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The Art-Lover's Guide to Traveling the World

Tom Marchant is the co-founder of luxury travel company and trip planner, Black Tomato, which delivers luxe experiences around the world via inspiring itineraries and access to the globe's up-and-coming, remote destinations. Marchant's finger on the pulse of travel trends and the world's best in hotels, restaurants, destinations and honeymoons is unique and incomparable–and he's sharing his expertise and curated lists of where to visit, stay, eat and more with BAZAAR.com. Here, his picks for the most exclusive and in-the-know places to imbibe in New York City.

In a world where indulging our passions has become second nature, travel has become more than just an enjoyable getaway, but a means by which to explore interests old and new. Why and where we choose to travel is a choice motivated by a number of factors, each of which varies from person to person. From history and cuisine to discovering the world's best beaches, these are motivators that come up time and again. But recently, there has been a long overdue shift to traveling for the arts.

The arts have always held a mesmeric power in their ability to shine a spotlight onto destinations and neighborhoods that, perhaps, we would not have considered otherwise. Traveling through the lens of galleries, museums, architecture, theatre and more shows another side to these destinations, as you step away from the crowds to discover a world which gives you a true flavor for a destination, its culture and its people. Here, the top 9 cities in the world to visit–if not solely for their art hubs.

Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City is an unmissable destination on the global contemporary arts circuit. 2018’s World Design Capital has much to celebrate–from internationally renowned museums to lesser known architectural landmarks. Home to the famous Barragán Houses, named after the eponymous Mexican architect, Mexico City has become a place of art-fueled pilgrimage for many.

Wandering between his home studio at Casa Luis Barragán to Casa Gilardi, Cuadra San Cristobal and onto Casa Pedregal, the might of Barragán’s influence is inescapable–but he is not the only architect making an impression on Mexico City’s cityscape. Discover the lesser known works of contemporaries such as Mathias Goeritz, Félix Candela and Mario Pani and get a sense of the emerging talent that makes a stroll around any neighborhood here one full of architectural admiration. For real insight, head to the National Autonomous University of Mexico campus, down in the south of the city, and check out the Central Library adorned in stunning murals by the late Juan O’Gorman. A certified UNESCO World Heritage Site, UNAM is an architectural showpiece that few take the time to appreciate.

Mexico City is not all about architecture, and it would be an injustice to visit the city without stopping by some of its top museums. Whilst Kurimanzutto and OMR attract the international spotlight (and quite rightly so), José Garcia is a relative newcomer doing its part to bring works of leading Mexican artists onto the world stage. Stay at Las Alcobas and rub shoulders with Mexico City’s elite in a privileged location set amid the capital’s top bars and restaurants and it’s most fashionable boutiques.

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town has always been ahead of the game when it comes to art and culture, but it’s been catapulted onto the world stage thanks to the recent opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), the largest collection of contemporary African art in the world. Located in the newly renovated Silo district, the impressive building (once a Grain Silo Complex) has been reimagined by renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick and is a totally unique space that fits into the African context.

From the Silo District, head to to Long Street where you can browse traditional art and antiques stores and pick up something to return home with. To eat? Stroll through town up to Bree Street, the strip that cuts through town towards Table Mountain, a vibrant setting that’s packed with bars, cafes and specialty eateries such as dedicated bars for gin, bacon and cheese. Make sure to stop by Bocca, La Parada and Chef’s Warehouse for a spot of people watching and delicious small plates. Sleep at the newly opened Silo Boutique Hotel, which boasts incredible views and is part of the Zeitz Museum complex, putting you right in the heart of the art-loving action.

Lima, Peru
Lima is rapidly becoming a global cultural hub for arts and cuisine. The city's museums showcase some of the country’s finest treasures, while providing insight into the region’s ancient civilizations and historic sites, which can then be explored in greater depth elsewhere in the country.

Housed in an elegant, whitewashed mansion, the Larco Museum hosts the world’s largest private collection of Pre-Columbian art including ceramics, gold and silver jewelry and an extensive selection of ceramics from the Moche culture, featuring memorable erotic pottery. In addition to the museum, the property includes a gorgeous garden and a top notch restaurant. Our favorite places to eat are Central and Maido, #4 and #8 respectively on the World's 50 Best Restaurants List. Stay in Hotel B Lima, a breezy, elegant fin de siecle spot for Lima’s well-heeled.

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