There's nothing quite like seeing a famous piece of art in person. That's why museums and galleries are such beloved cultural institutions, and the following cities have enough to satisfy any enthusiast. People hoping to view the best in classic and contemporary art should add Paris, London and New York City to their list of travel destinations.
Paris boasts over 100 museums, many of which are dedicated to art. The Louvre alone - converted from a defensive fortress and royal residence in to a museum in 1793 - holds approximately 35,000 paintings, sculptures and decorative pieces. It's easy to get lost in this museum, but wandering around is possibly one of the best ways to experience it. Turn a random corner and you might fight yourself gazing up at the majestic "Venus de Milo" or the glorious "Liberty Leading the People." On the first floor, in a room all its own and surrounded by visitors, is the famed "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci.
Other Parisian art institutions include Musee D'Orsay and the Espace Dali. True art lovers will want to devote at least a day - if not an entire week - hopping from gallery to gallery.
The heart of Britain is well-known for its theater and financial sector. While London doesn't have as many museums as the City of Lights, those it does have hold some incredible works of art. For instance, The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square grew from a mere 38 paintings when it was erected in 1824 to over 2,000 pieces today. Completely free and open almost all year, The Gallery holds some of the finest works of Western art. Observe the confident gaze and opulent dress of Rembrandt in his "Self Portrait at the Age of 34," painted during the height of his artistic career in 1640. If you like paintings with more texture and bright colors, head to room 43 to see Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers." If you're lucky enough to get close, you can see how Van Gogh used a technique known as impasto to build up the petals and seeds.
Once you've finished The National Gallery, head over to Tate Modern, London's famous collection of contemporary art from across the globe. Tate is a relatively new museum - it's doors first opened in 2000, and a new building was unveiled June 17, 2016. The museum is free except for special exhibitions, so enjoy the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock, photos from the performance art of Minoru Hirata and even Marcel Duchamp's infamous "Fountain" without worrying about a ticket.
New York City
New York has everything, including a rich collection of museums and galleries. Fans of art and architecture should travel to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum at least once. Located in Manhattan's Upper East Side and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, The Guggenheim holds art of various modern styles, including impressionism, minimalist, conceptual and more. Here, you can see pieces by world-famous contemporary artists like Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic.
Don't leave New York without stopping by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is where Anna Wintour hosts the celebrity-studded Met Gala, but it's also home to centuries of religious, abstract, figurative and costume art. See the legacy of designer Yves Saint Laurent or view the beautiful woodblock prints of Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige. History buffs should check out the battle armor worn by King Henry VIII or see the legendary Emanuel Leutze painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware."
These are just a handful of the galleries and museums available in these three famous cities and a fraction of those available around the world. Even a casual art lover should try to make it to at least one of these museums, and there's no doubt a true enthusiast will spend hours at each of them.