Most cities have a museum with a decent range of exhibits, but true art lovers will want to check out these 5 destinations. Whether you’re a fan of the avant-garde or the ancient, these cities have an unparalleled selection of museums.
#1: Paris, France
It’s no surprise we picked the City of Lights as our number one destination for art lovers. The Louvre (originally a royal palace) is the largest art museum in the world and a veritable tourist mecca that still remains tasteful and engaging for art lovers of all stripes, despite the huge crowds gawking at Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile.
There’s also the Musée d’Orsay, originally a railroad station and now home to the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post impressionist painters and sculptors. Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh mix and mingle with other greats from 1848 to 1914.
#2: New York, New York
The Big Apple is home to some big museums with a huge cultural impact. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest collections in the Western World and the largest in the United States, with over 17 collections spanning the centuries and the continents, seen by more than 7 million visitors annually.
Then there’s also the avant-garde bastion of the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), and the iconic building of the Guggenheim. Designed by master architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the spirling lobby is modeled after a Nautilus shell and has become one of the iconic landmarks of 20th-century architecture.
#3: Washington, D.C.
The capital of the United States is home to the Smithsonian Institution, an incredible network of museums around the National Mall. Then of course, there are a number of other museums and galleries sprinkled around the capital, showcasing a wide variety of art and even architecture (such as the National Building Museum).
One of the best parts of visiting the DC museums is that many of them are within walking distance of each other and the monuments around the mall, so if you’re staying at a hotel nearby, you can take a pleasant stroll to enjoy the artwork—especially in the spring time when cherry blossoms are blooming.
#4: London, England
The great thing about having an empire that spans a quarter of the world is that you can bring home a lot of treasures from the ancient world. If you’re interested in the artistic works of empires from long ago (like Greece, Egypt, and Babylonia) the British Museum will be your cup of tea.
There’s also the Victoria and Albert Musuem, which houses the world’s largest collection of decorative artistic pieces, for those who can appreciate beautifully crafted items like teapots, china, and vases.
#5: Florence, Italy
If you like art, going to Italy is a safe bet. Art is everywhere, especially in a city like Florence, home to the famous statue of David by Michelangelo. There is a bronze replica of the statue overlooking the city from a hill where an unrivaled view of Florence can be seen, surrounding the majestic red dome of Santa Maria del Fiore (the largest dome constructed since that of Hagia Sophia in Byzantium).
The Uffizi Gallery was originally a government office, but today it is one of the most visited museums in the world, housing an unparalleled collection of Renaissance art, including such famous works as The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, along with other works by Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Raphael, Donatello, and similar masters who earned serious fame long before the ninja turtles.