The Best Museums to Visit in Each Catalyst City

The Catalyst visits some of the most art-savvy cities in the world: London, Paris, Berlin, and Prague. Each of these locations is home to famous works of art and historical artifacts that are housed in world-class museums. As a Catalyst student, you are perfectly poised to visit these treasure troves of art and culture. Here’s a quick guide to the best museums to hit in each of our four Catalyst cities.

London

  • The National Gallery is home to masterpieces by artists such as Titian, Cezanne, Monet, Bellini, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, da Vinci, and many more. A couple of the most recognizable works in the museum are van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Botticelli’s Venus and Mars. For art majors and non-art majors alike, this museum holds significant points of artistic interest. Like most London museums, you can enjoy the art in the National Gallery for free.
  • The Tate Modern, London features unmissable works of art by Warhol, Picasso, Dali, Rodin, etc. If you’re itching for some contemporary art after visiting the National Gallery, the Tate Modern is your most-logical next step. The art housed here will challenge you in ways that other art museums won’t, and yes, the Tate Modern is free to enter, too.
  • The National Portrait Gallery is for those of us who aren’t contemporary-art connoisseurs. The museum is home to portraits of important English citizens such as Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, and Queen Elizabeth I. Those inclined toward history and literature will enjoy this free museum. 

Paris

  • The Musée d’Orsay may be lesser known than the more-popular Louvre museum; however, it is home to some of the best works of art in the world. Housed in a former train station, the museum boasts works by Degas, Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, and van Gogh.
  • The Picasso Museum is small, but it packs a punch. Situated in the picturesque Marais district of Paris, the museum guides visitors from Pablo Picasso’s early works onto his later ones.
  • The Petit Palais is an often-ignored-by-tourists museum near the famous Grand Palais. It’s free to enter and features works by Cezanne, Gauguin, Rembrandt, and more. Escape the crowds at the Louvre for a peaceful, slow afternoon at the elegant Petit Palais.

Berlin

  • The Eastside Gallery is only a quick, five-minute walk from your hostel, The Sunflower Hostel. Take a leisurely stroll up and down the largest standing portion of the Berlin wall and marvel at the artworks that adorn it. After taking in the graffiti-style paintings, sit by the river and enjoy a Berlin delicacy: the currywurst.
  • Found in Berlin’s Museum Island, The Old National Gallery is home to works by Cezanne, Renoir, Friedrich, and more. It’s not to be missed if you’re interested in Romanticism, Neoclassicism, and Impressionism.
  • The Charlottenburg Palace, once home to Sophie Charlotte of Hanover, is a fantastic site to see Prussian jewels, finery, and decor. History majors may enjoy this palace as it is steeped in rich German history and beauty. Make your way through ballrooms, gardens, and mausoleums, all while learning about the history of Prussian Queen consort, Sophie Charlotte.

Prague

  • The National Gallery is one of Prague’s most diverse art museums and features works by Picasso, Van Gogh, and Monet, as well as many Czech artists. As it is the largest collection of art in the Czech Republic, you’ll never be bored while meandering through this treasure trove of art.
  • David Černý is a famous street artist whose work you can find all over the city. His art can be found in parks, on buildings, in shopping centers, and even on powerlines. His most famous work is Saint Wenceslas riding a horse upside down.
  • The Lennon Wall has stood across from the French embassy in Prague since John Lennon’s assassination in 1980. It’s decorated with symbols of peace and acceptance surrounding a portrait of Lennon. The wall is free to see, so take a stroll, and take in its graffiti-style artwork.