehistory to the 21st century.
The inauguration and opening of the Louvre in 1793 entailed a turning point in the history of museums, as it meant the transfer of the private collections of the wealthiest classes (Church, monarchy, aristocracy, etc.) to publicly owned galleries.
2. National Museum of China – Beijing, China
One of the architectural jewels of Beijing, this museum started in 1912 and in 1926 it opened its collection to the public. After arduous remodeling work in 2010, today it offers a collection focused on Chinese art that spans a period of more than 5,000 years of history. Among the most precious objects in the collection, there are pieces of jade, bronze, porcelain and hundreds of coins and precious stones.
The National Museum of China is located in Tiananmen Square (Beijing) and is run by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. The museum was merged to one in 2003 by the merger of two other museums that had occupied the same building since 1959: the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the National Museum of Chinese History. The National Museum of China is currently the second most visited museum in the world with 7.3 million visitors a year.
3. Vatican Museums – Vatican City, Rome
Around 18 million visitors come each year to these museums that possess not only the largest but the most invaluable collection of sacred art in the world.
700 thousand pieces, in addition to innumerable paintings and frescoes, are distributed in more than 20 rooms and galleries. However, taking a look at St. Peter’s Basilica or the Library is something you cannot miss on a trip to one of the three city-states that exist. Being the third most visited museum in the world, it received around 6.88 million visitors a year.
4. Metropolitan Art Museum – New York, USA
The rooms of this museum and the pictures that hang on its walls are an international reference in the art world. The two most visited exhibitions of 2018 were exhibited in this venue: Heavenly Bodies, about fashion in the Christian imagination, and Michelangelo, divine draftsman and designer, a compilation of original drawings by the artist.
In this museum – founded in 1870 – you will find works of art from five thousand years ago. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most visited museums in the world with 6.47 million visitors a year.
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5. British Museum – London England
This museum is one of the icons of the British capital receiving around 6.23 million visitors per year. The site became the first public museum in the country after opening its doors in 1753, and its popularity has grown to such an extent that it now receives around six million visitors each year. Among the most valuable objects that one finds in its rooms are the Rosetta Stone or the sarcophagus of Cleopatra, both originally from Ancient Egypt.
6. Tate Modern – London England
What began as the Tate Gallery in 1889 is now an enclosure established in a former power plant – one of the buildings most loved by Londoners. Touring these rooms is an unmissable stop for lovers of modern and contemporary art. Paintings, sculptures, videos and even performances by artists from around the world fill the spaces of the building, expanded in 2016.
7. National Gallery – London England
It houses the largest collection of portraits in the world: more than 200 thousand pieces including photographs, paintings, caricatures, drawings and sculptures that go from the Middle Ages to the present day. Here you can see the faces of William Shakespeare, Amy Winehouse, and Jane Austen (featured on sterling bills). Unfortunately, the site will be closed by 2023 for remodeling work.
8. National Gallery of Art Washington, DC, United States
This building, built in 1941, has four entrances and houses a collection that today exceeds 8,000 pieces and covers a period from the Renaissance to the present day. It all started with Mr. Andrew Mellan’s collection, which consisted of paintings by American and European artists. One recommendation we make is to visit the exhibition rooms and then go out to the 2,400-square-meter sculpture garden that accompanies the museum.
9. State Hermitage Saint Petersburg, Russia
Don’t be surprised to see the State Hermitage on our list of most visited museums in the world, the museum receives quite a handful of visitors around the world yearly. On the banks of the River Neva stands an astonishing architectural complex with a turquoise façade. This museum houses not only one of the most important collections in Europe but one of the most complete in the world. Although the site has about three million works in its collection, not all are on display. In fact, if during a visit to the museum we dedicated a minute to each work, we would finish touring it in 11 years.
10. Victoria & Albert Museum London England
Lastly, on our list of the worlds most-visited Museums is the Victoria & Albert Museum. This museum is housed within a beautiful Victorian building and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Its collection houses about 2.3 million works, not only paintings and sculptures but also design objects such as furniture, jewelry, fashion, printing, and photographs. In addition to contemporary artistic expressions, one can find ancient pieces dating back five millennia.