Europe's best free museums and galleries
Museum-mooching can be a pricey pursuit, but there’s no need to dust the cobwebs off your wallet to enjoy these esteemed collections.
See world-class art and ancient artefacts without spending a penny, with this excerpt from our new title, The Best Things in Life are Free.
British Museum – England
London’s full of famous freebies, but this mothership museum, packed with souvenirs pinched during Blighty’s globetrotting heyday, is tops. You’ll never get around in one day – just come back.
The Prado – Spain
Formerly a royal collection, this feast of fine art is now free every evening. One of the world’s greatest galleries, it boasts paintings by Goya, Raphael, Rubens and more.
Gorky House-Museum – Russia
Museum.ru/M402; Malaya Nikitskaya ul 6/2, Moscow, Russia; 11am-5.30pm Wed-Sun; free.
Berlin Wall Memorial – Germany
This poignant museum preserves the last surviving piece of the wall, tells the story of the ghost station of Nordbahnhof S-Bahn, and relates tales of horror, heroism and hope on Bernauer Strasse.
Bristolian street art – England
Free-range chinstrokers can enjoy some of the world’s best modern street art in Bristol. In Banksy’s home town, the al-fresco scene is sensational, with public spaces splattered with murals and installations by guerrilla artists.
Bristol-street-art.co.uk; Bristol, England; 24hr; free.
Musée Carnavalet – France
Carnavalet.paris.fr; 16 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris, France; 10am-6pm Tue-Sun; free.
Schuttersgalerij – Netherlands
One of the world’s only ‘museum streets’, this walk-through gallery mixes historic portraits with a sprinkling of Dutch Masters, some amusing modern artwork and a 350-year-old statue of Goliath.
Royal Danish Arsenal Museum – Denmark
This ensemble ranges from samurai swords to a WWII German V-1 flying bomb, via various guns and spiky things. The cache was begun in 1604, by warlord King Christian IV.
Natmus.dk/museerne/toejhusmuseet; Tøjhusgade 3, 1220 Copenhagen, Denmark; free noon-4pm Tue-Sun.