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Best History & Culture Vacations - Anywhere

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1Rome, Lazio, Italy
Besides delicious food and delightful Italian culture, the best thing about Rome is its history. At its peak, Rome was the greatest, most powerful city and civilization in history. Today, sights such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Spanish Steps remind us of what Rome once was.
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      Rome
      With sights guaranteed to impress even the most jaded teen, the Italian capital makes for a captivating getaway. From the ghoulish bone-decorated Santa Maria della Concezione to the delicious slew of ice cream stops around the city, Rome is sure to have something unforgettable for everyone.
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      Rome
      Italian retail chains line charming medieval shopping streets in the vivacious capital. Family-run outfits still flourish and street market stands are laden with fresh fruit. Upscale fashion palaces are poised at the foot of the famed Spanish Steps, with looks fresh off the world's catwalks.
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2New York City, New York, United States
Though it is not the oldest city in America, no place has more history or culture than New York. One visit can't fit all the highlights: the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Natural History Museum and, of course, the moving site of Ground Zero.
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    • Family Fun
      New York City
      New York's many zoos, museums and landmarks make the city a perfect destination for families of all ages. Explore Times Square or take the kids to FAO Schwarz, take a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty or an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, eat lunch at Carnegie Deli or picnic in Central Park - the choices are endless.
    • Shopping
      New York City
      Perhaps the world's top shopping spot, the Big Apple hardly needs an introduction. Fifth Avenue. Madison Avenue. Soho. Times Square. The list of stellar shopping destinations and famous names is almost endless, so pack light and stock up on everything from electronics to vintage clothes while you're there.
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3Paris, Ile-de-France, France
History is as easy to come by in Paris as fresh croissants. Just strolling along the Seine is a walk through the ages. But don't miss Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur basilica, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, the once-bohemian cafes of Montparnasse, the Louvre and Orsay museums and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
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    • Family Fun
      Paris
      The City of Lights shines bright for kids of all ages. Living up to every pre-trip fantasy, Paris has a constellation of starring sights from the atmospheric Notre Dame to the elegant Eiffel Tower to thrilling Parc Asterix, DisneyLand Paris and the wonders of the Louvre. Prepare to be dazzled.
    • Romance
      Paris
      From its picturesque bridges to its outdoor cafes, no other city says romance like Paris. Stroll along the river Seine, picnic amid the flowers of the 61-acre Luxembourg Garden or toast the sunset from atop Montmartre as the City of Light sparkles below. Paris - c'est magnifique!
    • Shopping
      Paris
      The world capital of Haute Couture, Paris is a shopper's dream. Legendary addresses like Avenue Montaigne and Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore tempt the glitterati. Ancient flea markets perch at the city's hems, offering chaotic atmosphere and fascinating treasures, plus a peek into the real personality of Paris.
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4London, England, United Kingdom
Lovers of history will fall in love with London. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Buckingham and Kensington Palaces and the Tower of London are must-sees, as are the Tate and National Galleries and British Museum. Military history devotees can spend hours at the Imperial War Museum and Cabinet War Rooms.
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      London
      Offering the irresistible combination of atmosphere, history and the thrills of a vast, fast-paced city, London makes a majestic destination. From the ghoulish Tower of London and the pomp of Buckingham Palace to the buzz of a big wheel, the London Eye, this is a city that will have you in a spin.
    • Shopping
      London
      One of the world's top shopping cities, there's really nothing that you can't buy in London. Big name stores line Oxford and Regent Streets. Luxury items abound in upmarket Knightsbridge. For a distinctive London spree, head north to Camden Market and wander among stands of clothing, crafts and bric-a-brac.
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5Athens, Attica, Greece
Paradise for the history lover, Athens is filled with precious ruins of ancient Greek civilization. The most famous sights are the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Agora, the Theater of Dionysos and the National Gardens, but to visit these attractions is merely to scratch the surface of what Athens has to offer.
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      Athens
      Known as a place to acquire antiques and leather goods, the Greek capital also has a famed flea market in Monastiraki. Chic neighborhood Kolonaki teems with cafes, stores and restaurants. Situated within this fashionable suburb, Tsakalof Street is among the world's most expensive shopping addresses.
