Must-Visit Art Museums to Tour in Europe

Two people approaching lit-up art museum with evening blue sky above.

Whether you prefer guided tours in Europe or want to explore on your own, there are many breathtaking sights to enjoy on a Europe cruise. If you like fine art and sculptures, or you enjoy enriching learning experiences, then you’ll want to add a museum visit to your itinerary.

Here are just some of the must-visit art museums in Europe to add to your list:

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

When visiting Amsterdam, you may want to stop by the Rijksmuseum (pictured above) and Van Gogh Museum. At Rijksmuseum, you’ll explore the art and history of the Netherlands and soak up the sights of masterpieces from Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer. Rembrandt’s Night Watch, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait and Vermeer’s Little Street are just a few of the famous works of art you can enjoy here. If you’re a big fan of Van Gogh, then also explore the Van Gogh Museum while in town.

Athens, Greece

When you go to the Acropolis in Athens, you can tour an excavation site with archaeologists at the Acropolis Museum. You’ll see houses, courtyards and wells, learning more about those who lived around the Acropolis for more than 4,500 years.

Barcelona, Spain

Serving as the first museum dedicated to Picasso, the Picasso Museum (Museu Picasso) was inspired by an idea from one of the artist’s lifelong friends. It’s also the only one established during his lifetime. Here you’ll find more than 4,000 works of art across five adjacent medieval palaces in Barcelona.

Belfast, Ireland

If you find yourself in Belfast, check out the Ulster Museum and its collections of art, history and natural sciences. Learn about dinosaurs, meteorites and mummies while being surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens. And if you’re captivated by the history of the RMS Titanic or a fan of the Hollywood blockbuster, you may want to visit Titanic Belfast. Experience the retelling of Titanic’s story through a self-guided tour and interactive galleries, learning more about the ship, the people and the city that created her.

Florence & Rome, Italy

When cruising to Italy, consider visiting the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Housed in a breathtaking structure built between 1560 and 1580, you’ll explore remarkable paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Works include art by Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Caravaggio, just to name a few. When visiting Rome, head to Vatican City to view the Vatican Museums, founded by Pope Julius II in the early 16th century. You’ll discover nearly 20,000 works of art on display, from Roman sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces. The Sistine Chapel, which includes the world-famous ceiling by Michelangelo, is part of the museum route. With more than five million visitors last year, the Vatican Museums were the second most-visited museums in the world after the Louvre.

Jerusalem, Israel

Known as a “land flowing with milk and honey,” a visit to Israel is an incredible experience. Walk through Jerusalem’s Old City, pause at the Western Wall and embark on a journey through history at uniquely memorable museums. Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center covers 45 acres on the Mount of Remembrance, where visitors go on an emotional journey through history with its museums, monuments, gardens and educational experiences. This includes the cone-shaped Hall of Names – 10 meters high, reaching toward the sky and covered with photos from those who died during the Holocaust. The Israel Museum is another one to visit, with unique biblical and Holy Land archaeological collections and fine art.

Lisbon, Portugal

Established in 1884, the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga) houses thousands of items in its collections, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and ceramics from the 12th to the 19th century. They also have a restaurant and beautiful gardens. Looking for another unique experience? Embark on a historical journey exploring royal and ceremonial coaches at the National Coach Museum in Belém.

London, England

The National Gallery in London welcomes you with art from Monet, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and more. Kids can also explore, learn and make art of their own. Take your time roaming the space to soak it all up while also enjoying onsite dining and shopping.

Oslo, Norway

Exploring Norway with a stop in Oslo? Check out the Norwegian Museum of Science & Technology. With experiences and learning for the whole family, you can enjoy more than 100 interactive activities and 25 exhibitions that highlight technology, science and transportation. You can also visit the National Museum of Medicine while there.

Paris, France

Known as the city of love and lights, Paris has many sights to behold, including the Louvre. This former palace offers theme-based tours, gorgeous gardens and world-famous masterpieces like the Mona Lisa. It’s also the most-visited museum in the world!

Do you have a favorite museum or art tour in Europe? Do you prefer guided Europe tours or exploring on your own? Share in the comments below.


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