Europe is known for its rich culture and history which is centered mostly in the arts. This is quite apparent, thanks to the numerous and diverse museums that are peppered across the second smallest continent in the world (after Australia). The museums are jam-packed with renowned collections of artifacts and works of art.
However, if you are on a tight budget but need to spice up your vacation with a few visits to some museums, entry fees can make a dent in your wallet. The best way to avoid paying these somewhat hefty fees just to see some artifacts is to visit free museums. These galleries are open all day and free to the public.
Therefore, without wasting time and in no particular order, here are the top ten free museums that you can visit at your leisure:
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Paris’s modern art museum has a privileged collection of more than nine thousand works which conveniently illustrate every major artwork of the twentieth century. A haul which was valued at eighty million pounds sterling occurred in 2010. “The heist of the century” involved the stealing of five different masterpieces by Braque, Picasso, Léger, Matisse, and Modigliani. The crime has remained unsolved till date; however, the remaining works which are always on display in a massive ‘30s building will a sight worth seeing on any cool afternoon.
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nice – This museum, housed right inside the remarkable castle of a Ukrainian princess, is a spectacular sight to all and sundry. The art collection you will come across as soon as you pass through its iron gates and through the neat gardens span romanticism, realism, and symbolism. Its palatial rooms display extraordinary works by Rodin and Monet as well as Raoul Dufy’s collection. The gleaming interior of the mansion in itself is a sight for sore eyes.
Reykjavik Museum of Photography
You will be amazed at the collection of more than five million photographs that date as far back as the 19th century (1870). Modern Icelandic photographers also showcase objects that relate to arts of photography along with the permanent collection.
The Musée de la Vie Romantique
A visit to this museum will take you back in time during the romantic period in Paris. It showcases artworks by Ary Scheffer and George Sand.
Museo Storico della Liberazione, Rome
This free museum consists of cells that were used by German forces to imprison a majority of the populace in Via Tasso. It is presently devoted to the memory of the people that were arrested.
Florence Nightingale Museum, Istanbul – You may have to make a 48-hour appointment in advance, but it is worth it in the end. You will be regaled with stories of the Crimean war by young soldiers performing their military service.
La Virreina Centre de la Imatge – This is an 18th century baroque and rococo fortress accommodates temporary photo exhibitions. You will find the massive puppets of Barcelona quite interesting and the collection of photos rather entertaining.
Museo de Carruajes Fúnebres de Barcelona – Although it may be out of the way, this museum house an impressive collection of funeral carriages worth seeing. It is also situated in the most famous cemetery in Barcelona (Montjüic).
Museo del Prado
This is one of Madrid’s most renowned attractions and it is almost unbelievable that every evening, you can enjoy the sights for free. The pre-20th-century architecture beckons you to its depth, though you have all the time in the world to see all the portraits, murals, and sculptures on display. The best way, of course, is to make time for two or three evenings to view your rich pickings at your free time. The highlights in this museum include The Three Graces by Peter Paul Rubens and an altarpiece crafted in the 15th century by Fra Angelico called The Annunciation.
Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon
This is one of the most recent additions to the list of arts and cultural attractions in Lisbon. The Berardo Collection Museum opened its doors to the public back in 2007 and since then, millions have seen the vast collection of contemporary and modern arts there. You will find great works of art by Baco, Picasso, and Dali as well as the impressive works from Pollock, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. A remarkable display of antique posters selected from the unparalleled collection of the museum’s advertising art.