29 September 2023

Australian War Memorial named in top 10 of world's best free tourist attractions

| Sally Hopman
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Crowds of visitors at Australian War Memorial

Visitors flock to the Australian War Memorial, named one of the world’s top 10 free tourist attractions. Photo: Australian War Memorial.

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) has been named one of the top 10 free tourist sites in the world – the only Australian museum to make the list.

Issued by Casago, an international property management group, the list was compiled using TripAdviser reviews by analysing which free tourist sites received the most five-star ratings.

Director of the AWM, Matt Anderson, welcomed the news, saying the world-class shrine, museum and national archive left a lasting impression on everyone who visited it.

“We are now working to tell the stories of the next generation of veterans and Australia’s experience of war,” he said.

The top 10 list ranged from the serious to the quirky, with the Luc Vanlaere Harp Museum in Bruges, Belgium, taking out top honours. (Apparently, the 40-minute daily concert by composer Vanlaere draws big crowds).

READ ALSO Heroic nurse Vivian Bullwinkel honoured in a first for the Australian War Memorial

This was followed by the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio; Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls in Canada; National Infantry and Soldier Centre in Columbus, Ohio; Lake Bacalar in Mexico; Amritsar’s Golden Temple in India; Cerro Fitz Roy in Argentina; the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Virginia; the Australian War Memorial, Canberra; and the Lanta Animal Welfare Centre in Thailand.

One of the country’s most recognisable landmarks, the AWM attracts more than a million visitors a year in its capacity as a shrine to those who served Australia in conflict and as a centre of research excellence.

It is currently undergoing major renovation works, including a new southern entrance, Anzac Hall, gallery fit-outs and extensions to the Charles Bean building to establish a new research centre. The multi-million dollar project is scheduled for completion by 2028.

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