Cities with the Best Art Museums and Galleries

Natalie Arney, 13.02.19
Alternative Travel Tips

Travel and culture go hand-in-hand, and if you are an artist or art lover it’s important to add a visit to a gallery or two to your vacation itinerary. But where to go? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite cities for art lovers, and tips for the best art galleries to visit while you’re there.

New York

NYC Guggenheim Museum Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Home to some of the most iconic art museums in the world, New York is a treat for art lovers. Whether it’s Impressionist masterpieces, contemporary art, Greco-Roman sculpture, or Modern art, New York has a place for everyone.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in New York

The Metropolitan Museum (The Met), Frick Collection, Guggenheim Museum, The Cloisters, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

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London

Tate Modern Gallery London Photo from Elanor Parker

London’s museums and galleries are a big pull, especially since some of them don’t charge an entrance fee. Many of the larger venues hold frequent pop-ups and guest exhibitions, making them well worth the visit. Alongside the unmissable large galleries, there are also many smaller galleries featuring artworks from talented members of the community.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in London

Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Royal Academy of Arts, The National Portrait Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, Barbican Art Gallery, Hayward Gallery

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Tokyo

The National Art Center Tokyo Photo:IQREMIX via Flickr

Tokyo has a rich history of art and is known as the heart of Japanese culture and contemporary art. It has a unique, local flavour, making it a must visit for those with an interest in Japanese art in particular.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Tokyo

National Museum of Western Art, The National Art Center, Tokyo (NACT), Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, Mori Art Museum, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

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São Paulo

Instituto Tomie Ohtake Sao Paulo Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A paradise for art lovers, São Paulo is packed full of exciting artistic displays alongside festivals such as the annual SP Arte and the Bienal São Paulo.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in São Paulo

Baro Galeria, Beco do Batman, Galeria Choque Cultural, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, Instituto Cultural Tomie Ohtake

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Paris

The Louvre Paris Photo:Hash Milan via Flickr

Of course, we couldn’t feature some of the most artistic cities in the world and NOT feature Paris. Home to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, Paris galleries, in particular, are not to be missed.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Paris

The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée de l'Orangerie, Musée Rodin, Centre Georges Pompidou

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Mexico City

MUNAL Mexico City Photo via Wikimedia Commons

After Paris, Mexico City is home to the second-largest number of museums in the world, and is packed full of art galleries, public spaces and art fairs, making it a haven for artists and art lovers.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Mexico City

Proyectos Monclova, Kurimanzutto, Museo Jumex, Galería OMR, Museo Frida Kahlo, Galería Lopez Quiroga, Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL), Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Museo Tamayo, Museo de Arte Moderno, House of Gaga

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Florence

Uffizi Gallery Florence Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Art lovers flock to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, and widely known as the capital of arts. Did you know that according to UNESCO, Italy is home to 60% of the world’s most important works of art, and around half of these are in Florence? Alongside art galleries and museums, Florence is a living museum, full of beautiful renaissance palaces, squares, and chapels, so if you’re looking for a cheaper way to experience art, Florence is the perfect place.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Florence

The Uffizi Gallery, Galleria dell’Accademiam, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Strozzi, National Museum of Bargello

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Lagos

Nike Art Gallery Lagos Photo: Jeremy Weate via Flickr

Galleries, museums and pop-ups in Lagos feature contemporary, modern and traditional art, highlighting the fact that Nigeria is home to a rich and historic art movement. Whether 15th Century Yoruba sculpture, 19th Century Nok art, or more modern art from famous names such as Uche Okeke and Nike Davies-Okundaye, Nigerian art is beautiful, interesting and influential.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Lagos

ReLe Gallery, Yusuf Grillo Art Gallery, Omenka Gallery, Terra Kulture, Nike Art Gallery, Mydrim Gallery, Red Door Gallery, Universal Studio of Arts

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Singapore

Interior of the National Gallery Singapore Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The island city-state of Singapore has a vibrant and passionate art scene after gaining momentum in the past decade. Singapore Art Week also happens on an annual basis, usually in January, and offers a wide array of events, experiences, art walks, shows and more for attendees to enjoy.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Singapore

Art Plural Gallery, National Gallery, Future Perfect, ARNDT Singapore, The Drawing Room, Yavuz Gallery, Barnadas Huang, Sundaram Tagore Gallery

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Berlin

La Berlinische Galerie Berlin Photo via Wikimedia Commons

With a reputation for the cool and quirky, it’s no surprise that the art scene in Berlin is thriving. The long, passionate connection to fine art combined with the more alternative lifestyles evident in the city make Berlin a must visit for artists and art lovers.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Berlin

Contemporary Fine Arts, Galerie Crone, Galerie Eigen + Art/Lab, Galerie Capitain Petzel, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Galerie Thomas Schulte, DAADGalerie, Berlinische Galerie

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Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Chicago is a city where art can be found everywhere - whether public streets, galleries, museums or parks. The city is often one of the only places in the US that European pieces on tour will visit, so make sure to check if there will be any visiting pieces when you’re in the city.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, Carl Hammer Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Hyde Park Art Center, Smart Museum of Art

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Bogotá

Centro Cultural Casa del Nobel Gabriel García Márquez Bogota Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Overlooked by art-loving tourists until recently, Bogotá is now one of the most exciting and thriving art scenes in South America. No matter how tight your schedule is, there is always an opportunity to see some art in Bogotá.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Bogotá

Museo del Oro, Museo de Arte Moderno - MAMBO, Museo de Botero and Casa De Moneda, Centro Cultural Gabriel García Márquez

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Barcelona

Museu Picasso Ciutat Vella Barcelona Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The cultural and artistic hub of Barcelona is famous for stunning buildings, galleries and museums. There’s much more to Barcelona than Antoni Gaudí and the Picasso Museum, however, if you’re yet to see Gaudí’s masterpieces, make sure to pay them a visit - they’re simply stunning.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Barcelona

Artevistas, Villa del Arte Galleries Barcelona, Galería Senda, Galeria Mayoral, MACBA, CaixaForum, Museu Picasso, Fundació Joan Miró

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Melbourne

national gallery of victoria melbourne Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Australia’s counter culture capital, Melbourne, is famous for its thriving art scene. From authentic, traditional Aboriginal paintings, to modern installation and street art, there’s so much to see in Victoria’s coastal capital.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Melbourne

National Gallery of Victoria, Anna Schwartz Gallery, RMIT Gallery, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - ACCA

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San Francisco

Wilbur Grand Staircase Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Photo via Wikimedia Commons

It’s no surprise that San Francisco is an art lover’s paradise, packed with galleries from the small to high end, to large, world-class museums. Where better to explore art than the US’s counter-culture capital?

Unmissable art galleries and museums in San Francisco

SFMOMA, de Young Museum, Asian Art Museum, Catharine Clark Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Fraenkel Gallery, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, Gagosian

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Wellington

New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Famed for its burgeoning art scene, Wellington offers an easy to get around creative hub complete with public galleries and private dealer galleries.

Unmissable art galleries and museums in Wellington

New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Adam Art Gallery, Dowse Art Museum, New Zealand Portrait Gallery

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