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15 of the World’s Most-Visited Museums

 Museums are magical places, as they contain all the most beautiful and valuable objects in the world, as well as teach us so much about where we come from and where we're headed. Interactive science museums let visitors experience the newest tech advancements, whereas art galleries are the home for masterpieces in all the different artistic mediums. All these and more factors make museums a popular destination for both tourists and locals, with some of the most popular ones welcoming over 10 million visitors each year. In this article, you will find 15 of the most-visited museums on our planet ordered from least to most-visited and find out what makes them oh so very special and popular. 

15. National Folk Museum of Korea

most visited museums National Folk Museum of Korea
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Visitors per year: 2,054,719
If you're curious to learn everything about the traditional Korean culture, this is the place to be. In the museum, you will find replicas of historical objects that serve as illustrations of the traditional life of the Korean people throughout history. 

most visited museums National Folk Museum of Korea
Model of a traditional Korean herbal medicine shop Nagyman/ Wikimedia Commons
The museum has 3 main exhibition halls, as well as open-air exhibits, all of which will guide visitors throughout the various aspects of traditional life, starting from clothing, farming, food and medicine production, as well as religion.

14. Rijksmuseum

most visited museums Rijksmuseum
A vintage print of the Rijksmuseum (circa 1890-1905)
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Visitors per year: 2,300,000
The Rijksmuseum tells the story of Amsterdam throughout the years and features works of such Dutch masters as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals.
most visited museums Rijksmuseum
The library inside the Rijksmuseum
The museum building was finalized by the late 19 century. It's considered a national heritage site and contains an extensive library. It was constructed specifically to house the museum. Rijksmuseum is situated conveniently in the Museum Square of the city right next to other sites that are worth a visit, such as the Van Gogh museum, for example.

13. National Museum of African American History and Culture

most visited museums National Museum of African American History and Culture
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
Visitors per year: 2,400,000
We have featured this beautiful building previously, praising its architectural design, but what we did not point out in that article was that in the short three years of being open, the National Museum of African American History and Culture became one of the most popular museums in the world.
most visited museums National Museum of African American History and Culture
The museum is the embodiment of over a century of efforts to create a place that would feature African American culture and history on a federal scale and boasts of having over 35.000 permanent exhibits.

12. National Museum of Anthropology

most visited museums National Museum of Anthropology Mexico
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Visitors per year: 2,596,725
This is the largest and most-visited museum in Mexico and one that has numerous unique archeological and anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian era in Mexico.
most visited museums National Museum of Anthropology Mexico
The Aztec (Mexica) gallery at the museum Gary Todd/ Flickr
The Aztec collection is one of the most notable exhibitions, as it contains the famous Stone of the Sun, also known as the Aztec calendar stone, as well as numerous statues, mortuary masks, and other priceless ancient artifacts.

11. Moscow Kremlin Museums

most visited museums Moscow Kremlin Museums
Location: Moscow, Russia
Visitors per year: 2,867,295
The Kremlin is a fortified structure in Moscow that contains some of the most notable sights in the city, such as beautiful palaces, cathedrals, the president's official residence, as well as a complex of museums.
most visited museums Moscow Kremlin Museums
Gospel book covers at the Kremlin Armoury Shakko/ Wikimedia Commons
The museums, in turn, protect some of the most prized possessions of the former empire, such as an extensive collection of diamonds and jewelry known as the Diamond Fund, as well as religious and royal attire, weaponry and other prized items that belonged to the royal family. 

10. National Palace Museum

most visited museums National Palace Museum
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Visitors per year: 3,860,644
You can find some of the most significant Chinese imperial art and artifacts encompassing 8 thousand years of Chinese art and history in this museum in Taiwan. There are nearly 700,000 exhibits in the collection, and it's one of the largest exhibits of its kind, coming second only to the collection in the Forbidden City in Beijing, the former imperial residency. 
most visited museums National Palace Museum
All these priceless artifacts were transported to Taiwan during 1948 and 1949 as a means to protect the valuables of the Chinese royal family during the establishment of Communist rule in China.

9. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

most visited museums Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Location: Madrid, Spain
Visitors per year: 3,898,309
Also known simply as El Reina, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is among the most-visited modern art galleries in the world, revolving around the works of the two titans of 20-century fine art, both of whom happened to be Spanish: Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
most visited museums Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Though the collection also offers a variety of temporary and permanent exhibitions by various contemporary Spanish artists, the bulk of the visitors arrive to see the centerpiece of the collection, Picasso's famous masterpiece "Guernica".

