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Europe has some of the world’s greatest museums and there are plenty to choose from in all of the countries. When European countries colonized across the globe their archaeologists discovered many of the of the ancient sites in Egypt, China, India, Mesopotamia, etc. They uncovered ancient cites, tombs and civilizations  all but lost centuries ago. The artifacts they uncovered where sent back to their museums in Europe. Today some of these artifacts have become controversial between the countries of their origin and the European museums they are kept in. Some pieces have been return museums in other countries while others remain unresolved. In addition Europe has had explosive periods of learning and progressive thinking. The eras of the Greeks , the Romans, the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution all gave us great contributions in the arts, sciences, literature, architecture and culture. So much of which is exhibited in the museums across Europe.

Museums can be classified as one or multiple classifications below;

  • Agriculture
  • Anthropology
  • Aquarium / Oceanographic
  • Arboretum
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Archive
  • Art
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Biology
  • Botanical
  • Cemetery
  • Children’s
  • Church
  • Communications
  • Craft
  • Culture
  • Design
  • Education
  • Encyclopedic
  • Ethnography
  • Family
  • Film / Photography
  • Food / Drink
  • General
  • Historic House / Site
  • Historical Society
  • History
  • Library
  • Living History
  • Maritime
  • Medical
  • Memorial
  • Military
  • Music
  • Natural History
  • Nature Center
  • Open-Air
  • Park
  • Planetarium
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Space
  • Specialized
  • Virtual 
  • Technology
  • Transport / Railroad
  • University
  • War
  • Zoological

Art museums can also be called Galleries. Collections can fall into one category or another stressing the period or form of art. Most are either classical collections or modern and in some cases unique or niche art categories. 

Europe’s Most Attended Museums…

The list includes art museums, history museums, natural history museums, and science museums, but does not include archaeological sites or historical monuments, and many palace museums
2019 attendance source: Art Newspaper for 2019

RankMuseumFlagCityCountryAnnual Visitors
2Vatican MuseumsVatican CityHoly See6,882,931
3The British MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom6,239,983
4Tate ModernLondonUnited Kingdom6,098,340
5National GalleryLondonUnited Kingdom6,011,007
6Natural History MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom5,226,000
7The State Hermitage MuseumSaint PetersburgRussia4,956,529
8Museo Reina SofiaMadridSpain4,956,529
9Victoria and Albert MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom3,967,566
10Musée d'OrsayParisFrance3,651,616
11Centre PompidouParisFrance3,551,544
12Museo del PradoMadridSpain3,497,345
13Science MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom3,286,000
14Somerset HouseLondonUnited Kingdom3,143,626
15Moscow Kremlin MuseumsMoscowRussia3,101,550
16Science MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom2,841,772
17Tretyakov GalleryMoscowRussia2,835,836
18Royal Museums GreenwichLondonUnited Kingdom2,549,833
19The State Russian MuseumSaint PetersburgRussia2,394,400
21Cité des Sciences er de l'industrieParisFrance2,231,000
22Le Gallerie Degli UffiziFlorenceItaly2,230,914
23National Museums of ScotlandEdinburghUnited Kingdom2,210,024
24Van Gogh MuseumAmsterdamNetherlands2,190,000
25Auschwitz-Birkenau State MuseumOświęcimPoland2,100,000
26Kunst Historiches Museum WeinViennaAustria1,839,027
27Kelvingrove Art Gallery & MuseumGlasgowUnited Kingdom1,832,097
28Tate BritainLondonUnited Kingdom1,808,523
29Acropolis MuseumAthensGreece1,760,315
31Galleria Dell'Accademia di FirenzeFlorenceItaly1,704,776
32National Portrait GalleryLondonUnited Kingdom1,634,934
33Scottish National GalleryEdinburghUnited Kingdom1,583,231
34Pushkin State Museum of Fine ArtsMoscowRussia1,481,300
35The Royal Castle in WarsawWarsawPoland1,256,720
36Royal Academy of ArtsLondonUnited Kingdom1,248,882
37Musée de l´Armée (Les Invalides)ParisFrance1,208,199
38Museum of European & Mediterranean Civilizations (MUCEM)MarseilleFrance1,207,663
39Petite PalaisParisFrance1,203,810
40National Museum of KrakówKrakówPoland1,196,207
41Guggenheim BilbaoBilbaoSpain1,190,669
42Saatchi GalleryLondonUnited Kingdom1,160,729
43Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza NationalMadridSpain1,129,270
44Musée du quay BranlyParisFrance1,112,423
45Teatre Museo DalíFiguresSpain1,105,169
46Royal Museums of Fine ArtBrusselsBelgium1,091,280
47Grand PalaisParisFrance1,075,187
48Museu Fundação de SerralvesPortoPortugal1,074,200
49Imperial War MuseumLondonUnited Kingdom1,073,935
50Museu PicassoBarcelonaSpain1,072,887
51Foundation Louis VuittonParisFrance1,065,000
52Museo Coleção BerardoLisbonPortugal1,060,544
53Musée de l'OrangerieParisFrance1,014,021
55CaixaForum MadridMadridSpain947,298
56Museu Nacional d'Art de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain891,346
57Ashmolean MuseumOxfordUnited Kingdom882,494
58Garage MuseumMoscowRussia881,954
59CaixaForum BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain863,605
60Museo EgizioTurinItaly849,163

Museum Directory…

by Country / Region / City …

Museum Directory Sites

ArtCyclopedia – A guide to European art museums with exceptional collections of art.
Culture 24 – A guide to museums, public galleries, libraries, archives, heritage sites and science centers. It has over 5,000 listings.
European-Museums – EuroEducation’s Guide to Art, Culture, History and Science
The European Museums Network – Search for Museums by location and read features about current exhibits and activities.
Museums at Night – Provides information on after hours cultural events at museums, galleries and heritage sites.
Odysseas – Complete directory of museums in Greece provided by the Greece Ministry of Culture and Sports.




















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