Famous museums in Europe

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Buckingham Palace
Visit a Buckingham Palace for a glimpse inside one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today. During the summer, you can tour the 19 spectacular State Rooms. These magnificent rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck. Outside of the summer opening, you can still see the iconic exterior of the palace and watch the famous Changing the Guard.
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British Museum
Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centred around the magnificent Great Court. World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by up to six million visitors per year. In addition to the vast permanent collection, the museum’s special exhibitions, displays and events are all designed to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.
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Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace, a palace of secret stories and public lives, has been influenced by generations of royal women. Experience life as an 18th-century royal courtier whilst making your way through the magnificent King's and Queen's State Apartments adorned with remarkable paintings from the Royal Collection. Victoria Revealed, set within the rooms Queen Victoria lived in as a child, is an exhibition that explores her life and reign as wife, mother, Queen and Empress. Diana: Her Fashion Story - Kensington Palace’s newest exhibition - traces the evolution of Diana’s style; from the demure, romantic outfits of her first public appearances to the glamour, elegance and confidence of her later life. Highlights include the pink blouse worn for Diana’s engagement portrait in 1981 and the ink blue velvet gown, worn when the princess danced with John Travolta.
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Madame Tussauds London
With 14 interactive areas, Madame Tussauds London combines glitz, glamour and incredible history with more than 300 stunning wax figures. Walk down the red carpet with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Depp, before exploring our sports zone alongside Usain Bolt and David Beckham. Enjoy an audience with Her Majesty The Queen and Will and Kate before stepping on stage with music icons including Miley Cyrus. Then, after a behind-the-scenes look at how our sculptors work, ride in a taxi and relive the rich history of London.
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Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don't miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo. Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!
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Science Museum
The Science Museum is the most visited science and technology museum in Europe. There are over 15,000 objects on display, including world-famous objects such as the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket.
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Marlipins Museum
The striking chequerboard flint and Caen limestone facade is part of one of the oldest Norman buildings in Sussex. The museum tells the story of Shoreham’s maritime and local history from prehistoric to medieval times.
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Charlottenburg Palace
Discover the magic of the rococo at the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace – once a royal summer residence, today Berlin’s largest and most magnificent palace. In the Neuer Flügel (New Wing), you can view the staterooms and the rococo ballroom known as the Goldene Galerie (Golden Gallery). The Silver Vault includes quite stunning tableware of gold, silver, glass and porcelain displayed on laid tables. Around 100 table services have survived intact, a vivid reminder of the magnificence of dining at court. The impressive display of the remaining pieces of the Prussian crown jewels, complete with the imperial insignias, as well as personal treasures, such as the elaborated designed, exquisite snuffboxes collected by Friedrich the Great, are also well worth seeing. The Porcelain Cabinet in the Old Palace offers a breathtaking collection of the finest blue-and-white porcelain decorating the entire room.
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Reichstag
The Reichstag is an internationally recognisable symbol of democracy and the current home of the German parliament. Every year, thousands of guests visit the Reichstag - and with good reason: It is not often that you can enjoy such an amazing panorama while, just beneath your feet, the political decisions of tomorrow are being made. Both as an architectural wonder and a historical testimony, the Reichstag has an important role to play in Berlin. There are several options to visit the Reichstag: join a guided tour; listen to a plenary session (in German of course) or climb up to the dome and the roof!
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Band des Bundes
The government buildings in the heart of Berlin form a ribbon across the river Spree, symbolically connecting East and West. The parliamentary offices and the chancellery were not built until the wall came down and Berlin was chosen as the country’s seat of government. The buildings are exciting examples of contemporary architecture that no-one sightseeing in Berlin can afford to miss. The original idea for the Band des Bundes was a gesture of reunification. In a dual piece of symbolism, the government buildings and the offices for democratically elected MPs are both a physical connection and a symbolic bridge between East and West. The federal buildings are not just the centre of the town in geographical terms; since 2006, the striking concrete and glass buildings have been the first thing that visitors to Berlin see when they arrive at the city’s main station.
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Pergamon Museum
The Pergamonmuseum is nothing short of a wonder in itself. Its rooms are overflowing with some of the world’s most impressive, long buried, treasures. The museum encompasses the vast history of the Ancient East, with collections that can not be experienced elsewhere. The museum is named after the Pergamon Altar, a Hellenistic masterpiece of white stone architecture. The imposing structure invites you to walk the steps of 2000 years of history and behold its intricacies close-up. But don’t get lost in this wonder for too long, as there are many more under the museum’s roof. Artefacts have been gathered from Iran, Asia Minor, Egypt and the Caucasus, and these worlds have been recreated for you to explore within the Pergamonmuseum.
