World’s Top 9 Art Destinations to explore

Whether home to stunning public sculptures, world-renowned art galleries or a burgeoning street art scene, these cities scattered across the globe are the ideal destination for any self-professed lover of art.

We tour some of the most vibrant art scenes in the world from familiar hotspots like Paris to up-and-coming arty hubs like Mexico City and Lagos.

Cities like New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Los Angeles, Florence, Miami Beach, Hong Kong, and So Paulo are all home to famous artists, blockbuster art markets, and museums that are as well-known as the pieces they house.

We adore these locations, but we also adore art destinations outside the confines of the art world. Locations that exude mystique, have a sense of pilgrimage, wink at uniformity, encourage experimentation, and foster a close-knit sense of community. Lets explore World’s Top 9 Art Destinations :

1. Paris, France

Paris is an art lover’s paradise with more than 1,000 galleries dispersed around the city.

The world’s best-known work of art, the “Mona Lisa” finds its home in the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre.

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

Da Vinci’s well-known picture has been housed inside the Louvre for more than 200 years. The Louvre is a treasure trove that houses almost 35,000 works of art that date from prehistory to the 19th century.

Many veteran contemporary galleries like Galerie Daniel Templon to relative newcomers like La Maison Rouge and Modus Art Gallery and the vibrant street art in Paris’ Belleville neighborhood, there’s art to be found around every corner in The City of Light.

Galerie Daniel Templon
Galerie Daniel Templon
Paris’ Belleville street art
Paris’ Belleville

Other prominent galleries in Paris:

  • Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • The Centre Pompidou

2. New York City, USA

With world-renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA), the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Guggenheim Museum, and art gallery hotspots like Chelsea, Manhattan alone is enough to keep art enthusiasts occupied for days, but it would be a crying shame to ignore New York City’s other boroughs.

Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum

The Egyptian art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art illuminates the world of ancient Egypt. The main draw is the Temple of Dendur, which was constructed in about 15 BC by Petronius, the Roman governor of Egypt. The other collections of The Met feature works by European masters as well as pieces from the Islamic and ancient Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman eras.

The Egyptian art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Egyptian art collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Other prominent galleries in NYC:

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

3. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo varies from other cities in that its art galleries are dispersed around the vast metropolis, but they are definitely worth the journey. Some cities may have more or less distinct art districts. Roppongi, which is home to the Mori Art Museum, National Art Center, and more intimate locations like Ota Fine Arts, is a wonderful place to start, whereas SCAI is located in Taito. One of Tokyo’s most esteemed art locations is The Bathhouse, a modern gallery housed in a 200-year-old former public bath house.

Mori Art Museum, National Art Center,World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
Mori Art Museum, National Art Center

Other prominent galleries in Tokyo, Japan:

  • National Museum of Western Art. Opening Hours.
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. Opening Hours.
  • The University Art Museum. Opening Hours.
  • The Ueno Royal Museum. Opening Hours.
  • The National Museum of Modern Art. Opening Hours.
  • Tokyo Station Gallery.

4. India

Among the World’s Top 9 Art Destinations to explore, India has been blessed with brilliant artists and art forms. Since ancient times, art sculptures and paintings have been an innate part of the Indian Culture. Various art galleries in India preserve the old age art creations. The glorifying artworks are having spread their wings all across India, through various cities. Below is a list of the most renowned of them –

Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
Indian Museum, also the Imperial Museum at Calcutta
Indian Museum, also the Imperial Museum at Calcutta
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata
  • The Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh
  • Government Museum, Chennai
  • Indian Museum, Kolkata
  • Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai
  • National gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore & New Delhi
  • National Museum, New Delhi
  • Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

5. Florence, Italy

There is no better place to see Renaissance art than Florence. Galleria dell’Accademia, which houses some of Michelangelo‘s most famous creations, like as his David sculpture, is a must-see, as is the iconic Galleria degli Uffizi, where tourists can view treasures like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch.  Among the treasures at Uffizi, you’ll find inside are Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” ceiling frescoes and ancient Roman sculptures such as “The Wrestlers.”

