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Best Cities for Art in Europe: Top 8 of Them

best cities for art in Europe

Every time we travel to a different city we are expecting to learn new things, experience beauty, and see something that changes our way of seeing life forever. Art is the definitive way to produce all of the above-mentioned effects on us. There’s not a solid definition of what art is in this world, but it doesn’t mean that as a simple human being you can’t appreciate and experience it. Art can be understood as a creation and as an anomaly since it’s something that didn’t exist before the artist decided to materialize using the academic art disciplines. And, some cities are the best destinations to see those art disciplines, especially in Europe.

Art is a necessity for all of us. Being surrounded by beauty increases the well-being of individuals. Humanity has the need to see beauty, a product of our intelligence, talent, and sensitivity. Museums, galleries, cultural institutions, and even churches are home and guardians of human’s most important treasures and symbols of our intelligence. Many of the most important and best cities for art are located in Europe. Here are some of the most fascinating cities to experience art, the best places to go, and must-see pieces in Europe. So, you won’t miss them on your next “Grand Tour”!

Paris, France

best cities for art in europe

The title of ‘City of Art’ must be stringent to maintain, but France’s capital, is a city in constant reinvention, filled with Haussmannien style thoroughfares and buildings all over the place. You can also notice the coexistence between different art styles like Neoclassical, Baroque, Gothic, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Brutalism just by walking down the streets of this spectacular cosmopolitan metropolis.

The world-famous Louvre Museum is not only the biggest and the most visited in the entire world, but it is still a model for museums everywhere. The opening of the museum in 1793 meant the transfer of private-owned collections to public hands, making a vast quantity of long before elite-only artworks and pieces now available for everyone’s eyes.

The City of Lights is a boundless source of inspiration. However, Montmartre, Paris’ Right Bank legendary hill is a cultural center on its own. During the 19th century, many important artists lived and worked here. Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Picasso, and Van Gogh are just a few names who fell in love with this outstanding place. So, make sure you don’t miss this endearing and appealing prominence, crowned with the remarkable Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Must-visit Places in Paris for Art

Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum
  • The world’s crème de la crème is displayed here.
  • Venus de Milo
  • The Seated Scribe
  • Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’
  • Code of Hammurabi
  • David’s ‘Coronation of Napoleon
  • Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa
  • Lammasu
  • Veronese’s ‘The Wedding Feast at Cana’ Barberini ivory
  • Vermeer’s ‘Lacemaker’
  • The reputed Da Vinci’s ‘Gioconda’

Musée d’Orsay

The museum houses the largest collection of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism artworks including:

  • Manet’s ‘Olympia’
  • Renoir’s’Dance in the Country’
  • Van Gogh’s ‘Self-portrait’
  • Degas’ ‘Glass of Absinthe’
  • ‘Whistler’s Mother’

Palace of Versailles

  • The amazing Galerie des Glaces,
  • The Kings Chamber,
  • Salon of Venus,
  • Immense gardens filled with outstanding sculptures and fountains,
  • The Royal Chapel
  • Museum of the History of France, featuring sculptures of notable people and paintings depicting France’s most important events


  • The Dome
  • Amazing interior vaults and frescoes
  • Voltaire’s tomb
  • Foucault Pendulum


The chapel has one of the fines achievers of Gothic architecture, featuring immense stained glass windows and colored ceilings.

Basilica of Saint-Denis and Royal Necrópolis

The first building in Gothic style, such an important place to pass on.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Sacre Coeur Basilica

Its stunning domes and France’s largest mosaic on the central apse made by Merson are enough reasons to visit this impressive church.

