Switzerland, Europe Tourism

Great Museums and Galleries of Europe

The museums and galleries of Europe include national collections, the former collections of Europe's royal and noble families, and a whole host of smaller local institutions. The museums highlighted here are those with the largest and richest collections, which ought to be included in the itinerary of every visitor to Europe. Between them they contain many of the world's best-known and best-loved artistic treasures. These range from archaeological finds from the early civilizations of the Middle East, through pieces from Egyptian, Greek, and Roman times, to masterpieces of the Renaissance and other great periods of European art.

Rijks museum, Amsterdam

The Rijks museum is known for its Rembrandts and other great Dutch paintings of the 17th century. Frans Hals' Wedding Portrait is a joyful celebration of Dutch life.

British Museum, London

A vast collection of antiquities and other artifacts from all over the world is is housed inside Britain's national museum. There is a fascinating display of mummies and other exhibits from Ancient Egypt.

Louvre, Paris

The celebrated home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, the Louvre also houses Jean Watteau's melancholy study Gilles or Pierrot, one of many French works on display.

Prado, Madrid

The former royal collection in Madrid contains the finest assembly of Spanish paintings in the world. Of many highly individual works, Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son is one of the most powerful.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

This fabulous collection of antiquities includes the famous blue-tiled Ishtar Gate from Babylon, dating from the 6th century BC.

The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

The Hermitage houses an impressive collection of Impressionist paintings, such as Woman Combing her Hair by Edgar Degas.

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Based on the imperial collections of the Habsburgs, the museum houses archaeology, paintings, and sculpture, such as this woodcarving of the Madonna by Tilman Riemenschneider.

Uffizi, Florence

The Uffizi was built originally as the "offices" of the Medici rulers of Florence. Transformed into a gallery in 1581, the building now displays such masterpieces as The Annunciation by da Vinci.

Vatican Museums, Rome

Classical and Early Christian statues excavated in Rome over the centuries include this charming Good Shepherd (4th century AD). The vast papal museum also holds great paintings by Michelangelo and Raphael commissioned during the Renaissance.

Here are best places to see in Europe. Europe Places to see Guide has 201 best places to see in Europe.