October is Art Month, so now is the perfect time to plan ahead for a culturally rich city break to celebrate in style. With so many iconic European cities to choose from, we have gathered the best hotspots for museum and art lovers, with a guide of where to go and where to stay this October.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Walking around the winding streets and canals of Amsterdam, it’s hard not to feel inspired by the city’s uber-fashionable and effortlessly chic locals, boutique café’s and general great vibes. One of Europe’s true gems, Amsterdam is also home to some of the continent’s finest museums, with the obvious starting point being the Rijksmuseum where visitors can admire paintings by Vermeer, Hals and Steen. A quick five-minute walk away, the Van Gogh Museum displays more than 200 of his works and is well worth a visit. The Stedelijk is hung with modern works and the selection of stunning canalside mansions, such as the Willet-Holthuysen and Van Loon museums, are other great options.
Where to stay: W Amsterdam
Set in a prime location near Dam Square, W Amsterdam sits at the epicentre of Amsterdam – the perfect base to explore the city. Split across two unique buildings, a former telephone exchange and a bank, W Amsterdam brings its iconic quirky and contemporary style to the hotel’s interiors, while the hotel’s structure and facade preserve the building’s heritage. Guests can sip signature cocktails at the rooftop W Lounge, overlooking the Royal Palace and city lights, with an iconic rooftop pool. Visitors are in the perfect spot to access Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife, dining, shopping and fashion scene from this hub.
As one of Europe’s most iconic and coolest cities, it is no wonder that travellers flock to the German capital to get their cultural fix throughout the year. Museum Island is home to five museums, including a collection of Islamic art in the Pergamon, Egyptian wonders in the Neues Museum and splendid sculptures in the Bode Museum. Former rail station turned gallery Berlinische Galerie provides a chance to admire works by local artists, as well as Lichtensteins and Warhols. Berlin’s open-air East Side Gallery contains the largest continuous section of the Berlin Wall, while showrooms such as König Galerie and BQ Berlin provide an exhibition space for changing, modern and diverse works that are always the talk of the town.
Where to stay: Courtyard by Marriott Berlin City Center
Located in the Mitte District near Checkpoint Charlie, Courtyard by Marriott Berlin City Center has recently completed a full renovation of its guestrooms, showcasing the brand’s new European design. Guests are invited to marvel at the brand new renovations, which have been designed with sustainability at the forefront, ensuring the property is now more energy-efficient than ever. Some of the new and exciting features incorporated into the hotel design include coconut wood panelling, flooring made from recycled materials and water aerators installed to reduce water consumption. Visitors can delight in staying at one of the most cutting-edge, modern and comfortable hotels in town during their break.
Brimming with museums, attractions and ancient ruins including the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums and architectural marvels like the Pantheon, travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural immersion in Italy’s capital. MAXXI, the National Museum of 21st Century Art, is a contemporary hotspot, holding thousands of works across 2,700 square foot space. Rome Art Week lands in the city in October, featuring over 170 exhibitions, and more than 170 open studios from up-and-coming and established artists. For those looking to appreciate ancient art, The Museo Nazionale Romano, divided into four main collections across different palazzos, is a fantastic choice, while The Galleria Borghese is one of the most famous and prestigious museums in the world and home to sculptures by Bernini and Canova.
Where to stay: The St. Regis Rome
After a day of exploring the museums of Rome, there is no better hotel to come back to than the classic favourite: the St. Regis Rome. The hotel provides a sophisticated and opulent atmosphere that enhances the overall experience of visiting Rome. Aptly housed in a historic building that dates back to the 19th Century, this renovated property dazzles with glitz and glam. Marquina black marble tubs and Bottega Veneta toiletries are a staple in the bathrooms, and restored Venetian chandeliers, antique artworks and regal velvet fabrics all contribute to the hotel’s incredible opulence. Guests can expect personalised attention to detail, thoughtful staff, and a range of services designed to elevate their stay, which is sure to be unforgettable.
Known as one of the cultural hubs of Europe, thanks to the ever-popular Edinburgh Fringe Festival that makes this city a melting pot of art and culture, Edinburgh is a must-visit destination for museum and art lovers. At the very heart of this quaint, vibrant and charming city, The National Galleries of Scotland is a collection of four stunning galleries: Modern One, Modern Two, National, and Portrait. These halls house more than 120,000 paintings and artefacts, including works by Vincent Van Gogh and John Singer Sargent. Other gems include the National Museum of Scotland, The Writers’ Museum and St. Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum, all of which celebrate the best of Scottish heritage.
Where to stay: W Edinburgh (opens 14th November)
Located in the centre of St James Quarter, a new stylish lifestyle district in the heart of Edinburgh, W Edinburgh will mark W Hotels’ debut in Scotland, redefining the city’s hospitality scene with its cutting-edge design, eclectic gastronomy and socially-driven programming inspired by its creative surroundings. Designed by award-winning architects and interior designers, Jestico + Whiles in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, W Edinburgh features a striking exterior façade, evoking the festival spirit of Edinburgh and creating an outstanding landmark building at the heart of the city.