Pompidou Centre

Europe’s largest museum of Modern Art including:

  • Dix’s ‘Bildnis Der Journalistin Sylvia Von Harden’
  • Matisse’s ‘The Sorrows of the King’
  • Bourgeois’ ‘Precious Liquids’
  • Rothko’s ‘Untitled (Black, Red Over Black On Red)’
  • Pollock’s ‘Number 26 A, Black and White’

Opéra Garnier

opera garnier
  • The amazing Grand foyer,
  • Grand staircase,
  • Auditorium, and
  • Chagall’s ceiling

Hôtel de ville de Paris

  • Its dreamy exterior,
  • Salle des fêtes,
  • Arcades salons,
  • Paris Council salon, and
  • Main staircase


Cathedral Notre-Dame
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
  • Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris,
  • Musée du Quai Branly,
  • Hôtel des Invalides (Napoleon’s tomb),
  • Grand Mosque of Paris,
  • Eglise Val-de-Grâce,
  • Grand Palais,
  • Petit Palais,
  • Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés,
  • Musée de l’Orangerie (Monet’s Nymphéas series),
  • Musée Rodin (the Thinker and other Rodin’s works),
  • Eglise Saint-Sulpice, Musée de Cluny,
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs,
  • Saint-Augustin church,
  • Musée Marmottan Monet (Biggest Monet collection including ‘Impression, Sunrise’), and  
  • Musée Picasso

Florence, Italy

best cities for art in europe

An old-time classic! Florence is the city known as the cradle of the Renaissance. The one that puts humans and their capacities above all. It is a city with a cultural and intellectual life so influential that ended obscurantism on the occidental world. Florence is crammed with Gothic and Renaissance palaces, temples, museums, and galleries that contain vast collections of the finest art on the whole planet.

The city was once governed by the Medici Dynasty, a rich-Tuscan banker family who were patrons of some of the most important artists of all time. Donatello, Giotto, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Uccello, Da Vinci, and Battista Alberti are some of the important names from this period. All of them living for the span of time in the city and shaped by the ‘Rebirth’ movement, making Florence the outdoor museum that is nowadays. 

Must-visit Places in Florence for Art

Let’s start with an important tip! Buy your tickets to Florence Cathedral, The Baptistery, and Uffizi Gallery 1 to 2 months in advance, since it’s pretty difficult to book them once you are there. 

Uffizi Gallery

  • Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and ‘Allegory of Spring’
  • Da Vinci and Verrocchio’s ‘Annunciation’
  • Raphael’s ‘Portrait of Pope Leo X with Two Cardinals’
  • Bandinelli’s ‘Laocoön and his Sons’
  • Michelangelo’s ‘Doni Tondo’
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Medusa’.

Accademia Gallery

  • Michelangelo’s ‘David’,
  • Giambologna’s “Rape of the Sabines’
  • The marble Gallery, and
  • Botticelli’s ‘Madonna and Child’

Florence Cathedral and its Baptistery

florence cathedral
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome,
  • Giotto’s Campanile,
  • Masaccio’s ‘Holy Trinity’
  • Ghiberti’s ‘Gates of Paradise’

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Luca Giordano and Gozzol’s frescoes

Palazzo Vecchio

palazzo vecchio
  • Hall of the Five Hundred,
  • Vasari and Michelangelo’s artworks

Santa Croce Church

  • Cappella Baroncelli,
  • Donatello’s works, and
  • Machiavelli’s tomb

Palazzo Pitti

  • Palatina Gallery,
  • Modern Art Gallery, and
  • Porcelain Museum


Santa Maria Novella Church
  • Museo Nazionale di San Marco (Fra Angelico’s artworks),
  • Santa Maria Novella Church,
  • Medici Chapel,
  • Palazzo Strozzi,
  • Bargello Museum,
  • Museo Novecento, and
  • Santa Maria de Carmen Church

Amsterdam, Netherlands

best cities for art in europe

Amsterdam is one of a kind city that has an interesting art history.  The Netherlands capital known for its endless canals, windmills, and gabled facades was the economic, scientific, naval, and artistic center of the world during the 17th century. Amsterdam led to the development of a very dynamic cultural life that gave birth to Bosch’s eerie artworks, the nature-centered Bruegel family’s pieces, and a number of genres of painting.

Flemish and Dutch golden age artists were influenced by the then ‘in vogue’ Italian Renaissance. However, they developed a style that is far from the elegance and light portrayed on Italian plastic art. Instead, most of them focused on depicting landscapes, still lives, and scenes from everyday life (genre painting). Important artists like the genius Pieter Brueghel the Elder showed this preference for depicting peasants’ simple life instead of the royal’s. That was something never done before in art history.

