TripAdvisor Honors the World's Top Museums With Travelers' Choice Awards

NEEDHAM, Mass., Sept. 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced its Travelers' Choice™ awards for museums around the globe, top tips from contributors for visiting museums, as well as top-rated value hotel options for travelers near award-winning museums.

In total, 591 winners were identified, including the top 25 in the world and dedicated lists for Asia, Canada, Europe, India, South America, South Pacific, the U.K. and the U.S. The awards are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide. Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for museums around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.

"Honoring nearly 600 institutions worldwide, the Travelers' Choice awards have recognized the favorite museums that serve as cultural treasure troves for our community of millions," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "These world-class museums provide an enriching experience that can be both inspiring and educational for travelers around the globe."

Top 10 Travelers' Choice Museums in the U.S:

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, New York

Since 1870, this iconic institution on Manhattan's Upper East Side has strived to "connect people to creativity, knowledge and ideas" through art. Guests will have the chance to view the most extensive display of 17th century Dutch art in the Western Hemisphere, with masterpieces by Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Vermeer. A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, "All exhibitions are incredible, the building itself is beautiful, and the artifacts available inside take you on a memorable, historic journey." Recommended admission1: adults – $25, seniors – $17, students – $12; guests under 12 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel2 nearby:
Hotel Newton – $276/night ($186 less than city average)

2. Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

Founded in 1879 as a museum and school for the arts, this renowned Chicago attraction houses nearly 300,000 impressive works including one of the most expansive collections of modern art with pieces such as Picasso's "Old Guitarist;" O'Keeffe's "Black Cross;" and Matisse's "Bathers by a River." A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, "Plan on spending at least three hours in this beautiful place. I could not believe they had an entire room full of original Monets, Jackson Pollock, Warhol, and Johns – yes please!" Admission: adults – $25, seniors and students – $19 each; guests under 14 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Club Quarters, Central Loop$224/night ($74 less than city average)

3. The National WWII Museum – New Orleans, Louisiana

Spread across a six-acre campus in the heart of New Orleans, this museum provides detailed narratives of World War II through interactive exhibits, original artifacts and personal accounts as told by veterans. Guests can also view the U.S.S. Tang, which educates travelers about the final mission of the U.S. Navy's first submarine. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "This is a must-see for everyone. The museum is very impressive in its design, but more importantly in its portrayal of the most impactful era in our world's history." Admission: adults – $24, seniors – $21, students and children – $15 each

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
The Hotel Modern – $190/night ($59 less than city average)

4. The Getty Center – Los Angeles, California

Featuring lush gardens and cascading fountains, the spectacular Getty Center showcases several collections including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, and photographs. Travelers will see brilliant creations by Rembrandt, Jean-François Millet, Vincent van Gogh and more. "The Getty Center is an architectural masterpiece that encompasses both a collection of museums and an outdoor garden. Not only does the Getty provide an escape from the hectic city, but also a great view of the urban skyline," commented a TripAdvisor reviewer. Admission: free, parking is $15 per car

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Hotel Angeleno – $224/night ($15 less than city average)

5. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum – Washington, D.C.

Home to the world's largest display of aviation and space artifacts, this museum offers an array of activities, lectures and performances. Travelers can view nearly two million photographs and 60,000 relics including space helmets and microchips. "History is hanging from the ceiling, bolted to the floor, encased in bullet-proof glass. It's impossible to not be nostalgic and even emotionally invested to some extent when you visit!" wrote a TripAdvisor reviewer. Admission: free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill $225/night ($82 less than city average)

6. National Gallery of Art – Washington, D.C.

Since opening to the public in 1941 in the heart of the nation's capital, the National Gallery of Art has housed some of the most significant pieces from the Renaissance era to modern day. Travelers will marvel at the brushwork of Monet, Picasso, Titian and even Leonardo di Vinci's only painting in the U.S., "Ginevra de'Benci." According to a TripAdvisor reviewer, "This is a world-class museum that shouldn't be missed by art lovers. They have a wonderful permanent collection, but also host several top notch rotating exhibits." Admission: free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Capitol Hill Hotel $238/night ($69 less than city average)

7. Frick Collection – New York City, New York

Established in 1935, this premier museum just 10 blocks south of the Met operates from the former estate of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Travelers can learn about more than 1,100 works of art dating from the Renaissance to the late 19th century, with pieces by Bellini, Gainsborough, Whistler and more. A TripAdvisor reviewer noted, "I've seen classical art collections all over, but this has to rate as one of the very best. Jaw-dropping in its comprehensiveness and number of truly great (and even famous) pieces." Admission: adults and seniors – $20 each, students – $10; children under 10 not permitted

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Carvi Hotel New York – $367/night ($95 less than city average)

