Calling all art lovers, history buffs and science nerds: This month TEA/AECOM GLobal Attractions Attendance Report ranked the top museums in the world. In its second year of tracking museum attendance, the travel company unveiled that unsurprisingly, Paris's Louvre is the globe's most visited museum with 9.3 million visitors in 2013. Those who wish to fly out see what lies inside the other walls of wonder might want to consider purchasing insurance for travel to protect their travel investment, similar to that one painting with a woman's mysterious smile that's insured for $100 million.
1. Louvre, Paris
The Louvre has been a main landmark of downtown Paris for centuries, though not always in the incarnation that visitors see it today. The original structure was a fortress built in 1190 by Phillippe Auguste, and the Salle Basse (Lower Hall) is all that remains of the Louvre's medieval interior today. Not only is the Louvre the most visited museum, it is the world's most famous, housing a collection of more than 1 million pieces of art from Michelangelo, Egyptian sculptors and of course, Leonardo da Vinci.
2. National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
Following on the Louvre's heels is the National Museum of Natural History located in the U.S. capital. Administered by the Smithsonian, the facility boasts full-scale dinosaur skeletons that kids ogle over and one of the finest collections of gems and minerals, including the 45.52 carat Hope Diamond and the Star of Asia sapphire. There are also exhibits on the waters of the world and an IMAX theater to soak things in, in larger-than-life fashion.
3. National Museum of China, Beijing
Drawing 5 million people in 2013, the National Museum of China is third most popular museum. It is considered the most inclusive museum of time-honored Chinese culture and history in the country. Today, visitors will find a total of 48 exhibitions halls that take them on a history tour starting in ancient road through the Qing Empire to the First Opium war to modern day.
4. National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
Let your imagination soar to the skies. In the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the world's largest collection of aviation and space artifacts, travelers encounter some 60,000 objects ranging from Saturn V rockets to jetliners to microchips. For visual learners, there are more than 1.75 million photographs and 14,000 film and video titles. In total, 21 exhibition galleries are ready to blow you away.
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