The best museums in Australia and the world, according to visitors

Andrew Munro 22 September 2017

shutterstock metropolitan museum of art new york 738x410

Twenty places well worth going.

TripAdvisor has picked out the best museums in Australia and in the world. It crunched the quality and quantity of reviews for these destinations over a 12 month period and pulled out the venues that were above and beyond, according to visitors.

The top 10 museums in the world
  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: The world famous art gallery clearly doesn't disappoint, with countless visitors leaving more than satisfied.
  2. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans: Its collection of war relics and exhibits touch on every aspects of America's involvement in WWII. Bringing history to life is a tall order, but this kind of collection clearly helps.
  3. Musée d'Orsay, Paris: One might not think of the Musee d'Orsay as the most famous art museum in France, or even in Paris alone, but it looks like plenty of visitors are keen to give this already-famous gallery a day in the sun.
  4. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago: About 1.5 million visitors a year come through to walk through art history. It's the second largest art museum in the USA (after New York's Metropolitan Museum), and is known for concentrating as much on the history and creation of art as the works themselves.
  5. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg: The vast heart of Russia's art collection houses millions of pieces, from ancient antiquities to artworks of the Romantic period. And the building itself, the old Winter Palace, is just as much of an exhibit in its own right.
  6. The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, New York: The well known museum and memorial to the dead at ground zero of the World Trade Centre. Understandably, it wouldn't get a lot of bad reviews.
  7. Museo Nacional de Anthropologia, Mexico City: The anthropological museum is the most visited in Mexico, and home to one of the world's most expansive collections of meso-America history, including the original 24 tonne stone-carved Aztec Sunstone.
  8. Acropolis Museum, Athens: The museum was originally built to house the relics uncovered during excavations on the Acropolis itself, but the scale of findings quickly exceeded its capacity. Today it shows some of the best ancient Greek relics ever uncovered, and has even been built around attractions that couldn't be moved.
  9. Museo del Prado, Madrid: Spain's national art museum, reckoned by experts to have the finest collection of European art in the world. A lot of work from Spain's most famous painters, including Francisco Goya and Hieronymus Bosch, highlight the collection.
  10. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London: The V&A is the world's largest collection of art, antiques, relics, oddities, clothing and anything else that might be described as a culturally or historically significant knick-knack, with a collection spanning almost the entirety of known human history.
hermitage russia diamond room

From the Diamond Room in the St Petersburg Hermitage


None of Australia's museums made the top ten worldwide, but there's still plenty of inspiration for anyone who wants to tick all of Australia's best museums off their list.

  1. National Gallery of Victoria - Melbourne
  2. National Anzac Centre - Albany
  3. Melbourne Museum - Melbourne
  4. Questacon - Canberra
  5. Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - Darwin
  6. National Gallery of Australia - Canberra
  7. Art Gallery of New South Wales - Sydney
  8. Defence of Darwin Experience - Darwin
  9. Bendigo Art GalleryBendigo
  10. Historic Village Herberton - Queensland

There's a lot to see and do on this list. The National Anzac Centre, for example, comes closer than just about anywhere else to bringing history to life, by making you walk in the shoes of 32 historical figures, through their lives in a series of interactive exhibits. Albany might be better known for its beaches, but its museum isn't flying under the radar either.

At the end of the day, who can say what an art gallery review is worth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. You might enjoy the Museum of Bad Art just as much.

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