Art capitals of the world

VistaJet research reveals the art capitals of the world, discovering the most influential art cities across the globe.

Here at VistaJet we have always shared a passion for art with our Members, providing passengers with even more opportunities to engage with unique art experiences in many of the world’s most admired and intriguing locations, whether on a single or multi-stop trip.

In 2021, over $17 billion worth of artwork was sold globally, and with the art market evolving we delve further into the art capitals of the world.

With the majority of VistaJet Members being avid collectors who support the growth of the arts through donations and patronage (80%), we researched prominent art galleries, museums, and fairs around the globe to gauge which deserve to be on your artistic world tour.

The top 10 art capitals of the world

To determine the cities that pave the way for artistic expression, we have analysed data on the total number of prestigious art events that take place worldwide, considering the number of art galleries, dedicated art fairs and museums that cater to the world’s art lovers.

Combined, this data has created a definitive ranking of the world’s top 10 cities of art, to help guide travelers when planning their next creative getaway.


The top 10 art capitals of the world are:

  1. New York (654)
  2. London (338)
  3. Paris (272)
  4. Los Angeles (221)
  5. Miami (155)
  6. Seoul (127)
  7. San Francisco (104)
  8. Berlin (101)
  9. Brussels (95)
  10. Hong Kong (83)

The U.S. dominates with New York sitting top with 654 points, while Los Angeles (221 points), Miami (155 points) and San Francisco (104 points) all rank within the top 10.

Europe shouldn’t be left off any art lover’s travel itinerary however, with major European cities London (338 points) and Paris (272 points) making up the top three, while Berlin (101 points) and Brussels (95 points) also rank eighth and ninth respectively.

South Korea’s capital Seoul is crowned the art capital of Asia with 127 points, while the emerging art city of Hong Kong (83) rounds off the top 10.

Delving into the most influential art cities of the world

New York

New York is the art capital of the world, boasting 654 art events to visit this year, nearly double London which is ranked second. The Big Apple hosts over 500 art galleries with an impressive average gallery Google Rating of 4.6.

The city has just under 100 art museums to visit, plus 12 art fairs that showcase talent throughout the year – including the recent Frieze New York fair. This was the first Frieze event in the 2022 calendar that VistaJet Members enjoyed VIP access to, including the first viewing room in the sky accessible only on VistaJet flights.

New York also dominates the world’s art auctions with a turnover of $5.27 billion in 2021, with the leading auction houses Sotheby's and Christie’s generating half of theirs in New York alone. Combined they sold nine out of ten of the most expensive 2021 artworks with each piece being valued over $60 million.


London is Europe’s art capital with an impressive total of 338 art events throughout the year. 305 art galleries, including the famous Tate Modern, have an average Google Rating of 4.56 while the 25 art museums in London have a slightly higher rating of 4.59.

Frieze London and Frieze Masters will be part of the eight art fairs in London in 2022, from 12-16 October in Regent’s Park, bringing together over 280 galleries from 42 different countries.

London is another popular destination among art collectors, with an auction turnover of $1.91 billion, selling over 26,000 art pieces in 2021 with Wassily Kandinsky’s Tensions calmées (1937) painting going for $29.37 million.


Paris has always had a reputation for being a ‘City of Art’ and our findings show no difference. A total of 272 events ranks them as the third art capital of the world.

The city has 229 art galleries to see plus 39 art museums, including the world-famous Louvre. The art galleries of the beautiful French capital have an average Google Rating of 4.51 while the museums average 4.54.

France sold more than 91,000 pieces of art in 2021, double its immediate neighbor Germany. Auction houses drive the French market, particularly the strong activities of Christie’s and Sotheby's in Paris.

Picasso best-selling artist

Pablo Picasso, one of the most successful artists in history, was the best-selling artist in 2021 in all price ranges. Across the year, there were a remarkable 3,462 pieces which had a turnover of over $671 million. His work alone accounts for nearly 4% of artwork turnover in 2021.

Picasso’s Femme Assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse) (1932) was the highest selling piece of art in 2021, going for $103.4 million at Christie’s in New York on May 13th, 2021. Picasso is a favourite among the HNW collectors with 52 pieces selling for over $10million last year.

VistaJet’s Private World gives clients the opportunity to explore the life and work of one of the greatest of all time. Beyond Picasso, with Ariodante, is a bespoke three-week trip across France and Spain to discover the life of Picasso exclusively through world-class museums, private collections and those who were closest to him – including his family.


  • Number of art galleries and museums calculated from Artsy.net
  • Number of art fairs calculated from Artnet.com
  • 2021 art market and auction houses statistics from Artprice.com
  • HNW collectors survey data from The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report
  • Google Ratings show an average of the ratings listed for galleries and museums for each specific area in Google Maps (out of a maximum of five).

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