On the other hand, artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Loo, and Hals focused on portrait painting, mastering a depiction of light that was crucial for European art history. Dutch-born most famous artist Vincent Van Gogh has its own entirely dedicated museum in Amsterdam, a must-go-landmark. Amsterdam is one of the best cities in Europe for art museums.

Must-visit Places in Amsterdam for Art


  • A notable collection of Vermeer’s paintings including ‘The Milkmaid’ and ‘Love Letter’,
  • Rembrandt’s paintings like ‘Night Watch’, and several amazing portraits.

    Some other worth-watching pieces and places are the:
  • Grand Hall,
  • Asselijn’s ‘Threatened Swan’, the Dolls’ Houses,
  • van der Helst’s ‘Banquet of the Amsterdam Civic Guard in Celebration of the Peace of Münster’
  • Rijksmuseum Library.

Royal Palace of Amsterdam

  • Citizens’ hall,
  • Insurance Chamber,
  • Flinck’s ‘Marcus Curius Dentatus refuses the gifts of the Samnites’
  • de Wit’s ‘Moses Elects Seventy Elders’

Tip: Royal Palace of Amsterdam is best visited during its summer Golden Age exhibition and winter Royal Award for Modern Painting nominees exhibition. So, make sure you book on time!

Van Gogh Museum

van gogh museum

The painter’s largest collection featuring his most widely known artworks like: ‘The Potato Eaters’, Sunflowers’ and ‘Almond Blossoms’,

There is also a 3D immersive exhibition so you can complete an unforgettable experience.

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age

A unique exhibition in Russia’s Hermitage Museum in Amsterdam displaying thirty enormous portraits of the 17th-century Dutch golden age including Rembrandt’s ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman’

Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder

  • A rare example of clandestine Catholic Churches built during the 17th century featuring a beautiful pink chapel,
  • De Vos’ famous ‘Charity Of St. Nicholas’,
  • van Kessel the Elder’s ‘Holy Family’
  • Brakenburgh’s Feast of St Nicholas



A Dutch Renaissance church featuring the ‘Westertoren’. It is also the highest church tower in the city which you can climb to see the city from a different perspective

De Krijtberg Church

The church’s amazing colored stained glass windows, sculptures, vaults, and altar deserve to be analyzed carefully.

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Massive modern art museum featuring Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Pollock, Chagall, Matisse and Kirchner’s artworks just to name a few.


EYE Film Institute
EYE Film Institute
  • Amsterdam Museum,
  • Arti et Amicitiae,
  • Braggiotti Gallery,
  • Mozes en Aäronkerk and Basilica of Saint Nicholas (both once clandestine Catholic Churches too),
  • Oude kerk,
  • Moco Museum,
  • Zuiderkerk (Rembrandt’s favorite),
  • De Beurspassage (a pretty commercial hall),
  • WONDR Experience,
  • Rembrandt House Museum,
  • Museum Van Loon (its gardens are a must in spring),
  • EYE Film Institute,
  • Zuiderkerk,
  • Laurens Church

Madrid, Spain

best cities for art in europe

Madrid has a very young atmosphere, is known as one of Europe’s capitals of Contemporary Art. But, it’s also a city that houses rich examples of other styles like Renaissance, Baroque, Cubism, Surrealism, and many more, having on its hands some of the most important universal art collections. The area called Paseo del Arte features three of the most important museums from all over the world including Prado Museum, Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Every single one has enormous galleries and lots of pieces that you can appreciate for days and days.  

February is the best month of the year to visit the city, since a lot of international art fairs take place in Spain’s capital, like the Contemporary Art Fair of Madrid (ARCO), JUSTMAD, URBANITY ART, ART MADRID and so many others where you can appreciate artworks by Contemporary and emerging artist.

Must-visit Places in Madrid for Art

Prado Museum

prado museum
  • Bosch’s ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’,
  • Goya’s ‘The Third of May 1808’,
  • Velázquez ‘Las Meninas’,
  • El Greco’s ‘The Holy Trinity’
  • van der Weyden’s ‘The Descent from the Cross’

Queen Sofia National Museum Art Centre

  • Picasso’s ‘Guernica’,
  • Dali’s ‘The Great Masturbator’,
  • Gris’ ‘Portrait of Madame Josette Gris’
  • Camarasa’s ‘Portrait of Sonia Klamery’

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
  • Dürer’s ‘Jesus Among the Doctors’, 
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Saint Catherine of Alexandria’,
  • Ghirlandaio’s ‘Portrait of Giovanna degli
  • Albizzi Tornabuoni’ and Rembrandt’s ’Self-portrait wearing a hat and two Chains’

Church of San Antonio de los Alemanes

Miranda and Rizi’s stunning frescoed vaults.

