Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate the rebirth of Nature than by traveling? I get it, to be true to Nature and honor this beautiful season, we should be visiting parks, lakes, or beaches, rather than museums or exhibitions, but to each their own.
Today we are here to talk about Spring Break destinations, especially those that are perfect for us contemporary art lovers. Think of warmer climates, sunny days, and possibly a vibrant atmosphere to pair with your art tours.
These destinations are perfect for a weekend gateway or a short break and do not require excessive planning. You can easily visit them, pairing some gallery hopping with great food, exhibitions, and museums with shopping, to spend a perfect long weekend recharging your energies and soaking in the good spring vibes.
With its quaint streets and colored tram carts, the capital of Portugal is one of my favorite destinations in Europe. Overlooking the Ocean, the city has particularly nice weather year-round, but spring is definitely the best season to visit it. The city is not too big, it is well connected with all the major cities in Europe, the US, and other parts of the world too, and it is really easy to navigate.
Art-wise, it is a real gem, with several museums and a growing gallery scene, with many younger galleries and emerging artists. For an even better experience, you should be visiting Lisbon in late May, when the city hosts ARCOlisboa, the sister fair of ARCOmadrid, and one of the most important contemporary art fairs in Europe, with several galleries and artists arriving in town from all over Europe, Africa, and South America.
Additional bonus, Portugal has an absolutely amazing cuisine, great wines, and the mouth-watering Pasteis de Nata, making it the perfect destination for both art lovers and foodies.
Here are some more Artsy Travels ideas for a trip to Lisbon.
It is no secret that Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Europe. With its LA vibes, Barcelona is the perfect destination if you want to pair contemporary art, shopping, great food, and a relaxing afternoon on a beach. The city has it all, top quality museums, amazing international galleries, enough shops to satiate all your spring shopping cravings, and stunning parks or waterfront activities. Whether you want to sip a cocktail by the sea, visit a historical landmark like Parc Guell, or unwind mindlessly shopping in high-end stores or from local small brands, Barcelona is the perfect place.
When it comes to contemporary art, Barcelona offers great museums, as well as temporary exhibitions and art centers scattered throughout the city. In addition, the city has an incredible gallery scene, with both established and more up-and-coming galleries, as well as several independent spaces. And when you are tired of walking, just stop in one of the many bars and just sip a sangria. There is no better way to welcome Spring!
Looking for more Barcelona tips? We’ve got you covered here.
If you prefer a more reserved and slightly Nordic city, rather than the chill, Mediterranean vibes of Barcelona, then elegant Vienna is the destination for you. The perfectly sized Austrian capital is an amazing destination year round, as its beauty is guaranteed to impress you in every season. But in Spring, when the days get longer and the sun is brighter, the city shows its best side.
Vienna is a city where you can literally breathe history. Whether you like music, architecture, art, or any other means of human expression, Vienna has something for everyone. A long weekend in Vienna means going to top-notch museums and avant-garde galleries, but also going to the opera or to a classical music concert, tasting a delicious slice of Sacher torte, or grabbing a beer and relaxing in a Biergarten.
Vienna is not only a great city for the many different attractions it offers, but also a great destination for all budgets. If you want to travel fancy and enjoy expensive restaurants and activities, Vienna has got you covered. If on the contrary, you prefer traveling on a budget, Vienna has several different options, from free museums to amazing parks and colorful markets.
Venezia is always a great choice, in every season and for every reason. But in Spring, Venice is particularly enjoyable. The weather is usually good, the city is not as crowded as it is during the Carnival season or in Summer, you can already sip your spritz cocktail outside, sitting in the sun in a local bar, and generally speaking, it is a very quiet season. If you visit later in spring, or around the beginning of summer, you might find yourself in the craze of the Biennale opening (Architecture this year, Visual Arts in 2024), but if you stick to early to mid-spring, the city is absolutely superb.
When it comes to contemporary art, Venice has both big museums, like the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or Palazzo Grassi, to small galleries and local artists. Pair it with amazing food, great wines, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, stunning views, and friendly people, and you can easily understand why it is one of our favorite destinations. In addition, the city is small enough to be visited in just over one day, but it has attractions and museums for every taste, that can get you hooked for weeks.
Not to mention that, if you want to extend your break, you can easily reach any other Italian city or the aforementioned Vienna, for twice the fun!
Do you want to get inspired? Here are some other not to be missed destinations in Venice.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv recently entered my top five favorite cities. I was just there for the first time a couple of months ago and I completely fell in love with it. With its mix of East and West, the amazing views over the sea, the quaint Jaffa area, and the bustling center of the city, Tel Aviv is an amazing destination and one I wish to revisit many times.
Easy to reach from all over Europe, even with cheaper flights like Ryanair, Tel Aviv is a perfect-sized city, with plenty to do and see nearby on a day trip. If you want to stick to the city, Tel Aviv offers something for everyone. You can go on a food adventure, and try all the different types of food offered in Carmel Market, or marvel at the Bauhaus architecture that characterizes the city’s center. You can take advantage of the long beaches, you can experience the wild nightlife of this Ibiza of the Middle East, or can just relax and enjoy a gallery tour.
Tel Aviv is one of the best cities for contemporary art, with several museums and independent spaces, as well as the marvelous Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Pack a light jacket and get exploring!