One of the chief pleasures that lies in a visit to Europe is undoubtedly the opportunity to visit the region’s genuinely incredible museums. Whether you’re sojourning through the streets of Florence on a lovely spring day or simply settling into Paris with a café au lait and a croissant, these are just a few of the best museums to visit on your next European vacation.

Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece

Featuring over 4000 archaeological finds from around the Athenian Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum is a vital stop on any European museum tour because it shows where Western art started in earnest. The formal beauty of Grecian architecture and statuary would influence everything from the city planning of the Roman Empire to Michelangelo’s “David.” In Western artistic terms, this is where it all began.

The Louvre, Paris, France

It is almost a cliché to say that the Louvre is the greatest museum in the world. But the more than 380,000 objects in the Louvre’s collection speak volumes about the museum’s importance: If you are only able to visit one museum in Europe, the Louvre has to be it. After all, this is the home of the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci, the “Liberty Leading the People” by Delacroix, and the Venus de Milo. It doesn’t get better than this.

Accademia Gallery, Florence, Italy

Florence is full of incredible museums; however, no trip to Italy is complete without contemplation of Michelangelo’s “David” statue at the Accademia Gallery. Tucked away in one of the most beautiful parts of the city, the Accademia has been the home of “David” since the 19th Century. The nearby Uffizi Gallery is also an essential visit on a Florentine vacation.

The British Museum, London, England

One of the most stunning and historical-artistic sanctuaries in Europe, the British Museum has been an inspiration to artists, writers, and philosophers for generations. The poet John Keats has written his “Ode to a Grecian Urn” after seeing a piece in the museum’s holdings; Percy Shelley is said to have written his famous poem “Ozymandias” after seeing an Egyptian statue of Rameses II there in the early 19th Century. If the British Museum can inspire the leading lights of the Romantic Poetry movement, it can inspire travelers today!