The free-of-charge National Museum of China in Beijing took over top spot with a whopping 7.6 million visitors just ahead of Washington's National Air and Space Museum.
The fact that all three institutions pipped seven million visitors last year speaks volumes for how museums have re-invented themselves in the age of technology. In fact, their resurgence might be partly due to the fact they are something of an antidote to the digital clutter and noise that surrounds us most of the time.
The Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM report on visitation figures showed that than one-million more people visited the top 20 museums than in the previous year.
Paris appears to have suffered from recent upheavals impacting visitor numbers to the city generally with a 15% drop in people walking passed the iconic glass pyramid to enter the Louvre.
The United States eclipsed the UK as the museum global hotspot with five rankings among the top 20 – one more than England that was again lead by the venerable British Museum.
The museum regarded by many as the most astonishing they've ever seen, The State Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia, continues to climb up the global rankings with a five seasons of year-on-year increases in visitors now up to more than four million people last year.
The world's top 20 museums
- National Museum of China, Beijing, China (7.6M) FREE
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC, US (7.5M) FREE
- Louvre, Paris, France (7.4M)
- American Museum of Natural History, New York, United States (7.1M)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States (6.7M)
- British Museum, London, United Kingdom (6.4M) FREE
- Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai, China (6.3)
- National Gallery, London, United Kingdom (6M) FREE
- Vatican Museums, Vatican, Vatican City (6M)
- Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (5.8M) FREE
- National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC (5M) FREE
- National Palace Museum (Taiwan), Taipei, Taiwan (4.7M)
- Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom (4.6M) FREE
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States (4.3M) FREE
- State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia (4.1M)
- China Science and Technology Museum, Beijing (3.8M)
- Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington DC, US (3.8M) FREE
- The Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (3.6M)
- The National Museum of Korea, Seoul (3.4M)
- The Centre Pompidou in Paris, (3.3M)
Published under license from Well Travelled.