Europe is a cultural treasure. Whether you prefer history, science, art, etc., you can always find something of your own interest, no matter the city.
Here is a list of top 10 musems of the Old World, attracting millions of tourists each year.
1) Louvre, Paris (France)
It should come as no surprise that it is our number one museum. Louvre stands next to the Eiffel Tower when it comes to Paris’ landmarks. It is the most visited museum in the world counting more than 9 300 000 visitors in 2015. To this number can be added 2.3 million followers on social networks. It has more than 380 000 priceless masterpieces to offer, ranging from the 6th century BC to the 19th century. Today it shows 35 000 of them in 8 departments.
- The museum offers a free entry each first Sunday of the month from October to March.
- The Official Ticketing Service provides a full list of prices, depending on dates, tours, etc.
- Normal entry price for an adult is 15,00 €.
2) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
Founded in 1800 in Hague, the Rijksmuseum soon transfered to the Dutch capital. It’s a national museum dedicated to art and history. In the last few years the number of visitors has reached almost 3 000 000 people per year. Its collection has about one million of masterpieces dating from 1200 to 2000. However, at the moment only 8 000 of them are being displayed to the public.
- A single ticket costs 17,50 €.
- Check all the offers and book the tickets online.
3) Acropolis Museum, Athens (Greece)
It is an archeological museum based on the foundings of the Acropolis of Athens. It contains pieces from Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. The museum was founded in 2003, however it was not until 2009 that it was opened to the public for the first time.
- A ticket costs 5,00 € per person.
- Free entry is on March 25th, May 18th and October 28th.
- For information on reduced prices or free entrance click here.
4) National Gallery, London (UK)
Situated in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery Museum is one of the top tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. It is among the most visited museums of the world, counting almost 6 000 000 visitors in 2015. If you are in London, you get a chance to see the home of some of the Michelangelo’s, Da Vinci’s and Botticelli’s masterpieces, and many others.
- The museum is closed on December 24-26 and on January 1st.
- Admission to the museum is free.
- See more information.
5) British Musem, London (UK)
Counting more than 8 million pieces dedicated to human history, art and culture, the British Museum is among the most comprehensive in existence and contains works from all continents. It is often criticised for having artefacts taken from other countries, e.g. Greece or Egypt. The collections spans over 2 million years of human history. In 2013 the museum had almost 7 million visitors, making it the most successful year in their history.
- The admission is free every day, except for loan exhibitions.
- It is opened daily from 10:00 – 17:30 (Friday to 20:30).
6) Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris (France)
This complex building situated in the 4th arrondissement contains a Public Information Library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne (the largest museum of modern art in Europe) and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. The centre is also known under the name of Beaubourg.
- Due to the overcrowded tours, it is recommended to avoid visiting during peak hours on weekends from 13:00 to 18:00 hours.
- The entrance is free if you are under 18 years of age.
- Working hours: every day except Tuesdays and May 1st, from 11:00 to 21:00 (Thursdays until 23:00).
- A single ticket costs 14,00 € (exhibitions and museum).
- Check all the prices here.
7) Tate Modern, London (UK)
A modern art gallery situated in the English capital is a national gallery with international modern art. Its collections dates from 1900 onward. In 2015 the gallery counted over 4.5 million visitors. The collection has been divided into four groups: History-Memory-Society; Nude-Action-Body; Landscape-Matter-Environment and Still Life-Object-Real Life.
- The admission is free for the access to the collection displays, while the tickets must be purchased for the big temporary exhibitions.
- The collection is displayed on the third and fifth floor of the building.
- They are open from Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- They are closed December 24, 25, 26 and on January 1.
8) Serralves Museum, Porto (Portugal)
Serralves is one of the most important institutions in the whole country. It contains a Contemporary Art Museum, a Park and a Villa. They are all examples of contemporary architecture, Modernism and Art Deco architecture. Last year the museum visited over 1.3 million tourists.
- Check the working hours here.
- A single ticket for the museum is 10,00 €, whilst the one for the park is 5,00 €.
- The entrance is free each first Sunday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 01:00 p.m.
- See the discounts.
9) Museum Del Prado, Madrid (Spain)
This main Spanish national art museum is contains many European priceless masterpieces, dating from the 12th century to the early 20th century. The collection, counting more than 7 500 pieces, is seen by more than 2 000 000 people each year. The museum is planning an expansion of 16% which should be realised by 2019.
- General ticket price is 15,00 €.
- Citizens above 65 years of age, holders of youth cards and large families pay 50% off (7,50 €).
- No fee for children under 18 and for students 18 – 25.
- The museum is closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
- More information on tours.
NOTE: In case you need help with getting around the city, check out our travelling from Madrid post!
10) Vatican Museums, Vatican City (Italy)
The museum located within the city boundaries has a significant collection built up by the popes throughout the centuries, including some of the most important Renaissance works in the world. There are 54 museums in total, the most recent one being the Sistine Chapel whose ceiling was made by Michelangelo.
- The museums are opened every day from 9:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. except for Sundays.
- Full ticket price is 16,00 €.
- Buy the ticket online.