The Best Museums in Europe

While sightseeing abroad, there are a few essential places everyone should have the pleasure of visiting.

Among the most remarkable spots not to miss are the museums that dot the map of Europe.

Louvre Museum: Paris, France

As the seasons change, so, too, does the art on display at The Louvre. Sketches, paintings, sculptures, and other works of art are always in rotation at this world-famous museum in the heart of Paris. However, there are some staples at The Louvre almost always open to the public: the most famous of these being The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. There's much more to this famous Parisian museum than the most well-known portrait on the planet. Activities and tours, exhibitions and events, and views of The Louvre Palace are also on the menu.

The Louvre is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m.–6 p.m., on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m., and closed on Tuesdays. You may purchase tickets to the Louvre online for €15. Students, people under 18, visitors with disabilities, and teachers are granted free admission. To learn more about reservations for tours of the Louvre, click here.

Rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris, France 
Phone: +33 1 40 20 50 50

The Uffizi Gallery Museum: Florence, Italy

As one of the most exceptional museums in the world, The Uffizi Gallery Museum doesn’t share the same name recognition as other celebrated European museums. Located in Florence, Italy, Uffizi is one of the oldest museums in the world and contains some of the best-known works of art in the world. Its 45 halls are filled with masterpieces not to be missed, including The Birth of Venus by Botticelli, Doni Tondo by Michelangelo, and Venus of Urbino by Titian.

Uffizi tickets range from free to €9.99. Free entry is granted to those under 17, students, teachers, and the disabled. Skip the line and get discounted reservations: book your visit to Uffizi online here. Uffizi is closed on Mondays, and open Tuesday–Sunday from 8:15 a.m.–6:50 p.m.

Sightseer’s Tip: Uffizi offers free admittance to all visitors on the first Sunday of every month.

Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6
50122 Florence, Italy

The Vatican Museums: Rome, Italy

For art lovers and history buffs, Vatican Museums are among the best museums in Europe. You’ll see everything from masterpiece paintings to archaeological sites, Pontifical villas to Vatican Gardens, and multi-sensory tours to educational laboratories—not to mention the Sistine Chapel.

Entry is free for children, students up to age 25, and the disabled. Additionally, there is no admission fee on the last Sunday of every month. Vatican Museums are open Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Admission includes Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Click here to find out about Vatican Museums reservations and services.

Sightseer’s Tips: a) Tickets are not refundable. b) You must dress appropriately to visit Vatican Museums; revealing ensembles, shorts, hats, and sleeveless T-shirts will bar your entrance. c) Photography gear might be checked in for you, as there are stringent regulations for cameras and tripods.

Viale Vaticano, 00165 Roma RM, Italy

The Natural History Museum: London, England

Walk through The Natural History Museum to discover countless attractions, exhibits, and galleries of the world’s most highly-revered collection of nature’s bounty. See creatures of the deep, dinosaurs, insects, plant life, minerals, fossils, and even get a closer look at human history throughout the ages. With a constant influx of new features from giant blue whales to microscopic specimens, this is one of the best museums in Europe, perfect for sightseers of any age.

The Natural History Museum is located in the heart of London with entrances on Exhibition Road and Queen's Gate. Admission is free for all, except for some temporary exhibits, which cost less than £5. The Natural History Museum is open daily from 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., closing only for holiday from December 24–26. Click here to learn more about reservation dates and how to get to there by Tube, bus, or on foot.

Cromwell Road (No number associated with address)
London SW7 5BD, UK

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

As a progressive, learning museum, the Guggenheim Bilbao is ideal for visitors of any age. Partitioned into areas for kids, teens, and adults, sightseers can partake in concerts, presentations, jazz sessions, art classes, film viewings, performance art, dance, lectures, and more. Modern and contemporary art of all kinds is displayed in this Guggenheim, located in Northern Spain's Basque Country. The building itself—erected in 1997—is one of the most highly-lauded architectural structures of today, and houses the works of artists from Spain, Basque Country, and many others from around the world.

The Guggenheim Bilbao is open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m.–8 p.m., but does observe some holiday hours listed here on their official Website. Click here to plan your visit, make reservations, and review prices for amenities.

Abandoibarra Etorb., 2,
48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain

The Prado: Madrid, Spain

The 200-year-old Museo Nacional del Prado—known by most as The Prado—is the pride of Madrid. Housing countless masterpieces by some of the most celebrated names from numerous epochs spanning the 12th through 19th centuries. Spanish, Italian, French, and Flemish paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, and other art lines the halls of The Prado. The works of the world's most prodigious artists, including Raphael, Bosch, El Greco, Ribera, Goya, Rembrandt, and Velazquez can be found inside innumerable galleries.

The Prado is open from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Saturday, and from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. The few dates The Prado is closed are listed on the homepage of their official Website. Click here to make reservations and get discounted rates for exhibits and displays.

Paseo del Prado, s/n, [“s/n” means “no number” associated with address)
28014 Madrid, Spain

Rijksmuseum: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founded in 1800 as the national museum to preserve the history and arts of Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum is best known for its collection of European masterpieces, with a focus on works of the Dutch Golden Age. Rijksmuseum has undergone numerous renovations and additions and is now a modern structure. Rather than displaying works of art in different galleries, this museum uses what it’s designers call a “single chronological circuit” to display works in the order they were created. Enjoy the realism and impressionism the Golden Age is known for from prodigious artists, including Ernst, Mor, Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, and of course, Van Gogh. Many other artists from France, Italy, and Spain are also exhibited here.

If you’re up for a sightseeing trek, Rijksmuseum makes for a worthwhile stop before or after visiting nearby Van Gogh Museum. Rijksmuseum is open Monday–Sunday from 9 a.m.­–5 p.m. Click here to learn about reservations, tickets, and more.

 Museumstraat 1,
1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands

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