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Revealing the best European cities for art lovers

european cities for art lovers
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Art is an amazing thing. It’s been proven that when people look at pieces of artwork that they find beautiful, their brains release dopamine (a chemical that’s understood to be associated with pleasure as well as with motivation).

There are so many different ways to enjoy art too. Lots of people love visiting galleries, to see the permanent collection or to catch a temporary exhibition while it’s on. But if you prefer, you can explore on foot, looking for public art - whether that’s statues a hundred years old, or modern street art by local artists.

At Ubuy France we decided to create a ranking of the top 20 European cities for art lovers. If you were planning a day out in any of these cities, what kinds of art would you be able to take in on your visit? We’ve counted up different opportunities to see art, and ranked our list according to which cities offer the most.


We investigated the number of art galleries, the number of art galleries which offer free entry, the number of statues and monuments and the number of pieces of street art in each European country’s capital city. We ranked each city from 1 to 43 on each of these 4 factors, which gave each city a score out of 172.

We researched street art on Street Art Cities, and used a popular travel reviews website to find the galleries, as well as the monuments and statues.

The top 20

european hotspots for travellers

London, United Kingdom

london, united kingdom
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In joint first place, the capital of the UK scored a total of 166 points. The city has a huge 259 galleries. Of those, 29 are free. London is home to 347 monuments and statues, and you can also find 441 works of street art around the city.

There are some incredibly well-known and longstanding galleries in London, such as the Tate Modern, the Saatchi Gallery, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery - need we go on?

There are several works of street art by the world famous Banksy around London, some of which have been covered in perspex to protect them, like the tribute to American street art icon Jean-Michel Basquiat under the Barbican in the Beech Street tunnel. Sadly, others are less well-preserved but graffiti and street art fans might still enjoy wandering around the city in search of them. There is even a brand new Banksy in North London’s Finsbury Park, painted this year in March - although it is currently covered while the building’s owner decides how best to preserve it.

Paris, France

paris, france
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Also in joint first place, we have the city of Paris with 166 points - there are 198 galleries here, of which 11 offer free entry. There are an enormous number of monuments and statues around the city, 796, as well as 637 works of street art to discover.

Of course, we have to mention the Louvre! This Parisian gallery is the most-visited museum in the entire world. The Louvre has a world-leading collection of classic works of art, as it is home to masterpieces by some of the most famous artists of centuries past. Come here to see some truly iconic pieces including the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa.

Prague, Czech Republic

prague, czech republic
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In second place, Prague has a score of 155. In the Czech capital, there are 236 galleries and you can enter 9 of them for free. The city is home to 268 statues and monuments, and there are 311 works of street art.

The National Gallery Prague is Europe’s second oldest art gallery, after the Louvre. Here you can find both modern art and work by the Old Masters. It’s the largest art collection in the Czech Republic, spread across 7 buildings in the city centre. While it usually does charge, one great thing about this gallery is that several times a year, entry is free for all.

Berlin, Germany

berlin, germany
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The German capital is next, in third place with a score of 152. It has 98 galleries, and you can visit 8 for free. There are also 169 statues and monuments in Berlin, and 618 places where you can see works of street art.

In Berlin, the East Side Gallery is an incredible outdoor space. A mile-long stretch of the Berlin Wall shows art from 105 artists, including some restorations of pieces painted in 1990 after the wall was brought down. Indoors, why not visit Contemporary Fine Arts? This gallery has shown a wide range of modern art since opening in 1972, from German as well as international artists.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

amsterdam, netherlands
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Amsterdam is next, with a total of 151 points. There are 103 galleries, and 12 are free to visit. There are also 164 sculptures and monuments, and 290 works of street art.

The Modern Contemporary (or Moco) Museum has a few different venues around Europe, including a venue in Amsterdam. The permanent collection here has work by Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring - head to Moco to find some of the coolest art of the 20th century, as well as brand new work by emerging artists. One surprising upcoming exhibition showcases work from UK pop star Robbie Williams!

Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon, portugal
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In fifth place, Lisbon scored 147 points. The Portuguese capital is home to 66 galleries and you can enter 6 of them for free. There are also 154 sculptures and monuments to be found around the city, as well as 637 works of street art.

Lisbon is another city which, like Budapest, has achieved international recognition for its street art. The street artist Vhils chisels directly into walls to create his work. His huge etchings often show faces that look down at you as you wander through the streets of Lisbon. Vhils has been making graffiti since he was only 10, and now, in his 30s, is one of Europe’s most famous and distinctive street artists.

