Museum entry prices around the world differ significantly. You can enjoy free entry to many prestigious museums but which museums are the world’s most expensive?

We checked the standard adult ticket price at institutions around the world and found the most expensive museum to visit in a city famous for free museum entry, London.

The World’s Most expensive Museum?
Churchill War Rooms topped our survey of the most expensive museums in the world.

This is surprising because most museums across London offer free entry (British Museum, National Gallery, Tate, V&A, National Portrait Gallery) which you might expect to limit the price that visitors are willing to pay.

One might also expect that with Pound Sterling, current weakened by Brexit, any comparison with European and North American museums would be more favorable.

However, the vast majority of TripAdvisor reviews of Churchill War Rooms are ‘excellent,’ so most visitors feel that the ‘world’s most expensive museum’ is worth the price.

The $25 Club

Some major American museums have set their standard adult ticket price at $25. These include Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, SFMOMA, LACMA and the Art Institute of Chicago.

MoMA hasn’t increased its admission charge since 2011 when it rose from $20. At the time the museum said that the change had not affected visitor numbers.

Elsewhere in the world

Even the most expensive museums in Europe (except for Churchill War Rooms) tend to be priced slightly lower than the American art museums. Rijksmuseum is €19 ($22), Musée du Louvre €17 ($19) and Fondation Louis Vuitton € 16 ($18).

In Tasmania, the Museum of Old and New Art is A$28 ($20) which is substantially more than most Australian museums.

Elsewhere in the world, the most expensive museum ticket tends to be no more than $15.

Free museums can be Expensive

Since 2001, National Museums in the United Kingdom have had free entry. However, this does not mean that visitors get to see the whole museum.

A ticket to see the upcoming blockbuster at the British Museum will cost £19 ($24) while visiting the current Anni Albers Exhibition at Tate Modern costs £16 ($20).

Last year The National Gallery in London was criticised for charging £22 for their Claude Monet exhibition. The Gallery’s Director Gabriele Finaldi defended the ticket price at the time, saying ‘There’s a good number of paintings which have not been seen in public before,” he said. “Those are the pictures that are most difficult, sometimes impossible for the public to see. To have brought those in and to be able to show those in this exhibition I think is very attractive for the public.’

How do the prices of the museums mentioned above compare to the price your museum charges? What’s the most expensive museum that you have visited?

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