City thinking, local knowledge

The European art museums you need to visit

By Dina Patel

You’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to all the cultural experiences on offer in Europe. Compiling a definitive list is almost impossible, so instead we’ve settled for a few of our favourites. The following museums contain masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, Pollock and Van Gogh and are well worth a visit…

Guggenheim Bilbao – Spain

Labelled as one of the ‘12 Treasures of Spain’ in 2007, the iconic conch-shell shaped museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, has been a hub for contemporary art lovers since its grand opening in 1959. Other than being a work of art itself, the Guggenheim houses an ever-evolving collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, modern and contemporary art, including permanent pieces by Vasily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian.

Tate Modern – UK

This gallery is a little closer to home, and holds the esteemed title of being the most visited modern art gallery in Europe. Holding an international reputation as striking as its building, the Tate Modern holds permanent collections designed by admired artists such as Herzog & de Meuron, alongside curated collections of contemporary art greats such as Damien Hirst and Roy Lichenstein.

A walk around this converted power station is like travelling through the history of modern art from the 20th century and beyond.

Centre Pompidou – France

Housed inside a captivating building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Pompidou is home to Europe’s largest modern art collection. Since it shares Paris with the Louvre, it can often compete for your time when visiting the city, however, the collection housed inside shows it can go toe-to-toe with any other European museum. Extensive collections of Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Kandinsky are rotated every six months, alongside exhibitions which, in recent years, have included the likes of Freud, Dali and Richter.

And to top it all off, the Pompidou offers an amazing outdoor escalator, providing visitors with a unique and beautiful view of Paris.

Castello di Rivoli – Italy

The Castello di Rivoli is housed within a World Heritage Site, and the collection therein is as distinguished as the 17th century castle itself. Emphasising controversial modern figures of international art, the gallery is a fascinating look into the rogues of the artistic world. Containing paintings, sculptures and videos from artists such as Nan Goldin, Tracey Emin and Anselm Keifer, this gallery is one not to miss. As an added bonus, it also contains the world famous restaurant, Combal Zero, which offers food as revolutionary as the works within gallery.

Kröller-Müller Museum – The Netherlands

To top off our list, we’re heading over to the sleepy village of Otterlo in the Netherlands, where the collection is both indoors and outdoors. The indoor collection houses many of Van Gogh’s best-known works alongside other modern masters, such as Piet Mondrian. But the main attraction at the Kröller-Müller lies with its iconic outdoor sculpture park, featuring 160 works by world famous sculptors, including Jean Debuffet, Augustus Rodin and many more. The museum even offers bicycle hire, so you can peddle your way around the large garden in the glorious Dutch weather.

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