Liria Palace

  • Tiziano’s ‘Last Supper’
  • Rembrandt’s ‘Landscape with ruins’
  • El Greco, Ribera, Mings, Picasso, and Renoir’s artworks

Royal Palace of Madrid and Almudena Cathedral

  • Velázquez’ ‘White Horse’,
  • Ribera’s ‘Juan José de Austria’,
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Salomé’
  • Charles III Chamber

Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial

  • Retablo Mayor,
  • Cambiasso’s  & Giordano’s frescoes,
  • one of the prettiest libraries in the world
  • many Tiziano, Velázquez, El Greco and El Bosco’s artworks

Cerralbo Museum

  • The Ballroom,
  • The staircase,
  • The principal gallery,
  • Many Tintoretto, El Greco, Cano, and Carracci’s artworks


Crystal Palace madrid
Crystal Palace
  • Sorolla Museum,
  • Crystal Palace,
  • Convent of Las Descalzas Reales,
  • Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando,
  • Basilica of San Francisco el Grande

Nice, France

best cities for art in europe

You didn’t expect to see this, am I wrong? French Riviera is a place that evokes permanent blue skies, crystalline waters, and sun-kissed people everywhere in our minds, but not so long ago this region attracted a different kind of tourists. Aristocracy, intellectuals, and artists were omnipresent in Nice, as a trend started by Queen Victoria of England. The bright light, singular architecture, luminous nature, and contrasts of colors attracted artists from the cloudy north of Europe, such as van Gogh and Cézanne in pursuit of inspiration, developing new painting styles during the 19th and the 20th century like Impressionism, Primitivism, Fauvism, and Cubism.

Chagall, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, and Matisse are some of the artists who fell in love with Nice and its surroundings, portraying its colors on several paintings, now exhibited at their own museums all over the French Riviera. Just by strolling around the roads steeped in the history of this splendid city, you’ll notice that it has a very Italian-like atmosphere, this is due to the fact that Nice has a shared history with its now neighbor’s historical regions, which can be appreciated on its local plastic arts and culture. 

Must-visit Places in Nice for Art

Musée Matisse

matisse museum
  • ‘La Piscine’,
  • ‘Le Serf’,
  • ‘Dos II, Issy Les Moulineaux’,
  • ‘Nu bleu IV’
  • The building itself surrounded by Roman ruins

Nice-Cimiez Archeological Museum

Surrounded by the Musée Matisse and the astonishing Roman ruins of the Arena and Thermal Baths of Cimiez, this museum holds some hidden Gallic, Greek, and Roman gems such as the

  • wild boar-ensign of Ilonse,
  • a monumental statue of Antonia Minor,
  • the bronze dancing faun,
  • a mask of Silenus, as well as many other sculptures and artifacts like ceramics, funeral stelae, sarcophagi, coins, and jewelry dating from the Age of Steel to the Middle Ages.

Monastery of Cimiez

  • The colorful Gothic exterior,
  • Bréa’s paintings,
  • The carved Baroque choir
  • The Italian-styled garden with magnificent views of the city.

Chapelle de la Miséricorde de Nice

Chapelle de la Miséricorde de Nice
The yellow building on the left-front

It’s considered the masterpiece of Niçard Baroque. Its ceiling filled with Trompe-l’œil paintings and gold. Its sacristy with Louis Brea’s artworks and the altar will be a feast for your eyes.

Tip: it is only open on Tuesdays. 

Anatole Jakovsky International Museum of Naive Art

Pieces by Rousseau, Bauchant, Bombois, Rimbert, and Séraphine are exhibited, as well as other artworks from international artists.

Musée Renoir

The charming and quiet place surrounded by olive gardens, where you can admire Renoir’s artworks.

