5 holiday ideas for art and architecture lovers

A holiday that allows you to immerse yourself in art, architecture and culture is a great way to spend time with people who are as interested in the arts as you.

By Saga team

Published 5 May 2024

Guggenheim Bilbao, museum modern art, Spain

We look at the holidays that can inject a little beauty into your trip and allow you to wander in the footsteps of some of the greatest artists and architects in the world.

Cruise the winding Nile and marvel at the awe-inspiring archaeology of ancient Egypt and Egypt’s most stunning sights, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Abu Simbel, the Temples of Karnak and Luxor and Valleys of the Kings and Queens.

Start in Cairo where you can immerse yourself in Egyptian culture and enjoy all this vibrant city has to offer, or enjoy a gentle cruise along the Nile to take in the many sights of this magnificent landscape.

Feel the dry desert breeze from the Sahara and contemplate 5,000 years of human history in the magical land of the pharaohs.

The home of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Dante, Italy was the centre from which the Renaissance emanated. Art, literature and music flourished here, so it’s the perfect place to holiday. See the Uffizi and Accademia galleries in the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence or step inside the legacy of the Roman Empire, its architecture, history and art, in Rome, before witnessing the Vatican City and its murals. Whatever your interest in art and culture, Italy is bound to satisfy.

Saga's Grand Tour of Italy serves up every flavour of Italian culture. Wander the streets of Venice under your own steam, perhaps take a gondola ride or visit the Doge's Palace. Visit the enchanting city of Florence, and go back in time 3,000 years to the Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum in Rome.

Bilbao in northern Spain is home to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a striking building designed by Frank Gehry and completed in 1997. It’s one of the largest museums in Spain - and one of the most famous galleries in the world. Discover over 250 pieces of modern and contemporary art, with fine examples from contemporary artists such as Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor.

Looking for a taste of more traditional art? The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum is just a 15 minute walk from the Guggenheim. It’s one of the richest Spanish museums outside Madrid and includes work by prominent artists such as El Greco, Goya and Van Dyck, as well as more recent artists including works by Francis Bacon, Paul Gauguin, Peter Blake and Gustave Doré.

On Saga's San Sebastian and Bilbao holiday you can visit these fabulous galleries and also take a guided tour of Gernika, whose attack in 1937 inspired Picasso's most famous work.

Lavish, colourful and expressive India wears its art on its sleeve, from the kaleidoscopic saris worn by women, to the semi-precious stones winking in the sunlight on the walls of the country’s temples.

India embraces art down to its roots, making it a great cultural holiday location. In Delhi you will be able to see the Mughal influence of its rulers in the many forts and palaces found in the Golden Triangle.

Agra boasts the most famous of all Indian landmarks, the Taj Mahal, with its eerie symmetry and its dark yet romantic history. Take the time on your holidays to look at the delicate borders and artwork carved into the marble and learn more about the Taj Mahal was constructed.

With its dazzling breadth of experiences and deep spirituality, India never fails to delight the senses and uplift the soul. Find out about our holidays to India here.

New York is a must-visit location for anyone wanting to admire the city’s famous architectural landmarks, including the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and, of course, the Empire State Building. It’s also home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world, housing some of the finest artworks.

Go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the Met – for one of the largest collections of art in the world, from ancient sculptures to contemporary art, as well as fine collections of paintings, photography and prints.

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