Hidden gems & lesser known art galleries of Europe

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Europe is a treasure trove of art and culture, with world-renowned museums and galleries that attract millions of visitors each year. However, among the Louvres, Prados and Victoria and Albert, there are a few hidden gems which will only add to your understanding of cultures and new places. Here are some of our top picks of Europe's under-the-radar art galleries and museums.

1. Museum Montanelli

📍 Prague, Czech Republic

Museum Montanelli - Prague

What Makes It Special: Museum Montanelli showcases contemporary art from Czech and international artists, providing a unique perspective on modern artistic expressions. The intimate setting allows for a deeper connection with the artworks.

Handy Tip: Plan your visit during one of the museum's special events or artist talks to gain insights into the creative process and engage with the vibrant art community in Prague.

2. Museum of Romanticism

📍 Madrid, Spain

Museum of Romanticism - Madrid

What Makes It Special: The Museum of Romanticism or Museo del Romanticismo offers a nostalgic journey back to the 19th century, immersing visitors in the romantic period through its collection of furniture, decorative arts, and paintings. The beautifully restored mansion provides an authentic ambiance as well!

Handy Tip: Take your time to explore the museum's gardens, which offer a tranquil retreat from the bustling streets of Madrid and provide a glimpse into the romantic aesthetics of the era.

3. Berardo Collection Museum

📍 Lisbon, Portugal

Berardo Collection Museum - Lisbon

What Makes It Special: The Berardo Collection Museum or Museu Coleção Berardo in Lisbon is a modern art museum that houses an impressive collection of contemporary works by renowned artists like Warhol, Picasso, and Dalí. Its dynamic exhibitions and innovative installations showcase the vibrancy of Portugal's art scene.

Handy Tip: Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the nearby waterfront promenade of Belém after your museum visit, where you can savor delicious pastries and enjoy stunning views of the Tagus River.

4. Museum Ludwig

📍 Cologne, Germany

Museum Ludwig - Germany

What Makes It Special: The Museum Ludwig in Cologne boasts an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art, with highlights including an extensive Picasso collection and a rich exploration of Pop Art. The museum's commitment to showcasing diverse artistic movements is its defining feature.

Handy Tip: Take advantage of the museum's audio guides or guided tours, which provide in-depth insights into the artworks and the cultural context surrounding them.

5. Museum of Broken Relationships

📍 Zagreb, Croatia

Museum of Broken Relationships - Zagreb

What Makes It Special: The Museum of Broken Relationships offers a poignant and thought-provoking exploration of human emotions through a collection of objects donated by individuals after the end of their relationships. Each item tells a personal story, making it a truly unique museum experience.

Handy Tip: Don't miss the museum's café, where you can reflect on the exhibits over a cup of coffee or indulge in their delicious homemade cakes.

6. Museum Meermanno

📍 The Hague, Netherlands

Museum Meermanno - Netherlands

What Makes It Special: The Museum Meermanno is a hidden gem dedicated to book history and graphic design. Explore its vast collection of rare books, manuscripts, and beautifully illustrated prints, offering a fascinating journey through the evolution of the written word.

Handy Tip: Check the museum's website for workshops and events, as they often provide hands-on experiences where you can learn bookbinding techniques or try your hand at calligraphy.

7. KunstHausWien

📍 Vienna, Austria

KunstHausWien - Vienna

What Makes It Special: KunstHausWien is a remarkable museum designed by the renowned artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It houses a collection of his vibrant and imaginative works, along with temporary exhibitions by other contemporary artists, making it a haven for art enthusiasts.

Handy Tip: After exploring the museum, take a stroll through the nearby Hundertwasserhaus, an architectural masterpiece created by Hundertwasser himself, with its colorful façade and unique design.

8. Vasa Museum

📍 Stockholm, Sweden

Vasa Museum - Stockholm

What Makes It Special: The Vasa Museum is a maritime treasure, displaying the almost perfectly preserved 17th-century warship, Vasa. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the history and craftsmanship of the ship, making it a must-visit for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts.

Handy Tip: Join one of the guided tours to learn more about the ship's ill-fated maiden voyage and the extensive restoration efforts that brought it back to life.

9. Museum of Prehistoric Thera

📍 Santorini, Greece

Museum of Prehistoric Thera - Greece

What Makes It Special: The Museum of Prehistoric Thera showcases artifacts and artworks from the ancient civilization that once thrived on the island of Santorini. From exquisite frescoes to intricate pottery, this museum unveils the rich cultural heritage of this volcanic paradise.

Handy Tip: Combine your museum visit with a trip to the archaeological site of Akrotiri, where you can explore the remarkably preserved ruins of an ancient Minoan settlement.

10. Lipstick Museum René Koch

📍 Berlin, Germany

Lipstick Museum Berlin

What Makes It Special: Tucked away in the vibrant city of Berlin, the Lipstick Museum René Koch is a unique and fascinating tribute to the history and artistry of lipstick. Showcasing a vast collection of lipsticks from different eras and cultures, this museum celebrates the cultural significance and transformative power of this cosmetic staple. From vintage tubes to limited-edition releases, you have a chance to explore the evolution of lipstick trends and admire the intricate designs.

Handy Tip: Take part in one of the museum's interactive workshops or events, where you can learn about the art of lipstick application, experiment with various shades, and even create your own custom lipstick!

10 Lesser Known European Art Galleries & Museums