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Top 25 Art Museums in the World

Top 25 Art Museums

The most popular art museums in the world range from the iconic Louvre in Paris to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The rankings for the top art museums to visit were calculated by the Visited app, a travel app that allows international travelers to mark off where they’ve been. You can get a personalized travel map and discover hundreds of the best destinations around the world to plan your next trip using the Visited app. Find and save bucket list places and optimize your travel plans with Visited. 

Here are the top art museums to visit around the globe:

1. Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the most visited art museum in the world. The sprawling museum includes some of the most famous works of art in the Western world, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. The museum also houses an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, including Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art and artifacts. The Louvre is iconic inside and out, with a unique glass pyramid outside the museum providing a stunning modern contrast with the ornate, lavish details of the historic Louvre Palace. Check out other things to do in France.

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2. Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums are the second most popular museums in the world. Located in Vatican City outside of Rome, the Vatican Museums are the public museums of the Catholic Church and the papacy and include a large collection of art, ranging from ancient Roman sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces. The museums include the Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael. 

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3. British Museum

The British Museum is the third most visited museum among Visited users. The London museum features the largest permanent collection in the world, with eight million works. The museum includes art and artifacts documenting thousands of years of human history from many different cultures. Popular exhibits at the museum include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, Egyptian Mummies, and The Lewis Chessmen.

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4. National Gallery

The National Gallery in London offers free access to a vast collection of Western art, with over 2,300 paintings. The gallery includes famous works by legendary painters, with Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Virgin of the Rocks,” Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars,” Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” and portraits by Rembrandt. The museum is a bucketlist destination for art lovers around the world and offers free admission, which is rare. The National Gallery is conveniently located in Trafalgar Square in Central London.

5. Musee D’Orsay

The fifth most visited art museum is the Musee D’Orsay, located on the Left Bank of the River Seine in Paris, France. The stunning museum is housed in a Beaux-Arts-style railway station dating back to 1900. Musee D’Orsay boasts an impressive collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, and decorative art, with works by masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, and Gaugin. 

6. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The sixth most popular art museum destination is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, U.S. The sprawling museum is the largest museum in America and includes art and artifacts from over 5,000 years of human history. The collections include 2,500 European paintings, 36,000 Egyptian art pieces, and the largest collection of American paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The museum, nicknamed “the Met,” also presents more than 30 special exhibitions each year. 

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7. Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is a modern art museum located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France. The unique design of the museum includes the inside of the building on the outside, with pipes and tubes on the exterior, painted in bright colors. Inside the museum are modern artworks, including pieces by Matisse, Chagall, Kahlo, Picasso, and more. 

8. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art – also called MoMA – is the eighth most visited art museum in the world. The New York City museum includes iconic works of modern art, with Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” “Campbell’s Soup Cans” by Andy Warhol, “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” by Pablo Picasso, “The Persistence of Memory,” by Salvador Dali, and works by Frida Kahlo. The museum is conveniently located on West 53 Street in Midtown Manhattan. 

9. Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s works in the world. Visitors can learn about Van Gogh and his life story at the museum, which includes a variety of paintings he created at different stages in his life. The museum is a popular attraction, and it’s best to pre-book tickets online before going. 

10. Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is an art museum in Florence, Italy that includes paintings and sculptures by Italian Renaissance artists. The museum includes legendary works such as the “Venus” and the “Allegory of Spring” by Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli. The collections also include ancient Greek and Roman sculptures. The grand building of the museum exemplifies 16th-century Italian architecture.

11. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

The eleventh most popular art museum is the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the national museum of Amsterdam, which displays Dutch art and history. The museum includes about 8,000 pieces of art, with works by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, and many others. The museum is located near the Van Gogh Museum at the Museum Square in the borough of Amsterdam South.

12. Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is an art gallery in London, England, with an extensive collection of modern art from around the globe. The contemporary building includes works by masters such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Barbara Hepworth. In contrast with many art galleries, Tate Modern has an equal amount of art displayed by women and men, helping close the gap in women’s representation in the arts. Check out other things to do in England.

