February 17, 2012
The Art Lover’s Guide Through Europe: A Themed Itinerary
Europe used to be so far away. Now, with nonstop Delta flights from Portland to Amsterdam, the globe has been made smaller. This has allowed many first-time travelers the opportunity to set their sights on destinations they’d never imagined possible. Rather than trying to see it all, why not plan a themed vacation? Art lovers, we’re talking to you!
As a hub for the rest of Europe, Amsterdam can connect you to most cities in under three hours. If you’re an art lover who wants to maximize your time while in Europe, Amsterdam is a convenient location from which to begin a journey through centuries of artistic expression.
- Amsterdam: Start at the Rijksmuseum. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, this Dutch national museum is home to some of the most iconic images that represent the Netherlands. From intricate tulip paintings dating back 400 years to Dutch Master, Rembrandt’s Night Watch. The Rijksmuseum will fill you with enough excitement to pack an overnight bag and hop on a plane for your next destination: London.
- London: Only a thirty minute flight from Amsterdam, London is home to a number of museums. Though, to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed with the options, choose one to visit and know you’ll have many years to see the rest. For this trip, spend some time at the Tate Modern. While it is the most visited modern art gallery in the world, you’ll have no trouble finding a quiet room to examine the brush strokes of Matisse and Rothko. The museum isn’t ordered chronologically; it is divided on various levels by style. Don’t miss Level 5, known as the States of Flux, this level houses Warhol, Picasso, Lichtenstein and more.
- Paris: After a solid night’s sleep in London, find your way back to the airport and hop a plane for the City of Lights. Paris is less than an hour away by air and worth the trip. Spend your time while in the fuselage reading up on your next destination, the Louvre. With over 35,000 items filling over 652,000 square feet, you’ll need a game plan. What began as a 12th century fortress is now home to artistic treasures that show the evolution of art itself. With artifacts dating back over 7,000 years, you can wander through ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Smile back at the Mona Lisa and marvel at the sculptures of Michelangelo.
- Back to Amsterdam: After settling into your hour-long flight back to Amsterdam, you can reminisce on your museum hopping adventure. Keep in mind that it’ll be impossible to see everything on your list. There will be cities you miss. There will be treasures not captured by your camera. Just know they’ll be awaiting your return. This is just one more reason to start planning your next European adventure. Who knows, perhaps the next vacation theme will be food?
Art lovers, do tell: what are you favorite museums in Europe?
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