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The Best Travel Destinations for Art-Lovers

Embark on an artistic adventure that will inspire you to create your very own masterpieces with our guide to the best travel destinations for art lovers.

From primitive cave paintings to perplexing pointillism pieces, art has captivated and inspired people since the beginning of human history. Humans have always followed their desire to create something out of nothing. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but a few places lend themselves to artistic aptitude a bit more than others. This guide to some of the best travel destinations for art-lovers will allow you to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest visionaries, and it may even inspire you to create some art of your very own.

Paris, France

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Unsurprisingly, Paris is one of the best travel destinations for art-lovers. Home to some of the most renowned classical painters in history, Paris is a hub of culture and creativity. One of the most popular attractions for art aficionados is the Louvre Museum. This world-renowned art museum features priceless pieces from prominent painters. By far, the most popular pieces on display in the Louvre are da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo statue, which dates back to 100 B.C. Also located in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay, which houses the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces in the world and many masterpieces by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Edgar Degas. You can view additional Impressionist paintings at the Musée Marmottan Monet, which houses an impressive collection of masterpieces by Claude Monet, including many of his famed water lily paintings.

Chicago, Illinois

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For a creative getaway a bit closer to home, consider taking a trip to the Windy City. Chicago may seem like an unlikely destination for an artistic escape, but the city is actually home to a wide array of artistic attractions. The Art Institute of Chicago is one such attraction that entrances visitors with works by both classical and contemporary artists. This expansive museum is home to many famous works, including Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and George Seurat’s pointillism masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. Chicago is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, a haven for modern masterpieces from around the world. This museum’s works are slightly more experimental, inviting intriguing conversations regarding society as we currently know it. The city itself is also teeming with interesting art installations, such as Untitled by Pablo Picasso, which stands in Daley Plaza, or the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture—better known to locals as simply the Bean—in Millennium Park.

Rome, Italy

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Rome is a romantic city simply busting at the seams with art and culture. This historic city is home to a variety of awe-inspiring art museums, and the city itself comes alive with stunning sculptures and architecture around every corner. As the birthplace of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci, it stands to reason that Rome would be one of the most artistically significant locations in the world. Trevi Fountain and the Sistine Chapel stand as testaments to the skill and dedication of these classical artists; they’re absolute must-sees during your next Roman holiday. When in Rome, be sure to make a stop in Vatican City, which is conveniently located within Rome itself. Here you can visit the Vatican Museums and wander through the immense collection of renowned Roman sculptures and Renaissance-era masterpieces.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food.