    • Family Fun
      Athens
      Athens makes for a marvelous family vacation. Everyone will go away with astounding sights and experiences emblazoned in their memories; buildings the kids have only seen in cartoon form, from the Parthenon to the Acropolis looming up high. Plus towering statues, idyllic islands and stunning antiquities.
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6Cairo, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
The Egyptian capital was founded in 969 A.D. and encompasses a veritable litany of wonders. Seven thousand millennia of history has left astounding treasures on the banks of the Nile, from the Sphinx and the Pyramids to the Orthodox, 3rd-century Hanging Church and atmospheric, medieval Old Cairo.
7Bangkok, Thailand
For those willing to see and explore, a visit to Bangkok can be a fun and enriching lesson in Thai history and culture. Some key attractions include the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Temple of the Dawn, the Jim Thompson House and the two-century-old Grand Palace, featuring a majestic emerald Buddha.
8Venice, Veneto, Italy
Once one of Italy's famous and powerful city-states, Venice is one of Europe's most beautiful and historic cities. Get lost amid ancient canals and alleyways. Explore majestic Doge's Palace, the architectural flourishes of St. Mark's Basilica, the picturesque Piazza San Marco and the Naval Museum.
9Beijing, China
With a street grid laid out by Kublai Khan in the 13th century, Beijing is filled with history. Tiananmen Square contains a memorial to the Heroes of the People, the Mao Zedong Mausoleum and the spectacular Forbidden City palace. Slightly outside of town, the Ming Tombs are the burial grounds of 13 dynastic emperors.
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      Beijing
      An exploding commercial giant, Beijing abounds not just with big street markets (avoid the overpriced and touristy Silk Market and instead check out Panjiayuan, sometimes called Dirt Market), but also higher end areas like downtown's Wangfujing, a pedestrian mall flanked by two Western-style shopping centers.
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10Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel
One of the world's most ancient cities, Jerusalem's historical, cultural and religious significance is incomparable. The Israeli capital's major sites include the Old City, the Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa and Dome of the Rock.
11Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Region, Peru
The majestic ruins of the astounding "Lost Cities of the Incas," Peru's most visited site, date back to the mid 1400s. Built by the Incan Emperor Pachacuti, proud Machu Picchu perches on the Andes plateau, 7000 feet above sea level, a marvel of mortar-free limestone architecture deep in the Amazonian jungle.
12Boston, Massachusetts, United States
"The Athens of America" has an important place in American history. One can explore the city's past and present along the Freedom Trail and at Faneuil Hall, the USS Constitution, the Kennedy Library, Fenway Park, the Public Garden and the Boston Public Library, the first of its kind in the United States.
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      Boston
      From hot haute couture mecca Newbury Street to the eclectic shops of historic Faneuil Hall Market Place, Beantown has an impressive array of places to shop and splurge. Vast Copley Place teems with shoppers stocking on upscale attire, while couples go antiquing on Beacon Hill's Charles Street.
    • Family Fun
      Boston
      With its host of revolution-related sites and an eclectic range of attractions, from the Museum of Science to the Museum of Bad Art, Boston is an inspired choice for family vacations. Watery wonder is on offer at New England Aquarium and from a swan boat on Public Garden Lagoon.
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13Hong Kong, China
A rare combination of age-old tradition and a dynamic modern state, Hong Kong boasts many remarkable historical attractions. Be sure to visit the Peak Tower, the Po Lin Monastery with the largest outdoor bronze Buddha in the world, the Man Mo Temple and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
14Amsterdam, North Holland Province, The Netherlands
A trip to Amsterdam is not complete without exploring the city's rich history. No visitor should miss the Anne Frank House and its chilling story, the Royal Palace and the War Memorial at Dam Square or the world-class Rijksmuseum, with famous works from van Gogh and Rembrandt.
15Prague, Bohemia, Czech Republic
Flush with Gothic beauty and medieval charm, Prague's colorful history lives on in its gorgeous architecture and streets. Among the city's extraordinary sights are the Prague Castle, which is the largest in Europe, Saint George's Basilica, Prague City Museum, the Old Town Hall and Wenceslas Square.