Musée Picasso

picasso museum in nice

Formerly a castle, La Chèvre (sculpture) and La Joie de vivre are exhibited here.

Nice Cathedral

Rich Niçois baroque interiors covering every chapel of the temple.

Musée Marc Chagall

‘Le Message Biblique’ and a several Old Testament themed artworks.


Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
  • Russian Orthodox Cathedral,
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice,
  • Musée Départemental des Arts Asiatiques,
  • Greek Villa Keryloss,
  • Palais Lascaris (this beautiful-decorated Genoese baroque palace exhibits the second largest collection of instruments in France),
  • Lympia Gallery,
  • Atelier SOSNO,
  • Church of Gesù (wonderful interiors inspired by the Roman church of the same name),
  • Galerie Lou Babazouk,
  • Chapelle du Saint-Sépulcre de Nice,
  • Galerie Depardieu Art Contemporain,
  • Musée Masséna (a Neoclassical palace where you can discover Nice’s fascinating history).
  • Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild are such good examples of the cosmopolitan life in Nice.

Vienna, Austria

best cities for art in europe

Oh, Vienna! The imperial city is known for its Baroque, Rococo, and singular Art Nouveau architecture and for being the musical center by excellence. It’s a perfect place to get lost in the beauty. Here you can have an unforgettable sound experience enjoying Mozart, Strauss, Mahler, Beethoven, and Schubert’s musical pieces in some of the most important music venues like Vienna Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, or Vienna State Opera.

Vienna has a reputation for being not too overcrowded as other European capitals, so you’ll not waste much time waiting in long queues. Art nouveau is one of the most singular art movements that influenced this city. Otto Wagner, Joseph Maria Olbrich, and Gustav Klimt are just some important names. All of them helped to cover this elegant city with gold and green façades that you can point to in every corner of Habsburg’s former city.  

Must-visit places in Vienna for Art

The Belvedere

belvedere palace
  • World’s largest collection of Klimt’s and Waldmüller’s paintings including ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Seated Girl in a White Satin Dress’,
  • Carlone’s ceilings
  • Marble Hall

Kunsthistorisches Museum

  • Bruegel the Elder’s ‘Tower of Babel’,
  • Arcimboldo’s faces,
  • Raphael’s ‘Madonna of the Meadow’,
  • Rubens’ ‘Miracles of St. Francis Xavier’
  • Makart, Gustav, and Ernst Klimt’s paintings in the staircase

Hofburg Palace

Hofburg Palace

An extensive complex featuring the Albertina Museum housing lots of Picasso’s artworks as well as an immense 20th-century art collection. The Royal Chapel home to Vienna Boys’ Choir, the Empress Sisi Museum, the Imperial silver collection, and many more.

Leopold Museum

  • Klimt’s ‘Death and Life’,
  • Kokoschka’s ‘Self-Portratit’,
  • Egger-Lienz’ ‘Pietà’
  • Schiele’s self-portraits


Karls kirche vienna
  • Camesina’s stunning Altar,
  • Spiral columns
  • Frescoe dome by Rottmayr and Fanti

Schönbrunn Palace

  • Neptune fountain,
  • Great Gallery,
  • Walnut Room and gardens


St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral

Vienna’s artistic offers are endless.

  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral,
  • Mumok Museum,
  • Kirche am Steinhof,
  • Karl Borromäus Church (two of the most important Art Nouveau churches in the entire world),  
  • St. Nicholas Church,
  • Church of Saint Michael,
  • Jesuit Church,
  • Votive Church,
  • Architekturzentrum Wien,

Saint Petersburg, Russia

best cities for art in europe

Russia’s city of culture and ‘gate to the West’ has always been known for its high-quality fine art and peculiar cultural life. The city has also an immense amount of colorful palaces, houses, and churches in Elizabethan Baroque style, an extravagant and opulent style developed by the Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli during the reign of Elizabeth Empress of all Russia. The Winter Palace, the Peterhof Palace, Vorontsov Palace, Catherine Palace, and many more important buildings were constructed by Rastrelli during the modernization process of the tzars capital. The city also accounts for an endless system of Neoclassical buildings, most of them erected during Catherine The Great’s reign. But it doesn’t end there! The city has a large system of museums, galleries, churches, and other cultural institutions that present several different artistic styles inside their walls.

