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World’s best art destinations revealed

Which? expert panel picks New York as top art city

Guggenheim NYC

New York has been rated the top holiday destination for viewing art by a panel of Which? experts, achieving an expert score of 88%.

The panel individually rated a shortlist of 10 destinations outside the UK. They were assessed against more than 30 different criteria including the quality and range of art, and the visitor experience in the destination.

Berlin was rated as the second most important art destination, with a score of 87%. In third place was Rome, with 82%. The full results appear in the July edition of Which? Travel.

Rating art destinations

The expert panel was made up of art historian Colin Bailey; Nicholas Friend, founder of Inscape – the art study tours society; and art and travel writer Michael Jacobs.

They considered not just the art hanging in galleries, but also religious art in churches, statues and monuments, decorative arts, graffiti and architecture. They also considered the holiday appeal of the destination itself. 

New York, home of the Guggenheim museum (pictured), scored highly for the sheer quantity and quality of art on display, and Manhattan’s exciting combination of modern architectural styles. But the varied restaurant and diner culture and the buzz of the city’s nightlife were also singled out for praise.

The visitor experience

New York and Berlin were particularly commended for their ability to deal with large visitor numbers as the appetite for art tourism grows. Rome also offers an excellent visitor experience, and much has been done to improve congestion at the Vatican. 

Paris, on the other hand, lost out on a place in the top three because of the queues and overcrowding experienced at its biggest galleries. 

While the Louvre may house one of the world’s finest art collections, its annual 8.9 million visitors create severe congestion, especially around Leonardo’s Mona Lisa.

More on this…

  • What do you look for in an art holiday? Which? Conversation
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