Rome, Italy

rome, italy
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Next we have the capital of Italy. It scored a total of 141 points, with 82 galleries, 15 of which you can enter for free. There are 139 monuments and sculptures, and 99 works of street art.

Visit the neighbourhood of Quadraro to find the M.U.Ro., the Urban Art Museum of Rome. Huge murals, in a variety of different styles cover the walls of these streets. Some of the art is very playful, while other pieces reflect deep political themes, such as the Italian resistance movement that was based in the area during World War II.

Athens, Greece

athens, greece
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The Greek capital is next, with 135 points. In Athens you can find 59 galleries and you can enter quite a high percentage of them for free, with 10 offering free entry. There are also 67 sculptures and monuments to be found around the city, as well as 526 works of street art.

The National Gallery of Greece, found in Athens, is home to a huge range of Greek and European art from mediaeval to contemporary. The Institute of Contemporary Greek Art is dedicated to art from the country from the 1940s onwards, showing the rich variety of work by Greek artists over the years - the institute runs workshops and seminars as well, where art lovers can come to learn and take part in discussions.

Vienna, Austria

vienna, austria
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Vienna has a score of 132. In this city, there are 55 galleries and you can enter 2 of them for free. The city is home to 215 statues and monuments, and there are 426 works of street art.

The MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art) is a really striking contemporary art gallery housed in an enormous black cube. Go here to find 20th century work - or if you prefer the classics, why not head to the Museum of Fine Arts? The Albertina is another excellent pick, where the Graphic Art Collection contains over a million drawings and prints.

Budapest, Hungary

budapest, hungary
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In ninth place, we have Budapest, scoring 127 points. It has 60 galleries, 6 of which are free to enter, as well as 248 monuments and sculptures. You can find 24 works of street art here.

One of the most interesting examples of street art to be found in this city is the work of Mihály Kolodko. This guerilla artist places his miniature bronze sculptures around the city in broad daylight, and locals and tourists alike love searching them out. They often represent Hungarian folklore and culture, as well as moments from the country’s history.

Madrid, Spain

madrid, spain
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Our next city we’d recommend to art lovers is Madrid, in joint tenth place. It scored 121, with 61 galleries, 5 of which offer free entry. The capital of Spain also has 248 monuments and statues, and 4 pieces of street art.

In Madrid, The Prado Museum is a must-see for art lovers. It was originally intended to house Spanish art, but over time has expanded to build one of the most extensive and important collections of European art in the world. This gallery is one of the ‘Golden Triangle’ of classical art galleries in Madrid, along with the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen - seeing all of them in a day would be a perfect (but rather long!) day out for any art lover.

Oslo, Norway

oslo norway
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Oslo is also in tenth place, with a total of 121 points. There are 59 galleries, and 2 are free to visit. There are also 84 sculptures and monuments, and 277 works of street art.

In MUNCH, you can find the work of Edvard Munch which he left to the city, including his famous painting The Scream (technically there are 8 different versions of it in the gallery’s permanent collection). Or visit the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter to see a large collection of contemporary art as well as a sculpture garden you can walk around.

In eleventh place we have Dublin, Ireland, with a score of 111 - you can enter nearly 20% of the galleries here for free. It’s followed by Copenhagen, Denmark, scoring 110. Helsinki, Finland follows, with a score of 106.

Belgrade, Serbia follows closely behind with a score of 105 - it’s in joint position with Sofia, Bulgaria which achieved the same score. Tallinn, Estonia was next, scoring 99. The next city was Brussels, Belgium, with 95 points - this city has a high number of pieces of street art, at 415.

Getting close to the end of the ranking now, in seventeenth place it’s Bucharest, Romania with 94 points, only just behind Brussels. It’s followed by Ljubljana, Slovenia with a score of 91.

Minsk, Belarus has 89 points and the highest number of works of street art in the whole ranking, at 678. Finally, in twentieth position, we have Reykjavik, Iceland with a score of 86.

Get inspired

There are plenty of reasons to travel to see art, and one is to seek inspiration. You might be looking for inspiration for your own art or craft project - or maybe you’re looking for more art styles you enjoy, to help you decide how to decorate your home.

Whatever kind of inspiration you’re searching for, we hope that this list helps give you some ideas of where you might like to go, and what kind of art you’d like to see on your next trip. Some people like to see the classics - others like to scope out the scene and find out who the hottest new artists are who will be taking the world by storm in the years to come.