Planning a trip? If you’re like most tourists, a visit to one of the world’s great cities is a change to view artistic masterpieces in person. Here’s a list of the top seven iPhone apps for viewing the best fine art, from visitor info and high-definition image galleries to video and audio features that go in-depth to educate you on each museum’s treasured works of art.
1) Paris: The Louvre Museum
When you proudly hang art like the Mona Lisa, you’re bound to have an amazing app that offers photographic details of over 100 of your most beloved pieces. Better yet, an interior map shows where artwork is installed. Considering the vastness of this historic French landmark, it’s a handy tool when you want to go from one famous artwork to another with only minutes to spare.
2) New York City: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Multimedia tours, audio and video podcast, and detailed information about artworks and exhibitions are just part of what make the MoMA app one worth downloading. Search the tens of thousands of works in its collections, choose a playlist to create a soundtrack during your visit, or take photos through MoMA Snaps to send to a friend. It’s a picture that’s worth a thousand words, and far more creative than a postcard.
3) London: The National Gallery
Click through the best of the National Gallery in London via its app, with data accompanying over 250 artworks. High-resolution details, video, and audio are also included. For a unique twist on exploring the museum’s art, search by art “theme” instead of period, such as “hope,” “vanity,” and “fury,” each with audio commentary.
4) St. Petersburg: The Hermitage
This authoritative iPhone app guides you around the imperial rooms of the Hermitage, where you can virtually tour the palace interiors of former Russian Emperors. Find and save images you like, create your own collection of your favorite works of art, read about museum news, and learn about events and exhibitions with educational courses.
5) Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Home to a massive collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and a wide selection of Asian art, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam gives you a chance to peruse the works of Rembrandt and Vemeer in your pocket. Select your language to browse detailed photos, social media sharing on Facebook and Twitter, and save your favorite Dutch masterpieces as wallpaper on your phone.
6) Los Angeles: The Getty Museum
Zooming in on one of the 150 highlights of the Getty Museum will prove a challenge to any art lover, as “highlights” covers much of the museum itself. Choose from Impressionists and Renaissance paintings to American photography and European furniture, with high-definition images, audio commentary, and a brief discussion for each image. Go behind-the-scenes with videos of the Getty Center and Getty Villa, and explore of the life of the museum’s benefactor, J. Paul Getty.
Perfect for traveling between cities and countries, or for anyone who wants to visit more than one art museum, iMuseum searches via GPS for the nearest museums. Then it tracks and gathers content like audio, video, blogs, articles, and exhibition information. If you’re willing to explore what’s around you, try searching for a smaller art museum in your neighborhood that may surprise you.
Sara Wells is a travel writer who blogs on behalf of travel insurance brand Protect Your Bubble