Art & Travel

Acropolis Museum

Back to the Future

Athens is Europes oldest city, and it is no surprise that its art museums are dominated by its ancient past. More surprising perhaps is its enduring influence on modern masters.

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Oh, Vienna!

Few city names in the world are as evocative as Vienna. The birthplace of dynamic artistic and intellectual movements, the city of Haydn, Klimt, Freud, Strauss and a host of others (including Beethoven, who called Vienna home for the last 30-odd years of his life) was for a century or more the centre of European cultural life.

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Amsterdam | The Big Picture

Holland boasts the most art activity per capita than any other country in the world. In Amsterdam, it is estimated that museum visitors have doubled in the last ten years.

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Istanbul | Flying Colours

The contemporary art scene in Istanbul has witnessed an explosion in recent years. Some estimates place the number of commercial galleries at over 200 compared to just a dozen a decade or so ago and a stroll around the modern city reveals a proliferation of small, independent spaces.

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Reflections on Chicago

Art has woven itself into the fabric of Chicago. Monumental pieces dominate its downtown plazas, some of its finest civic buildings are filled with it, galleries and art centres have helped transform neighbourhoods and tourists visiting its museums are spreading the news of its growing reputation.

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Lisbon | Affordable Art

In November 2013 Lisbon won the best City Break on a Budget category at London’s World Travel Market, the largest annual convergence of travel industry professionals, the third time the Portuguese capital has taken the accolade in the last five years.

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Venice | Grand Tour

We have Attila the Hun to thank for Venice. When his rampaging hordes entered Italy in the 5th century AD upon the collapse of the Roman Empire, the good citizens of the northeast plain took refuge on a hundred or so flat, marshy islands out in the lagoon at the edge of the Adriatic Sea.

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Paris | Perfect Ten

You’ve shuffled with the hordes through the Louvre, been scandalized by Courbet’s ‘L’Origine du Monde’ in the Musée d’Orsay and toured the Centre Pompidou to the point of exhaustion.

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Since Ireland’s ‘tiger economy’ hit the buffers a few years ago, Dublin’s art world has also suffered. However, this has not dampened the artistic spirit, and Irish artists have continued to produce quality work, resulting in a backlog which galleries are keen to move, often at favourable prices.

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Barcelona | Best of Barca

In the Raval district a few blocks from the city’s Gothic centre is the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Taking up one side of the Plaça dels Àngels (Angels’ Square), the gleaming, white, modern building, with its ground to roof glass facade flooding the interior with light, stands in contrast to the surrounding traditional architecture and narrow streets.

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Once the cultural centre of one of the largest empires in history, Rome has museums dedicated to virtually every artistic movement.

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With a powerhouse national art collection, an entire museum dedicated to its most famous artist, more Art Nouveau buildings than anywhere else and a vibrant design industry, Brussels has much to offer visiting culture vultures.

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Most visitors arriving by air take a right turn outside Malaga Airport and head along the Costa del Sol or inland to Andalucia’s famed white villages.

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Nice is second only to Paris as the French city with most museums and galleries. Since the latter years of the 19th century the light, climate and lifestyle of the south of France have attracted some of the art world’s most legendary names and inspired them to create some of their best work.

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Inconveniently for short stay visitors, two of Copenhagen’s ‘big three’ art museums are not in Copenhagen itself. While the Statens Museum for Kunst is quite central the city centre, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Arken Museum of Modern Art, both ground-breaking in their architecture and collections, are situated along the coast, north and south of the city respectively.

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Germany’s third city after Berlin and Hamburg, Munich has been voted the one most Germans would prefer to live in. Munich’s post-war reconstruction has been aesthetically more successful than that of many other damaged European cities. An extensive, Italian-influenced 19th century building programme earned it the moniker of the ‘northernmost Italian city’, and much of that neo-Renaissance atmosphere remains.

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