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New ranking reveals the best European cities for art lovers

European cities for art lovers

‘Art tourism’ or more broadly ‘creative tourism’ is an increasingly popular reason to travel – whether tourists are exploring by themselves or taking part in a small group tour, and whether it’s a day trip or something longer.  

Ubuy, a global ecommerce platform, has undertaken new research to find which of Europe’s capital cities offers the most opportunities to see art. This list of the top 20 European capitals for art lovers to visit is based on the number of art galleries, galleries with free entry, statues and monuments, and works of street art. 

Speaking on the report, Faizan Khan at Ubuy said:

“We really enjoyed putting together this research on the best places to see art in Europe. It was important to us to include street art and public art like statues as well as more traditional gallery spaces – it’s a totally different way of seeing art, when you explore the city looking for it, taking in all the sights as you go by! And when the city itself is your canvas you can play with size and scale a lot more. 

“There are also lots of amazing pieces of street art by artists whose work you might not be able to find in galleries, although there are definitely a lot of artists who have crossover appeal like Bansky and the Portuguese street artist Vhils. Vhils’ outdoor work involves chiselling huge portraits into walls, but you can also find his work on display in galleries around the world as he’s become more popular.”

In joint first place, London, UK and Paris, France both scored 166 points according to Ubuy’s metric. The most impressive thing about London was its high number of galleries at 259, 29 of which offer free entry. Paris has a very high number of monuments and statues at 796, as well as being home to the most-visited art gallery in the world, the Louvre. 

In second place, Prague, Czech Republic has a score of 155. The Czech capital has 236 galleries, including The National Gallery Prague which is Europe’s second oldest art gallery.

It was followed by Berlin, Germany, scoring 152. It has 618 places where you can see works of street art, with one of the most notable locations being the East Side Gallery, a mile-long stretch of the Berlin Wall. The art here includes restorations of original pieces painted in 1990 after the wall was brought down.

In fourth place, Amsterdam, the Netherlands scored 151, just behind Berlin. This city has 103 galleries, just over 10% of which are free to visit. Noteworthy Amsterdam galleries include the The Modern Contemporary (or Moco) Museum, where you can find iconic pop art from artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. 

Lisbon, Portugal ranks in fifth place, with a score of 147. There are a huge 637 works of street art in the Portuguese capital, which is well known for its street art scene – the city’s large and beautiful murals are especially popular. 

The remaining cities in the top 10 are as follows:

6. Rome, Italy

7. Athens, Greece

8. Vienna, Austria

9. Budapest, Hungary 

10. Madrid, Spain

10. Oslo, Norway 

Each of these capital cities has a thriving art scene where you can see work by the country’s best new artists. However, each city also has a strong sense of its artistic heritage, with national galleries where you can see beautiful examples of paintings, sculptures, photographs and works in other artforms that have been created in the country over the centuries. Any of the cities in Ubuy’s top 20 would have a great deal to offer any art lover. 

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