These cities are where artists have pushed boundaries, galleries have been built to house famous artworks, and creative talent has flourished.
Take a look at our recommendations on where to go to experience the wealth and variety of art, in all its forms.
Paris, France – a mix between old and new
The city of love is home to more than 1000 art galleries, making it quite possibly the most artistic city in the world. The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous in the world as well as being one of the largest. One of its star attractions – which sees thousands of tourists visiting from all around the world – is Leonardo da Vinci’s
The city has a mix
Tokyo, Japan – an entire city of art
Tokyo is different to most artistic cities because its galleries and museums are spread out across the city, as opposed to having its own designated art district. Book a Blacklane reliable private car service by the hour to get you around to all the galleries in style.
Roppongi is where the Mori Art Museum can be found, along with the National Art Center and Ota Fine Arts, which is a more intimate space. Taito is home to SCAI The Bathhouse, a contemporary art gallery inside a former public bathhouse that’s more than 200 years old. This is easily one of the city’s most visited art destinations.
London, UK – a city for all tastes
London is by far one of the most artistic cities in the world because it caters to all tastes: classic, contemporary, modern et al. For some of the classics, The National Gallery offers the world-famous Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and John Constable’s The Hay Wain.
Meanwhile, over in the Tate Modern, you’ll find art from around the world by legendary artists such as Picasso, Hockney, and Warhol.
Saatchi Gallery, which has never been one to shy away from controversy, is the go-to destination for challenging, more cutting-edge pieces. Tokyo may not have a recognized art district per se, but London does and that place
Lagos, Nigeria – an up-and-coming city of art
Nigeria’s biggest city is widely tipped to become one of the world’s next major art destinations. The African Artists’ Foundation established in 2007 calls Lagos home, as does the Centre for Contemporary Art, established in the same year. The former is responsible for the annual LagosPhoto Festival and the National Art Competition (NAC). The artistic works tend to focus on current social issues, with the NAC entries including diverse mediums such as painting, sculpting, photography, installation, mixed media, and video art.
For up-and-coming artists in this up-and-coming art city, look no further than Omenka Gallery. Hotly tipped Nigerian contemporary artists have their work showcased here along with international artists, which is helping to put Lagos on the worlds buzzing art scene.
Bogotá, Colombia – home to world-class street art
Latin American cities are really starting to put their stamp on the world’s art scene. Sao Paulo and Mexico City have been gaining a lot of attention, but it’s the Colombian capital, Bogotá that is establishing itself as a major artistic city.
It’s the city’s world-class street art that’s making the most noise, attracting tourists to wander the streets for Instagrammable gems. There’s a strong mix of local and international street artists here – Bogotá’s very own DjLu is vastly prominent in his home city, while Australia-born CRISP is also based here.
Bogotá’s best gallery for Colombia’s artists is the Museo de Arte Moderna de Bogotá and Museo Botero, home to more than 100 works.
Florence, Italy – the birthplace of Renaissance art
Florence has a rich art history, after all, it is the birthplace of Renaissance art. Michelangelo’s most famous works are here, including his David sculpture. Make a visit Galleria dell’Accademia and the landmark Galleria degli Uffizi, which is where you can find masterpieces such as Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch.
Though Renaissance art and Florence go hand-in-hand, there is also a lot of contemporary art in this city. The Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina was dubbed the ‘anti-Uffizi’ when it was opened in 2007.
Beirut, Lebanon – art fairs and museums
Beirut Art Week’s centers around Beirut Art Fair, which has started gaining worldwide attention. As well as the art fair, the reopening of the Sursock Museum has certainly helped make Beirut a recognized artistic city. It underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2015, which helped to further shape the city’s artistic identity.
The Aïshti Foundation, Marfa’ Art Space, and the Beirut Art Center all play major roles in defining the city’s thriving art culture and should definitely be on your itinerary. Looking ahead, the Dalloul Art Foundation plans on opening the city’s largest art museum in 2020.
Tbilisi, Georgia – a “watch this space” contender
Georgia has undergone a lot in its short history, including gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but the small European country is now beginning to flourish in the art scene and is another contender for “watch this space” title.
The creative resurgence in a population of 1.1 million has been aided by the Center of Contemporary Art which offers the latest in alternative artwork. Catch an exhibition by students of the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts too while you’re here. It’s a space-age complex that was designed by Italian futurists Studio Fuksas in 2016. Also, be sure to add the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts onto your must-visit list as well.