Europe abounds with culture from thousands of years of collective heritage and independent progress, and there are plenty of must-see destinations for art. Cities display artwork in elaborate galleries and along the streets as architectural treasures, while museums represent contemporary artists, showcase ancient artisans, and challenge perception with modern designers. Whether focusing on prehistoric artwork or Roman mosaics, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or preserved Moorish arches, these must-see cities have it all.
Florence is an irresistible city of preserved medieval charm and Renaissance splendor. Like an open-air museum, the iconic architecture offers surprising masterpieces around every corner, from marble basilicas to 16th-century palaces. Gorgeous chapels glint in candlelight, and paintings by Botticelli hang near the works of Donatello. The city embraces its reputation as the Birthplace of the Renaissance with pieces that stir emotion when viewing antique mosaics or standing beneath Michelangelo’s looming David.
Must-See Museums: Uffizi Gallery | Galleria dell’Accademia | Opera del Duomo | Palazzo Vecchio | Medicine Chapel | Bargello Museum
Paris is a monument to culture and artistry, with the city itself preserving France’s commitment to beauty, elegance, and the prestige of the art world. With grand boulevards lined with monuments and classical bistros, stunning boutiques, and indulgent wine bars, the daily ambiance of the city enhances the tens of thousands of artworks displayed in galleries reflecting ancient Mesopotamia to Greek antiquity, works by da Vinci to Rembrandt, Picasso to Rodin, Impressionism to Abstract.
Must-See Museums: Louvre Museum | d’Orsay Museum | Rodin Museum | Museum l’Orangerie | Centre Pompidou | Grand Palais
Rome is a masterpiece of layered history and charismatic beauty with haunting ruins, intoxicating street life, and breathtaking works of art. Rome's artwork trickles out of the diverse galleries and into the streets as you navigate one of the world’s largest collections of artifacts, sculptures, religious relics, and paintings. From uncovering Etruscan bronzes to Raphael’s frescoes, Baroque sculptures to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Rome does not just host European art and instead is European art.
Must-See Museums: Borghese Gallery | Capitoline Museums | Diocletian Baths | Barberini Palace | Doria Pamphilj Gallery | Villa Farnesina | Vatican Museum
London is a city where art celebrates history, and history becomes art. WIth some of Europe’s most fascinating galleries, London is a pinnacle of contemporary culture and historical heritage. The preserved streets can take you back in time, sparking the imaginings of famous artists, poets, writers, and architects. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to the Rosetta Stone, leafy suburbs to the lively riverbanks, royal palaces to modern vision, London is a work of dynamic art where the past and present converge.
Must-See Museums: The British Museum | Museum of London | Victoria and Albert Museum | The National Gallery | Tate Modern |
Learn more: England Tours & Vacations
Amsterdam is a city of heritage and charm, with museums and galleries enriching the stories of local, national, and shared European legacy. Historic homes reflect a colorful cultural charm, while canals add to the artistic ambiance. With approximately 40 museums displaying rare collections and encouraging the preservation of traditional works and the development of modern styles, you could view the most extensive collection of Van Gogh’s work or witness the dynamic contrasts of light in Vermeer’s paintings.
Must-See Museums: Rijksmuseum | Van Gogh Museum | Anne Frank House | Hermitage Amsterdam | Moco Museum
Learn more: European Tours & Vacations
Madrid is a modern city connected to the classics, celebrating the beauty of Spain’s past with elegant museums and opulent galleries. The city has an artistic energy ghosting a pedigree of masterpieces, master artists, master architects, and master chefs. With works on display that once belonged to the Spanish Royal family, you can witness a whirlwind collection of the European masters’ diversity or uncover the brilliant disruption of contemporary artists.
Must-See Museums: Prado Museum | Reina Sofia National Art Museum | Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum | Sorolla Museum
Bilbao is a phenomenon of modern art and innovation. With an elaborate heritage of gastronomy rooted in Basque tradition, the city elevates its artistic aesthetic with Michelin-starred restaurants hidden within the revitalized historic neighborhoods. Whether fixated on the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, the treasured architecture of a contemporary museum, or featured works of Serra, Rothko, and Warhol, Bilbao is a world-class destination for art.
Must-See Museums: Guggenheim Museum | Museum of Fine Arts | Maritime Museum | Museum of Sacred Art
A mixture of colorful cobblestone streets and sleek contemporary vision, Copenhagen embodies the past and future of Danish culture. Art can take the form of a Viking ship or a chic Scandinavian architecture, regal artwork or a polished historic facade. With elegant gardens, centuries of established royal design, and cutting-edge exhibits, Denmark is an artistic labyrinth of narrow alleys that lead to seaside vistas or opulent halls that separate glass corridors.
Must-See Museums: National Museum of Denmark | Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek | Thorvaldsens Museum | National Gallery of Denmark | ARoS Aarhus Art Museum
Learn more: Ten Day Scandinavia Itineraries
Berlin is the embodiment of eclectic with a culture that celebrates the present while acknowledging its past. The mixture of classical and contemporary spreads from design to music, art to the theater. The city feels electric with mesmerizing glamour and captivating grit, fresh frescoes on the Berlin Wall to a former war bunker acting as a contemporary gallery. With over 150 museums, you can uncover Flemish masters, view notable Italian Renaissance artists, experience new-age chefs, and find Neo-Renaissance structure.
Must-See Museums: Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art | Pergamonmuseum | C/O Berlin | Stasi Museum | Charlottenburg Palace | Hamburger Bahnhof | Martin-Gropius-Bau
Learn more: Germany Tours & Vacations
Visiting Vienna is visiting an essential part of Europe’s artistic heritage. Museums date back to the time of the Austrian empire and peek into modernity with representations of contemporary art. Baroque architecture, imperial palaces, and musical masterworks accentuate the city’s unstoppable beauty connected to the vibrant splendor displayed in the museum galleries. With opera houses that hosted Mozart and coffee houses that hosted Klimt, Vienna overflows with beauty.
Must-See Museums: Kunsthistorisches Museum | Wien Museum | Belvedere Museum | Leopold Museum
Learn more: Austria Tours & Vacations
A Europe tour is a fantastic way to experience ancient splendor and contemporary vision. With masterpieces in art and architecture, a Europe travel specialist has priceless knowledge in tailoring your trip to your preferences for a personalized experience. From witnessing celebrated artists to sampling exceptional cuisine, you can find insight and inspiration for your vacation with our Europe Travel Guide. If you are planning a trip, you can speak with a Europe travel expert for free by filling out a Trip Request Form or by calling 1-888-265-9707.