Nine Art Cities to Visit in 2022

Nine Art Cities to Visit in 2022

Hankering for an extra-large serving of arts and culture? Follow us as we explore these nine vibrant cities, taking in everything from new exhibitions to lesser-trodden paintbrush factories.



We’d
go as far as saying that you’ve never truly discovered a
destination until you’ve delved deep into its arts and culture.
Yes, we’re all for a city break crammed with sea, sand and sun-worshipping. Yes, we’re guilty
of long, lazy lunches spent scoffing half of the local taverna’s
menu. But, there’s something truly magnificent about exploring a
city’s history through its art.

Take Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, showcasing the rolling
hills of rural Provence, or John Constable’s The Hay Wain,
featuring Suffolk’s shrouded meadows. The point is, regardless of
the age of an artwork, generations continue to recognise and
appreciate a landscape based on its association with art. With that
in mind, we’ve rounded up our nine favourite cities to satisfy your
artistic desires.

Culture connoisseurs: nine art destinations to visit in
2022

airel view of Vienna's colourful rooftops

Vienna

Austria

Vienna is not known primarily as a home of
epoch-defining modern art, but that all changed in 2020, when the
city welcomed the Albertina Modern to its roster of art institutions.
Built within the shell of the city’s 19th-century Künstlerhaus at
an expense of €50 million, this architectural collage of white
space and renovated baroque-style rooms form the background to a
60,000-piece collection of modern art by some of the 20th century’s
most illustrious names, including Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and
Gerhard Richter. The Albertina’s Schiele and His Legacy exhibition
remains open until 23 January.

TO STAY: Grand Ferdinand

oslo's architecture

Oslo

Norway

Norway’s long, daylight-filled summer days make it a prime spot
for gallery-hoppers with stamina. Want to discover Norwegian
artists? Try Standard (Oslo), Galleri Riis and Galleri Brandstrup.
On a clear day, you can’t go wrong with a tour of the pine-studded
Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, either (our tip: bring binoculars and
look up). This year’s favourite gallery is the 2020-launched
Munchmuseet, which was relocated from an unassuming
1960s gallery east of the city centre to a teetering glass edifice
on the waterfront in Bjørvika. The museum showcases some 1,150
paintings and 18,000 prints and features a staggering
seven-metre-high bronze Tracey Emin statue at the entrance. Insider
tip: visit on a Sunday to catch classical music sessions. We’re
sold.

TO STAY: Amerikalinjen

historic temple in cairo egypt

Cairo

Egypt

After 18 years of plans and disruption, the Heneghan
Peng-designed Grand
Egyptian Museum
is well and truly open. Among other gilded
artefacts, it contains all 5,400 precious objects unearthed from
Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. But, Cairo is not
all about ancient history. Inquisitive travellers with a penchant
for snooping out arty enclaves can find treasures of their own.
The
Townhouse Gallery’s
crumbling facade might be off-putting, but
inside, you’ll find a complex of multi-use art spaces. The same
goes for Room Art Space, a DIY performance venue hidden in the
basement of a deceptively officious-looking building in the Garden
City. Wander the city streets and you can expect to come
face-to-face with Mohammed Mahmoud’s street art. It’s politically
motivated, ever-changing (to the ire of local authorities) and
distinctly Egyptian. The pyramids can wait.

TO STAY: Villa Belle Epoque

church spire in cluj napoca romania

Cluj-Napoca

Romania

Don’t be deceived by Cluj-Napoca’s apparent Transylvanian folksiness: this city is alive
with the same post-Soviet, get-up-and-go attitude found in Berlin. Subject to the whims of its dense student
population, the city’s museums are constantly in flux and
refreshingly unpretentious. Visit the National Museum of
Transylvanian History
and you’ll likely find students or
gallery assistants mid-installation. At the post-industrial
Paintbrush Factory, ambitious students present their meditations on
theatre, dance and contemporary art, while at the Matthias Corvinus
House, the Art and Design University’s most talented members of
staff present their works.

TO STAY: Hotel Platinia

beautiful facades of belgiums ghent

Ghent

Belgium

There’s something about canalside cities that results in both a
tremendous café culture and effervescent art scenes. If you like
Amsterdam or Copenhagen, try Ghent. For those with a finger
on the pulse of contemporary art, there’s KIOSK, a launchpad for
young artists housed in a creaky, neo-gothic lecture theatre; the
Herbert Foundation, a souped-up warehouse sparsely filled with
Annick and Anton Herbert’s private collection of avant-garde art,
and Kunsthal Gent, a church-turned-artists’-residency.

TO STAY: 1898 The Post


Santa Fe

United States

A high-desert town sitting on the northern corners of New
Mexico, it’s no secret that Santa Fe draws crowds for its sprawling
blue skies and toasty temperatures. But, it’s also home to a
surprisingly large smattering of galleries – stroll the central
plaza to see for yourself. We’re heading straight to the Georgia O’Keeffe
Museum
, whose location is just as impressive as its artworks:
think soft adobe walls, rugged bluffs and perfectly pruned piñon
trees. Both intimate and educational, programmes here range from
online drawing sessions to watercolour classes, making it more of a
community than a gallery – check out the website to reserve a slot.
Or, for a space that spotlights craftsmanship from all around the
world, visit the Museum of International Folk Art.

TO STAY: El Rey Court


Kyoto

Japan

It’s near impossible to not fall head over heels for Kyoto. This
is a city that’s virtually spilling with Buddhist temples,
botanical gardens, shinto shrines and majestic machiyas, so it’s
for good reason we’re booking a one-way ticket (as soon as our
purse permits). Karate Kid fanatics should make a beeline to the
Kyoto Samurai
and Ninja Museum
. Okay, this isn’t exactly the most serene
setting, nor is it home to pristine paintings, but this place
offers an insight into real-life samurai materials alongside
intricate details of their history. Rest assured, if a front or
side kick isn’t exactly your vibe, there’s plenty of other
locations to discover: Kyoto Railway Museum, Kyoto
National Museum
and the Museum of Kyoto are all well worth a
look.

TO STAY: The
Celestine Kyoto Gion


Florence

Italy

While we’re on the subject of art, it would be rude not to pay
tribute to the birthplace of the Renaissance. Florence is a destination that brims with a
contagious and positive spirit, found in its market squares,
museums, galleries, boutiques and cafés. So, after seeking out the
obvious sunset boat ride, Gucci Garden and Medici Chapels, you’ll
want to spend time in its world-famous galleries. Drop by the
Museo
dell’Opera del Duomo
, before spending an afternoon at the
Bargello Museum. You’ll need to set aside an entire
day for the Uffizi Gallery. After all, it’s ranked as one of the
oldest museums in the world and houses works by the likes of
Botticelli, Correggio, Michelangelo and da Vinci. Don’t miss its
Giardino di Boboli for a sun-drenched green space.

TO STAY: Palazzo Guadagni


Paris

France

There’s no denying that the Louvre likely sees bigger crowds than
Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage (and that’s on an average day), but
Paris is, in fact, home to 150 other museums. So,
after snapping a shot of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, swerve the crowds
and tour between (deep breath) Musée Rodin,
L’Orangerie, Musée
Jacquemart-André
, Palais de Tokyo, Musée
Picasso
and Musée Nissim de Camondo. You’ll also want to check out
some of the city’s most eagerly awaited exhibitions of 2022. We’re
most excited about Machu Picchu et Les Trésors du Pérou at the
Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, which is
running from 16 April to 4 September. Other big exhibits here
feature works from Cézanne and Gaudí.

TO STAY: Hotel
Thoumieux

This article was updated on 13 January 2022.

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