The Renaissance may be the main attraction, but Florence’s Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, which opened in 2007 and was dubbed the “anti-Uffizi,” offers contemporary art enthusiasts a place to satisfy their craving.

Galleria dell'Accademia, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
Galleria dell’Accademia
Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina

Other prominent art destinations in Italy –

  • Bargello Museum.
  • San Marco Monastery.
  • Florence’s Duomo Museum.
  • Medici Palaces.
  • Church Museums and Chapels in Florence.
  • Sculptures of the Piazza della Signoria.

6. London, UK

Whatever style of art you prefer—classic, modern, contemporary, or something else—London has a gallery to suit you. Visit the National Gallery to see well-known pieces of art like Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh and The Hay Wain by John Constable, then go to the Tate Modern to see international modern masterpieces by artists like Picasso, Hockney, and Warhol.

For cutting-edge contemporary art, the sometimes contentious Saatchi Gallery is a must-see, while those who prefer less formal art spaces might make a detour in Shoreditch, a hub for street art.

National Gallery London
National Gallery, London
Tate Modern London
Tate Modern, London

Other art destinations in UK –

  • Tate St Ives.
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
  • Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
  • The Burrell Collection.
  • Whitworth Art Gallery.
  • Arnolfini.
  • Royal Academy of Arts.

7. Mexico City, Mexico

São Paulo might be the Latin American art capital but other hubs like Mexico City are staking their claim in the international art scene too. Since 2014 the city has hosted its own contemporary art fair, Material Art Fair, while up-and-coming contemporary galleries like House of Gaga and Kurimanzutto are making waves on the international art scene. Stop by the Palacio Nacional to see Diego Rivera’s awe-inspiring mural El mundo de hoy y de mañana and the beautiful La Casa Azul for works by fellow Mexican luminary Frida Kahlo.

Diego Rivera’s awe-inspiring mural El mundo de hoy y de mañana, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore 
Diego Rivera’s awe-inspiring mural El mundo de hoy y de mañana 

Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico

Before Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, a rich civilization thrived in what is now modern-day Mexico. The pre-Columbian era is preserved at Mexico’s Museo Nacional de Antropologia. Inside you’ll find the largest collection of pre-Columbian artifacts in Mexico, such as the Aztec Stone of the Sun, a large monolithic sculpture that was discovered in 1790.

Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico

Art destinations in Mexico –

  • Museo de Artes Moderno.
  • Museo Tamayo.
  • Museo Nacional de Antropologia.
  • Casa Azul.
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes.
  • Monumento a la Revolucion.
  • Leonora Carrington’s Public Sculptures.
  • The Street Art of Guerrero.

8. Singapore

City-state Singapore is more well-known as one of the major financial hubs in the world, but it also has a thriving art scene. The city is bursting with arts destinations, including regional mainstays like the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Singapore Art Museum as well as the recently opened National Gallery Singapore, which manages the largest collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art in the world.

However, even just strolling through the city’s streets reveals several breathtaking public sculptures; see Salvador Dali’s Homage to Newtown at the UOB Plaza and Chong Fah Cheong’s First Generation close to Cavenagh Bridge.

Singapore Art Museum, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
Singapore Art Museum

Art destinations in Singapore –

  • ArtScience Museum.
  • Battlebox.
  • Mint Museum of Toys.
  • Trick Eye Museum.
  • Asian Civilisations Museum.
  • Red Dot Design Museum.

9. Vatican Museums, Vatican City

Michelangelo preferred sculpting to painting. And yet, the “artist who did not want to paint” created one of the most influential works in fresco art in the history of Western art: the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It’s part of the Vatican Museums, a total of 13 museums in more than a dozen Vatican palaces inside Vatican City.

the painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, World's Top 9 Art Destinations to explore
The painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

Other art destinations in Vatican City –

  • Museo Pio-Clementino.
  • Museo Chiaramonti.
  • Museo Gregoriano Etrusco.
  • Museo Gregoriano Egiziano.

These are few bunch of World’s Top 9 Art Destinations to explore, let me know in the comments if we missed something more incredible!

Ps: If you want, you can explore my online art gallery ‘Arts Fiesta‘ consisting of my acrylic paintings and photography prints.

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