As the museum sectors expand across Europe, and as the value and meaning of culture for citizenship, political empowerment and general wellbeing are increasingly recognized, the quality of each museum and its contributions to its society and communities becomes correspondingly significant. The European Museum of the Year Award has been given out every year since 1977, and represents the best in innovation and excellence, in new or redeveloped museums, across disciplines and scale, funding and obligations, and across the various cultural contexts of Europe.


The EMYA goes to a museum which contributes profoundly to our understanding of the world as well as to the development of new paradigms and professional standards in museums. Within a distinctive overall atmosphere, the winning museum shows creative and imaginative approaches to the production of knowledge, to interpretation, presentation and social responsibility - all from a transparent base of core values of democracy, human rights, and inter-cultural dialogue, a commitment to sustainability, a practice of inclusion and community participation, and a recognition of conflicts and the courage needed to confront them.


2023: L'Etno, Valencian Museum of Ethnology
Valencia, Spain

Photo credit: Permanent exhibition “Not Easy to be Valencian”. The City: Global and Local. Tower of electrical appliances. Author:  Hector Juan © L’ETNO

For more information: EMYA2023 Winners Brochure



2022: Museum of the Mind | Dolhuys
Haarlem, Netherlands

Museum of the Mind, EMYA2022 Winner, Haarlem, Netherlands


2021: Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Leiden, Netherlands

Naturalis Biodiversity Center, EMYA2021 Winner © Neutelings Riedijk Architects


2020: Stapferhaus
Lenzburg, Switzerland

Stapferhaus, EMYA2020 Winner, is a house for everyone: young and old, those on the right and on the left, experts and laypeople – men and women, and everyone in between and beyond. © Stapferhaus / Oliver Lang


2019: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave
Leiden, Netherlands

2018: The Design Museum
London, United Kingdom

2017: Meg – Museum of Ethnography
Geneva, Switzerland

2016: Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Warsaw, Poland

2015: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2014: The Museum of Innocence
Istanbul, Turkey

2013: Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel
Glasgow, United Kingdom

2012: Madinat al-Zahra Museum
Cordoba, Spain

2011: Gallo-Roman Museum
Tongeren, Belgium

2010: Ozeaneum
Stralsund, Germany

2009: Salzburg Museum
Salzburg, Austria

2008: Kumu Art Museum
Tallinn, Estonia

2007: German Emigration Center
Bremerhaven, Germany

2006: CosmoCaixa
Barcelona, Spain

2005: The National Heritage Museum
Arnhem, Netherlands

2004: MARQ - Archaeological Museum of Alicante
Alicante, Spain

2003: Victoria and Albert Museum: British Galleries
London, United Kingdom

2002: Chester Beatty Library
Dublin, Ireland

2001: National Railway Museum
York, United Kingdom

2000: Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Bilbao, Spain

1999: Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer
Issy-les-Moulineaux, France

1998: The Conservation Centre
Liverpool, United Kingdom

1997: Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Ankara, Turkey

1996: Museum of the Romanian Peasant
Bucharest, Romania

1995: The Olympic Museum
Lausanne, Switzerland

1994: National Museum of Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

1993: Alta Museum
Alta, Norway

1992: State Museum of Technology and Work
Mannheim, Germany

1991: Leventis Museum of Nicosia
Nicosia, Cyprus

1990: Ecomuseum of the Fourmies-Trélon Region
Fourmies, France

1989: Sundsvall Museum
Sundsvall, Sweden

1988: Brandts Klaedefabrik
Odense, Denmark

1987: Beamish: North of England Open Air Museum
Stanley, United Kingdom

1984: Zuiderzee Museum
Enkhuizen, Netherlands

1983: Regional Museum (Museum Sarganserland)
Sargans, Switzerland

1982: Museum of Art and History
Saint-Denis, France

1981: Folk Art Museum
Nafplion, Greece

1980: Catharine Convent State Museum
Utrecht, Netherlands

1979: Museum of the Camargue
Arles, France

1978: Schloss Rheydt Municipal Museum
Mönchengladbach, Germany

1977: Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
Ironbridge, United Kingdom