Are you in desperate need of some culture? Well, there’s some good news. Europe is one of the most culture-rich continents on the planet.
So, whether you’re planning a big European vacation or you’re looking to explore your own backyard, these European museums will scratch your itch for art, history and culture.
Now comes the real problem. How do you narrow down your selection from the many great museums that Europe has to offer?
Well, don’t fret. We’ve done the hard work for you.
Here are the 7 best museums in Europe to see.
You’re probably not surprised to see France’s Grande Dame at the top of this list. The Louvre is a world-famous museum that is also a must-see for virtually everyone. This stunning museum was once a royal palace.
During the French Revolution, it was transformed into a museum format to house the Young Republic’s art collection.
While you’re here, you’ll want to see the big three. These exhibits include the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Venus de Milo.
2. The British Museum
This London museum is dedicated to human culture and history.
The British Museum is home to a permanent collection that contains about 8 million works. So, it should be no surprise that this is among the largest collections in the world.
Take a guided tour of the British Museum to see the story of human life from its very beginnings to up until today.
3. The Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum moved from the Hauge to Amsterdam in 1808 where it found a temporary home in the Royal Palace.
Later Rijksmuseum moved to Trippenhuis. This was the most-visited museum in the Netherlands in the year 2013, but that may have something to do with its grand reopening that year.
It had be closed for a 10-year renovation prior to 2013.
You’ll find this museum in Madrid where more than 8,600 paintings now live.
You’ll also find a vast array of sculptures, drawings and other works of art. And as an extra incentive to visit the Prado Museum, it’s celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. And if you’re making a cultural trip of it, you may also want to visit the Thyssen-Bornemisza or Reina Sophia museums.
If you’re short on time, stop by Prado Museum’s visitor center and choose one of three recommended itineraries.
These itineraries last between one and three hours and each covers the most important masterpieces within the museum.
5. Tate Modern
This modern art gallery is located in London and contains international modern art and forms that are part of the Tate Group. This group includes Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St. Ives and Tate online.
If you’re interested in modern art Tate Modern Museum is probably already on your bucket list. If not, it should be. This is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, hosting nearly 5 million visitors every year.
You’ll find Tate Modern in the former Bankside Power Station in the Bankside area of Southwark.
6. The Anne Frank House
Any list of must-see European museums would be incomplete without a mention of the Anne Frank House.
This is the exact location where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis with seven others in a secret annex. They hid for two years on the Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam before they were discovered and deported to concentration camps.
Anne Frank became famous after her death for the diary she kept during her time in hiding.
7. Museum Island
You’ll find Museum Island in Germany’s capital city of Berlin – where there’s no shortage of interesting museums. Still Museum Island is a must-stop for your itinerary.
Museum Island isn’t just one museum. It’s actually five state museums that are located on the same island. Expect to see breathtaking and diverse works of art at any of the five museums, from antiquities to classical paintings and sculpture.
8. Vatican Museums
You won’t want to plan a European museum tour without a stop to the Vatican Museums. Regardless of your religious faith, the historical masterpieces housed here are worth the trip, and the inevitable wait you’ll experience on the line to get in.
If nothing else, stop at the Vatican for a view of the Sistine Chapel. You won’t regret it.
9. The Guggenheim Museum
Since this is a list of European museums, we’re obviously not referencing the Guggenheim in New York City.
If you’re in Italy for the Vatican, you may want to tour the Guggenheim in Venice. But if you’re making a special trip, the Bilbao, Spain Guggenheim may be a better bet.
You’ll be in awe of the swooping curves and innovative architecture of this museum before you even walk through the door.
10. The Nationalmuseet
The last museum on this list is unlike any other. The Nationalmuseet is dedicated to Viking history and culture. These exhibits speak to the innovation and learnings from a time when people believed the world was flat. You’ll find the Nationalmuseet in Copenhagen.
Whether you’re traveling from another part of the world or simply looking to become more cultured, a stop to any of the museums on this list is sure to enrich your life.
And if you’re planning to make this part of a family road trip, there’s potential for everyone to learn and have fun.
You’re going to cover a lot of ground, so be sure to check the ac filter and check the car service record before you go. And find family activities to do along the way, so the kids don’t get bored between stops.
Have fun exploring these must-see European museums!