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History, Culture and Art – Cheapflights.com Realeases Its Top Museum Lover's Cities

Boston, MA – June 29, 2011 – History, art, culture…these are beckoning calls for many travelers. For those who aspire to travel the world to see the best collections of antiquities, artwork or even airplanes, Cheapflights.com, the online leader in finding and publishing travel deals, offer its Top Museum Cities Worldwide. These cities are all home to multiple museums that combine to offer a treasure trove of education, awareness and beauty, making them must-visit destinations for museum lovers.

Museums and the art, history and culture they exhibit are as varied as the locations where they reside. Below are five destinations from Cheapflights.com’s list of Top 10 Museum Cities from five different countries, each offering a very different take on the museum experience:

Washington, D.C., United States - If you’re interested in history, architecture, art, religion, aerospace, or even wax, Washington D.C. has a museum – or 12 – that will pique your interest. The 19 Smithsonian museums, including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum, may appear to eclipse other institutions in the mid-Atlantic city, but other niche museums do just fine holding their own. Spend a morning reflecting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and an early afternoon at Ford’s Theatre – where Lincoln was shot – before strolling the National Mall and other outdoor hotspots like the spectacular National Arboretum.

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 properly 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. The breathtaking spectacle is one-of-a-kind, though you’ll have to join the crowd – and turn your camera flash off. Other museums are lesser known, but standout nonetheless. The Egyptian Ethnological Museum beautifully details daily Cairo life through the city’s long history, while the Military Museum is a trip back in time to study ancient warfare in the region.

Barcelona, Spain - It’s almost unfair how much amazing art is housed in Barcelona’s museums – the works of Picasso and Miró, not to mention the largest collection of Catalan art in Spain. 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. The unfinished masterpiece church, under construction since 1882, resembles a drizzled sand castle and embodies the brilliant eye of the great Gaudi. 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.

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 featured in more than 20 exhibits. Friday nights are half off, and the museum welcomes visitors, from students to seniors, to admire its dinosaur, Indian and textile exhibits – and, of course, the magnificent Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, a spectacular entrance constructed of glass and aluminum to resemble an intricate crystal. For visitors with foot fetishes, or just a love of history, consider the Bata Shoe Museum. The downright fascinating museum is committed solely (get it?) to shoes, footwear, socks and all things feet. Pay what you can get to get in, and learn all that you’ll ever need to know about the history of footwear. The ultimate destination to celebrate Canadian art, though, is the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Housing the largest collection of Canadian art in the world, AGO underwent a $250 million-plus renovation in 2004, developed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Vatican City, Italy - Italy’s holiest of cities houses wonderfully extensive collections of the Catholic Church in some of the greatest museums in the world – the Vatican Museums. Open to the public for free on the last Sunday of each month, the museums feature works by prolific Italian artists like Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio and – of course – Michelangelo. Spend time admiring papal thrones, sculptures, and paintings before immersing yourself in the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel. Art critics today revere Michelangelo’s four-year project, including The Last Judgment, as his finest life’s work.

The next five museum destinations to round out the list include New York City, USA; Paris, France; Berlin, Germany; London, England and Vienna, Austria.