Traveling for the love of art and architecture
Collected by Adriana Yampey, AFAR Local Expert
I am not an art connoisseur but seeing beautiful paintings, sculptures or a beautiful building really warms my heart and soul. I really appreciate the talent and the craftsmanship. Some of the places in this wanderlist, I experienced myself, the others I hope to get to see them someday.
Avenue Palmerston 4, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Belgium is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While many architects were experimenting with this new style, Victor Horta is Brussels' undisputed father of Art Nouveau. Many of his stunning...
Brussels has a vibrant art scene with hundreds of small galleries scattered throughout the city. It can be hard to know where to begin and can feel intimidating if you aren't an art expert. Enter Brussels Art Walks—guided tours of several of the...
Kasteleinsstraat 49, 1050 Elsene, Belgium
The Contemporary Art scene in Brussels is thriving, but it can also be intimidating to newcomers. Many galleries can feel cold or stuffy, and visitors can be put off by the high prices of the works on display. Maison Particulière is a different...
Budapest, Andrássy út 22, 1061 Hungary
Budapest, Hungary is brimming with art, culture and a touch of decadence. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Hungarian State Opera House on the luxurious Andrássy Way. If you don't have the time or money to take in a concert in this...
Fernand Scribedreef 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Art-lovers should not miss the Museum of Fine Arts (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) or MSK, in Ghent, Belgium. This bite-sized museum offers a great overview of of European art, particularly Belgian, from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century....
Cogels-Osylei, 2600 Antwerpen, Belgium
Just a few minutes walk from Antwerp, Belgium's Berchem train station, is one of the city's most beautiful neighbourhoods, the Zurenbourg. A handful of streets form the 'Golden Triangle' an area famous for its Art Nouveau and rival architecture....
10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
The Palais Garnier, the national opera house of Paris, is a magnificent building dripping in ornate details and glittering with gold. The five-ton chandelier, made famous in The Phantom of the Opera, still takes center stage in the auditorium. It...
Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
The landmark cathedral in Cordoba, Spain is the Mosque of Córdoba. You might be amazed by the bell tower, the stone path, and the orange trees. However, the moment you stepped into the prayer hall, it will take your breath away.
Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
Estrada de Monserrate, 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
While the tourist hordes in beautiful Sintra, Portugal, are flocking to Pena Palace, head instead to Monserrate. The gardens here are massive and have been recently restored. We wandered here for hours without hardly seeing another person. The...
The Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, India (also simply known as the Lepakshi Temple), isn't the easiest place to get to. It's a 120 km journey north of Bangalore through rural villages. Your best bet for getting there is to hire a driver for the...
Kammenstraat 81, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
Imagine listening to classical music while surrounded by the art and architecture of a former Augustine monastery. At the AMUZ concert hall in Antwerp, Belgium, you can do just that. AMUZ is home to the Laus Polyphoniea concert series each summer....
Øster Voldgade 4A, 1350 København, Denmark
Unfortunately I spent most of our trip to Copenhagen in soggy tennis shoes cursing the weather and complaining that we couldn’t picnic in the rose gardens of Rosenborg castle. To escape a sudden downpour we hustled inside the castle to quickly dry...
50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
Domhof 1, 52062 Aachen, Germany
The Cathedral of Aachen is one of the most famous examples of occidental architecture. It is the coronation church of more than 30 German kings, burial site of Charlemagne, major pilgrimage church and cathedral church of the Aachen diocese since...
Rue du Bienvenu, 14400 Bayeux, France
Experience one of the best Cathedrals in Europe. We went to Bayeux to see the tapestry and discovered this amazing place and were blown away when we got inside. If you go to Normandy do not pass this town, the Bayeux tapestry, 70m of tapestry...
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
Grote Markt 34, 8900 Ieper, Belgium
We decided one weekend to go to Ypres to see the war memorials and cemeteries and did some research about it, and it looked great as far as architecture goes but when we got there is was just amazing. I new the Cloth Hall will be impressive but to...
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
The mysterious rooftop of Casa Mila both charms and haunts visitors. The glorious October sky above frames the organic forms, each sculpted face watching as I creep up and down the rolling ramps. Children can't resist playing here, and fortunately...
Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
Stephansplatz 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
In the heart of Vienna sits St. Stephen's Cathedral. Built in the late 12th century, it's a grand piece of beauty borrowing both from the Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture. Unlike St. Vitus in Prague, St. Stephen's shimmers with light...
Herrngasse 20, 91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
People always ask about seeing quaint towns in Germany, but don't want touristy places. I always respond by saying the best and most lovely towns are always frequented by lots of tourists and you will surely miss some grand opportunities for...
Budapest, Szabadság tér 9, 1054 Hungary
Barcelona has Gaudí, and Budapest has Ödön Lechner. One of Hungary’s most influential architects, Lechner (1845–1914) created the country’s distinctive National Style. His work blended art nouveau with folk motifs and Asian elements, such as...
City Palace, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302007
Spread out over several acres in the heart of Jaipur’s old town, the rose-hued City Palace complex reflects the influence of several rulers, starting with the 18th-century Maharajah Jai Singh II, who planned and built the outer walls, and...
137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea and houses a comprehensive collection of Korean cultural artifacts that tell the story of Korea’s fascinating history, from ancient days to the modern era. There’s also the Children’s...
Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
99/9 หมู่ที่ 1 Tambon Bang Muang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Samut Prakan, Chang Wat Samut Prakan 10270, Thailand
Staircase inside of the second floor of the Erawan Museum in Bangkok, Thailand. The Erawan Museum is located in Samut Prakan Province (on the outskirts of Bangkok) and was built by Lek Viriyaphant, an eccentric Thai millionaire who was also...
We got to Reykjavik on a rainy night, and the first thing I saw and heard was a lot of people in the street partying and Cher's "Believe" blasting from some club, loud enough to hear it everywhere. I though then that this place was crazy, but then...
Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
Located in Osnabrueck, Germany, Green Bistro's overall line and light plays-off a zesty architectural design, combined with a deft artistic touch that lends 'organ-icity' to the surrealism. Highly functional, informal decor (white chairs and tulip...
Jiráskovo nám. 1981/6, 120 00 Praha 2-Nové Město, Czechia
Prague is absolutely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its abundant beauty is not only related to the variety of architecture styles (Gothic; Art- Nouveau and Baroque) but also to natural elements such as wild swans that gracefully...
28 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211, USA
The Sketchbook Project lives within the Brooklyn Art Library, filling their entire left wall from floor to ceiling. Yes, leave it to a place as cool as Brooklyn to have an art library. Anyway, my friend and I stumbled onto this fascinating place...
Asmalımescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:99, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
A cultural hub for Turkish and international art, Istanbul Modern opened in 2004 as a permanent home for the contemporary Istanbul Biennial. The 8,000-square-foot warehouse sits along the Bosphorus next to the Golden Horn, a historically important...
Japan, 〒250-0407 Kanagawa-ken, Ashigarashimo-gun, Hakone-machi, Ninotaira, 二ノ平１１２１
This is the view inside the Symphonic Sculpture by Gabriel Loire at the Hakone Open Air Museum (彫刻の森 in Japanese) in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan. The spectacular grounds,...
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 75006 Paris, France
When I visited Paris this past May, I stayed at the Hotel Saint Germain (http://www.hotel-saint-germain.fr), a lovely boutique hotel in the Saint-Germain-des-Pres area of the city. It is a wonderful, safe neighbourhood, full of little restaurants,...
75009 Paris, France
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and...
63 Rue de Monceau, 75008 Paris, France
The elegant musée Nissim de Camondo is truly one of the finest gems in Paris' treasure chest of cultural experiences. Previously the private residence of a wealthy Jewish family, the impressive private collection became a museum at the bequest of...
Rue Américaine 25, 1060 Bruxelles, Belgium
Brussels has over 200 examples of Art Nouveau buildings, many of which are open to the public at certain times of the year. Even if you can’t view them all from the inside, it’s worth admiring the exteriors. Visit Brussels has put together a free,...
Square Ambiorix 11, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
For an exceptional look at one of Brussels’ finest Art Nouveau buildings, head to the Maison St. Cyr. This ornate, narrow house was designed by Belgian architect, Gustave Strauven, who worked for the father of Art Nouveau, Victor Horta, from the...
Galerie du Roi 5, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is one of the oldest covered shopping arcades in Europe. This upscale shopping mall is located just opposite the Grand Place and is a beautiful place to window shop. Inside you will find jewellery, handbags, a...
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