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Royal Palace of Madrid
Madrid's Royal Palace was built in the 18th century by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. Sachetti began the works in 1738, and the building was completed in 1764. Sabatini designed the southeast wing and the great staircase, or staircase of honour. It has a square floor plan with a large central courtyard. The Puerta del Príncipe gateway on the east side gives access to the central courtyard. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace's other attractions, as well as its several different façades. There is some debate as to its artistic style; it is thought by some experts to belong more to the Baroque, and by others to the Neo-classical style. Of particular note among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards' Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III's room. It also contains paintings by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens, El Greco and Caravaggio.
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Prado Museum
This gallery in Madrid has the most complete collection of Spanish painting from 11th-18th centuries, and numerous masterpieces by great universal artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. The quality and variety of its collection makes the Prado one of the world's best-endowed museums. It combines a first-class collection of Spanish painting, the most important works of the Flemish and Italian schools, and various fine examples of the German, French and English schools. It is home to numerous masterpieces of universal art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, the two Majas by Goya, Nobleman with his hand on his chest by El Greco, the Garden of Delights by Bosch, and The Three Graces by Rubens, among other priceless pieces. Although the museum was created to house primarily works of painting and sculpture, it also contains major collections of drawings, engravings, coins and medals, as well as items of clothing and decorative art.
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Plaza de Cibeles
The stunning Palacio de Cibeles is not only the headquarters of Madrid City Council, it is also home to CentroCentro. A recent addition to the renowned Paseo del Arte, the cultural centre boasts a packed programme of activities that revolve around the city and includes exhibitions, workshops, conferences and concerts. Next to the entrance hall, where you’ll find interactive information screens, there is a colourful lounge where visitors can sit back and read, connect to WiFi or enjoy some people-watching through the large windows that look out onto Plaza de Cibeles. The building has two restaurants: Colección Cibeles on the ground floor and Palacio de Cibeles on the 6th. Both are open Monday to Sunday. Also on the sixth floor is Terraza Cibeles, a great rooftop bar where you can relax with a pre-dinner drink or mid-afternoon snack as you take in the wonderful views of the Plaza de Cibeles and the Madrid skyline. For even more breathtaking vistas, head up to the Mirador observation deck on the 8th floor.
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Roman Colosseum
Known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Roman Colosseum is one of the capital's most remarkable monuments. Every year over 6 million people visit it. The Colosseum is the main symbol of Rome. It is an imposing construction that, with almost 2,000 years of history, will bring you back in time to discover the way of life in the Roman Empire. The construction of the Colosseum began in the year 72 under the empire of Vespasian and was finished in the year 80 during the rule of the emperor Titus. After completion, the Colosseum became the greatest Roman amphitheatre, measuring 188 meters in length, 156 meters in width and 57 meters in height. During the Roman Empire and under the motto of "Bread and Circuses" the Roman Colosseum (known then as Flavian Amphitheatre) allowed more than 50,000 people to enjoy its finest spectacles. The exhibitions of exotic animals, executions of prisoners, recreations of battles and gladiator fights kept the Roman people entertained for years. The Colosseum remained active for over 500 years. The last recorded games in history were celebrated in the 6th century. Since the 6th century the Colosseum has suffered lootings, earthquakes and even bombings during World War Two. Demonstrating a great survival instinct, the Colosseum was used for decades as a storehouse, church, cemetery and even a castle for nobility. At present the Colosseum is, along with the Vatican City, Rome's greatest tourist attraction. Each year 6 million tourists visit it. On 7 July 2007 the Colosseum became one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
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Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
The first nucleus, a collection of ancient sculptures, was constituted by Julius II (1503-13) but the idea of ​​the museum was born with Clement XIII (1758-69), who with the assistance of Winckelmann had the Museo Profano exhibiting set up Greek and Roman sculptures. With Clement XIV (1769-74) and Pius VI (1775-99) the Museo Pio Clementino was born, which brings together the most famous examples of ancient sculpture such as the Apollo del Belvedere, the Laooconte group and the Torso del Belvedere, while in 1807 -10, under Pius VII, the Chiaramonti Museum is set up by Canova, which houses Roman sculptures. In 1822 the Braccio Nuovo is opened with over 150 sculptures including statues such as the wounded Amazon, the Doryphoros, the enormous statue of the Nile, the Augustus of Prima Porta. With Gregory XVI the Gregorian Etruscan Museum was opened in 1837 , with finds coming mostly from the nineteenth-century excavations carried out in southern Etruria, and in 1839 the Egyptian Gregorian collecting a series of statues depicting deities or characters of the royal family, sarcophagi, mummies and elements of funerary furniture. In 1844 he opened the Lateran Profane Museum (today Gregoriano Profano) and later the Pio Cristiano which collected materials from excavations in the Roman catacombs including numerous sarcophagi.