13. Museo Del Prado

Museo Del Prado is a national art museum in Spain. The museum is located in Madrid and is home to an extensive collection of Spanish and European art. From masterpieces by Velázquez and Goya to El Greco’s haunting religious scenes and Titian’s Venetian opulence, the museum offers a unique window into the artistic history of Spain and beyond. The museum building offers stunning neoclassical architecture dating back to the late 18th century.

14. Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institute includes the largest complex of museums and research facilities in the world. Located in Washington, DC, the American museum includes 19 museums and the National Zoo. The Smithsonian covers a vast range of topics, from American history and natural history to air and space travel, art, and world cultures.

15. Accademia Gallery

The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or Gallery of the Academy of Florence, is an art museum in Florence, Italy, with works by Renaissance artists. The gallery is home to Michelangelo’s sculpture David and also features works by Renaissance masters Botticelli and Ghirlandaio. The museum is a bucket list destination for art lovers, with many Renaissance sculptures and paintings in an intimate setting. 

16. Guggenheim

The Guggenheim is a modern art museum located along Museum Mile in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood. The museum’s striking, modern architecture includes a central spiral with a ramp instead of stairs inside the building. The unique building was designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Inside, the museum features modern art pieces by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Jackson Pollock.

17. Tate Britain

Tate Britain is a British art and history museum in London that includes British art from the 16th century to the present day. The museum is home to pieces by Turner, Constable, Blake, Hockney, and many others. The grand neoclassical building overlooks the River Thames in the City of Westminster in London.

18. Acropolis Museum

For those interested in ancient Greece, the Acropolis Museum in Athens is a must-see. The museum houses the most significant archeological finds from the Athenian Acropolis, including sculptures, pottery, and everyday objects that offer a fascinating glimpse into ancient Athenian life and culture.

19. Palazzo Vecchio

Palazzo Vecchio is the historic Town Hall in Florence, Italy. Built in the late 13th century, the Palazzo Vecchio was originally the seat of the Florentine Republic’s powerful Signoria and features an imposing, fortress-like architecture. Inside, the Palazzo Vecchio includes frescoes, sculptures, and decorative elements by renowned Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Giorgio Vasari, and Donatello.

20. Egyptian Museum

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, also known as the Egyptian Museum, is located in Cairo, Egypt. The museum is historically significant because it houses the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world. The collections include over 120,000 objects, spanning from the Predynastic Period to the Roman era. The Royal Mummy Room includes mummies and tomb replicas that transport guests thousands of years to the past. 

21. National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., includes a vast collection of Western art. The museum is located on the National Mall in the U.S. capital. The collections include over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings with works by famed artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Van Gogh.

22. Topkapi Palace

The Topkapı Palace, or the Seraglio, is a museum in Istanbul, Turkey, which served as the center of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The royal complex includes a beautiful mix of architecture with Byzantine, Islamic, and Turkish influences. The museum houses art and artifacts from the powerful Ottoman Empire, with jewels like the Topkapi Dagger, Ottoman miniatures, ornate ceramics, weapons, and religious relics.

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23. Hermitage

The Hermitage is the home of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee. The historic mansion offers a glimpse into early American life, with tours of the seventh U.S. President’s home, its original furnishings, and personal belongings. The Hermitage sits on over 1,100 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and gardens, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and nature walks.

24. Musée Picasso

The Musée Picasso is a museum dedicated to the legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and the artists associated with him. The French national museum is located in the Marais district of Paris, France. The art museum features the largest public collection of Picasso’s works in the world, with over 5,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and engravings. The exhibits explore the depth and evolution of Picasso’s work and his life and influences. Located in the beautiful Hôtel Salé, a 17th-century mansion, the museum is a must-see for modern art lovers. 

25. Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design in the world. The museum spans over 5,000 years of human history and encompasses everything from fashion and furniture to ceramics, jewelry, and photography. Exhibits include iconic pieces like the Elton John stage costumes, the Portland Vase, and Michelangelo’s David sculpture cast. The museum is housed in a grand Victorian building with ornate decorations, adding to the creative appeal. 

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Learn More, Travel Better

To delve into even more history and learn about iconic sites around the world, check out Lonely Planet Travel Guides. Get exclusive insights from locals and find endless insight travel tips in the guides. Whether you want to plan a trip to Paris or explore natural wonders, Lonely Planet Travel can help. 

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