16Washington DC, District of Columbia, United States
Perhaps the most political city in the world, Washington D.C.'s history has been colored by democracy, debate, scandal and progress. Visitors can relive the highs and lows of American history at the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Institution, Capitol Hill and the White House.
17Florence, Tuscany, Italy
From world-class art galleries to a world-famous cathedral to structures that have survived since the Roman age, Florence is a hotbed of history and culture. Not to be missed are the Uffizi Gallery, with Italy's greatest collection of Renaissance artwork, and the Duomo, the spectacular Florentine church.
18Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Since Cartier landed in Montreal in 1535, it has evolved from a small village into a major world metropolis. Trace its development from the days of Champlain as you walk through Old Montreal's Parisian-style streets, explore the Botanical Gardens and visit the renowned Notre-Dame Basilica.
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    • Romance
      Montreal
      With its European ambiance, Quebecois joie de vivre and its elegant architecture, Montreal is ideal for romantic escapes. Intimate bistros, perfect for tête-à-têtes, nestle on cobblestone streets. Patio tables give views of Montrealers strolling their streets. A thrilling slew of hot hotels and nightlife make for exciting nights.
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      Montreal
      Shoppers of all budgets can find a lot to love in Montreal, from the Marché Jean-Talon farmers market to the mid-range trendy shops and department stores along rue Ste-Catherine, to the more cutting edge fashions of rues St-Denis and St-Laurent, to the high end luxury boutiques on rue Sherbrooke.
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19Berlin, Germany
Divided and triumphantly reunited, Berlin may have been the world's most interesting city over the past 50 years, but that makes up only a fraction of its storied past. History lovers should not miss the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, the Brandeburg Gate and the Potsdamer Platz.
20Singapore, Singapore
Tourists have shown an increased interest in the past, so Singapore has restored much of its Chinatown district, including the Thian Hock Keng temple, with its impressive warrior door gods and the city's oldest Hindu national monument. The Kranji War Memorial is a tribute to the casualties of the Second World War.
21San Francisco, California, United States
The Golden Gate Bridge is just one sight among many in the historic maritime city of San Francisco. Visit Alcatraz, explore Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf, ride a cable car to the Cable Car Museum and discover the city's Spanish roots at Mission Dolores and Asian influence in Chinatown.
22San Juan, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
The capital city of Puerto Rico and by some measures the oldest city in the United States, San Juan was established nearly five centuries ago by Spanish settlers. Old San Juan continues the tradition of the colonial town, where the historic fort of El Morro and mansion of La Fortaleza still stand.
23Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
There are few better places to discover Ireland's rich history than Dublin. From Dublin Castle to St. Patrick's Cathedral to the James Joyce Cultural Centre to the Guinness Storehouse, the city has a range of historical attractions that date from medieval times to the modern day.
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      Dublin
      Friendly, frenetic Dublin is a perfect destination for the family. Ride the Viking Splash Tour, visit Dublin Zoo, feed ducks in Stephen's Green, picnic in Phoenix Park and visit the Ark, a children's cultural center in Temple Bar. After tiring the kids out, relax with a well-earned Guinness in the evening.
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24Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Home to indigenous people for tens of thousands of years, Sydney's European history began when Captain Cook laid eyes on Botany Bay in 1770. The discovery of gold in 1851 led to massive growth and Sydney has blossomed into a thrilling, glittering, modern city with world-class arts and culture institutions.
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    • Beaches & Sun
      Sydney
      With dozens of stunning ocean beaches within half an hour of downtown, there are few better urban beach destinations than Sydney. Famed Bondi Beach sees up to 40,000 on busy weekends. If quieter beaches appeal, take the coastal walk past smaller strands all the way to Coogee's calmer sands.
    • Shopping
      Sydney
      Boisterous Sydney offers every kind of shopping for visitors, with the heart of the action centred on the tourist-thronged Rocks district and along George and Pitt Streets. A distinctive Sydney shopping experience can be had at the Queen Victoria Building, where 200 boutiques compete for attention.
