As culture lovers, we visit art museums in every city we visit for inspiration. Here we talk about some of our favorite art destinations.
Art is a reflection of history: a time, place, society, movement, culture and so much more. We can’t live without it, in any of its forms (paintings, music, literature, culinary, architecture), and today we look at fine art destinations
Paris: With over 1,000 art galleries spread across the city, this place is a dream, from the iconic art museums like The Louvre or Musée d’Orsay, Galerie Daniel Templon to newer La Maison Rouge and Modus Art Gallery
London: The National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Museum, Saatchi Gallery, V&A, or the street art mecca Shoreditch are all a delight. London is also Banksy’s favorite canvas and home to more than 1000 galleries
Vienna: Austria’s capital, which nurtured the talents of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler, plus local boys Schubert and Strauss. It’s also the site of the Vienna Secession, a revolutionary art movement founded in 1897 by luminaries like Gustav Klimt. Visitors today can see the fruits of all that creativity in the city’s 100-odd museums—including the Belvedere and the Museum Moderner Kunst—and hear it at legendary opera houses such as the Staatsoper and Theater an der Wien.
Florence: For Renaissance art, there’s no better destination than Florence. Home to some of Michelangelo’s best-known works. Galleria dell’Accademia and the landmark Galleria degli Uffizi are stunning, and contemporary art fans can get their fix at Florence’s Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina.
Barcelona: Visit the Museu Picasso, home to one of the biggest collections of Picasso works in the world, and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, or contemporary galleries like Artevistas. It might be more architecture than art, but a trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete with ogling the awe-inspiring works of Gaudi – head to Sagrada Família and Parc Güell for some of the most stunning examples.
Berlin: Home to one of the world’s most varied arts scene with long-standing institutions like the Alte Nationalgalerie and Gemäldegalerie, and the more recently established Neue Nationalgalerie with its collection of modern 20th-century art. Wander through Friedrichshain for alternative art spaces like East Side Gallery, a 1.3 km section of the Berlin Wall today displaying the works of over 100 international artists.
Tokyo: Roppongi – home to the Mori Art Museum, National Art Center and smaller spaces like Ota Fine Arts. Over in Taito, the prestigiousSCAI The Bathhouse.
Mexico City: The City has hosted its own contemporary art fair, Material Art Fair, while contemporary galleries like House of Gaga and Kurimanzutto are making waves on the international art scene. Stop by the Palacio Nacional to see Diego Rivera’s awe-inspiring mural El mundo de hoy y de mañana and the beautiful La Casa Azul for works by fellow Mexican luminary Frida Kahlo.
New York City: World-famous institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney, Brooklyn Museum, the Chelsea galleries and many more. (*Take a side trip to either Dia Beacon or Storm King, for some beautiful large scale installations too)
Los Angeles: L.A. continues to be a destination for contemporary artists, and the impressive growth in galleries reflects that, from the DTLA arts district, to institutions like LACMA, MOCA, the Broad and the annual LA Art show
San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) was the West Coast’s first museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art in 1935. Fans of fine art the De Young Museum is a must-visit, as is check out San Francisco’s Mission District – brimming with vibrant murals.
Chicago: Home to world-class institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Institute of Chicago, or wander around The Loop to find several public artworks. Former warehouse district River North is another arty hotspot and with over 100 art galleries calling the neighborhood home.
Washington, DC: The City offers a crash course in American history and culture. With so much art, culture, and science lining the Mall and its outskirts, you can effectively spend a whole day on a museum crawl. The National Gallery, The Renwick Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Collection of Smithsonian museums and the most exciting new addition: The National Museum of African American History and Culture
Santa Fe: On a first visit, it can seem there are more art galleries than restaurants in the city—they line the central plaza and its side streets, while the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is downtown’s centerpiece. The Museum of International Folk Art is packed with 130,000 objects, a tribute to craftspeople from around the world, while the annual SWAIA Indian Market, which runs every August, is the showcase for the region’s Native American artists and artisans.
Author: Carrie Mitchell
Carrie Mitchell is the founder and content director of L’Aventure Travel. She has traveled to over 40 countries, is the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We: The Adventures of Owen and Lucy”. A writer, producer, entrepreneur, and communications strategist, Carrie is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world.