The European Masters on a Budget: 5 Single-Artist Museums for Less than $20

by  Matthew Wexler | Dec 24, 2013
Paris, France
Paris, France / Sean3810/iStock

The great thing about traveling to Europe is that you can experience some of the world's greatest art for an entirely reasonable price. With an abundance of free and low-cost museums, the world's masterpieces are yours to savor. But which do you see first? Upon arrival in Europe's capitals, most travelers head straight to the big, famous collections at the Louvre, the Prado, or the Rijksmuseum, just to name a few. But if you venture further afield, you can take a deeper dive into the world's great artists and their work in single-artist museums. Here are some of our favorites, all of which can be visited for less than $20 USD.

Museo Picasso — Málaga, Spain
Picasso never returned to his birthplace due to Francisco Franco's dictatorship, but his family fulfilled his desire to have portions of his work return home. The collection spans 80-plus years and is a thematic snapshot of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. 9 Euros for combined ticket (permanent collection + temporary exhibition). Free on Sundays between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Magritte Museum — Brussels, Belgium
Known as one of the world's preeminent surrealist painters, René Magritte's expansive collection showcases more than 200 works in a variety of mediums and techniques. In addition to his most famous works, visitors can appreciate the breadth of his cultural impact through advertising posters, photographs, and films created by the artist. 8 Euros. Free entrance the first Wednesday afternoon of every month.

Espace Jean Tinguely – Niki de St Phalle — Fribourg, Switzerland
A former tramway depot houses an intimate collection of Jean Tinguely—an artist known for his large format, mechanically inspired sculptures that incorporate sound and movement. His wife’s multi-media works are also on display. 6 Swiss francs.

Musée Rodin — Paris, France
The Hôtel Biron, neighboring chapel and garden serve as inspiration for one of France’s most celebrated sculptors: Auguste Rodin. His late 19th century works, inspired in part by Michelangelo, include bronze, plaster and terracotta pieces as well as drawings and sketches in pen, ink and gauche that solidify the artist’s creative breadth. 9 Euros. Free entrance the first Sunday of every month.

Van Gogh Museum — Amsterdam, Netherlands
The permanent collection includes 200 paintings by Van Gogh, tracking the artist’s varied interpretations of landscapes, portraiture and still life. In addition, works from Impressionist and Post-Impressionist colleagues and inspirations are on display as well as drawings and letters that portray the complexities of one of the world’s most troubled and talented artists. 15 Euros.

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