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25Buenos Aires, Capital Federal District, Argentina
Buenos Aires' European heritage is evident in its architecture, boulevards and parks. Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the city's tycoons and presidents, as well as still-beloved first lady Eva Peron. Cafe Tortoni, the city's oldest bar, will transport you back to 1858, and the spectacular Teatro Colon impresses just as it did in 1908.
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      Buenos Aires
      Latin America's shopping capital offers exciting experiences along its grand, wide boulevards. Galleria Pacifico and Patio Bullrich are upmarket malls, crammed with Argentine fashions. You'll find fabulous shoes, bags and other items for appealing prices throughout the city, known for its leather goods.
    • Romance
      Buenos Aires
      The birthplace of the sensual tango is an incredibly romantic city to sashay to. Atmospheric old neighborhoods present captivating corners and enticing restaurants to linger in. Restaurants and nightlife options are appealingly priced, making it even easier to enjoy any number of romantic meals out.
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26Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver's immigrant history takes off from 1824, with the arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company. But indigenous tribes have lived here on the Pacific hem for 8000 years and their rich culture is beautifully presented at the Museum of Anthropology. The stunning city has a lively arts scene and a flourishing festival calendar.
27New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Claimed, bought and sold by the French, Spanish, Haitians and Americans, the resulting melange of cultural identities give the Crescent City its distinct flavors. New Orleans' irrepressible spirit can best be experienced during February's exuberant Mardi Gras celebrations, festivals and Cajun, Zydeco and jazz music.
28Tulum, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Although it has its share of coastline, Tulum offers a taste of the Yucatan that is different from the touristy beach resorts at Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Here visitors find the startlingly well-preserved remains of ancient Mayan civilization, the only preserved ruins on the sea.
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    • Spa
      Tulum
      Traditional Maya spas have become yet another reason to visit ruin-rich Tulum. Today's spas offer Westernized takes on the mystical, spiritual Maya massage rituals. Acclaimed Yucatan health haven Maya Tulum offers the blissful combination of palapa rooms on a sandy spit and soothing holistic treatments.
    • Beaches & Sun
      Tulum
      Nature, sun and history unite at Tulum's sugar-white beaches, which are calmly lapped by the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea. Maya ruins, tropical forest and affordable hotels are an easy amble from the sands, making this Yucatan beauty a hit with those seeking relaxation and spiritual retreats.
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29Dominican Republic, Caribbean
The New World starts here: The first cathedral, university and hospital in the Americas opened in Santo Domingo, on the Dominican Republic's south-central coast. Numerous city sights pay tribute to the isle's rich history, including the Castle of Columbus and the museums of the Cultural Plaza.
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      Dominican Republic
      Experience the Caribbean and get back to nature in the Dominican Republic. Families can swim with sea lions, dolphins--or sharks for the truly adventurous--at Ocean World, or go into the tropical island jungle on a Jeep safari.
    • Beaches & Sun
      Dominican Republic
      Distinguished by long stretches of glowing white sand and gorgeous blue water, Dominican beaches rank among the best in the world. From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana to Barahona, these beaches cater to bar lovers, sunbathers, jet skiers and scuba divers.
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30Istanbul, Turkey
Thousands of years of history have made Istanbul a repository of European and Asian culture. Empires are layered upon each other in the Old City of Sultanahmet, from early Greek civilization through ancient Rome and the Ottoman Empire, which left its mark in domes and minarets.
31Madrid, Spain
Madrid boasts some of the finest art collections in the world, but the city also has plenty of interesting historic attractions. The Royal Palace, the Convent of the Royal Barefoot Nuns, the Museo Naval and Puerta Del Sol trace Spanish history from the empire Francisco Franco's reign to the modern day.
32Jamaica, Caribbean
Island heritage overflows in Jamaica, from the former seaside banana capital of Port Antonio to reggae legend Bob Marley's former Kingston home. Even natural attractions come with cool history: The age of stalagmite-filled Green Grotto Cave at Runaway Bay is estimated at 500,000 years.
