Though hardly the first time artists influenced the allure of travel, it is perhaps the most memorable. We’re talking about Paris in the 1920s, when the artists and thinkers of the time crafted their version of the City of Light into an exciting, romantic and must-visit destination. The tradition of artists influencing and inspiring visitors to experience a city’s burgeoning food, hotel — yes — art scene continues today around the world. Here, some of our favorite urban art scenes that also happen to be hopelessly romantic.
Without a doubt, the capital city of Germany is currently one of the most art-focused cities in the world. Attracted by low rent and an exciting, progressive atmosphere, contemporary artists have been flocking to the city ever since the fall of the berlin Wall in 1989. The European city is currently home to over 400 galleries and at least 20,000 working artists. The ninth Berlin Biennale, a series of art events held in various locations, will take place in early summer 2016.
Photo Credits: ©VisitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
What to Do: New art galleries open almost every week here; the densest concentration is in the Berlin-Mitte, Kreuzberg, Potsdamer Strasse and Charlottenburg neighborhoods. Street art is also big in Berlin, with large, colorful murals appearing on walls, doors and even the sides of housing blocks throughout the city, especially in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Don’t miss the East Side Gallery, where you can see an almost mile-long section of what was the Berlin Wall, which, soon after it fell, was painted by 118 artists from 21 different countries. It is officially the world’s longest outdoor mural. Of course, like most European cities, Berlin also has a rich heritage in more classical art forms. The Gemäldegalerie, which first opened in 1830, is especially noted for its collection of works by European painters dating from the 13th to 18th century.
Where to Stay: On the grand Kurfürstendamm boulevard, Hotel Zoo is housed in a building dating from 1891 used first as a private residence, then later the official VIP hotel of the Berlin International Film Festival. In recent years the hotel has undergone a makeover while retaining its old-school glitz. Guests are welcomed with a jade-colored carpet by Diane von Fürstenberg, with black and white crouching leopards woven into it. Rooms offer city views, fine-art fashion prints by photographer Andreas Kock and a custom nail polish created especially for the hotel by trendy Berlin brand Uslu Airlines (room rates start at $154 a night; hotelzoo.de.en).
Photos courtesy of Design Hotels