Europe is utterly fascinating when it comes to art. The best museums in Europe narrate their own unique stories, bringing rich cultural legacies to the forefront of each visitor's experience. These attractions span every country, from mysterious paintings at the Louvre to historic relics and artifacts at the Vatican, there is so much to explore on the Continent that a list of those you can't miss is in order. Here are our favorites from Rome, London, and Paris!
The Borghese Gallery, Rome
The Borghese Gallery is one of the most popular art galleries in Rome, but can remain elusive due to its ticketing policy and position inside a vast park. It is home to incredible masterpieces by the sculptor Bernini, as well as some of Caravaggio's most famous paintings. There are even works by Raphael and many others. On our Borghese Gallery Tours you will also see vibrant mosaics, paintings, sculptures and unique pieces of art that date back to the 1st century AD. The collection housed here was one of the largest in the world, ammassed by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 1600s, and is displayed it its original setting.
Once you are done exploring the museum, you can spend some wonderful time in the lovely Villa Borghese Park that surrounds it. The English style park sprawling over 148 acres is a perfect sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This park is the third largest in Rome. You can also catch glimpses of ancient Baroque and Roman culture. Not to miss is the breathtaking view of St. Peter's from the Pincio Terrace.
The Vatican Museums, Vatican City
Located inside Vatican City, these museums have a vast collection that has been amassed over centuries from past Popes. Some of the most important and world-renowned Renaissance artwork is housed here including masterpieces by Da Vinci, Bellini, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and of course Michelangelo.
Founded in the early 16th century by Pope Julius II, the museums include the Sistine Chapel (Michelangelo) and its famous ceiling and the Stanze della Segnatura (Raphael).
Nearly 6 million guests visited the Vatican Museums in 2015. There are 54 galleries or salas at the museums including the Sistine Chapel. City Wonders offers a whole range of Vatican Tours to offer the best of the world's smallest sovereign country.
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre museum is a must-visit when you come to Paris. It is definitely one of the grandest locations in the City of Lights, as well as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. The renowned Mona Lisa is the biggest draw to the museum. You’ll also appreciate 'Liberty Leading the People' by Delacroix and the 'Venus de Milo'.
Our Louvre Tours offer an ode to French culture and European art. The museum has over 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight departments with more than 652,000 square feet of space for its permanent collection. You can also soak in the gorgeous Tuileries Garden. Landscaped to perfection, it’s a real treat for your senses.
The Musée d’Orsay, Paris
The Musée d'Orsay is a unique museum housed in a spectacular late-19th century railway station. The museum is home to the world’s largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Seurat, Degas, Monet, Manet, Sisley and many more. The museum is located on the banks of River Seine and offers stunning views. Check out our Musée d'Orsay Tours to uncover the fabulous art of Paris's second most important art collection.
The British Museum, London
Established in 1753, the collection was acquired mainly from Sir Hans Sloane. Today, there are more than 8 million works which include pieces that document human culture and history.
Notable pieces in the collection include the Rosetta Stone, the Rillaton Gold Cup, the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Lewis Chessmen, and the Vindolanda Tablets. There are also many other Greek, Roman and Egyptian artifacts to admire on our comprehensive Highlights of the British Museum Tours.