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8 Most Visited Museums in The World

Updated: Jul 11

Louvre, National Museum of China, The MET... We listed the 8 most visited museums in the world! Here is the list.


Note: The list is based on pre-pandemic.



1. Louvre Museum - France


The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, with around 10 million visitors a year. There are many collections such as Western European, Eastern European, Egyptian, Islamic, Greek, Etruscan, Roman. You can also learn about the history of the museum at the Pavilion De L'Horloge.


The Louvre Museum has many paintings, sculptures, and decorative works of art, but the most visited piece in the museum is the famous Mona Lisa. In fact, the museum has 615,797 artworks, but only 35,000 are on display, so you have to choose which collection interests you because it will take months to discover all the artworks.


The Louvre was not always a museum; It was originally built as a castle by King Philippe Auguste in 1190. In the 14th century, King Charles V had the building restored as a mansion. The first step of the museum was taken in the 16th century! In 1798, the royal family replaced their home with the Palace of Versailles. And finally, the museum opened its doors to the public with 537 artwork.


The Louvre's famous Glass Pyramid was built in 1989. It is the largest known Glass Pyramid with a height of 21 meters.



Louvre Museum - France
Louvre Museum - France

2. National Museum of China - China


The National Museum of China is the second most visited museum in the world, with approximately 8 million visitors per year. It was established in 2003 by merging two museums; the National Museum of Chinese History and the National Museum of the Chinese Revolution. There are 1,050,000 works in the museum.


The museum features artifacts from Yuanmou Man 1.7 million years ago to the last imperial family of the Chinese Empire, the Qing Dynasty. Also in the museum is Simuwu Ding from the Shang Dynasty, the world's heaviest ancient bronze item, weighing 1,836.1 pounds. Another famous artifact is the famous jade burial sets from the Han Dynasty.


The National Museum of China has a permanent exhibit called The Path to Rejuvenation and presents the recent history of China since the beginning of the First Opium War, with an emphasis on Communist Chinese history.



National Museum of China - China
National Museum of China - China

Photo by Wikipedia


3. Metropolitan Museum of Art - US


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the third most visited museum in the world, with over 7 million visitors annually. The museum is the largest art museum in the United States and is on the east side of Central Park. It was made for Americans because of the rise of the level of education and the arts. It opened its doors to the public on February 20, 1872, and the first president of the MET was John Taylor Johnston. With nearly 3000 works, the Robert Lehman is the MET Foundation's largest donor.


It has collections of medieval European art and Egyptian, African, Indian and more. The Met contains more than 2 million works divided into 17 curatorial departments. The museum's best-known works are The Death of Socrates, Oedipus and the Sphinx, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, and the famous Japanese painting The Great Wave in Kanagawa.


In addition, the world-famous MET Gala is held at the museum every year. This tradition was started in 1973 by Vogue Editor Diane Vreeland. Although it cannot be held in 2020 due to the pandemic, it will be held on September 13, 2021.



Metropolitan Museum of Art - US
Metropolitan Museum of Art - US

4. The Vatican Museums - Vatican City


The Vatican Museums are the fourth most visited museum in the world, with approximately 7 million visitors per year. The first origin of the museum begins in the 16th century; The statue of Laocoön and His Sons was discovered in 1506 in a vineyard near the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and a month after its discovery, Pope Julius II bought the artwork from the owner for public display in the Vatican.


The Vatican Museums permanently opened the excavations of a Vatican Hill necropolis to the public in October 2006 and celebrated their 500th anniversary. Over the centuries, the Popes collected 70,000 works of art, but only 20,000 were exhibited.


The Vatican Museums have many different sections, the most famous section of the Vatican Museum is the famous Sistine Chapel. The chapel built by Pope IV. Sixtus takes its name from him. It was painted by the famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo in the years 1508-1512. The Raphael Rooms are among the most visited sections and consist of 4 different rooms: Sala di Costantino, Stanza di Eliodoro, Stanza della Segnatura, Stanza dell'Incendio del Borgo. We recommend visiting the Stanza della Segnature, which was mostly used as a library by Pope II.Julius.


If you've heard about the Borgia House, which had a strong influence on the Vatican, you need to visit the Borgia Apartment here!


