Whether it’s a street with every color of the rainbow or an entire town decked out in monochromatic blues, these destinations have embraced vivid hues and bold statements that leave visitors with lasting memories and exceptional photos. To brighten your day, here are some of the most colorful locales across the globe!
The brightly painted Dutch colonial-style buildings of this Caribbean capital have earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. There are 750 colorful structures painted a multitude of bright gem-colored shades which, combined with turquoise waters, make the waterfront of Willemstad look unreal.
On a small island at the northern end of the Venetian Lagoon is the fishing village of Burano known for its traditional lace-making and brightly painted houses. The look of the town came about when fishermen were coming home and couldn’t find their house in the fog so vibrant colors were used to help them stand out from the emerald waters of the canals.
Located in the northwest of Morocco, this small city is famous for its mesmerizing medina where every building is painted varying shades of cyan, powder blue, and periwinkle. The blue walls make a spectacular sight, especially in contrast to the surrounding arid mountains, making it a dream destination for fans of a good photo-op.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Famed for its colorful wooden houses and pedestrian-friendly paths, La Boca is home to artist colonies who bring the streets to life with impromptu tango dance performances. The most popular street, El Caminito—“The little walkway,” is a hub where tourists from all around the world can come and enjoy the street shows, purchase trinkets, and souvenirs, or take in the sights and admire the hodgepodge of multicolored houses.
Copenhagen’s picture-perfect port of Nyhavn is iconic. This colorful district was originally a busy commercial port and was once home to renowned fairy-tale author Hans Christensen Anderson. Today, the striking houses—some dating back to 1681—are lined with cafés and restaurants where people can enjoy a nice meal by the waterfront while watching the wooden ships trail through the canal.
Known as the Rainbow Village, Kampung Pelangi is a recent entrant onto the list of the world’s most colorful cities. In April 2017, the town council decided to paint all 232 houses in the village with at least three different colors each, as part of an attempt to draw more tourists. And it’s not just the houses that are rainbow-colored, everything from the awnings to the fences in this village is bedecked with rainbow hues.
Mexico has no shortage of colorful cities, but Guanajuato is one of the most charming. A colorful feast for the eyes, the hills around the city center are blanketed with houses in every shade, while the historic center features cobblestone streets and a striking basilica painted in bright yellow and red.
Cinque Terre, Italy
One of the five villages comprising Cinque Terre (meaning “Five Lands”), Manarola is jaw-droppingly beautiful with its scattering of precariously perched buildings, smattered in colors from ice blue to pastel pink. Above the picturesque harbor, you’ll find a tiny piazza with delicious seafood restaurants among the multicolored houses facing the sea.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town’s rainbow-colored Bo-Kaap neighborhood wasn’t always a kaleidoscope of color. The buildings here were originally used as rental homes for enslaved people, who weren’t allowed to change the white exteriors of the houses. After given the freedom to buy their homes, they celebrated their liberty by painting their houses the vibrant colors visitors see today.