These Are the 25 Most Beloved Museums in the World, as Ranked by TripAdvisor

Who knew the Museum of Broken Relationships was so popular?

A girl reacts as she looks at Pink (enter) and Kul-Sharif Mosque (left), jeweled eggs by Andrew Ananov, at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg on November 14, 2014. Image: Olga Maltseva /AFP/Getty Images.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the world’s favorite museum—at least according to TripAdvisor, which just unleashed its annual rankings of world attractions. The list is based on the “quality and quantity” of reviews the museums inspired on the user-generated travel advice juggernaut over the past year.

Is the Met’s first-place finish a surprise? Maybe not: It has actually taken this particular honor twice before, making it “the only museum to receive the valued ranking for three years in a row,” as a press release from the museum boasted yesterday. Take that, MoMA!

Installation view of the National WWII Museum’s "Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries." Image courtesy National WWII Museum.

Installation view of the National WWII Museum’s “Road to Berlin: European Theater Galleries.” Image courtesy National WWII Museum.

Slightly more surprising (to art fans at least) may be that the world’s second favorite museum, per TripAdvisor, is the National WWII Museum in New Orleans (formerly the D-Day Museum). Immersive exhibits like “The Arsenal of Democracy,” about US war manufacturing, inspired more review enthusiasm than the Impressionist treasures of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, which weighs in at number three.

Well, what do these rankings mean anyway? The delight of such a list is that the crowd’s ranking is always some mixture of exactly what you expect and something you would definitely not expect.

The Vasa is displayed at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, on March 10, 2011. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

The Vasa is displayed at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, on March 10, 2011. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images.

I mean, who knew that Stockholm’s Vasa Museum, dedicated to a warship that capsized off Stockholm 1628, was more beloved by tourists than the Louvre? Truly, it is the Mona Lisa of warships.

Here’s the list:

TOP 25 MUSEUMS IN THE WORLD

  1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  2. National WWII Museum, New Orleans
  3. Musee d’Orsay, Paris
  4. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  5. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg
  6. National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York
  7. Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City
  8. Acropolis Museum, Athens
  9. Prado National Museum, Madrid
  10. Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  11. National Gallery, London
  12. Vasa Museum, Stockholm
  13. Musee du Louvre, Paris
  14. Egyptian Museum of Turin
  15. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  16. Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  17. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  18. Instituto Ricardo Brennand, Recife
  19. Museum of New Zealand (Te Papa Tongarewa), Wellington
  20. Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo
  21. War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City
  22. Museo Larco, Lima
  23. Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), Bogota
  24. Museum of Qin Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, Xi’an
  25. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

 

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Photo by Anna Irene.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Photo by Anna Irene.

TripAdvisor also breaks out its top-reviewed museums by nation. Among travelers to the US, it’s nice to see the old-school classy Frick Collection so high up in the ranks.

And hats off to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a 98-acre, mainly outdoor institution that describes itself as a combo of zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium. It is the 18th most-enthusiastically reviewed museum.

TOP 25 MUSEUMS IN THE UNITED STATES

  1. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  2. National WWII Museum, New Orleans
  3. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
  4. National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, New York
  5. USS Midway Museum, San Diego
  6. National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC
  7. Getty Center, Los Angeles
  8. American Museum of Natural History, New York
  9. Museum of Modern Art, New York
  10. NASA Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Titusville, Florida
  11. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville
  12. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC
  13. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
  14. National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Memphis
  15. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
  16. National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola
  17. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
  18. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
  19. Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
  20. Mob Museum, Las Vegas
  21. Field Museum, Chicago
  22. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  23. Frick Collection, New York
  24. Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
  25. Sixth Floor Museum/Texas School Book Depository, Dallas

 

A jar of pickles at the Museum of Broken Relationships. Courtesy of the Museum of Broken Relationships.

A jar of pickles at the Museum of Broken Relationships. Courtesy of the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Finally, for kicks, I’ve also broken out every top museum from TripAdvisor’s many national rankings.

There are plenty of familiar names here. But I would be the first to admit that many of the institutions are new to me—though to be fair, I am not a military history buff. If you are part of the crowd that enjoys the National WWII Museum, you might also enjoy Singapore’s Battlebox.

It’s not all just war, though tragic memorials of various kinds rank very, very high. In Uruguay, the top museum is the Museo Andes 1972, an institution dedicated to the 1972 flight disaster known as the “Miracle of the Andes” (also the subject of the 1993 Ethan Hawke film, Alive).

On the other hand, it is truly endearing to know that Croatia’s favorite museum is the Museum of Broken Relationships, which began as a quirky art project.

Here are the favorite museums of 50 different countries, according to TripAdvisor users:

In addition to museums, TripAdvisor also has rankings of its users’ favorite restaurantsbeaches, and landmarks, too—though at a certain point, you have to ask: Who is writing a review of the Golden Gate Bridge on TripAdvisor?


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