There is nothing like seeing art in person after looking at it longingly - often for years - in the coffee table books at your house. There is so much art all over the world that it can be hard to know where to start, however. Even if you're very aware of what kind of art you do and do not like, it's good to keep in mind that some of the galleries themselves are works of art and should be at the top of your list. We all know that the trinity of London, New York, and Paris are spearheading the art tourism world. But where else can the hidden gems of the art world be found?
Top Art Tourism Cities In The World
This water-logged city is home to the Biennale, the bi-annual collection of global contemporary artwork. See hundreds of galleries and pavilions devoted to each country’s contribution. Venice is also home to the Peggy Guggenheim, the famous collection of the visionary collector, who is famed for helping artists such as Jackson Pollock flourish. Her museum is an ode to modern art, featuring incredible works of surrealism, abstract expressionism, and cubism.
Un-beatable history can be found in Athens, with artefacts that seem older than time. The Acropolis Museum is light and bright, with statues and reliefs. The Acropolis itself, built to perfection by Pericles in the 5th century BC, has infamous columns that make up the architectural marvel. The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Athens, with sculptures and vases that have stood the test of time.
Fun, funky, and fresh, Berlin is one of Europe’s coolest and artsiest cities. The New National Gallery has sleek buildings, but inside you can find works by Edvard Munch or Henry Moore. Berlin mixes the old and the new, as their Old National Gallery features 19th century art. The Berlin Wall east side gallery is the world’s largest open air gallery, and stretches over what remains of the Berlin Wall.
With the architecture at St Peter’s Basilica, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and the Pantheon, Rome has some of the most incredible artistic feats in history. The Vatican features Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, as well as works by Bernini, Raphael, and the list goes on. A once in a lifetime opportunity.
The quirky city of Brussels explains Magritte’s rise as one of the fathers of surrealism. The Magritte Museum, as well as Magritte’s home, can be viewed in Brussels. The Beaux Arts Museum features Bosch, Rembrandt, and David — masters of Dutch and French painting. Art Deco is a prominent Belgian architectural style, so put the famous Horta house on your list.
The Istanbul Modern Museum displays works of Turkish artists in a converted warehouse, and unmissable views of Istanbul. The Istanbul Archeology Museum has unearthed statues, mosaics, and artefacts from its Ottoman Past, while the Pera Museum has changing exhibits from artists such as Picasso and Chagall. The glittering Hagia Sophia is a byzantine basilica and museum that is known for its mosaics — a symbol of Istanbul.
With hundreds of universities, Boston has an exceptional amount of artwork to study from. The Museum of Fine Arts features Renoir’s “Dance at Bougival” as well as Gaugin’s “Where do we come from?…” The Isabella Stewart Garden museum is an extensive collection left exactly as its namesake requested. The Gardner museum is famous for the robbery that took place, where priceless Vermeer and Rembrandt paintings were stolen. The Harvard Art Museum (The Fogg) is a literal walk through art history with Van Gogh, Degas, Rubens, Cezanne and De Kooning to name a few.
The Picasso Museum in Barcelona has an extensive collection, with works that Picasso mastered as a child prodigy. Architecture is hugely important in Barcelona, with the gothic Barcelona Cathedral looming over the city. The undulating and architectural magic created by Gaudi can be seen at his Casa Mila.
The Uffuzi Gallery in Florence has an incredible collection of Renaissance art, with Boticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “Primavera,” as well as Titian’s “Venus of Urbino.” The iconic Florence cathedral with gothic features is known for its incredible dome built by Brunelleschi. Michelangelo’s “David,” the most iconic image of our time, can be seen at the Galleria dell’Accademia.
10. St. Petersburg
The "Venice of the North" boasts the Hermitage Museum, one of the finest collections in the entire world. Take a cruise ship to St. Petersburg to avoid the hassle of getting a tourist visa, and spend as much time as you can in this museum. An added bonus: the Hermitage was Catherine the Great's former winter palace, and so every floor has beautiful wood, carved in patterns, and every ceiling is ornate. Even if you don't look at the art you are still in for a breathtaking experience.
This article was written by Clara Hudson.