Natural History Museum was the most visited indoor attraction in 2021, finds survey

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21st March 2022 18:56 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Natural History Museum was the most visited indoor attraction in 2021: A survey conducted by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has revealed that the Natural History Museum was the most visited indoor attraction in 2021.

The South Kensington museum, which will see the return of Dippy the famous Diplodocus in May, saw a 21% increase in visitors last year - despite being closed for five months of the year due to Covid-19. Its attendance figures for 2021 were 1,571.413.

The research looked at visitor numbers for both indoor and outdoor attractions, finding that outdoor visitor attractions dominated ALVA's 2021 visitor figures.

Top indoor visitor attractions

The ALVA research revealed that the second most visited indoor attraction was the British Museum (which placed 6th overall with 1,327,120 visitors), followed by Tate Modern (7th place overall with 1,156,037 visitors), Somerset House (eighth place overall with 984,978 visitors) and the Science Museum (ninth place overall with 955,873 visitors overall).

V&A South Kensington placed in sixth place (11th place overall with 857,742 visitors), followed by the Southbank Centre (13th place overall with 786,911), and the National Gallery (15th position overall with 708,924 visitors).

In 2021 the National History Museum hosted three popular temporary exhibitions including Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It and Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

According to the ALVA findings, the total number of visitors to ALVA member sites in 2021 was 67.8million, a 25% increase on 2020. However, when comparing visitor figures of 2021 with those of 2019, visits were 57% down on pre-pandemic levels and 73% for indoor attractions.

The most visited attraction overall in 2021 was Windsor Great Park, with 5,400,000 visitors. The second most visited attraction was Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (a 61% increase to 1,963,171) and Chester Zoo (with 1,601,327 visits).

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