The Forbidden City in Beijing is the most popular museum in the world – 15 million visits last year, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg had 3,7 million visits

The Hermitage in The Palace Square in Saint Petersburg. Photo: Sirpa Pääkkönen

In recent years, the world's most visited museum has been the Forbidden City Palace Museum in Beijing, China. The annual number of visits has risen there up to more than 15 million. At the forefront of the world has long remained the Louvre in Paris (8.6 million visits in 2015). Northern European museums overwhelming number one is the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (3.7 million visits in 2015).

The Forbidden City. Photo: Wikipedia.
These data derive from Statistics Finland'scultural statistical table package.

The Palace Museum in Beijing is located in the imperial palace of the consecutive Ming (1363-1644) and Qing (1644­-1911) dynasties. The architectural complex is also known as the Forbidden City in the middle of Beijing. The museum has vast holdings of paintings, calligraphy, ceramics and antiquities of the imperial collections. In 1987the museum was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

According to Statistics Finland going to museums has increased in many countries. For example, visits to museums in Estonia amounted to almost 3.3 million in 2015. The number has doubled in 12 years. Strong growth is affected not only the increase in the Estonian-tourism also the opening of new major museums, such as KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn and the Maritime Museum of Flight Port of Tallinn. Growth is likely to continue, as completed in 2016, located in the National Museum in Tartu in Estonia is expected to more than 300 000 visitors a year.

Museums are gained popularity in all Nordic countries, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, and especially in China.  In Finland, the number of museum visits has increased by almost 30 percent from 2005 to 2015.

Victorian style dresses in Kumu, Tallinn.  Photo:Sirpa Pääkkönen
Here you have visit figures of popular museums in 2015: Louvre, Paris, 8,6 million visits, British Museum, London, 6,8 million visits, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 6,5 million visits, Vatican Museums, Rome, 6 million visits, National Gallery, London, 5,9 million visits, National Palace Museum, Taipei, 5,3 million visits, Tate Modern, London, 5,9 visits, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 4,1 million visits, The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, 3,7 million visits, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, 3,4 million visits.

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