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Top 10 art gallery destinations in the world

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From old masters and Impressionists to contemporary installations, book a hotel in an art-lover’s city with this guide to the top 10 art gallery destinations in the world.

Renaissance art in Florence

Botticelli’s sublime Birth of Venus is just one of the highlights in the home of the Renaissance, the Uffizi Gallery. Works by early Renaissance masters like Giotto and Fra Angelico are joined by masterpieces by Leonardo and Michelangelo in this elegant palace designed by Vasari in 1560.

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Modern art in New York

Monet’s Water Lilies and Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans are just some of the star attractions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. MoMA’s collection offers an unparalleled overview of modern art in all its quirky forms, from film and photography to performance art and design.

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Legendary collection in Paris

Its massive collection runs the gamut from ancient Egypt and classical Greece to 19th-century paintings, but the Louvre is voted one of the top 10 art gallery destinations in the world because of one artwork – the surprisingly diminutive Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

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Museum of Art in Sao Paulo

The finest art gallery in Latin America, Brazil’s MASP encompasses Western, Brazilian, African and Asian art and antiquities. The Rembrandt Self-Portrait and Degas sculptures are as dramatic as the building’s bold red Brutalist architecture.

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Goya and Velázquez in Madrid

The Prado’s impressive Spanish Royal Collection includes Dutch and Italian old masters but aficionados of Spanish art love it for its fine collection of works by Spanish artists. Look out for Las Meninas by Velázquez and 3rd of May 1808 by Goya.

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History of Western art in St Petersburg

More than three million paintings, sculptures and artefacts fill the gloriously gilded rooms of the Tsars’ Winter Palace. What makes the Hermitage so special are its overview of Western art and focus on French artists, with the celebratory Dance and Music by Matisse particular standouts.

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Powerful modern art in London

International modern art from the past 100 years fills the austere white galleries and cavernous halls of Tate Modern, a former power station on London’s South Bank. Temporary exhibitions are held on Level 4 but visitors flock all year round to see works by Dalí, Picasso and Rothko, while specially commissioned exhibits fill the Turbine Hall’s five-storey atrium.

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Getty Museum in LA

Part of the Getty Center in Brentwood, the J Paul Getty Museum tells the story of pre-20th-century Western art, from illuminated medieval manuscripts to Van Gogh’s Irises. You can also browse antiquities at the Roman-style Villa Getty in Malibu, about an hour from Los Angeles’ hotels by public transport. 

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Aboriginal art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Sydney’s cultural hub encompasses Asian, Western and contemporary art, but it’s the Australian and Aboriginal collections that set this gallery apart. Artworks by indigenous artists from around Australia include bark paintings, photography and new media. 

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Japanese art and design in Tokyo

Browse the world’s largest collection of Japanese art at the Honkan Gallery, covering two floors of the Tokyo National Museum. For decorating inspiration, seek out the exquisite folding-screen paintings, furnishings and decorative arts on the second floor. 

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