Ranking the top 10 best museums in the world is a hard list to make, due to various factors all with their own arbitrary or subjective weights that could be used to make the list of best of museums. These are the top museums in the world ranked by BizVibe according to popularity, annual visitors, prestige, and significance
Ranking number one on this list of the top 10 museums in the world in 2020 is the ever-popular and notable Smithsonian Institution — commonly referred to as The Smithsonian. This museum is operated by the US government and is a group of both museums and research centers. Founded in 1846, the museum was coined as the “nation’s attic”, because it held over 154 million items. The Smithsonian Institution operates 19 museums, 21 libraries, 9 research centers, and even a zoo. The Smithsonian has an annual budget of USD 1.2 billion and gets over 30 million visitors per year across all locations — making it one of the top 10 famous museums in the world as well.
The Smithsonian includes important research centers such as the Archives of American Art, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Libraries, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (National Zoo), and more.
Based in Paris, France, The Louvre is the largest museum in the world as of 2020 with 782,910 square feet of museum space. As the world’s largest museum, it is a city landmark for Paris at this point and includes over 38,000 objects from history to the 21st century. In addition to being the largest museum in the world, Louvre is also the most visited single museum in the world with
9.6 million visitors in 2019. This museum was originally built as a castle but eventually went through many changes to become the famous museum known in the world today.
Ranking 3rd on this list of the 10 best museums in the world is The Acropolis Museum, an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. Established in 2009, this museum contains a collection size of 4,250+ objects and generates 1,666,286 visitors per year. This museum is to house the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens and all of its artifacts. The main attraction at The Acropolis Museum is The Frieze of the Parthenon.
The State Hermitage Museum ranks 4th on our list of the top 10 museums in the world. Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and the 2nd largest museum in the world behind the Louvre in Paris, France. State Hermitage Museum gets 4,294,000 annual visitors — making it also one of the top museums in the world by visitors. This museum was established ion 1764 and has been open to the public since 1852. The museum consists of six buildings with five open to the public: the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, and Hermitage Theatre.
Coming in 5th on this ranking of 10 best museums in the world is The Prado Museum, also officially known as Museo Nacional del Prado. The Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid and gets about 2,893,000 annual visitors, making it one of the top museums in the world in terms of visitors. The museum is widely considered to have one of the best collections of fine European art. Initially founded in 1819 as a museum of paintings and sculptures it also includes famous works from Francisco Goya, Hieronymus Bosch, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Velázquez.
At over 807,000 square feet and consisting of over 94 galleries The British Museum is one of the biggest museums in the world by most measures. The British Museum is located in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, and was established 267 years ago in 1753. The museum has an extensive list of over 8 million works and is a public institution estimated to art and history.
Ranking 7th on this list of the top 10 best museums in the world is The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, also known as “the Met”. The Met is the largest single museum in the United States, generating about 6,953,927 last year across its 3 locations. The museum is known for its vast collection includes classical antiquity and ancient Egypt, paintings, and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met is not only one of the most famous museums in the world, but due to its notoriety, it is also one of the top 10 museums in the world in 2020.
The Vatican Museums are the 4th most visited museum in the world and ranks 8th on our list of the top 10 museums in the world as of 2020. This museum is the public art and sculpture museum in Vatican City and currently employs 640 people in 40 different departments. Founded in 1506, The Vatican Museums are some of the oldest museums in the world and includes renowned display works from the immense collection amassed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Papacy.
Ranking 9th on this list of the top 10 best museums in the world is The National Museum of Korea — the main museum of Korean history and art in South Korea. This museum was e4stablsihed ion 1945 and attracts over 3.3 million visitors annually. Its main collection are from Korea’s past including the Gold Crown, National Treasure of Korea, Pensive Bodhisattva, and The Oegyujanggak Uigwe. The National Museum of Korea is one of the most famous museums in the world and represents the 9th ranking on our list of the top museums in the world.
Rounding out BizVibe’s list of the top 10 best museums in the world in 2020 is The Tokyo National Museum, the first museum located in Japan on this list. The Tokyo National Museum is an art museum in Ueno Park in the Taitō ward of Tokyo, Japan, and known for one of the largest art museums in the world. This museum attracts 2,431,073 million visitors — making it one of the top museums in the world by annual visitors.
This is BizVibe’s list of the top 10 best museums in the world in 2020 ranked by their popularity, annual visitors, and prestige. The top museums in the world are visited by millions annually and continue to hold important art from our past and even modern times.
For context-purposes; here is a ranking of the most visited museums in the world as of 2020. Louvre, The National Museum of China, The Met, Vatican Museums, and the National Air and Space Museum lead the top 5 of the most visited museums in the world.
|2||National Museum of China||8,610,092||China|
|3||Metropolitan Museum of Art||6,953,927||USA|
|4||Vatican Museums||6,756,186||Vatican City|
|5||National Air and Space Museum||6,200,000||USA|
|9||Natural History Museum||5,226,000||UK|
|10||American Museum of Natural History||5,000,000||USA|
|11||National Museum of Natural History||4,800,000||USA|
|12||National Gallery of Art||4,404,212||USA|
|13||China Science and Technology Museum||4,400,000||China|
|14||State Hermitage Museum||4,294,000||Russia|
|16||Victoria and Albert Museum||3,967,566||UK|
|17||Museo Reina Sofía||3,898,309||Spain|
|18||National Palace Museum||3,860,644||Taiwan|
|19||National Museum of American History||3,800,000||USA|
|22||Centre Pompidou||3,551,544||France Paris|
|23||Shanghai Science and Technology Museum||3,540,000||China|
|24||Gansu Provincial Museum||3,500,000||China|
|25||National Museum of Korea||3,300,000||South Korea|
|26||London Science Museum||3,286,000||UK|
|29||National Museum of Natural Science||2,963,857||Taiwan|
|30||Museo del Prado||2,893,000||Spain|
|31||Moscow Kremlin Museums||2,867,295||Russia|
|32||Chongqing Museum of Natural History||2,830,000||China|
|34||Shaanxi History Museum||2,800,000||China|
|35||Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum||2,787,770||Japan|
|36||Chengdu Museum [zh]||2,780,000||China|
|37||Museum of Modern Art||2,774,103||USA|
|38||National Art Center||2,717,565||Japan|
|39||National Museum of History||2,661,615||Mexico|
|40||Royal Museums Greenwich||2,549,833||UK|
|41||National Museum of Nature and Science||2,460,000||Japan|
|42||National Museum of Anthropology||2,596,725||Mexico|
|44||China Art Museum||2,550,000||China|
|45||California Science Center||2,520,000||USA|
|46||Tokyo National Museum||2,431,073||Japan|
|47||National Museum of African American History and Culture||2,400,000||USA|
|49||Houston Museum of Natural Science||2,313,000||USA|
|50||Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture||2,304,404||USA|
|51||China Art Museum||2,300,000||China|
|53||Three Gorges Museum||2,240,000||China|
|54||Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie||2,231,000||France|
|55||Galleria degli Uffizi||2,230,914||Italy|
|56||National Museum of Scotland||2,227,773||United|
|58||Van Gogh Museum||2,161,160||Netherlands|
|61||Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum||2,100,000||Poland|
|62||National Folk Museum of Korea||2,054,719||South Korea|