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Top 20 most visited museums in the world

travel Updated: Jun 26, 2013 11:55 IST

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Europe is the leader when it comes to museum culture, with nine of the top 20 visited sites split between London and Paris.

Prepared by analysts at Themed Entertainment Association and AECOM, the 2012 Theme Index ranked the most visited museums in the world last year. With 9,720,000 visitors in 2012, the Louvre trumped every other museum to take the top spot.

Interestingly, while the most popular British museums on the list are free, the most visited museums in Paris including the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and the Musee d’Orsay, require paid admission.

The most visited and highest ranking museum in Asia, meanwhile, is the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which ranked No. 12 on the list.

Here are the top 20 global museums by attendance in 2012:

1. Louvre, Paris, France, 9,720,000

2. National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C., 7,600,000

3. National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C., 6,800,000

4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 6,116,000

5. British Museum, London, 5,576,000

6. Tate Modern, London, 5,319,000

7. National Gallery, London, 5,164,000

8. Vatican Museums, Vatican City, 5,065,000

9. American Museum of Natural History, New York, 5,000,000

10. Natural History Museum, London, 4,936,000

11. National Museum of American History, Washington D.C., 4,800,000

12. National Palace Museum, Taipei, 4,361,000

13. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 4,200,000

14. National Museum of China, Beijing, 4,100,000

15. Centre Pompidou, Paris, 3,800,000

16. Musee d’Orsay, Paris, 3,579,000

17. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 3,232,000

18. National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 3,128,000

19. Geological Museum of China, Beijing, 3,000,000

20. Science Museum, London 2,990,000