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One of the most common items on every traveller’s itinerary is to get in a bit of museum tourism. Every day thousands, if not millions, of tourists step foot inside museums in their destination of choice; many choosing the destination based solely on the museums! Whether you’re a full blown art buff who can spend hours studying works of art, or if you’re the type to zip through museums to find the most famous pieces in the collection and head out just because you would feel too guilty about saying you’ve been to a city and didn’t see some of the most famous artworks in the world, there’s something for everyone!

Here are the 11 most popular museums in the world by visitor count with information about what type of artwork they hold, how many, and of course, how to get there!


image by shawnchin on flickr

Location: Paris, France
Type of museum: Art from prehistory to the 21st century
Collection size: More than 380,000 objects and displays with 35,000 works of art
Museum size: 652,000 sq ft
Public transport: Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (metro lines 1 & 7) and Louvre-Rivoli (metro line 1)

Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

metropolitan museum of art new york
image by Sergey Shpakovsky on flickr

Location: New York City, USA
Type of museum: Works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, European paintings and sculptures, American and modern art, African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art, encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, antique weapons and armor.
Collection size: More than two million works in its permanent collection
Museum size: 990,000 sq ft
Public transport: 86th Street (subway lines 4, 5, 6, & 6d)

British Museum

british museum london
image by temporalata on flickr

Location: London, UK
Type of museum: Human history and culture
Collection size: More than 8 million works in its permanent collection
Museum size: 2,000,000 sq ft
Public transit: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, Goodge Street (tube stations)

Tate Modern

tate modern london
image by waldopepper on flickr

Location: London, UK
Type of museum: Modern art
Collection size: nearly 70,000 artworks
Museum size: 371,350 sq ft
Public transit: Blackfriars, Southwark (tube stations)

National Gallery

national gallery london
image by t3mouse74 on flickr

Location: London, UK
Type of museum: Art from the mid-13th century to 1900
Collection size: 2,300
Public transit: Charing Cross, Embankment (tube stations)

Vatican Museums

vatican city
image by dslrtravel.com on flickr

Location: Vatican City, Vatican City
Type of museum: Sculptures and art from the 12th-19th centuries
Museum size: stretches over 9 miles
Public transit: #64 bus (leaves from Central Rome)

National Palace Museum

national palace museum taipei
image by scchiang on flickr

Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Type of museum: Ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks
Collection size: 694,223 artworks
Museum size: 538,196 sq ft
Public transit: R(ed)30, 213, 255, 304, Mini 18 and Mini 19 (bus lines)

National Gallery of Art

national gallery of art washington
image by dc lulun & kame on flickr

Location: Washington D.C., USA
Type of museum: Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present
Collection size: 120,000+
Museum size: 60,000 sq ft
Public transit: 4th Street and 7th Street NW (Metrobus) or 4th Street and Madison Drive and 9th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (DC Circulator)

Centre Pompidou

centre pompidou
image by proligde on flickr

Location: Paris, France
Type of museum: Modern art as well as a public library
Collection size: 59,000
Museum size: 1,111,966 sq ft
Public transit: Rambuteau, Les Halles (metro) or Châtelet – Les Halles (RER)

Musee D’Orsay

musee d'orsay
image by Dimitry B on flickr

Location: Paris, France
Type of museum: French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography
Public transit: Solférino (metro line 12) or Musée d’Orsay (RER line C)


The Prado Museum

Image by Gregory Harris on Pinterest

Location: Madrid, Spain
Type of museum: Collection of European art dating from the 12th to the 19th century.
Public transit: Atocha and Banco de España (metro stations)

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