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    • Family Fun
      Jamaica
      Whether petting crocodiles, feeding hummingbirds or bobbing down the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft as calypso bands play bankside, families can have a wonderfully wild time in laid-back Jamaica. Adventurous souls can hike by waterfalls and coffee plantations, clamber up Dunn's River Falls, or splash and sun on glistening beaches.
    • Romance
      Jamaica
      Looking for a destination where the two of you can tempt each other without the distractions of tours, tourist traps and too many other travelers? Couples can enjoy long stretches of beautiful beaches and waterfalls, joyous rhythms of reggae and the natural beauty of a tropical island.
    • Beaches & Sun
      Jamaica
      Blessed with miles of stunning natural coastline, Jamaica is a paradise for beach-lovers. Among the island's best offerings are Negril's Seven Mile Beach--rife with great snorkeling and diving, Treasure Beach on the South Coast and Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, which has sand that looks like sugar.
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33Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, United States
History lovers will find much more to Honolulu than the beaches at Waikiki. Visitors should not miss Pearl Harbor and the accompanying USS Arizona Memorial. Those interested in the story of the islands will enjoy the displays of Polynesian artifacts at the Bishop Museum.
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    • Romance
      Honolulu
      Honolulu is the perfect base for enjoying everything Hawaii has to offer. Stroll or sunbathe on white-and beaches, climb a volcanic crater, surf the best waves, hold hands and watch the sun dip below the horizon or enjoy romantic candlelit dining and live entertainment.
    • Family Fun
      Honolulu
      Honolulu has more than history and tropical beaches. The entire family can delight in the astounding views from the short hike to Diamond Head crater, splash about in any of the water parks, investigate Hawaiian marine life in nature reserves and aquariums and indulge wonder in the many kid-friendly museums.
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34San Antonio, Texas, United States
Don't leave San Antonio without learning about its fascinating evolution. Trace its history from the small artisan neighborhood of La Villita to Davy Crockett's last stand against Santa Anna at the Alamo to the vibrant community that lines the city's famous Riverwalk today.
35Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Charming Quebec City, the only fortified city north of Mexico, turned 400 in 2008. Once the heart of New France and a crucial fur trading post, today Quebec City's proud culture and ambiance are best experienced by strolling its narrow streets, exploring the Citadel and in the fine museums and galleries.
36Barbados, Caribbean
Jacobean and Georgian buildings built from pink and white coral, Gothic churches and pirate castles with ornate ceilings dot the Barbados landscape. Two of the must-see buildings are stately St. Nicholas Abbey in St. Peter and the sugar plantation Drax Hall in St. George, both dating to the 1650s.
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    • Beaches & Sun
      Barbados
      Turquoise waters, fine and soft sands and picturesque rows of palm trees make the beaches of Barbados a true pleasure. Stick to the south and southwest coasts for calm waters and good swimming; for a surfing thrill, don't miss the massive, competition-caliber waves off the south and east coasts.
    • Romance
      Barbados
      Romance is in the air on this lush West Indian island in the Caribbean. Your getaway to Barbados can include a lazy day on the beach, afternoon tea-British style, listening to the pulsating sounds of reggae or calypso, sipping rum and chilling out under a star-studded Bajan sky.
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37Bali, Indonesia
Inhabited since prehistoric times, an influx of Indians in the 1st century gave the island its predominantly Hindi culture. Bali's exotic and distinct Indian-influenced culture can be experienced during dance performances, near daily festivals or by visiting its horde of centuries old temples.
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    • Romance
      Bali
      A romantic paradise awaits you on the Indonesian island of Bali. From inviting beaches, terraced rice-fields and lush green highlands to a spiritual Hindu culture and village traditions that have remained unchanged over the centuries, not to mention fabulous resort hotels - this is a mystical experience to last a lifetime.
    • Beaches & Sun
      Bali
      With some of the best waves in the world and reliably great weather, Bali is a surfing paradise. Beach lovers can take their pick from a wide array of choices from crowded to deserted, with white sand or black.
