10 European Museums You Should See Before You Die

By Mackenzie Taylor
In Culture

Headed abroad this year … or in the near future? These are the ten museums you should check out. Seriously. Go now.

Photo by Francisco J. Lauriño

Photo by Francisco J. Lauriño

Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you’re a fan of the Dutch masters, like Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and many others, Rijksmuseum is the number one museum you need to hit up in Europe.

Museo Nacional Del Prado
Madrid, Spain
Located in central Madrid, Museo del Prado has some of the world’s best collections of European art from the 12th to the early 19th century. The collection holds over 20,000 pieces of art in the large museum.

Museum Island
Berlin, Germany
This island holds five separate museums, including the Altes Museum (Old Museum) and the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery). It’s a unique experience to cross along the bridge onto an island full of art history, and one not to miss in Berlin.

Tate Modern
London, England
The building has some of the best views of Southbank and St. Paul’s Cathedral and the art work inside is fantastic. Everywhere you turn, there is Picasso, Warhol, Dali, Rothko, Richter, Duchamp, Hockney, and the always weird and wonderful, Tracey Emin.

Musée d’Orsay
Paris, France
Housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a train station built between 1898 and 1900, the Musée d’Orsay is one of the most interesting and beautiful museums you’ll ever go to. Inside, you’ll see “Starry Night Over the Rhône” by Van Gogh and walls of Claude Monet’s waterlilies.

Sammlung Boros
Berlin, Germany
Housed in a former German bunker, the collection is viewed how the collectors had intended—in a slightly unusual way. You must have an appointment and be guided through the museum by a guide, viewing the pieces one at a time.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
Inspired by the shape of a ship’s hull and built on the site of the city’s former shipyard, the architecture of the Guggenheim is what makes this art gallery so phenomenal. The collection inside is as impressive as the outside with works from masters Picasso and Miró.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Humlebæk, Denmark
It’s easy to see why this is the most visited art museums in Denmark. With modern and contemporary work dating back to World War II and permanent pieces from Picasso, Warhol, Hockney and many others, Louisiana should be at the top of your must-see list.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Vienna, Austria
If you’re looking for a truly beautiful museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum should be at the top of your list. Built in 1872, it is the largest museum in the country with the original structure of the building remaining the same after all these years with impressive works of art hanging under the octagonal dome.

The Courtauld Gallery
London, England
Located in the gorgeous Somerset House in London, Courtauld Gallery is an exceptional gallery. It is quite small, but has such an immense collection of well-known Impressionist work. If you’re ever in London, I could not recommend this more. For more information, visit their website.

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