The once capital of Imperial Russia houses the Hermitage Museum, the second-largest museum and the one that holds the biggest collection of paintings in the world. The infamous  6-historic-buildings complex, which includes the Winter Palace is the landmark of the city, encompassing art from the Prehistoric era to Flemish Baroque, from Egyptian art to Italian Renaissance, finishing with Modern and Contemporary art. Here you can also enjoy a delightful ballet show at St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, one of the worlds leading classical ballet companies.

Must-visit Places in St Petersburg for Art

Hermitage Museum

  • Peacock clock,
  • Da Vinci’s Madonna Litta,
  • Van Gogh’s ‘Ladies of Arles’,
  • Rembrandt’s ‘Return of the Prodigal Son’,
  • Caravaggio’s’Lute Player’,
  • Matisse’s Dance,
  • Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss,
  • Rubens’ ‘Bacchus’
  • Silver Sarcophagus of Alexander Nevsky

Church of the Savior on Blood

spilled blood church
  • Its stunning facade and onion domes,
  • The rich interior mosaics
  • The delicate iconostasis

The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg

Holds and the largest collection of Russian fine art:

  • Lomonosov’s mosaic ‘Portrait of Catherine II’,
  • Repin’s ‘Barge Haulers on the Volga’,
  • Perov’s ‘Monastic Refectory’,
  • Ryabushkin’s ‘Seventeenth Century Street on a Public Holiday’
  • Kandinsky’s ‘Black Spot I’

Peterhof Palace

peterhof palace
  • The iconic golden Samson Fountain and the Grand Cascade,
  • Throne Room,
  • Audience chamber,
  • Main staircase,
  • Ballroom,
  • a Gothic chapel,
  • Special Treasury

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Kawarga’s ‘Model of Bipolar activity’,
  • Gankevich’s ‘Russians are coming II’,  
  • Voligamsi’s ‘Light,
  • Rybakov’s ‘Longing for the Shore’
  • Mikhaïlov’s Armwrestling’

Catherine Palace

Catherine Palace
  • The famously reconstructed Amber Room,
  • Agate Rooms,
  • The chapel
  • The ballroom

Discover the most Beautiful Elizabethan Baroque Churches

The First-Called is just some examples of this stunning architectural style are:

  • Smolny Convent,
  • Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas,
  • Peter and Paul Cathedral Feodorovskiy Gosudarev Cathedral,
  • The Cathedral of St. Andrew .


Petersburg Mosque
The gate of Petersburg Mosque
  • Kazan Cathedral,
  • Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Repin, Bryullov, Kustodiev, and many other Russian artists are displayed),
  • Saint Petersburg Mosque,
  • Stieglitz Academy,
  • Tikhvin Edinovercheskaya Wooden Church,
  • Sobor Petra I Pavla,
  • Shadow Museum,
  • Amber Museum,
  • Datsan Gunzechoinei,
  • St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Rome, Italy

best cities for art in europe

The open-air museum by excellence. La Città Eterna has been one of the most important cultural centers of the Occidental world, gathering several of the most impressive monuments ever built like the infamous Roman Coliseum, the singular Castel Sant’Angelo, and the massive Pantheon. Every single corner of this city is a piece of art, and if so, why should you pay a ticket for a museum having all these free open-air monuments? You might ask. Rome has some of the most impressive churches, galleries, and museums that are home to several important artworks of all time and from all over the world. Entering through some of the most opulent free-entry churches will only make you want more and more as your mouth keeps so open wide that you’ll need to fill it with fresh carbonara later.

