The 10 best art nouveau and art deco marvels

1 VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Influential Viennese architects Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos spearheaded the turn-of-the-century art nouveau movement, which abandoned rigid, backward-looking Victorian architecture for fluid modern styles. Notable art nouveau buildings include the Post Office Savings Bank - a streamlined contrast to baroque palaces - and the gorgeous onyx-and-black-marble American Bar (loosbar.at), as well as several railway stations. The Museum of Applied Arts (mak.at) has a fine collection of art nouveau and art deco furniture. See wien.info

2 TIMISOARA, ROMANIA

An early 20th-century economic boom and the influence of Vienna in this progressive Romanian border town have provided it with fabulous art nouveau buildings, from the bishop's palace and national bank to the abattoir and fire station. Piata Victoriei square, whose apartment facades are adorned with tilework, plasterwork and folk art, has perhaps the best ensemble of art nouveau design in Europe - and very laidback cafe terraces from which to admire it. See timisoara-info.ro

3 SZEGED, HUNGARY

Destroyed in an 1879 flood, the centre of this graceful southern Hungarian city was rebuilt in the latest art nouveau style and features some of Europe's best buildings from the era, including Grof Palace, the town hall, and the lovely lilac and green Reok Palace. Undulating rooflines, alabaster nudes, waterlily emblems and lacy cupolas and balconies grace the streetscape. The Moorish-influenced 1907 synagogue is spellbinding in stained glass and wood. See szegedtourism.hu

4 NEW YORK, US

New York has dozens of superb art deco buildings that celebrate the city's 1920s confidence and faith in industry and technology, culminating in the nickel-chromium glitter of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building (esbnyc.com) and the Rockefeller Centre (rockefellercenter.com), adorned with Greek gods, tool-wielding workers and cocktail colours. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel (waldorfastoria3.hilton.com) is a masterpiece of conservative, elegant art deco, right down to its silvery, muse-adorned lift doors. See nycgo.com

5 HAVANA, CUBA

French and American influences gave jazz-tapping Havana a notable art deco landscape. For the moment, most of Havana's art deco buildings are dilapidated, but that doesn't hide their tropical quirkiness or Mayan and African design influences - plaster pineapples and palm trees pop up everywhere - on everything from apartment blocks and churches to theatres and hospitals. The exterior of Bacardi rum's former headquarters and the interior of Sierra Maestra cinema are among fantastic examples. See cubatravel.cu

6 SHANGHAI, CHINA

Shanghai's sky-scraping contemporary skyline overshadows its notable art deco heritage, which recalls the city's European-influenced, 1930s exuberance. You will find Chinese-influenced art deco motifs on the facades of bank and hotel buildings along the colonial-era Bund, famously at the Fairmont Peace Hotel (fairmont.com) with its iconic jazz bar. The French Concession is also studded with art deco buildings such as the former French Club (gardenhotelshanghai.com), Cathay Theatre and various mansion apartments. See meet-in-shanghai.net

7 MUMBAI, INDIA

There are more art deco buildings in Mumbai than almost anywhere else in the world; perhaps some 200, though many in a parlous state. Among the best examples are the still-functioning Eros and Metro cinemas, Empress Court and the India Assurance Building. You'll see a whole collection (including office and apartment blocks) along curving seaside Marine Drive as it heads towards Malabar Hill. Among home-grown motifs are Hindu gods and lotus flowers. See maharashtratourism.gov.in

8 NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND

The 1931 earthquake that destroyed central Napier bequeathed it a rare collection of art deco buildings in a remarkably uniform style, favouring typical design features such as zigzags and sunbursts but also local Maori motifs. More than 140 buildings retain their original features, colours and signage, and some their interiors. Don your boa and beads for the February Art Deco Festival (artdeconapier.com), which features vintage cars, jazz concerts and dining experiences. See hawkesbaynz.com

9 KAUNAS, LITHUANIA

Rapid growth in the 1930s saw art deco sprout in Kaunas, which has been named a City of Design by UNESCO for its inter-war architectural heritage. Particularly fine examples include the Christ Resurrection Church, War Museum (muziejai.lt) and central post office. The town centre provides a stroll through streamlined, white, early modern and German-influenced architecture. Visit Art Deco Kaunas (artdecokaunas.lt) for period furniture, lamps and paintings and regular exhibitions. See visit.kaunas.lt

10 MIAMI BEACH, US

Perhaps the world's best art deco district (it boasts some 800 buildings) is a classic of the genre, though with the addition of distinctive local elements such as portholes, rocket motifs and pastel facades. There is even ample opportunity to inhabit an art deco building, with prominent hotels including The Marlin (nationalhotel.com) and The National (nationalhotel.com). Visit the Art Deco Welcome Centre (mdpl.org) for architectural background and guided district tours. See miamiandbeaches.com