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Roman Pantheon
The Pantheon, completed in 126 AD, was a Roman temple with a surprising oculus that is the building's main source of natural light. The Pantheon of Agrippa, also known as the Roman Pantheon, is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian capital. It is the best preserved building from ancient Rome. The construction of the current Pantheon was carried out during the reign of Hadrian, in the year 126 A.D. The name of Agrippa comes from the place in which the current building is built, which was previously occupied by the Pantheon of Agrippa, built in the year 27 B.C and that was destroyed in a fire in the year 80 A.D. At the beginning of the 7th century the building was donated to the Pope Boniface IV, who transformed it into a church, in which function it currently finds itself in a perfect state of preservation. In the interior of the Pantheon the tombs of numerous Italian kings and a multitude of art works are found. The best-known person who can be found buried in the Pantheon is without doubt the painter and Renaissance architect Raphael. The outskirts of the Pantheon are usually full of people at all hours, either photographing the imposing building or having a traditional supper in some of the terraces of the Piazza della Rotonda while they enjoy the shows put on by different street artists.
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Roman Forum
The Roman Forum was where religious and public life in ancient Rome took place. The Forum is, along with the Colosseum, the greatest sign of the splendour of the Roman Empire that can be seen today. After the fall of the Empire, the Roman Forum was forgotten and little by little it was buried under the earth. Although in the 16th century the existence and location of the Forum was already known, it was not until the 20th century that excavations were carried out. Interestingly, the place where the Forum was built was originally a marshy area. In the 6th century B.C. the area was drained by means of the Cloaca Maxima, one of the first sewer systems in the world.
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Catacombs of Rome
The Catacombs of Rome are former underground burial grounds that date from the second to the fifth century and were principally used by Christians and Jews. The catacombs possess a huge number of subterranean passageways that form real labyrinths that are several kilometres long, along which rows of rectangular niches were dug out. Roman law at the time prohibited the burial of the deceased in the interior of the city, for which reason all of the catacombs were located outside of the walls. These separated and hidden places below ground constituted the perfect refuge in which the Christians could bury their own, freely using Christian symbols. The catacombs of Rome offer a very special visit in which the funeral remains of those buried many centuries ago can be seen. It is fascinating to travel through the dark and damp passageways, where you can see, in addition to the niches, some inscriptions with the names of the people that once occupied them. Due to the high infant mortality at that time, you can see a large quantity of spaces prepared for these children, alongside some larger graves in which the whole family was buried. During the visit, a guide who is specialized in the topic gives the visitors several interesting facts relating to the catacombs and the period in which they were operating.
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Trajan's Market
Situated on Via dei Fori Imperiali, Trajan's Market is an archaeological complex that currently holds the Museum of Imperial Forums (Museo dei Fori Imperiali). It is considered to be Rome’s first “shopping center”. The complex, made of red brick and concrete, had six levels in which there was once up to 150 different shops and apartments. When you visit the Imperial Forum Museum, you can stroll through Mercati di Traiano's various levels, as well as admiring several exhibitions that show the Imperial Forums' different aspects. The exhibitions are comprised of models and videos that accompany the various remains that are left from the Imperial Forums to try to transport visitors to classical Roman times. Although it does not enjoy as much fame as the Colosseum, Trajan's Market maintains an important part of its original appearance and offers a really interesting visit.
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Palatine Hill
Located 40 meters above the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill is the most central of the seven hills of Rome and forms one of the oldest parts of the city. The Palatine Hill is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian capital and is believed to have been inhabited since the year 1000 B.C. During the Republican Period Roman citizens belonging to the upper class settled in the Palatine Hill and built sumptuous palaces, of which important traces are still preserved. n the Palatine Hill you can see hundreds of ruins of the imposing buildings that were created for high Roman society in ancient times. Although the whole scene is impressive, these are some of the points that deserve special attention: Domus Flavia, House of Livia, House of Augustus, Farnese Gardens, Hippodrome of Domitian and Palatine museum. The Palatine Hill is a very pleasant place for a quiet stroll under the shadow of the trees while passing many of the preserved corners of ancient Rome.
