Top Must-See Art Galleries of the World

Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USASmithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA – Encompassing several art museums, visitors can enjoy viewing Asian art, contemporary and modern art, African art, Native American history and art, portraiture, American craft and decorative arts, and American art. Most galleries and museums have free admission and are open 7 days. Over 30M people visited the Smithsonian during 2016.

National Palace Museum - Taipei, TaiwanPalace Museum – Beijing, China – Located in the historical Forbidden City, the museum is one of the most visited museums in the world with an estimated 16M visitors per year. Collections include ceramics, paintings, bronzeware, timepieces, jade and palace artifacts. The museum was built on the imperial collection of the Ming and Qing dynasties and now has over 1 million valuable and rare pieces of national historical significance spanning 5000 years housed within. Open 7 days a week. Charges for admission.

Le Louvre - Paris, FranceLe Louvre – Paris, France – A historical monument Le Louvre houses over 35,000 art objects within eight curatorial departments. Visitors can see Egyptian antiquities, Near Eastern antiquities, Greek, Etruscan and Roman pieces, Islamic art, Sculpture, Decorative arts, Paintings, Prints and Drawings although not all pieces are on permanent display, in particular the prints and drawings due to fragility. The museum is open to the public every day except Tuesday and admittance is free for some but not all visitors. Guided tours available.

The British Museum - London, UKThe British Museum – London, UK – Dedicated to human history, art and culture, the British Museum has within its permanent collection as many as 8 million works from across the globe. It also boasts the largest online database of objects from around the world. 10 departments are: Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Greece and Rome, Middle East, Prints and Drawings, Prehistory and Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Coins and Medals, Conservation and Scientific Research, and Libraries and Archives. The Museum is open to the public 7 days a week and admission is free.

Metropolitan Museum of ArtMetropolitan Museum of Art – New York City, United States – ‘The Met’ is permanent home to over 2 million works within 17 curatorial departments. Visitors can enjoy viewing Ancient Near Eastern art, Arms and Armor, Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Asian art, The Costume Institute, Drawings and Prints, Egyptian art, European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts, American art, Greek and Roman art, Islamic art, the Robert Lehman collection, Medieval art and the cloisters, Modern and Contemporary art, Musical Instruments, and Photographs. ‘The Met’ does charge for admission but is open 7 days.

National Gallery - London, UKNational Gallery – London, UK – Located in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses over 2300 paintings dating from the middle of the 13th century up to 1900. The Gallery is open 7 days a week and admission is free.

National Palace Museum - Taipei, TaiwanNational Palace Museum – Taipei, Taiwan – The Museum is permanent home to a collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks that encompass 8000 years of Chinese art. The Museum is open to the public all year round and does carry an admission charge.

Vatican MuseumsVatican Museums – Vatican City – With the Vatican City, the museums display works from the huge collection built up by Popes from several centuries and includes some of best known classical sculptures and masterpieces of Renaissance art, numbering as many as 70,000 works. Only 20,000 are on display at any given time. Open Monday to Saturday and the last Sunday of the month. Admission carries a charge.

Tate Modern - London, UKTate Modern – London, UK – The gallery houses a collection of international modern art pieces. Visitors can view interactive art, performances, sculpture, including large-scale. Open 7 days. Admission is free except for major exhibitions.

State Hermitage MuseumState Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, Russia – With over 3 million pieces, including the largest collection of paintings in the world, visitors can view everything from Impressionist masterpieces to Oriental treasures. Admissions fees are charged and the museum is open to the public Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday.

The Prado, Madrid, SpainThe Prado, Madrid, Spain – Considered one of the greatest art museums in the world, Museo del Prado houses one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from 12th century to early 20th century, and has what is considered to be the best single collection of Spanish art. Open to the public 7 days a week. Charges for admission.

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, ItalyThe Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy – Home to a number of priceless works, particularly from the Italian Renaissance period, the gallery is one of the world’s oldest and largest. Open to the public Tuesday to Sunday, closed Monday. Charges for admission.

Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam, the NetherlandsRijksmuseum – Amsterdam, the Netherlands – The museum has upwards of 1 million pieces of history and art dating from 1200 to 2000 but displays only around 8000 at a time. Visitors can see masterpieces by Rembrandt. Open to the public 7 days and an admission fee is charged.

Whether traveling around the United Kingdom, the United States of America or abroad there are so many wonderful art pieces to see that a person could spend the rest of their life enjoying all these galleries have to offer.