Top 31 Art Cities

Art cities are cultural centers where artists, galleries, collectors, education, and institutions meet, making them true hotspots of the art world. A common question among artists is if they have to move to a big city in order to become successful artists. And if so, what are the best cities to live and work as an artist? In this article, we discuss the importance of major art cities for artists—encompassing the main benefits and drawbacks—and where to find them.

Benefits of Living in an Art City

There are several key benefits for artists living in major art cities:

  • Access to galleries, dealers, curators, and collectors who can promote and sell your work
  • Vibrant artistic community to connect with and draw inspiration from
  • Abundant exhibition and performance opportunities to gain exposure
  • Availability of art supplies, studio space, and equipment for purchase or rent
  • Educational institutions providing quality arts instruction and networking

Of course, these myriad opportunities come with a cost—namely the higher cost of living associated with cultural hubs. Housing, studio space, and basic needs tend to be more expensive. Competition is also fierce in top art cities. However, for many, the professional and creative gains outweigh the cons.

The Top 31 Global Art Cities

Based on factors like the number of eminent galleries, contemporary artists, museums and art institutions, population, education options, and overall art scene, here are 30 vital art city hubs:

  1. New York City
  2. London
  3. Berlin
  4. Paris
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Antwerp
  8. Barcelona
  9. Basel
  10. Beijing
  11. Budapest
  12. Brussels
  13. Chicago
  14. Cologne
  15. Dubai
  16. Frankfurt
  17. Istanbul
  18. Leipzig
  19. Lisbon
  20. Madrid
  21. Milan
  22. Munich
  23. Rome
  24. São Paulo
  25. San Francisco
  26. Seoul
  27. Shanghai
  28. Tokyo
  29. Vienna
  30. Zurich
  31. Miami

From ultra-expensive cultural epicenters to more affordable up-and-coming art destinations, artists can find their ideal city match to plant roots and propel their careers. The artistic communities, abundant resources, and networking opportunities of major art hubs make them prime real estate for artists.

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