Must-visit Places in Rome for Art

Galleria Borghese and Villa Borghese gardens

Villa Borghese Gardens
  • Bernini’s large collection of sculptures including ‘Rape of Proserpina’,
  • The Emperors’ hall,
  • Canova’s ‘Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix’,
  • Raphae’s ‘Deposition’,
  • Titian’s ‘Sacred and Profane Love’,
  • Caravaggio’s ‘David with the Head of Goliath’ and ‘Young Sick Bacchus’

Galleria and Palace Doria Pamphili

  • Velázquez’ ‘Portrait of Innocent X’, 
  • The amazing galleria degli Specchi,
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Rest on the Flight into Egypt’,
  • Raphael’s ‘Portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano’
  • Aldobrandini gallery

Capitoline Museums

Known as the world’s first museum it holds an extensive collection of Roman Art including the:

  • ‘Capitoline Wolf’,
  • ‘Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius’
  • ‘Charles I of Anjou’

Sant’Ignazio Church

Sant'Ignazio Church

Andrea Pozzo’s painted ceilings are one of a kind experience  that will blow your mind by just looking above

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

  • Canova’s ‘Hercules and Lichas’,
  • Klimt’s ‘The Three Ages of Woman’,
  • Chirico’s ‘Hector and Andromache’
  • Boldini’s ‘Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi’



The best-preserved monument of the Roman Empire. Its dome is considered one of the most important treasures of human history

San Luigi dei Francesi

  • Caravaggio’s Contarelli Capilla, featuring 3 of his most notable works dedicated to Saint Matthew,
  • Natoire’s golden ceilings,
  • Bassano’s altar

Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica

  • Raphael’s ‘Fornarina’,
  • Cardona’s frescoed ceilings,
  • Helicoidal Staircase,
  • Caravaggio’s ‘Judith Beheading Holofernes’
  • Holbein the Younger’s ‘Portrait of Henry VIII’

Santa Maria Maggiore Church

Santa Maria Maggiore Church
  • Christian mosaic cycle Cappella Sistina,
  • Reni’s Pauline Chapel
  • Borghese Chapel

Palazzo Colonna and Gallery

  • Bronzino’s Venus ‘Cupid and Satyr’,
  • Great Hall,
  • Carracci’s ‘Bean Eater’,
  • Hall of the Battle Column,
  • Hall of the Apotheosis of Martino V
  • Dughet Hall


Castel Sant Angelo
Castel Sant’Angelo
  • Villa d’Este,
  • Capuchin Crypt,
  • Santa Maria del Popolo (Raphael’s chapel and Caravaggio’s altars),
  • Castel Sant’Angelo (Papal apartments),
  • Scuderie del Quirinale,
  • Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere,
  • Villa Farnesina,
  • Palazzo Venezia,
  • Villa Giulia,
  • Santa Maria in Aracoeli,
  • Palazzo Massimo,
  • National Roman Museum (Ludovisi Battle sarcophagus),
  • Villa Médici,
  • Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri,
  • San Giovanni in Laterano

Bonus: Vatican City

best cities for art in Europe

Always visited along with Rome, this one doesn’t require presentations. The world’s tiniest state is home to the biggest church in the world! St. Peter’s Basilica, an occidental masterpiece that serves as the center of the Christian world, houses the Capilla Sixtina which features impressive frescoes like Michelangelo’s masterpiece ‘The Creation of Adam’. The Vatican Museums have endless collections of the finest occidental art by high-tier artists like Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Poussin, Da Vinci, Reni, Giotto! Crivelli and many more. You’ll never get bored here and in all of the above-mentioned sites if you enjoy getting lost in halls and chambers full of the best human creation of all time: Art.

What do you think about the best cities for art in Europe? Where would be the next cities in Europe that you would visit for art?

What do you think?


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  1. Great article, I enjoyed reading! Such a detailed list! There are some countries that are less known for art but you can really find hidden gems there, for example, Croatia, Slovenia etc.

  2. I wish I could have read such an article before my trips to Rome, Florence, Nice, Amsterdam, Vienna, and the Vatican. I have seen many art places in those cities, but didn’t have such detailed information! Petersburg would be one of my coming trips, so I will come to check this article back! Many wonderful palaces in Petersburg just like Vienna! Exciting!

  3. All of these places are crazily amazing and wonderful. However, my favorite one is Sant’Ignazio Church with its magnificent 3D ceiling that you are lost in it. I’m not much capable of understanding how it was possible to do such great illusional art back in time. Really, it is one of the best pieces, but as far as I know, Sant’Ignazio is not that well-promoted and well-known as much as Pantheon, Spanish Square, or Trevi Fountain in Rome. It’s a bit of pity.

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