TOP 10: ART GALLERIES

MAXXI, ROME

MAXXI, Rome

The MAXXI Art and MAXXI Architecture Collections are housed in the spectacularly ultra-modern MAXXI building, designed by architect Zaha Hadid - known for her fantastical designs. From the outside, Hadid's design is dramatic, wild and theatrical; inside the design is complex and intricate - she uses walls to create, what she calls, streams: the big streams are galleries, and the smaller streams are the connections and bridges.

MAXXI exists to promote 21st-Century art and architecture, although the stunning building has come under scrutiny by critics claiming it is no good for showing art. SPAZIO, the first exhibition showcasing art and architecture from the MAXXI Collections, includes work from such artists as Alighiero Boetti, Anish Kapoor and William Kentridge, with site-specific installations by 10 international architecture studios.

WALKER ART CENTRE, MINNEAPOLIS

Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis

Hailed as "Possibly America's best contemporary art museum" by Newsweek, the Walker Art Centre has become an icon. The museum in Minneapolis, founded in 1879, has grown from a small, local gallery to a world-renowned institution. The award-winning building, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1971, was expanded in 1984, and a 17-acre urban campus - designed by esteemed architects Herzog & de Meuron - was opened in 2005.

Across from the Centre is the acclaimed Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The park features Standing Glass Fish, by Frank Gehry; Siah Armajani 's Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, a 375-foot-long footbridge which spans 16 lanes of traffic and connects the Garden to Loring Park; and the park's centrepiece, a 29-foot high Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture, designed by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, which doubles up as a fountain.

The Sculpture Garden is open daily, throughout the year

ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO

Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) was recently re-imagined by star architect Frank Gehry, who used great expanses of glass to flood the building with natural light. Highlights of the design include the Walker Court spiral staircase, the Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art and the 600-foot-long Galleria Italia sculpture promenade.

The AGO holds more than 73,000 permanent works of art and hosts an array of installations and exhibitions, including the forthcoming Henry Moore organised by Tate Britain in collaboration with AGO. The exhibition - on view from September in the AGO's Henry Moore Sculpture Centre - focuses on the artist's experimental work in the 1920s and 30s.

SFMOMA, SAN FRANCISCO

SFMOMA, San Francisco

Internationally recognised as one of the leading modern and contemporary art galleries in the world, SFMOMA is iconic in both its architecture and its concept. The building, designed by Mario Botta in 1995, features a stepped brick façade topped with a black and white stone patterned turret, instantly recognisable on the cityscape. A Mark Jensen-designed rooftop, from which you can see the landscape of the city, was opened last year and architecture firm Snøhetta has just been selected to design an expansion of the museum.

SFMOMA presents important examples of Modernism through a range of works including photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts. Currently showing at SFMOMA is Calder to Warhol, an exhibition showcasing works from the collection of Gap founders Doris and Donald Fisher Collection featuring works by Alexander Calder, Anselm Kiefer, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, to name but a few.

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao

Perhaps one of Frank Gehry's most important buildings is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Opened in 1997, it quickly became an icon in northern Spain - the titanium, glass, and limestone structure is a spectacular sight. This much-talked about - architect Philip Johnson once hailed it as "the greatest building of our time" - museum has Gehry's signature curvaceous, sculptural style and is a favourite of many architecture buffs around the world.

Alongside the superb permanent collections held at the museum, Guggenheim Bilbao Anish Kapoor - which opened at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last year - is one of the popular exhibitions currently showing. The exhibition celebrates the work of Kapoor - each gallery is devoted to one series or one installation.

PALAIS DE TOKYO, PARIS

Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Palais de Tokyo is a vibrant art centre, housing a restaurant, a shop and a bookshop. Nomiya - the pop up restaurant perched on the rooftop of the building, an intimate space designed by Laurent Grasso - is worth visiting for its architecture.

The gallery showcases work from young and emerging artists, offering - in some cases - their first solo shows. Currently showing is Dynasty, one exhibition in two locations. The collaboration between Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC and the Palais de Tokyo allows 40 artists to display a work in each of the two venues.

HAUSER & WIRTH ZÜRICH

Hauser & Wirth, Zürich

Contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth will be moving from its current location in the converted Löwenbräu brewery to temporary exhibition spaces at new art centre Hubertus Exhibitions, while the Löwenbräu building goes under major renovations. Founded in 1992 by Ursula Hauser, Manuela Wirth and Iwan Wirth, Hauser & Wirth Zürich has become a leading contemporary art gallery.

The gallery represents the estates of Eva Hesse, Allan Kaprow, Lee Lozano, Jason Rhoades and André Thomkins, as well as the Henry Moore Family Collection, but also represents new and emerging artists. On show at the new location will be a show of paintings and new sculptures by Subodh Gupta, opening 25 September.

HAUNCH OF VENISON, BERLIN

Haunch of Venison, Berlin

Haunch of Venison - founded in 2002 by Harry Blain and Graham Southern - has gallery spaces in London, Berlin and New York. The gallery is more of a project space and exhibits work from both internationally renowned and emerging artists.

'Have You Ever Really Looked at the Sun?' is a collaboration between friends - Turner Prize winner Damien Hirst and American artist Michael Joo. The exhibition will feature new sculptures and installations as well as paintings and sculptures from Hirst and Joo.

NETHERLANDS MEDIA ART INSTITUTE, AMSTERDAM

Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam

The Netherlands Media Art Institute presents artwork from artists who use video, film, internet and other technological media. The institute presents four exhibitions per year, having showcased work from the likes of internationally acclaimed artist Marina Abramović as well as rising stars.

The exhibition 'witty, lo-fi works with knotty thoughts', currently on show at NIMK, shows works by Mounira Al Solh, Keren Cytter, Shana Moulton, Ola Vasiljeva, Emily Wardill and Nina Yuen. NIMK shows these works next to one another so that similarities on how each artist has used humour in combination with tragedy can be drawn.

WHITECHAPEL GALLERY, LONDON

Whitechapel Gallery, London

Since it was founded in 1901, Whitechapel Gallery has played a role in the capital's cultural landscape and has helped East London become one of the most vibrant art spots in the world. The Grade II listed building, designed by architect Charles Harrison Townsend, recently underwent an expansion lead by Robbrecht en Daem Architecten and London-based firm Witherford Watson Mann, and a large design team.

Keeping it Real examines the relation between art and reality; it is part of the gallery's programme which introduces important public and private art collections to wider audiences. The exhibition will be shown in four parts, the first, The Corporeal, runs until September.