    • Adventure
      Bali
      Take in the lush, volcanically active landscape of Bali while whitewater rafting on the Ayung and Unda rivers. Or get the heart pumping off-shore with an ocean-rafting sightseeing and snorkeling tour in boats that reach 44 miles per hour. Surfers hit the island's western side for big-time swells.
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38Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The state of Victoria has a proud and fascinating history, reminders of which remain on display in lovely, laid-back Melbourne. Wealth from the gold rush has left a legacy of fine architecture, parks adorn every area of the city and innovative museums like the Melbourne Museum and the Melbourne Gaol captivate all comers.
39Vienna, Austria
From Maria Theresa to Franz Ferdinand and from fragmented state to world empire, Austria has a history of compelling royalty and influential statecraft. One can find much of this in Vienna's many historical attractions, including the Schonbrunn Palace, the Imperial Palace and the State Opera House.
40Mexico City, Central Mexico and Gulf Coast, Mexico
A breathtaking array of historic sites beckons visitors, from the ruins of Aztec capital Tenochtitlan to the Great Pyramids of Teotihuacan. The city's broad, leafy streets are lined with monuments and museums. Day trips reach the floating gardens of Xochimilco, colonial Coyoacan and Tula's gargantuan statues.
41Shanghai, China
Shanghai's Pudong district looms on the Huangpu's east bank, a soaring, futuristic marvel of a modern city. On the west bank, atmospheric Puxi boasts sights such as the waterfront Bund, with its colonial buildings, and the French Concession, with its bustling, leafy streets and lovely Art Deco architecture.
42Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Kanto, Japan
Tokyo can't be judged from the outside, since those expecting ancient monuments will instead be greeted with modern drabness. The Imperial Palace, still home to the Emperor, shouldn't be missed, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum details the city's history. Sensoji Temple is the city's oldest, and the Tokyo National Museum holds the largest collection of Japanese art in the world.
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    • Shopping
      Tokyo
      Shopping amidst Tokyo's infinite options can be dizzying, so knowing the neighborhoods is crucial: Go to Ginza for upscale boutiques and department stores, Akihabara for electronics, Omotesando and Aoyama for high-end fashion, Harajuku and Shibuya for young trendy clothing, and Kanda for bookstores.
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43New Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India
Capital of India since 1911, New Delhi's stately modern architecture sets a sometimes startling contrast to the twisting streets of Old Delhi. Sites of historical importance abound, from the home where Gandhi lived and died to the complex of Mughal buildings that comprise the tomb of Humayun.
44Nile River Valley, Egypt
The banks of the Nile groan with almost unimaginable wonders. Often called the world's largest open-air museum, the fertile Nile River Valley is home to legendary sites such as the temples at Karnak, the of tombs of the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel's vast rock temples and mighty Luxor Temple.
45Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India
Once simply a scatter of island fishing villages, today chaotic Mumbai is India's largest city - and one of stark contrasts. The British swaggered in, in 1665, and ruled until 1947. The birthplace of Indian cinema, a slew of film festivals light up Mumbai's myriad cinema screens during the year.
46Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Kinki, Japan
Kyoto was spared from WWII air raids and atomic bombing on account of its outstanding beauty. Only Rome has more designated World Heritage Sites than the former Japanese capital. Old Kyoto's alleys of traditional narrow houses, known as "houses for eels", fill historic geisha quarter Gion Corner.
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    • Romance
      Kyoto
      Regardless of season, it's hard not to succumb to romance as you wander Kyoto's atmospheric streets, gazing at the glimmering Kinkaju Pavilion and its lotus ponds and feasting at restaurants over the River Kamo. Glimpse a geisha disappearing down a narrow alley in Old Kyoto as lanterns bob in traditional house doorways.
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47Lima, Lima Region, Peru
Founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, the colorful City of Kings' Historical Center area offers an array of fascinating neighborhoods, elegant cathedrals, opulent palaces and stately colonial architecture. A flotilla of captivating festivals showcases the country's rich Spanish and Inca culture.
48Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Scotland has just as much history as one would expect from a country that has existed since the Stone Age, and Edinburgh is at the center of it all. History lovers enjoy world-famous Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, Real Mary King's Close and the Museum of Scotland.
49Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Founded in 1541, Santiago was built on a typical colonial grid pattern. The city became capital of the republic in 1818 and modernization hit in the 1930s. Now, Santiago is one of the most modern conurbations in Latin America - and one with an amazing abundance of museums and two symphony orchestras.
50Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
European, Polynesian, Asian and strong Maori heritages give the City of Sails its distinctive culture. Discover the history of the world's largest Polynesian city through the horde of Maori treasures at Auckland Museum and experience the lives of 19th-century settlers at Howick Historical Village.
51Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Kinki, Japan
The cultural and political center of Japan in the 5th century and beyond, this performing arts hub is a perfect base for exploring Western Japan. The shrines and temples of Kyoto, Nara and Koya-san are within easy day trip distance and the city itself offers fascinating sites, including Osaka Castle.
52Christchurch, Canterbury Region, South Island, New Zealand
Maori hunters first settled in the Christchurch area in 1000. Called the ""Land of the long white cloud"" by its indigenous people, opportunities abound to take part in bone carving and jewelry-making workshops, traditional hangi dinners and Maori concerts. A cultural precinct offers museums and artisan stands.
53Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Vibrant Toronto has a dazzling array of arts and culture venues; more than 200 theater companies tread the city's boards; big name and alternative museums and galleries abound; orchestras and bands thrive in the spirited city; and a seemingly infinite number of festivals confetti the calendar.
54Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Once the center of a mighty empire, the world's largest city and the gateway to the Silk Road, today the Shanxi provincial capital offers intriguing glimpses into its glorious past with sights such as its 7000 terracotta Qin Bingmayong Bowuguan warriors and soldiers and the Tang palace walls.
55Fes, Fes-Boulemane Region, Morocco
Idris the 1st founded Morocco's fourth largest city in 789. The maze-like Medina, Fez' medieval walled city, is exceptionally well preserved and a wonderful place to absorb the captivating atmosphere of this crowded, scintillating city, home to striking examples of ancient Islamic architecture.
56Wellington, Greater Wellington, North Island, New Zealand
First discovered by Polynesian explorers, Maori people have inhabited the area around New Zealand's capital since the 1100s. Their fascinating and eventful history is showcased at city museums. European arrivals founded the planned town in 1840, and it swiftly became a major port, vibrant city and center of culture.
57Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
There is evidence of over two millennia of habitation in Kolkata, the former British colonial foothold on the marshy Ganges and Brahmaputra deltas. The captivating former capital boasts a plethora of ornate, architecturally diverse buildings, lively festivals and a vibrant artistic community.
58Bhutan
Remote Bhutan first allowed the world a peek inside in 1974. With four millennia of habitation, the Himalayan kingdom offers a trove of archaeological treasures, including many ornate temples and dzong fortresses. Isolation has preserved the heavily Buddhist-influenced culture of the last Shangri-La.
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    • Adventure
      Bhutan
      Pristine, remote Bhutan teems with turbulent mountain torrents and broad rivers that glide slowly past medieval monasteries, hilltop fortresses and terraced fields. Kayak or raft through this Himalayan wonderland or give your legs the workout and mountain bike through profusions of flowers on ancient mule trails.
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59Nepal
The near otherworldly Himalayan kingdom of Nepal can trace its history back to the 7th century and the arrival of Kirati sheepherders. Today, misty temples perch on rugged ridges, monasteries peer over deep valleys, faded by centuries, and Kathmandu's Old City brims with ancient Buddhist temples and ornate palaces.
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    • Adventure
      Nepal
      When it comes to mountain climbing, Nepal is the big one, but the home of the world's highest peak has got a lot more to offer than mighty Everest and its neighboring summits. The Himalayan kingdom also offers excitements such as the stunning Annapurna trek, wildlife jungle safaris, rafting and paragliding.
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60Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil
Brazil's capital was constructed between 1956 and 1960 on tropical savannah. It's a gem of modernist urban planning with stunning, world-renowned architecture sights. Cosmopolitan Brasilia celebrates a slew of festivals and is home to the National Museum and National Library of the Republic.