Chicago Tops the World’s Best Museum List – Guess Who Else Made the Cut?

Greg Keraghosian
·Associate Travel Editor
art institute chicago trip advisor
art institute chicago trip advisor

The Art Institute of Chicago moved up from No. 3 in the world to No.1 in TripAdvisor’s ratings this year. (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

The Art Institute of Chicago was founded in 1879, but it still must be winning visitors over, because for the second straight year it was named the most-liked museum in the U.S. in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards. This year, it was also named the world’s favorite.

The Getty Center of Los Angeles also drew high marks as the second-favorite museum in the U.S. and fourth favorite in the world.

TripAdvisor bases the awards on millions of reviews and opinions from their members, spread out over 12 months. The site says it uses an algorithm that measures the quantity and quality of reviews to determine the winners.

Related: The CIA Museum: Yahoo Takes You Inside the Coolest Museum You’ll Never Visit 

The Art Institute rose from No. 3 in the world last year to No. 1 this year. It has 300,000 pieces of art from the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Rembrant, and many other famous artists. Among the most famous works is “American Gothic,” that famous 1930 farmer/pitchfork painting by Grant Wood. The museum also got this loving tour from director John Hughes in the 1986 movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”:

The Getty Center shot up the rankings this year, as it was only No. 15 on the U.S. rankings in 2013. The museum is another big-city destination, though in a very different setting high atop the Santa Monica mountains. It’s a must-see for the view alone, but it boasts some heavyweight art as well. Famous pieces include “Arii Matamoe” by Gauguin and “Irises” by Van Gogh.

getty center
getty center

The Getty Center (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

The New York Metropolitan Museum was another traveler favorite, earning No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 7 in the world. It’s also by far the most-reviewed museum on the list, with 14,999 reviews.

TripAdvisor notes their recent survey that found that 28 percent of U.S. respondents plan to visit a museum in their leisure time this fall.

Here’s the complete top 10 in the U.S., with the number of reviews they got:

1. Art Institute of Chicago (6,512 reviews)

2. Getty Center, Los Angeles (4,470 reviews)

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City (14,999 reviews)

new york metropolitan museum
new york metropolitan museum

New York MoMA (Courtesy:TripAdvisor)

4. The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, (5,723 reviews)

5. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (3,006 reviews)

6. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. (5,661 reviews)

smithsonian museum
smithsonian museum

Smithsonian (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

7. USS Midway Museum, San Diego,(6,650 reviews)

8. Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle (5,215 reviews)

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Chihuly Garden and Glass (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

9. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Ariz. (2,755 reviews)

10. Newseum, Washington, D.C. (3,616 reviews)

As for the world rankings, the Art Institute unseated the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace of St. Petersburg, Russia, which fell to third place. Here’s the complete top 10:

1. Art Institute of Chicago

2. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City (3,906 reviews)

3. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia (5,851 reviews)

State Hermitage Museum russia
State Hermitage Museum russia

State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace (Courtesy: TripAdvisor)

4. The Getty Center

5. Galleria dell’Accademia/Statue of David, Florence, Italy (10,024 reviews)

Galleria dell’Accademia
Galleria dell’Accademia

Statue of David (Photo: Thinkstock)

6. Musee d’Orsay, Paris (20,408 reviews)

7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

8. The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece (6,617 reviews)

9. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain (12,061 reviews)

10. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Jerusalem, Israel (2,556 reviews)

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