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Castel Sant Angelo
Known as Hadrian's Tomb, the Castel Sant'Angelo is a fortress located on the right bank of the Tiber, a short distance from the Vatican City. Construction of the building began in the year 135 under the direction of the Emperor Hadrian, who intended to use it as mausoleum for himself and his family. It was finished in the year 139 and a short time later, it became a military building, which in the year 403 would be integrated to the Aurelian Walls. The Castel Sant'Angelo is split into five floors which can be reached by a spiral ramp that first reaches the chamber of ashes and subsequently the cells in which a number of historical figures were incarcerated. Advancing toward the upper part of the castle you will find different rooms that functioned as a Papal residence, decorated with perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period, besides the extensive collection of weapons. In the upper floor there is a large terrace where you can take amazing photographs of the city from above. Advancing toward the upper part of the castle you will find different rooms that functioned as a Papal residence, decorated with perfectly preserved frescoes from the Renaissance period, besides the extensive collection of weapons. In the upper floor there is a large terrace where you can take amazing photographs of the city from above.
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Louvre Museum
Every trip to the capital deserves a visit to the Louvre to discover the wealth of treasures it contains. The museum houses western works of art dating from the Middle Ages to 1848, in addition to collections of ancient oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman civilizations, as well as graphic and Islamic arts. From room to room, the former royal palace reveals its masterpieces to the public: the Mona Lisa, The Raft of the Medusa, the Venus de Milo, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace. In total, there are 35,000 works to be discovered or re-discovered! With its eight hundred year old history, the Louvre has been influenced by numerous architectural trends, from the medieval fortress of the 12th century to the glass pyramid by Pei (1989). The latest addition, housing the Islamic arts section, was designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti. The undulating glass canopy covers the Visconti courtyard, flooding the 2,800 m² new wing with light. A visit to the museum is particularly pleasant at night: the Louvre is less crowded and visitors can enjoy stunning night-time views of Pei’s glass pyramid, the Cour Carrée and the Seine.
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Grevin Museum Paris
Discover a completely renovated Grévin Museum in Paris. Experience the Spirit of Paris of yesterday and of today with astounding scenes : the major events of the 20th Century, French history and the latest news. The brasserie, the theatre, artists' studios. all the legendary Parisian haunts where you will rub shoulders with the "Tout Paris" celebrities. Three hundred wax figures are waiting to meet you at the Grévin Museum, to be photographed with you, to be remembered forever...
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Palais de Tokyo Museum
The Palais de Tokyo, an art deco building that dates from 1937, reopened in 2001 after a new interior design by French architects Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal who selected rough and ready style (concrete floor, wall and roof). Today the most creative and fun museum in Paris, the only one to be open till midnight. The Palais de Tokyo, which is right next door to the Musée d'Art Moderne at the Trocadero, has opened as a showcase for contemporary art. The idea is to have no permanent collections, but to let experimental artists have somewhere in central Paris to express themselves, hence an opening full of “installation” and “interactive” art. There is no permanent collection; instead, dynamic temporary exhibits spread over a large, open space that's reminiscent of a construction site, with a trailer for a ticket booth.
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Quai Branly Museum
The musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac is the heir to 200 years of history, enrichment, study and conservation of public collections. It conserves almost 370,000 works originating in Africa, the Near East, Asia, Oceania and the Americas which illustrate the richness and cultural diversity of the non-European civilisations from the Neolithic period (+/-10,000 B.C.) to the 20th century.
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Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is definitely the most famous building in Barcelona. Considered one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, it’s a key attraction in Barcelona and one of the most striking monuments ever built in the world. In fact, there is absolutely no other building in the world featuring such a genius mixture between Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Antoni Gaudí took over the project in 1883, a year after construction had begun, and completely reshaped the project to fit his unique style. Unfortunately, Gaudí died in 1926 when only a quarter of the project had been constructed. Sadly, most of the blueprints left were burned in a fire, therefore, all that’s been built ever since has been a wide interpretation of Gaudi’s architecture. Stopping over the Sagrada Familia should be top priority if you’re in Barcelona for the first time. Visiting the basilica it’s an enjoyable experience and a great way to be introduced into Gaudí’s architecture. Besides, it offers the best possible views of the surrounding Eixample District, Barcelona’s own Big Apple.
