This London museum is officially the UK’s most visited tourist attraction

Now that London’s tourist numbers have pretty much bounced back to 2019 levels, we’re slowly starting to see the same thing happen to the city’s attractions. From galleries to events spaces and everything in between, plenty of tourist spots witnessed crazy visitor numbers last year – but none so many as one museum. 

The British Museum was the UK’s single most popular attraction in 2023, welcoming a whopping 5.8 million people. Those figures were released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), with the British Museum seeing a massive 42 percent increase on its 2022 numbers. 

Last year museum was mired by controversy after the shocking revelation that about 2,000 objects from the collection were damaged, stolen or missing. The museum even reached out to the public to ask for help in tracing all those missing objects, and you can read more about that here. But clearly the controversy failed to deter visitors. 

The Natural History Museum claimed space number two, with a 22 percent increase in 2023 to almost 5.7 million visitors, and The Crown Estate in Windsor came third with 5.4 million visitors. 

London – pretty unsurprisingly – stole the show, and the rest of the top five was filled by the Tate Modern (4.7 million) and the Southbank Centre (3.1 million). You can have a look at the full list (and the most visited places outside of the capital) here

Even new attractions did pretty well. The National Portrait Gallery reopened back in June and welcomed 1.1 million people in 2023, and the Young V&A in Bethnal Green, which opened on July 1, saw 405,000 visitors walk through its doors. 

Director of ALVA Bernard Donoghue told the Standard: ‘Our members are not yet back to hosting the same number of visitors that they did in 2019, but they are really delighted that even in a challenging cost-of-living climate visitors are still prioritising spending special time with special people at special places.’

And London does have bags of special museums, galleries, and things to do. Check em out!

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