List of most-visited museums
This article lists museums with more than two million annual visitors reported in the most recent surveys of museum attendance. A museum is defined as a building or institution dedicated to the acquisition, care, research, and exhibition of numerous objects that represent the legacy of humankind and its environment.
Criteria for inclusionEdit
Major sources for this list are the Art Newspaper's annual exhibition and museum visitor figures, which includes only art museums; the TEA/AECOM Museum Index, which only includes museums in East Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States, and museum statistics compiled by national agencies in countries not comprehensively covered by the first two sources, such as China's National Cultural Heritage Administration and Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History. The list includes art museums, history museums, natural history museums, and science museums, but does not include archaeological sites, historical monuments, or many palace museums.[a] This list generally follows that guideline, so the Palace of Versailles, Peterhof Palace, and Forbidden City are not included, although these sites include some museum collections. Such palace museums are found in the List of most visited palaces and monuments. The list also includes one site, the Mevlana Museum, a mausoleum and religious shrine which is classified by the Turkish government as a museum. It does not include Hagia Sophia, which the Turkish government no longer classifies as a museum as of 2020.
- Some well-attended palace museums are not included in either the Art Newspaper or TEA/AECOM lists, although they are sometimes classified as museums by their respective national cultural agencies. These include Beijing's Forbidden City (which, with more than 19 million visitors in 2019, was ranked as the most-visited museum by the China Daily News Agency); the Palace of Versailles (8,132,518 visitors in 2018); Peterhof Palace (5,714,700 visitors in 2018), which is formally classified either as a "Дворцо́во-па́рковый анса́мбль, or Palace-Park Ensemble" or as a "Museum-Park Ensemble" by the Russian Ministry of Culture; the Museum of King John III's Palace at Wilanów (3,151,385 visitors in 2018); and Istanbul's Topkapı Palace (2,364,946 visitors in 2019).
- Some museums in Italy and Asia were closed because of the Coronavirus in Spring 2020 when the Art Newspaper was conducting its survey. In those cases, the list shows the reported 2018 attendance figures instead of the 2019 figures. The American Museum of Natural History in New York was closed for renovation during much of 2019. The list shows the 2018 attendance.
- Includes visitors at the main Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Met Cloisters, but not the visitors recorded at the Met Breuer.
- Includes only the visitors recorded at the main museum in Taipei, and not visitors recorded at the Southern Branch.
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