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The Top 10 Museums in the World, According to TripAdvisor

Sept. 20, 2017
6 min read
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On Tuesday, TripAdvisor released its list of the top museums in the world as a part of its 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards. The winners were determined based on the ranking and reviews of museums worldwide by TripAdvisor's users over a year-long period.

"As a traveler, exploring a famous museum or discovering a new one can be the highlight of a trip," said Brooke Ferencsik, TripAdvisor's senior director of communications.

From Paris to Chicago and beyond, some of the greatest destination points have been ranked by millions of visitors from around the world; below are the top 10 in the world, as ranked by TripAdvisor.

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, NY

The Met — as it’s affectionately called by New Yorkers — tops the list as travelers top choice in the US and in the world for the third year. It’s one of the world’s great museums — so great that you can spend the entire day there and still not see everything. The museum is home to an immense collection of modern art and artifacts that span more than 6,000 years of human history, and The Met's rooftop garden is the ultimate destination after a day focused on the arts.

Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

2. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA

Feeling patriotic? Unlike many other national museums, The National WWII Museum is not located in Washington D.C. Founded by Stephen Ambrose, the museum opened in New Orleans in June of 2000 (on the 56th anniversary of D-Day) and tells the story of the American experience through a number of artifacts such as weapons, uniforms and wartime memorabilia.

Image by National WWII Museum
Image courtesy of The National WWII Museum.

3. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

While possibly best known from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Located in the heart of Chicago, near the famed Millennium Park, it houses over 300,000 pieces of art, including famous works like Pablo Picasso (The Guitarist) and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks.

Image by Art Institute of Chicago
Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

4. Musée D’Orsay, Paris, France

The Musée D’Orsay is one of the most well-known museums in the world, but it wasn't originally supposed to house art. The structure was built as a railroad station on the site of the Palais d'Orsay and didn’t become a fine arts museum until 1986. Today, it's home to the largest collection of Impressionist art (nearly 500 paintings) and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world at nearly 1,100 paintings.

Image by Musée d'Orsay
Image courtesy of Musée d'Orsay.

5. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

Located in the cultural capital city of Russia, The State Hermitage Museum is known to be one of the oldest and classic museums of all time. Considered to be founded back in 1764, the Hermitage opened their doors in 1852; as the oldest museum in the world, it has the richest collection with over three million works of art.

Image courtesy of the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace.

6.  The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York, NY

Representing a tragic chapter in American history, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is one of New York City’s most significant landmarks. Since opening its doors in 2014, more than 10 million visitors have already visited. The museum is a historical artifact that honors the nearly 3,000 victims lost, documents the heroic deeds of the first responders and civilians and tells the story of the tragedies on the very site where the World Trade Center once towered.

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Image courtesy of The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

7. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, Mexico

Take a step back in ancient history at the National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) in Mexico City. Founded in 1825, the museum contains the world's largest collection of ancient Mexican art and also has ethnographic exhibits about Mexico's present-day indigenous groups. Exhibited on two large floors, these displays show ancient human remains and art objects and figures and pottery of the Pre-Classical period that date back to 5000 B.C.

Image by The National Mexico of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
Image courtesy of The National Mexico of Anthropology.

8. Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

The Acropolis Museum includes one of the most highly curated art exhibits, specifically focused on the works of archaeological findings and sites of Acropolis. Founded in 1976, and located in the historical area of Makriyianni, the museum houses a mix of sculptures and antiquities from Ancient Greece.

Image by Acropolis Museum
Image courtesy of the Acropolis Museum.

9. Prado National Museum, Madrid, Spain

The Prado Museum is Madrid's top cultural sight and one of the world's greatest art galleries. Locals and tourists alike come to see the works by the great European masters (such as Velázquez, Goya, Raphael and Rubens) which are housed in an 18th-century Neo-Classical building that opened as a museum in 1819. Even better: The Prado welcomes visitors with free admission to enter.

Image by Prado National Museum
Image courtesy of the Prado National Museum.

10.  Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

The Victoria and Albert Museum is among London’s great monuments. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this museum highlights architecture, decorative arts and design. Today, it is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design that spans over 5,000 years of art; like the Prado, it is also largely free to enter.

Image by The Victoria and Albert Museum
Image courtesy of The Victoria and Albert Museum.

What are some of your favorite museums in the world? Let us know in the comments below.