The inquisitive traveller will be sure to stop off at the best museums in each country when they are travelling. So, here are the ten largest museums of the world.
Spanning the ages, the largest museums of the world provide fascinating insight into the history of the world we live in today.
From art to natural history, ancient relics to cultural heritage, you will always find out something new by walking the halls of a museum.
With hundreds of galleries and exhibitions to explore, you could spend days on end wandering through the rooms of the world’s best museums – and impress your friends when you get home with all the knowledge you’ve gained.
So, to prepare you for your next adventure, here are the ten largest museums of the world.
WBL’s top 5 facts about the largest museums of the world
- Did you know the Louvre Museum in Paris has a secret underground section called the Louvre Pyramid, which serves as a mysterious entrance to the museum’s extensive collection?
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is said to be haunted, with numerous reports of ghostly sightings and unexplained phenomena.
- The National Museum of China in Beijing is home to a rare fossil of a feathered dinosaur, a significant discovery in paleontological history.
- The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a collection of locks of hair from historical figures, including strands from Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Victoria herself.
- The Madras Museum in India houses the world’s largest collection of Roman antiquities found in a single location outside Europe.
10. National Museum of Korea – all things Korea
Established in 1945, the National Museum of Korea in Seoul is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea. This is just one of the many fantastically strange things to do in Seoul.
With a gallery space of 27,090 m2 (291,600 sq ft), the museum gives a fascinating insight into the history of Korea from the Palaeolithic to the Joseon period, the Silk Road, and more!
Address: 137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
9. Victoria and Albert Museum – a London favourite
With a gallery space of 30,658 m2 (330,000 sq ft), the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is one of the largest museums of the world.
Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the museum today has the largest holding of Italian Renaissance items and post-classical sculpture outside of Italy.
Address: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
8. National Museum of Anthropology – Mexico’s national museum
The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City was designed by architects Pedro Ramírez Vazquez, Jorge Campuzano, and Rafael Mijares Alcerreca in 1964.
With a gallery space of 33,000 m2 (360,000 sq ft), the museum includes an array of anthropological artefacts that date back to Mexico’s pre-Columbian times.
Address: Av. Paseo de la Reforma s/n, Polanco, Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
7. Tokyo National Museum – the largest museum in Japan
With an impressive gallery space of 38,000 m2 (410,000 sq ft), the Tokyo National Museum is the largest museum in Japan.
The museum is home to 110,000 artefacts ranging from 12th-century mandalas to religious manuscripts, 87 of which are deemed National Treasures.
Address: 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8712, Japan
Read also: Top 10 weirdest museums in the world ranked.
6. Vatican Museums – the oldest museum
As well as being one of the largest museums of the world, the Vatican Museums within Rome are also the oldest museums in the world that you can still visit today.
Established in 1506, this 43,000 m2 (460,000 sq ft) gallery space is home to the famous Sistine Chapel, where you can marvel at the Michelangelo piece on the ceiling.
Address: 00120 Vatican City
5. Metropolitan Museum of Art – a glamourous museum
Known as ‘the Met’, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on the edge of Central Park is not only the home of art exhibitions but also plays host to several glamourous galas and events.
With a gallery space of 58,820 m2 (633,100 sq ft), you need to pay a visit to this museum while you’re in the Big Apple.
Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, United States
4. National Museum of China – a newer museum
Founded in 2003 when the Museum of the Chinese Revolution and the National Museum of Chinese History merged to become one is the National Museum of China.
With a gallery space of 65,000 m2 (700,000 sq ft), this impressive museum covers almost 2 million years of Chinese history.
Address: 16 E Chang’an Ave, Dongcheng, China
3. Madras Museum – a piece of Indian history
The Madras Museum in Chennai, India, hosts an impressive array of exhibitions on human history and culture.
With a gallery space of 66,000 m2 (710,418 sq ft), the Madras Museum was founded on the grounds of the British-built Pantheon in 1851.
Address: Government Maternity Hospital, Pantheon Rd, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600008, India
Read more: India bucket list: 20 best things to do.
2. State Hermitage Museum – an iconic Russian attraction
St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum is a sight to behold with its bright green regal façade – and that’s before you even make it inside.
Opened by Empress Catherine the Great in the mid-1700s, this museum’s totally gallery space is a whopping 66,842 m2 (719,480 sq ft).
Address: Palace Square, 2, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
1. The Louvre Museum – the world’s largest museum
Topping our list of the largest museums of the world is the Louvre. Lying at the heart of Paris and distinctive for its iconic glass pyramid entrance, this famous art museum is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Established in 1793, the total gallery space of the Louvre is an impressive 72,735 m2 (782,910 sq ft), which is the size of 280 tennis courts.
Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
Related: 10 best free museums in Paris.
Your questions answered about the largest museums in the world
Is the Met the biggest art museum?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the largest art museum in the U.S. and the fourth-largest museum in the world.
What’s the name of the most famous museum in England?
The Tate Modern is the most visited museum in England, followed by the Natural History Museum and the British Museum.