You don’t need a travel guide to tell you to visit the Louvre in Paris or the Vatican Museums in Rome. But what are Europe’s best “hidden gem” or “value” museums?

The Knowledge Academy conducted a study in 2023 to find the best value museums in Europe, looking at reviews, admission fees, and opening hours to determine which museums across the continent can give you the best bang for your buck. They then looked at Instagram popularity for each of the museums to find out the best hidden gems across the continent where you can get value for money while also avoiding the summer crowds. 

The Best Value Hidden Gem Museums in Europe

  MuseumLocationInstagram HashtagsBest Value Score (/100)
 1Museo Cappella SanseveroNaples, Italy9,63450.5
 2Churchill War RoomsLondon, UK10,47633
 3Royal Yacht BritanniaEdinburgh, UK13,42633.5
 4Kilmainham Gaol MuseumDublin, Ireland32,03646.5
 5Acropolis MuseumAthens, Greece76,07156.5
Best value hidden gem museums in Europe ranked
  1. Museo Cappella Sansevero, Naples

The top hidden gem in the study is Naples’ Museo Cappella Sansevero. The museum has just 9,634 Instagram hashtags making it the least photographed site in the list. However, this doesn’t mean the museum doesn’t have plenty of beautiful works on offer. With mind-blowing sculptures like the famous “Veiled Christ” by Giuseppe Sanmartino available to see you won’t be disappointed on your trip. 

With 4.5 stars on Tripadvisor, and just a 10 euro entrance fee for adults, the museum is the perfect place to escape the crowds and the heat of the Naples weather.

  1. Churchill War Rooms, London

In second place is the Churchill War Rooms in London. The perfect place for history buffs looking to explore old-school materials, retro furnishings and Churchill’s artefacts. The museum boasts a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor, and is open from 9:30am to 6pm daily. 

With just 10,476 Instagram hashtags the museum remains underrated when looking at London’s museums and galleries – making it the perfect spot for those looking for a day out in the capital while avoiding busy crowds. 

  1. Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh

Based in Edinburgh, the Royal Yacht Britannia places third on the list. Awarded Tripadvisor’s number 1 UK attraction in 2023, the museum boasts a 4.5 star rating on the site across 23,173 reviews. 

The museum has just 13,426 hashtagged posts on Instagram, so visitors won’t be too crowded when aboard. The yacht was a Royal residence for over 40 years and sailed across the globe for 968 state visits, and guests can explore stories of life at sea for both the Royal Family and the Royal Yachtsmen that sailed the ship. 

  1. Kilmainham Gaol Museum, Dublin

The Kilmainham Gaol Museum ranks in fourth place when looking at hidden gem museums in Europe. Situated in Dublin, the Kilmainham Gaol held prisoners for over 100 years. 

The museum has 32,036 hashtags on Instagram and a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor. Visitors can walk through Irish history at the museum, with the Gaol being accessed by guided tour only with a maximum of 35 people per tour, ensuring guests can avoid the crowds while on their tour.

  1.  Acropolis Museum, Athens

In fifth place is the Acropolis Museum in Athens. Entry for the museum will cost visitors 15 euros, or  free for anyone up to the age of 25 from EU member-states. 

The collections of the museum include the findings of the Athenian Acropolis archaeological site, and are displayed over four levels. Open from 9am to 8pm on Saturdays, visitors can spend the day exploring the museum and the archaeological excavation underneath. 

With 76,071 Instagram hashtags, the museum may have more busy periods than other hidden gems on the list, but offers visitors the best value in the study with a score of 56.5. 

Best Value Museums in Europe Overall

Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy under a blue sky.
Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy under a blue sky. Photo by Detyukov Sergey, Shutterstock.
MuseumLocationBest Value Score (/100)
1National GalleryLondon, UK63
2Natural History MuseumLondon, UK61
3Louvre MuseumParis, France60.5
4Prado National MuseumMadrid, Spain59
5Anne Frank HouseAmsterdam, the Netherlands58.5
6The British MuseumLondon, UK57.5
=7Acropolis MuseumAthens, Greece56.5
=7Miniatur WunderlandHamburg, Germany56.5
=7Vatican MuseumsVatican City, Italy56.5
10Gallerie Degli UffiziFlorence, Italy55
Best Value museums in Europe
  1. National Gallery, London

In position one, the National Gallery was revealed as the best value museum in Europe. Based in Trafalgar Square, the museum has free entry for all visitors making it perfect for bigger families or group trips. The museum also boasts a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor with 40,526 reviews. 

With 819,816 Instagram hashtags, you’re likely to run into some crowds during your visit but there’s plenty to explore with over 2,300 works spread over two floors.

  1. Natural History Museum, London

In second place, the Natural History Museum also offers visitors free entry and is open from 10am to 5:50pm daily. With a 25-metre blue whale skeleton suspended in the air of the museum’s main hall, it’s clear to see why the museum has bustling crowds with 822,529 hashtagged posts on Instagram. 

The museum has four zones, with exhibits on dinosaurs, animals and nature, so adults and children alike can experience Earth from every aspect in history. 

  1. The Louvre, Paris

Home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre comes in as the third best value museum in Europe. However, with a huge 5,684,991 Instagram hashtags and 102,506 Tripadvisor reviews, be expected to find a busy museum during your visit. Visitors can also see the Venus de Milo and the Galerie des Antiques, or if the weather is on your side families can stroll through the Gardens in the Louvre Estate. 

Opening hours are from 9am to 6pm the majority of days or those looking to go later in the day can head to the museum on Friday, when it is open until 9:45pm.

  1. Prado Museum, Madrid

With a 4.5 star rating on Tripadvisor, the Prado Museum (also known as Museo Nacional del Prado) places fourth. General admission comes to 15 euros for adults, while under 18s go for free, the museum is open from 10am to 8pm on Saturday, meaning visitors can spend the whole day there if they choose to and get plenty of bang for their buck. 

Founded in 1819, the museum’s collection includes 8,600 paintings and over 700 sculptures. With plenty to see the museum has different recommended routes and itineraries for those short on time, just looking to see the top masterpieces.

  1. Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

The Anne Frank House was revealed as the fifth best museum when looking at value. Tickets cost 16 euros for adults and are priced at seven euros for 10-17 year olds. For those looking for an immersive experience, the museum is run in the house where the Frank family went into hiding and provides all visitors with a complete view of Anne Frank’s life. 

The museum is open for 13 hours on a Saturday with last entry at 9pm, and has been rated 4.5 on Tripadvisor with 63,651 reviews. 

Author

  • Chadd Scott

    Chadd Scott is an arts contributor with Forbes and the founder of See Great Art, where he writes about his travels from big city museums to small town galleries in search of great art.

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