If you love art and culture and are planning a “Grand Tour” of Europe, you’re in luck: some of the best museums in the world are there. From the well-known to the hidden treasures, be sure to include these gems on your list.
Acropolis Museum – Athens, Greece
This stunningly beautiful building hosts a brilliant collection of art, statues and frescoes. It’s located right below the Acropolis itself.
Vatican Museums – Vatican City, Vatican City
Vatican City offers art lovers more than the Sistine Chapel. Masterpieces from some of the most renowned artists ever can be seen throughout the museums of the city.
Charles Dickens Museum – London, England
This hidden gem is a huge treat, especially for Dickens fans. The author wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelby in the house where the museum is located, and he often sought “inspiration” in the Cheshire Cheese Pub, right around the corner.
The Louvre – Paris, France
France’s national landmark houses a massive collection of art and artifacts from prehistoric times to the present. Given that it’s the world’s most visited museum and the size of the building is daunting, be prepared for line ups and wear comfortable shoes.
Musee d’Orsay – Paris, France
For a more user-friendly experience, you might want to consider the Musee d’Orsay over on the Left Bank, housed in a stunningly beautiful Beaux-Arts building that was once a railway station. Inside you’ll find predominantly French art including paintings, sculpture and photography. The museum also boasts the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces.
The Rijksmuseum – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dutch artists like Vermeer, Rembrandt and Frans Hals are front and centre at The Rijksmuseum. The museum has built a collection of over one million items, 8,000 of which are regularly on display.
Van Gogh Museum – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Just across Museum Square from the Rijksmuseum is the not-to-be-missed Van Gogh Museum, an uber-modern building featuring the largest Van Gogh collection in the world. It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings and 700 letters by the master.
The National Gallery – London, England
Established in London in 1824, the National Gallery is home to a collection of 2,300 pieces. It’s unique in that the Gallery’s collection is owned by the citizens of the United Kingdom and there is no charge to view the main collection.
The Anne Frank House – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Anne Frank is known to the world because of the diary she wrote while in hiding from the Nazis during World War Two. Together with seven others, she hid in the secret attic in the house where the museum is located. Her diary’s publication after the war staved off the building’s demolition, and it was restored as a significant historical site.
The Uffizi Gallery – Florence, Italy
With its centuries-long artistic legacy, the Uffizi Gallery is one of the most important museums in the world. It hosts thousands of works ranging from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Much of the art has a religious theme.
The British Museum – London, England
This museum is dedicated to human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering over eight million works, is among the most comprehensive in existence and showcases pieces from all continents. There is no charge to visit. You might want to rent a multimedia device from the museum to help you navigate this massive collection.
Contributor: David Massie