8. Victoria and Albert Museum

most visited museums Victoria and Albert Museum
Location: London, UK
Visitors per year: 3,967,566
The Victoria and Albert Museum possesses one of the largest and most complete collections of precious objects in the world, such as costumes, jewelry, medieval objects, drawings, photographs and sculpture, no wonder so many visitors are craving a visit.
most visited museums Victoria and Albert Museum
The museum spans through 145 galleries and 5,000 years of fine art that arrived in London from different corners of Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. 

7. American Museum of Natural History

most visited museums American Museum of Natural History
Location: New York City, USA
Visitors per year: 5,000,000
Welcome to the largest natural history museum in the world. The American Museum of Natural History consists of 28 buildings that house 45 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium, and a library.
most visited museums American Museum of Natural History
It's a must-see for anyone who is interested in archeology and history, as it houses over 33 million specimens (although only a fraction of them are exhibited at a time). These exhibits include fossils, minerals, flora and fauna, meteorites, as well as human remains and early cultural artifacts.

6. British Museum

most visited museums British Museum
Location: London, UK
Visitors per year: 5,829,000
It would be impossible to describe the vast variety of cultural artifacts housed within the premises of this institution. The British Museum is a colossal collection of objects representing various civilizations over thousands of years. Currently, there are 13 million items at the British Museum, but there are another 150 million at the British Library, as well as 70 million at the Natural History Museum.
most visited museums British Museum
The Great Court at the British Museum Andrew Stawarz/ Flickr
There is a great deal of controversy surrounding some of the possessions of the museum that were imported from other countries, particularly regarding some of the ancient artifacts and objects imported from the Acropolis in Rome, as well as the Rosetta Stone and many other objects. Both Greece and Egypt, along with other affected countries, claimed the respective objects for restitution.

5. National Air and Space Museum

most visited museums National Air and Space Museum
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
Visitors per year: 6,200,000
Explore everything there is to know about air and space travel at the National Air and Space Museum, one of the largest museums in the US and the 5th most visited museum in the world. The museum celebrates and illustrates the progression of aircraft and spacecraft engineering since we first learned how to fly and until now.
most visited museums National Air and Space Museum
Some of the most notable exhibits at the museum are the Wright Brothers' airplane, as well as the Apollo 11 command module.

4. Vatican Museums

most visited museums Vatican Museums
Location: Vatican City
Visitors per year: 6,756,186
For centuries, the Catholic popes collected all of their most prized possessions within the premises of the Vatican. This extensive collection became the backbone for the creation of the Vatican Museums. 
most visited museums Vatican Museums
The museum owns one of the most comprehensive collections of Roman art, as well as Renaissance art in the world. The gems of the exhibit are certainly the Sistine Chapel, decorated by Michelangelo himself, as well as the Stanze di Raffaello created by Raphael.

3. Metropolitan Museum of Art

most visited museums Metropolitan Museum of Art
Location: New York, USA
Visitors per year: 6,953,927
The Met is the largest museum in the United States, and, like all of the ones we featured on this list, you would need weeks to see everything the museum has to offer. The museum consists of 3 separate buildings, divided into separate institutes each specializing in a particular geographical area or topic.
most visited museums Metropolitan Museum of Art
No matter what you're interested in, be it art, history, or, let's say costumes, you will find something of interest at the Met, which explains why it's the third most popular museum in the world.

2. National Museum of China

most visited museums National Museum of China
Location: Beijing, China
Visitors per year: 8,610,092
The runner up to the most-visited museum on Earth is the National Museum of China in Beijing. Unlike the Met, the British Museum or other massive museums that commonly focus on world heritage, this Chinese museum aims to educate the public exclusively about the history of China.
most visited museums National Museum of China
Still, the museum has one of the largest collections of various objects of historical and cultural significance in the world, which is really impressive.

1. Louvre

most visited museums Louvre
Location: Paris, France
Visitors per year: 10,200,000
Is it Mona Lisa's mysterious smile that attracts so many people to the Louvre, or is it the sheer fact that it's the world's largest art museum? Whatever the real reason may be, over 10 million people visit this famous French museum each year. 
most visited museums Louvre
Like the majority of large European museums, the Louvre acquired millions of art pieces from across the globe, each item contributing to the rich canvas of artistic expression spanning through the entirety of human existence.
 
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