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Tour de museums

To discover world history, art and culture, visit some of the best museums across the globe.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2011 02:31 IST

If you are interested in history, art, architecture or religion, a tour to destinations known for their museums is a must. With that in mind, online travel adviser Cheapflights (www.cheapflights.com) offers some of the best museum destinations.

1 Cairo, Egypt
It goes without saying that if you’re heading to museums in Cairo, you’re into history. And you’ll get plenty of it at the renowned Egyptian Antiquities Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection of Egyptian antiquities. The most popular exhibit is the Tutankhamen collection, but be sure to make time for the Mummy Room. Other museums are lesser known, but stand out nonetheless. The Egyptian Ethnological Museum beautifully details daily Cairo life through the city’s history.

2 Barcelona, Spain
It’s almost unfair how much amazing art is housed in Barcelona’s museums — the works of Picasso and Mir. Any trip to Barcelona requires paying homage to the strange architectural genius of Antoni Gaudi. Start with La Pedrera. One part apartment building, one part Gaudi museum, La Pedrera is a good primer on the naturalistic forms he preferred. Finish with La Sagrada Familia. Speaking of paying tribute to offbeat Spanish geniuses, the Dali Museum in Figueres is worth the 90-minute car ride from Barcelona. The museum houses one of the largest collections of surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s work — and is a work of art itself.

3 New York, United States
Even New Yorkers who live downtown are willing to venture above 14th Street when the long haul means a visit to the finest mile of museums in the world. Along Fifth Avenue and Central Park’s east side, ten museums are densely packed into 22 city blocks, creating the infamous Museum Mile, home to powerhouses like the Frick, the Guggenheim, and grandfather to them all, the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art contains more than 2 million works of art, from ancient sculptures to 19th century portraits.

4 Paris, France
The Mus e du Louvre is the world’s most visited art museum and The City of Light’s pride and joy. Visitors to Paris’s paragon, which houses nearly 35,000 works of art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, can spend hours, days — even weeks — exploring the beloved trove. After winding your way through the Louvre, cross the Seine to the intoxicating Mus e d'Orsay, which boasts 19th and 20th century art by impressionist masters like Monet, Van Gogh and Cezanne. Perhaps your passion lies with modern art? The Centre Pompidou — commonly referred to as the Beaubourg — is Europe’s largest modern art museum.

5 Toronto, Canada
Begin a weekend in Toronto by finding half-priced inspiration at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), a fabulous hodgepodge of thousands of artifacts. Friday nights are half off, and the museum welcomes visitors to admire its dinosaur, Indian and textile exhibits and, the magnificent Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. Pay what you can get to get in the Bata Shoe Museum, and learn all that you’ll ever need to know about the history of footwear.

6 London, England
London has every type of museum you’d expect — art, science, history — but it’s their quality that makes them stand out. Start with the Museum of London and learn about the city itself from prehistoric times to the present day. For another type of look at the city’s evolution, head over to the London Transport Museum where you’ll find vehicles and artwork representative of 200 years’ worth of London commuting. But if it’s the cutting edge of modernity that you want, look no further than the Design Museum. Located |on the River Thames, the world-class exhibits here illustrate the bravura of 20th and 21st century designers of all mediums, from fashion furniture, to graphics and architecture.