The Gallery of Maps shows maps from 16th century Italy, 120 meters long, made by the geographer Ignazio Danti.


Painted in the 15th century by Fra Angelico and Benozzo Gozzoli, the Niccoline Chapel is named after Pope Nicholas V who prayed in the church and is one of its most visited parts.


Apart from the good old stuff in the museum, it is famous for the Spiral Staircase built in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo. Enlarged by Pope Pius VI in 1771, the museum contains unique sculptures from the Greek and Roman periods.

If you are planning a vacation in Rome, do not leave without exploring the Vatican Museums.



The Vatican Museums - Vatican City
The Vatican Museums - Vatican City

5. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - US


The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is the fifth most visited museum in the world, with 6 million visitors a year. The Museum was established by a resolution of Congress on August 12, 1946, and was enacted by President Harry S. Truman. Highlights of the museums in the National Mall are valuable artifacts such as aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, and the Einstein Planetarium.


On the first floor, you can see the most important planes of the famous Boeing Milestones, the shuttle in history such as Charles Lindbergh's first transatlantic flight with the Spirit of St.Louis. John Glenn's Bell X-1 is here, the first plane to open the sound barrier!


You can explore the universe with your naked eyes in the William Herschel telescope and test your readiness for flight at the Space Flight Academy. On the second floor of the museum, you can see the famous Neil Armstrong astronaut costume, who landed on the moon with Apollo 11. The first section of the hall features photographs of Wilbur and Orville Wright.


6. British Museum - United Kingdom


The British Museum is the sixth most visited museum in the world, with approximately 6 million. An Act of Parliament in 1753 created the world's first free public museum. Over the next 260 years, the museum has collected about 8 million objects spanning 2 million years of human history.


The most famous works in the museum; is the Rosetta Stone from 196 BC. It contains 3 languages ​​Hieroglyphics, Greek, and Demotic and the most important thing about this stone is that it helped translate Egyptian hieroglyphs. Prior to its discovery, the Ancient Egyptian language had not been translated since the Roman Empire.


Parthenon Marbles carved about 2500 years ago, these magnificent sculptures adorned the Parthenon.


Bust of Younger Memnon who was the greatest Egyptian pharaohs this statue weighs 7.5 tons.


You probably know the Hoa Hakananai image, but the names sound weird. This statue was carved from basalt at the ritual center in Orongo.


If you want to take a closer look at the Samurai, we suggest you go to room 93 there, the Samurai armor produced by the powerful royal family Mori in western Japan awaits you.


The Sutton Hoo ship burial coming from the 7th century of Britain and popular believed to have belonged to an Anglo Saxon king.


There are many works in the British Museum that we cannot write everything down, but you can discover all the unique works for free!



British Museum - United Kingdom
British Museum - United Kingdom

7. Tate Modern - United Kingdom


Tate modern is the seventh most visited museum in the world with approximately 6 million a year. It is located at the former Bankside Power Station, which was closed in 1981. For many years after its closure, Bankside Power Station risked demolition by developers. Later, it was decided to use the building for certain purposes instead of demolishing it. The conversion of the power plant started in June 1995 and was completed in January 2000.


The collections at Tate Modern consist of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present. It hosts world-famous works such as The Weeping Woman, Marilyn Diptych, The Uncertainty of the Poet, and Metamorphosis of Narcissus.


If you're a fan of modern art, you can't leave without visiting the Tate Modern.



Tate Modern - United Kingdom
Tate Modern - United Kingdom

8. The National Gallery - United Kingdom


The National Gallery is the eighth most visited museum in the world, with approximately 6 million visitors a year. The National Gallery opened to the public on May 10, 1824, and is located in Angerstein's former mansion at 100 Pall Mall. The museum houses a collection of more than 2,300 paintings. The most known of them are; Virgin of the Rocks, Lady Standing at a Virginal, Rokeby Venus, Mars and Venus.


During the World War II, they wanted to place the paintings in Canada while the Battle of France, but was rejected by the famous president Winston Churchill and said: "Hide them in caves and cellars, but not one picture shall leave this island." Then the paintings were hidden in a cave.


Another interesting fact about the museum is that the Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica sponsored the museum in 2012, but this sponsorship quickly ended after the protest.


The National Gallery - United Kingdom
The National Gallery - United Kingdom

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