The World’s Most Famous Art Galleries: A Travel Guide

In 2021, 71 million people visited 100 of the top art galleries worldwide. This was an increase of 17 million people from 2020. So we can assume that visiting art galleries is becoming a more popular pastime.

Yet, with so many famous art galleries to consider visiting, how do you prioritize a selection that you should go visit first? After all, it would be nigh impossible to visit what is considered the top 100 art galleries in a single trip; unless you have a spare couple of years free.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the most famous must-go-to art galleries in the world, before you visit any others! Let’s run through the choices.

woman at art gallery

The Louvre Museum

The Louvre is by far the most famous museum in the world. In recent times, Dan Brown’s worldwide best seller, The Davinci Code, may have cemented The Louvre into this position. Yet, without that influence, The Louvre holds its own with over 380,000 works of art for you to go and see.

Keep in mind, that a visit to this art gallery will involve a lot of queuing and waiting if you want to see the art gallery’s most famous masterpiece, the Mona Lisa; but it will be worth it! Other notable masterpieces include Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix and Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

State Russian Museum

If you find yourself in St Petersburg, a top art travel tip is to visit the State Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Palace. It’s one of the most visited art galleries in the world, second to the Louvre, and has the largest depository of Russian fine art.

Visiting this museum is an awe-inspiring experience, since it takes up a massive 30 hectares of land, making it one of the largest art museums worldwide. It includes masterpieces such as The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky and The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Bryullov, to name a couple.

British Museum

At first glance, you might not expect the British museum to be a popular haunt for art lovers. However, it makes sense that through its dedication to showcasing human history that there should be prolific artwork on show in its corridors.

You can expect to see many prints, drawings, and painting from exceptionally talented artists throughout the ages. And what’s more interesting is they are one of the first prominent museums to dabble in art NFTs. If you are unfamiliar with art NFTs, here is a series of examples to check out.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you’re wondering where to see art stateside then one of the best US art galleries to check out is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). It is, in fact, the biggest art museum in the western hemisphere. with over 2 million works of art contained within its walls!

A famous masterpiece that resides within its walls is The Harvesters by Pieter Bruegel. Another is Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh.

A Few of the World’s Most Famous Art Galleries

We’ve touched on a handful of famous art galleries you can go see around the world. Some honorable mentions include Reina Sofia in Madrid, Tate Modern in London, and MMCA Seoul in Seoul.

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