Two of the world’s best museums right here in the Netherlands

Two of the world’s best museums right here in the Netherlands

The Erasmus University in Rotterdam conducted research into the reputation of 18 of the world’s famous art institutions, and concluded that the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, two of the most popular museums in the Netherlands, belong to the three best museums in the world. The Louvre in Paris takes the top spot. A study on this scale has not been carried out before.

How the Erasmus University Rotterdam conducted the research

In order to rank the museums, the researchers from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam selected 18 museums from 10 countries, in four continents, based on their yearly visitor numbers. They then asked around 12.000 people -visitors as well as those who had not visited the museums- what they thought of the collections, layout of the museum and reputation.

The reputations of museums were driven by seven factors, namely: products and services, innovative capacity, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and financial performance.

Which museums scored best                                    

The Louvre in Paris came out on top as the museum with the best reputation worldwide, with a score of 84,3. With 7,4 million visitors per year, it is the most visited museum in the world and is celebrated for its art collection.

The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum finished in second and third place, with scores of 81,9 and 81,7 respectively.

Taking only the results from European participants into consideration, the Van Gogh Museum wins first place with the best reputation, scoring just above the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum.

Top museums

  1. The Louvre, Paris
  2. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  3. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  4. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
  5. British Museum, London
  6. The Musée d’Orsday, Paris
  7. Vatican Museums, Vatican City
  8. Museo del Prado, Madrid
  9. National Gallery, London
  10. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  11. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
  12. Tate Modern, London
  13. Museum of Modern Art, New York
  14. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris
  15. Reina Sofia, Madrid
  16. National Art Center, Tokyo
  17. Shanghai Museum, Shanghai
  18. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro

Driving factors

The driving factors behind the scores were the quality of the collections, as well as their distinguishing features from other collections. The report also concluded a great appreciation for museums’ contributions to society, such as its educative functions and conservation of heritage.

Familiarity of the museums also influenced the ranking as the newer museums, although scoring relatively highly, found themselves at the bottom of the rankings, whilst the oldest museum -The Louvre- found itself at the top.

The city or region in which the museum was situated also played a role in the scores. In Amsterdam, for example, the city is highly regarded, and this influenced the scoring of the museums positively. This is also true in reverse, a city, such as St. Petersburg, can profit from the reputation of the museum situated there.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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