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Europe Loves Art Museums, Asia Is Also Into Science


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Katharina Buchholz


The world's most popular museums see millions of visitors each year. While there is something to be found for everyone in museum hot spots like China, the U.S. East Coast or Europe - as identified by the 2022 Theme Index and Museum Index by TEA and AECOM - different continents have different preferences when it comes to getting their museum fix.


Art museums reign supreme in Europe, with the Louvre in French capital Paris and the Tate Modern in London seeing an annual average of between 5.7 and 3.1 million visitors, respectively, in past years even when taking the Covid-19 pandemic into account. Around an annual average of 3.7 million also visited the Vatican Museums during this time frame, which include art galleries and historical artefact exibits as well as ornate historical buildings like the Sistine Chapel. The British Museum, which is also a mixed art and history museum, saw about as many visitors - 3.2 million.


Over in Asia, the mix of art and historical artefacts which is often employed for national museums is also popular. In the given time frame, the National Museum of China and the Nanjing Museum saw 3.3 million and 2.3 million visitors each year on average, placing them among the most visited museums in the Asia-Pacific region. The National Museum of Korea in Seoul saw 2.3 million visitors also. The other two most-visited museums in Asia are of a different breed: The Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and the National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung, Taiwan, also received around 2.2 million visitors each per year.


Visitor numbers were a little lower in the U.S. over the past couple of years. Yet, between 2.4 and 3.3 million people per year were keen to catch exhibits at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, respectively. Around 2.4 million visited collections at the National Museum of Natural History while 1.4 million headed to the National Museum of American History. Both museums are also located in the U.S. capital. The Museum of Modern Art in New York saw 1.5 million annual visitors on average.


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