8. Chihuly Garden and Glass – Seattle, Washington

Showcasing the magnificent works of the great glass blower, Dale Chihuly, this museum in the Seattle Center near the iconic Space Needle is a must-see. Travelers can explore the "Garden" where they will view monumental sculptures including the magenta "Crystal," vibrant "Icicle Towers" and the vivid purple "Reeds on Logs" installation. According to a TripAdvisor reviewer, "There's one word to describe the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit: amazing! The visual stimulation, glorious colors, and exquisite designs are nothing short of masterful." Admission: adults and students – $23 each, seniors – $18, children – $14

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Ace Hotel $152/night ($100 less than city average)

9. USS Midway Museum – San Diego, California

Described as a "city at sea" this vessel invites travelers to relive world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. History buffs can view the engine room, flight control and sleeping quarters while enjoying a self-guided audio tour. "The museum displays are incredibly informative. The audio tour is concise and allows each visitor to individualize their experience. The veterans on board were helpful and I felt honored to talk with them," added a TripAdvisor reviewer. Admission: adults – $20, seniors – $17, students – $15, children – $10

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Urban Boutique Hotel $144/night ($52 less than city average)

10. American Museum of Natural History – New York City, New York

Founded in 1869, this museum located on Manhattan's Upper West Side educates travelers throughout its 45 permanent exhibitions including the "Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites" where guests can learn about planetary sciences and the stunning "Hall of Birds of the World" diorama. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, "Whether you are into the dinosaurs or space, prehistoric civilizations or Native American tribes, forest mammals or creatures of the sea, this place has it all." Recommended admission: adults – $22, seniors and students – $17 each, children – $13

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan / Upper East Side – $312/night ($150 less than city average)

Top 10 Travelers' Choice Museums in the World:

1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, New York
Recommended admission: adults – $25, seniors – $17, students – $12; guests under 12 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Hotel Newton – $276/night ($186 less than city average)

2. Musee d'Orsay – Paris, France
Admission: adults, seniors, students, children – $12 each

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Montpensier – $123/night ($124 less than city average)

3. Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Admission: adults – $25, seniors and students – $19 each; guests under 14 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Club Quarters, Central Loop$224/night ($74 less than city average)

4. Museo Nacional del Prado – Madrid, Spain
Admission: adults, seniors, students – $16 each; guests under 18 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Hotel Plaza Mayor $92/night ($39 less than city average)

5. Musee du Louvre – Paris, France
Admission: adults, seniors, students – $17 each; guests under 18 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Hotel Louvre Sainte Anne – $185/night ($62 less than city average)

6. State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia
Admission: adults, seniors, students – $9 each; children get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Roses Hotel – $47/night ($26 less than city average)

7. National Gallery – London, England
Admission: free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Arosfa – $221/night ($112 less than city average)

8. The Rijksmuseum (National Museum) – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Admission: adults, seniors, students – $20 each; guests under 18 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
citizenM Amsterdam – $143/night ($80 less than city average)

9. Vasa Museum – Stockholm, Sweden
Admission: adults and seniors – $15 each, students – $12; guests under 18 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby: |
HTL Kungsgatan – $129/night ($68 less than city average)

10. National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) – Mexico City, Mexico
Admission: adults and students – $4 each; seniors and children under 13 get in free

Highly-rated TripAdvisor value hotel nearby:
Hotel Casa Gonzalez – $58/night ($79 less than city average)

Five Tips for Visiting Museums from TripAdvisor Contributors:

1. When visiting the City of Light, a "Paris Museum Pass" can be a good value if visiting several sights per day and will allow quicker entry at most places including the Musee d'Orsay. – TripAdvisor member innaMontreal.

2. Check opening hours. Many larger museums are open late at night at least once a week and there tend to be fewer visitors in the evening. – TripAdvisor member Mez3000

3. Sign up with each of the museums that interest you. They'll send regular newsletters about upcoming and current exhibits. Some of the exhibits that tour the country are world-class and worth the extra entry fee. – TripAdvisor member Aynat62

4. If you're going to the museum with kids, go early, and do something fun like a scavenger hunt to make it interesting for them. – TripAdvisor member ziggy60

5. Wear comfortable shoes and bring extra money. There may be things you want to do that were unexpected, like getting tickets to the IMAX theaters or planetarium (at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.), and gift shop items. – TripAdvisor member 67karen

For the complete list of winners from the 2015 Travelers' Choice Museums, as well as reviews and candid traveler photos, go to: www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Museums.

Notes to editors:

1Admission costs were sourced from the museums' respective websites. International admission costs were converted using current exchange rates as of August 26, 2015.

2Highly-rated value hotels on TripAdvisor are located within five miles of the respective museums. Average nightly rates are based on TripAdvisor data for September 1 through December 31, 2015, aggregated from booking partners including online travel agencies and direct hotel suppliers.

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