While some might argue that the most important thing with any museum is what it holds within its walls, but it doesn’t hurt to have a lot of space between those walls. These are the ten biggest museums in the world and while most people will name a few of them, you might be surprised by who makes the list…
10 – National Museum of Korea, South Korea (Gallery Space: 291,600 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organisation that represents Korea. Since its establishment in 1945, the museum has been committed to various studies and research activities in the fields of archaeology, history, and art, continuously developing a variety of exhibitions and education programs.
9 – Victoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom (Gallery Space: 320,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
8 – National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico (Gallery Space: 360,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: Assessments of the museum vary, with one considering it “a national treasure and a symbol of identity. The museum is the synthesis of an ideological, scientific, and political feat.” Octavio Paz criticised the museum’s making the Mexica (Aztec) Hall Central, saying the “exaltation and glorification of Mexico-Tenochtitlan transforms the Museum of Anthropology into a temple.”
7 – Tokyo National Museum, Japan (Gallery Space: 410,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The Tokyo National Museum was established in 1872, is the oldest Japanese national museum, the largest art museum in Japan and one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects, houses, and preserves a comprehensive collection of art works and archaeological objects of Asia, focusing on Japan.
6 – Vatican Museums, Vatican City (Gallery Space: 460,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The Vatican Museums of the Vatican City are located within the city’s boundaries. They display works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.
5 – Metropolitan Museum of Art, United States (Gallery Space: 633,100 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, colloquially “the Met,” is located in New York City and is the largest art museum in the United States, and is among the most visited art museums in the world and its permanent collection contains over two million works of art.
4 – National Museum of China, China (Gallery Space: 700,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The National Museum of China flanks the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The museum’s mission is to educate about the arts and history of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. It is one of the largest museums in the world.
3 – State Hermitage Museum, Russia (Gallery Space: 719,480 sq ft)
Wiki Info: Of the six buildings in the main museum complex, five, namely the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage Theatre, are open to the public. The entrance ticket for foreign tourists costs more than the fee paid by citizens of Russia and Belarus.
2 – Louvre, France (Gallery Space: 782,910 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings.
1 – Art Institute of Chicago, United States (Gallery Space: 1,000,000 sq ft)
Wiki Info: The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago’s Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognised for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million guests annually.