Here is the UK's museum of the year and the top museums in Europe in 2023

A view of an installation at the L'ETNO museum in Valencia.
A view of an installation at the L'ETNO museum in Valencia. Copyright Credit: L'ETNO
By Theo Farrant
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Amidst a vibrant European cultural landscape, a few exceptional museums rise to claim their rightful place among the best of the best in 2023.


The Burrell Collection in Glasgow has been named the best museum in the UK for 2023 thanks to its "world-class" exhibits and displays. 

The Scottish museum beat the other four shortlisted contenders to win the £120,000 (€140,300) prize from the Art Fund, a national charity for art. 

“The Burrell Collection is extraordinary, a world-class collection displayed in an inspirational building, in harmony with the surrounding landscape of Pollok country park," said Jenny Waldman, the director of the Art Fund.

The Burrell Collection reopened in 2022 after an extensive six-year renovation. The 9,000-object museum includes one of the most important collections of Chinese art in the UK as well as over 200 stunning tapestries. 

The other nominees for Art Fund's Museum of the Year were Leighton House in London, The MAC in Belfast, the Natural History Museum in London and Scapa Flow Museum in Stromness.

The best museums in Europe in 2023

Europe, a treasure trove of cultural heritage, boasts a dazzling array of exceptional museums which enthral visitors with their extraordinary collections and groundbreaking exhibitions. 

Yet, in the vast amount of cultural institutions, a select few have managed to soar above the rest, capturing the hearts of judges and earning the prestigious titles of the best museums of 2023 according to esteemed award shows. 

These renowned accolades not only recognise excellence but also celebrate the profound impact that museums have on society, bridging the past and present, and shaping our collective understanding.

Let's take a look: 

What is the best museum in Europe this year according to the European Museum Forum?

Credit: Flickr/L'ETNO
Inside the L'ETNO museum in ValenciaCredit: Flickr/L'ETNO

Last month, the European Museum Forum announced the winner of their prestigious European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA). 

The Valencian Museum of Ethnology (L'ETNO) emerged triumphant, solidifying its position among many of the continent's finest institutions.

L'ETNO, a trailblazer in the museum landscape, impressed the judging panel with its strong ethical foundation and unwavering commitment to effecting positive change in the region. 

This ethically principled museum is full of heart – but also activism for change – some of which involves the region truthfully facing up to its past to face an uncertain future.
EMYA Awards 2023

Through open and inclusive dialogue, L'ETNO aims to provide universal access, ensuring that all visitors can engage with its thought-provoking exhibits.

Credit: Héctor Juan/L'ETNO
View of the permanent exhibition 'No es fácil ser valenciano'.Credit: Héctor Juan/L'ETNO

One of the highlights of L'ETNO is its permanent exhibit, "It's not easy being Valencian," which delves into the multifaceted debate surrounding identity. 

By showcasing objects, documents, photographs, and personal testimonies, the museum explores the tension between a culturally homogeneous world and the preservation of unique customs and practices rooted in Valencian society. 

Alongside L'ETNO, several other museums garnered well-deserved recognition at the EYMA Awards 2023. 

Denmark's Workers Museum proudly clinched the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize, applauding its commitment to preserving the nation's labour history and heritage.

Making its mark on the international stage, Istanbul's 23,5 Hrant Dink Site of Memory emerged as the recipient of the esteemed Kenneth Hudson Award for Institutional Courage and Professional Integrity 2023.


Meanwhile, in Spain, the captivating Chillida Leku museum claimed the Portimão Museum Prize, further cementing its position as a bastion of artistic excellence.

The full list of EYMA 2023 nominees can be found here.

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