Best Value Museums in Europe

Best Value Museums in Europe

Uncover the best value museums in Europe — a curated collection of affordable art, history, and heritage

We can all agree that Europe’s cultural wonders are bountiful, including some of the world’s most beautiful universities, and the best news is visiting them need not break the bank! Join us as we uncover the best value museums in Europe — a curated collection of affordable art, history, and heritage. 

First, The Knowledge Academy obtained a seed list of twenty of the best museums in Europe from Tripadvisor to produce this study. To produce an index of the best-value museums in Europe, we carefully considered five factors:

  • Location
  • Tripadvisor reviews
  • General adult admission fee
  • Saturday opening hours
  • Instagram hashtags

 Europe’s rich tapestry of history and artistic heritage has woven a legacy of world-renowned museums. The results of our study shine a bright light on the best. From London to Paris and Amsterdam, we’ll travel to several European countries to better understand the treasures they hold in their most famous museums, from London’s National Gallery to the Louvre in Paris and Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Europe's 10 Best Value Museums

1. National Gallery, London

The National Gallery holds the number one spot in our study of Europe’s best-value museums, with the highest score of 63 out of 100, beating the Natural History Museum by a cat’s whisker (61 out of 100). Better yet, it also happens to be one of the top 25 free museums in London

 The National Gallery is known for its exceptional collection of European paintings spanning the 13th to the 19th centuries. Perhaps one of the most famous paintings on its walls, with a vibrant use of colour and emotional intensity, is “Sunflowers” by Vincent van Gogh. 

2. Natural History Museum, London

Next on our list is a museum that showcases the diversity of life on Earth and the history of our planet. The Natural History Museum, which has over 822,000 hashtags on Instagram, features several unmissable highlights that have captured the public’s imagination, from Dippy the Diplodocus to the dramatic blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling of the Hintze Hall. 

Beaten by The National Gallery by just two points, the Natural History Museum scores 61 out of 100 in our study of the best value museums and holds an average review rating of 4.5 out of five on Tripadvisor.

3. Louvre Museum, Paris

Taking us from London to Paris is the Louvre Museum in third place with a score of 60.5 out of 100. Two of the greatest treasures found in the Louvre are the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. 

But the brilliant thing about the Louvre is it's a treasure in itself. The Louvre’s iconic glass pyramid entrance and its’ blend of architectural styles are visually stunning. A visit to the Louvre is guaranteed to capture visitors’ attention, just ask the 5.6 million people who have posted a shot of the museum on Instagram. 

4. Prado National Museum, Madrid

Step into the Spanish Golden Age and beyond at the Prado National Museum in Madrid. Fourth on our list of the best-value museums in Europe, with an index score of 59 and a 4.5 review rating on Tripadvisor, this museum houses works by Spain’s most celebrated artists, such as El Greco and Diego Velazquez, alongside masterpieces of Western art. Founded in the late 18th century, the Prado National Museum is one of the world’s oldest art institutions.

5. Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

A profoundly moving and thought-provoking historical site, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is fifth on our list. The house not only serves as a poignant reminder of the Holocaust but it plays a vital role in preserving the memory of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who wrote a diary during World War II while hiding from the Nazis. 

Visitors won’t want to miss the secret annex and Anne’s original diary. This museum was awarded 58.5 out of 100 points in our study and visitors can expect to pay a general adult admission fee of €16 (£14). 

6. The British Museum, London

The British Museum is the third site in the capital to make the top 10 proving why London blows the rest of Europe out of the water for the best-value museums. The British Museum’s collection spans civilisations and cultures across continents and periods, making it a global institution not to be missed. 

This museum scores lower, at 57.5 than the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum, but it leaps ahead of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Churchill War Rooms — both of which do not make the top 10. 

 7. Acropolis Museum, Athens

A trip to the Acropolis Museum is like stepping back in time. It’s a site that encourages visitors to connect artefacts with their original context through its proximity to the ancient citadel of the Acropolis and its architectural design that complements the antiquities it houses. This is perhaps why the site is regularly photographed, with over 76,000 hashtags available to view on Instagram. 

Visitors will marvel at the museum’s glass floors, through which they can observe archaeological remains and excavation findings. This museum is awarded 56.5 out of 100 points and shares seventh place with Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland and Vatican City’s Vatican Museums. 

8. Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg

Sharing seventh place with the Acropolis and Vatican Museums, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is famous for being the world’s largest model railway exhibit. Visitors can enjoy a captivating miniature world that brings various landscapes, cities, and scenarios to life in meticulous detail. 

The night illuminations are particularly captivating. Miniatur Wunderland comes to life at night with intricate lighting effects that mimic a magical atmosphere, emphasising the realism of the small world. Exceptionally, the Miniatur Wunderland also holds a review rating of five out of five on Tripadvisor — the highest Tripadvisor rating of all museums featured in our study!

9. Vatican Museums, Vatican City

Sharing seventh place with 56.5 points, the Vatican Museums have a rich history dating back to the early 16th century. An extensive collection of religious art exists in the Vatican Museums, including sacred artefacts, paintings, sculptures and manuscripts, so it’s no wonder 602,206 hashtags are mentioning the museum on Instagram!

 Among the unmissable highlights are the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms and “Laocoon and His Sons”  — a monumental ancient sculpture depicting a Trojan priest and his sons entangled with serpents. Entry to this museum typically costs €17 (£15) per adult. 

10. Gallerie Degli Uffizii, Florence 

Another of Italy’s cultural gems closes the top 10 best-value museums. The Uffizi Gallery, awarded 55 out of 100 points in our index, houses an exceptional collection of Renaissance masterpieces by some of the greatest artists in history. Works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Titian and Caravaggio, among others, can be viewed inside. “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli is one of the cultural highlights. 

An article of Victoria Affleck

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