The 20 Most Popular Museums in the World
After losing its ranking as the world’s most popular museum in 2016, the Louvre in Paris is back on top.
According to a ranking from the Themed Entertainment Association, the Louvre was the most visited museum in the world in 2017. After two years of falling from its top spot, attendance at the Louvre increased 9.5 percent last year.
The increase is likely due to tourists returning to the city after terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016. Paris reported a 10-year tourism high in the middle of last year.
European museums draw the most tourists. Of the world’s top 20 most popular museums, half are in Europe — and five are in London alone.
The United States also draws a high number of tourists for its museums: Six U.S. museums, all in either New York City or Washington, made the top ranking (the National Air and Space Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Art, American Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History).
The National Museum of China, in Beijing, fell to the number two spot in 2017’s rankings. But, as a region, Asia saw the fastest growth in museum attendance last year: Asian museums recorded 11 percent more visitors. The Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, the National Palace Museum in Taipei and the China Science Technology Museum in Beijing all ranked among the top 20 museums in the world.
However, around the world, museum visitation is relatively steady. The world’s top 20 museums recorded more than 108 million visitors last year, just 0.2 percent more than what was recorded in 2016.