The World’s Favourite Museums
There are thousands of museums all over the world and a good handful of them attract millions of visitors annually. Here is a list of the most visited and most preferred art museums located in the different parts of the globe. If you happen to be in the vicinity of these museums, don’t hesitate to drop by their doors. Pay them a visit and find out why they are among the world’s best.
10. The Acropolis Museum
Location: Athens, Greece
Number of Visitors: <1 million
This art museum in Greece is an archeological museum that houses artifacts obtained from the Greek Bronze age down to the Byzantine and Roman Greece age. It has over 4,000 objects on display, with its exhibit halls having a total land area of 14,000 square meters. The museum sees more than 1 million visitors annually. It is usually visited by tourists who are vacationing in Athens, oftentimes after taking a tour around the Acropolis itself.
9. J. Paul Getty Center
Location: Los Angeles, California USA
Number of Visitors: <2 million
The main exhibit of this art museum is Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Irises’. The structure housing the museum is a work of art in itself, thus further contributing to its popularity. Another thing, this museum doesn’t charge any admission fees and has a large underground parking lot to boot. It also keeps a peaceful Central Garden area that makes the place even more inviting. This museum receives almost 2 million visitors yearly.
8. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Number of Visitors: <3 million
Being one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, this museum was well visited in this part of the world. Founded by Catherine the Great in 1764, its total number of exhibits is quite small for its size at 3 million items. However, it has one of the largest collections of paintings around the world. The museum’s five exhibit halls are called the Winter Palace, Small Heritage, Old Heritage, New Hermitage, and Hermitage Theatre. This museum in Russia attracts almost 3 million visitors every year.
7. Musee d’Orsay
Location: Paris, France
Number of Visitors: <3.5 million
Musee d’Orsay is located on the left bank of the Seine River, which is one of the reasons why it is a world’s favourite. It houses an extensive collection of French art pieces like paintings, sculptures, photography, architecture, decorative arts, and furniture, all of which are commissioned between 1848 and 1915. It features works by great French artists such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sisley, Van Gogh, and many others. This art museum attracts an average of 3.5 million visitors annually.
6. National Gallery of Art
Location: Washington, DC USA
Number of Visitors: <4.5 million
Built by financier Andrew W. Mellon, this art museum in Washington, DC became the home of his most treasured art collection upon his death. It opened in 1941 and since then, its collection grew exponentially. This museum used to feature works by the Old Masters but currently, its most popular collection is the one entitled the ‘Designing the Lincoln Memorial’ exhibit. This art museum attracts over 4.5 million visitors annually.
5. Tate Modern
Location: London, UK
Number of Visitors: <5 million
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery that holds a huge collection of British art from 1900 up to the present day. The museum consists of four exhibit halls that feature History, Memory, and Society; Nude, Action, and Body; Landscape, Matter and Environment; and Still Life, Object, and Real Life. This art museum attracts almost 5 million visitors each year.
4. Vatican Museums
Location: The Vatican City, Rome Italy
Number of Visitors: <5.5 million
For the avid followers of Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists, visiting the museum at the Sistine Chapel is a must. Here is where Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescos are found. The Vatican museums also feature the works of many artists whose works are displayed right within the Chapel walls. This museum of antique and modern religious art is maintained by the Roman Catholic Church. It is also one of the largest museums in the world in terms of land area, spanning an end-to-end measurement of over 9 miles. This museum draws a crowd of 5.5 million annually.
3. Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location: New York City, USA
Number of Visitors: <7 million
The popularity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is credited to The McQueen Show exhibit. This exhibit, which was credited in honor of erstwhile fashion designer Alexander McQueen, drew almost 7 million visitors during its peak. The other popular exhibits of this art museum are those of Picasso’s and Doug and Mike Starn’s. Right now, this art museum draws more than 6 million visitors annually.
2. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Location: Washington, DC USA
Number of Visitors: <8.5 million
This museum which opened in 1976 features the largest collection of historic spacecraft and aircrafts. The museum has over 50,000 original artifacts on display, including the 1903 Wright Brothers’ Flyer. The museum also has flight simulators and 3-D space shows. Its two most famous exhibits are the Albert Einstein Planetarium and ‘How Things Fly’. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum claims to enjoy an annual visitor count of almost 8.5 million.
1. The Louvre
Location: Paris, France
Number of Visitors: <9.5 million
When it comes to art museums, the museum that houses the famous works of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists of his genre remains to be the most popular museum all over the world. The Louvre has almost 35,000 objects on display in an exhibit hall that spans 60,600 square meters. It houses Egyptian and near Eastern antiquities; Greek, Etruscan; and Roman collections; Islamic arts, sculptures, decorative arts, paintings, prints, and drawings. The Louvre expects an annual count of 9.5 million visitors.