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Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo is one of Barcelona’s biggest landmarks. If buildings could be celebrities, there would be a perpetual red carpet in front of it. The remarkable facade it’s the most prominent feature and it has been subject to many interpretations. Originally, Gaudí didn’t build Casa Batlló. He was hired to redesign the late 1800’s building in 1904, and the result was one of his most emblematic works in Barcelona along the Sagrada Familia. The building was transformed into one that hardly resembles the original. Animal and nature forms inspired the facade of Casa Batlló. For example, the skull shape of the balconies. As beautiful as is the outside, you must schedule a visit to the interior to witness the most original and jaw-dropping architecture. To begin with, a good part of the outside is covered with bits and pieces of broken and multicolored ceramic tiles, a technique called Trencadís, which was used massively by Gaudi in most of his works, visible for example in the Park Güell benches. An interesting effect is created when direct sunlight hits the building, as the tiles shift through different shades of colors along with the stained glass windows.
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Park Guell
Park Guell is one of the most fantastic designs ever built by Gaudi. A landmark on its own, it features amazing views of Barcelona and plenty of modernist works. Needless to say, as soon you pass the entrance, you’ll notice right away that this isn’t an ordinary park. Curiously, Park Güell wasn’t originally intended to be a park, but rather a project for luxurious homes. In 1900, the site was just a rocky hill with nothing but vegetation around, in the vicinity of some isolated upper class country houses. The result was one of the most fascinating works by Gaudí. The intention of the project was to take advantage of the breathtaking views of Barcelona and the clean fresh air, away from the factories, in order to build a top of the line housing complex. In Park Guell, there are plenty of paths and vegetation to enjoy, but the architectural structures are the glue that holds the whole place together.
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Schoenbrunn Palace
The former summer residence of the Habsburgs impresses with imperial ceremonial rooms and magnificent gardens. Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph, Empress Elisabeth and others once resided here. Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe's most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569. The wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, Eleonore von Gonzaga, had a pleasure palace built on the site in 1642 and called the property "Schönbrunn" for the first time. The palace and garden complex created from 1696 onwards following the siege of Vienna was complete redesigned under Maria Theresa after 1743. Today, due to its historical significance, its unique layout and magnificent furnishings, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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Hofburg Imperial Palace
Vienna's Imperial Palace is one of the biggest palace complexes in the world. The oldest parts date to the 13th century, with construction having continued right into the 20th century. The Imperial Palace was the residence and seat of government of the Habsburg emperors until 1918. Today, it is home to numerous museums with outstanding collections, the Spanish Riding School, a congress center, the seat of the Austrian Federal President as well as the historic Heldenplatz.
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Belvedere
The Belvedere is not only a magnificent Baroque palace but also houses one of Austria's most valuable art collections – with key works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), successful general and art connoisseur, had Belvedere garden palace built by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt as his summer residence – at the time it was still outside the gates of the city. This baroque architectural jewel consists of two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere), which today house Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The heart of the Belvedere collection is formed by the 24 paintings of Gustav Klimt with his golden images "The Kiss" and "Judith". Klimt's "The Kiss" in particular is world-famous. The 180 x 180 cm painting was created in 1908/09 and shows Klimt and his friend Emilie Flöge as a couple in love. "The Kiss" is probably Austria's most famous work of art. Klimt's portraits of women also impress and be marveled at in the Upper Belvedere.
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Vienna Ringstrasse
The most beautiful boulevard in the world is home not only to many of Vienna's best-known sights, such as the Imperial Palace, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Natural History Museum, the Vienna State Opera and Parliament. Magnificent palaces, extensive parks and important monuments also line the "display window" of the former Danube monarchy. Vienna's Ringstrasse is 5.3 kilometers long. Long enough to provide space for numerous monumental buildings, which were built during the period of Historicism in the 1860s to 1890s. Today, the buildings that stand there – from the Vienna State Opera to the Museum of Fine Arts – are among the most important sights in the city of Vienna. Nobles and rich citizens hurried to build pompous palaces along this magnificent boulevard. Many of these former private homes can still be admired today (mostly, however, only from the outside). The style in which the buildings were built went down in history as the Ringstrasse style (a type of Historicism). It is marked by a pluralism of styles: numerous architectural forms of previous epochs were imitated.
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