Most Colorful Places to Visit Around the Globe
When traveling to different cities or beaches around the world, we are often met with similar color schemes. While each individual destination possesses its own unique architecture, culture, and culinary masterpieces, a brilliant ambiance is another element that makes a locale memorable. I've decided to hit the road and embrace the world's most colorful and vibrant zip codes. While I have neither the time nor finances to travel 'round the world in 180 days, I have narrowed down my list of the brightest and flashiest destinations on earth. Where I shall land? Nobody knows!
Cinque Terre, Italy
Located along the Italian Riviera coastline sits Cinque Terre, a string of five ancient and colorful villages. The brightly painted homes perched upon towering cliffs appear to be something out of a wild daydream. While hiking trails are numerous and panoramic sea views are plentiful, the best way to enjoy the region might just be to kick back at a waterfront trattoria, Prosecco in hand and fresh seafood on tap.
Reed Flute Cave, China
Reed Flute Cave, located in China, is also known as "The Palace of Natural Arts," and for good reason. The landmark is a natural limestone cave that boasts numerous rock formations with a varying array of multicolored glow and form. The cave is more than 180 million years old and has ink inscriptions dating back to 792 AD. Today, the cave is dramatically lit to illuminate its natural beauty.
Curacao, a Dutch island located in the southern Caribbean Sea, is famous for its colorful capital city, Willemstad. When the city's buildings were first erected, each one was painted white. However, it is rumored that the island's former governor, who suffered from maddening headaches, believed his condition was worsened by the bright sun's reflection off of the white structures. Therefore, he mandated that all exteriors be painted any other color. This resulted in Willemstad's bright facade and created one of the most beautiful sights in all of the Caribbean. Curacao also offers stunning beaches, refreshing turquoise waters, hiking, rock climbing, water sports, and excellent restaurants that would satisfy any foodie.
Holland Tulip Fields
Holland's tulip fields are a sight to behold. During the country's Spring season, stunning and colorful flower-bulb fields blossom in great quantity. The most famous area to view the natural wonder is behind the North Sea dunes between Leiden and Den Helder. However, other exquisite gardens can be found in plenty of Holland's provinces. Walking and cycling tours are an excellent way to take in the beauty and are available to any interested flower enthusiast. Also not to be dismissed is Keukenhof, a historic park and garden with countless trees, tulips, and other dazzling flowers so vivid, it looks like a painted landscape.
When I think of Poland, my mind immediately drifts to crispy pierogies, delicious kielbasa, and ice-cold beer. What I never imagined was brilliantly colored townhouses and buildings lining bustling cobblestone squares. After sustaining substantial damage during WWII, Wroclaw was rebuilt and restored, and it now boasts sensational medieval architecture, making it one of Europe's most picturesque destinations. Wroclaw's Market Square is not just a visual pleasure, but also offers great entertainment, bars, restaurants, shopping, and an adjacent 24-hour flower market.
Marrakesh, a Moroccan city that effortlessly fuses the old with the new, offers extraordinary color around every corner. From intricate mosaics to bold tiled staircases, the vibrancy of Marrakesh is hard to deny. Street markets boast rich tapestries, dazzling tassels, chromatic pottery, and brilliant fabrics. While in the magnificent city, stay in a luxurious riad, witness an unforgettable sunrise over the Sahara, and discover an oasis tucked away deep in the desert.
Nyhavn, the harbor district in Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen, is among the most colorful places on earth. Brightly painted houses line both sides of a charming canal where stately wooden ships sit with pride. While some of the picturesque houses, built in the 17th century, serve as restaurants and cafes, they all contain a rich amount of history. Each house is numbered, and while No. 9 is Nyhavn's oldest structure, built in 1661, No. 20 once housed the famed Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. As for the district's vibrant aesthetic, it is said that the colors were chosen to combat Scandinavia's infamously dark and bleak Winter months.
Kitanomaru Park, Tokyo
Kitanomaru Park, located in Japan's most populous city, Tokyo, is truly a stunner. During Spring, Japan's sakura trees, or cherry blossoms, are a sight to be seen. Located on the former grounds of Edo Castle, the park features large moats, splendid gardens, and elegant trees. Well known for its boat rentals and sakura blossoms is Chidorigafuchi Moat, one of the more popular viewing areas in the park. Take a romantic boat ride under the gaze of spectacular pink blossoms and fall in love with nature at its finest.
Italy's Burano sits among Venice's various islands. Best known for its colorful fishermen's houses and skillful lace-making, Burano is an excellent escape from tourist-heavy Venice. Between postcard-worthy canals, picturesque bridges, and charming houses, Burano has become a massive draw. In fact, the integrity of Burano's colors is so important that any homeowner who wishes to paint their house a different color must have approval from the government. Whether you're photographing the island's enviable colors, shopping for silk, or people-watching with wine in hand, Burano is a definite must see for any Venice visitor.
Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico
Palmitas in Pachuca, Mexico, is truly unique. Located on a steep hill is the newly transformed low-income neighborhood of Las Palmitas. In an effort to reduce violence and change the reputation of the district, more than 200 houses were painted, creating a massive, colorful mural covering about 20,000 square meters. The government enlisted local street art collective German Crew to create the work of art that ultimately built a sense of unity in the neighborhood.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
The American Southwest is comprised of many natural wonders that often evoke spectacular color. One said wonder is Antelope Canyon in Arizona. The slot canyon, located on Navajo land, is made up of two parts: Upper Antelope Canyon, known as "Tse' bighanilini," meaning "the place where water runs through rocks," and Lower Antelope Canyon, known as "Hasdestwazi," or "spiral rock arches." Brilliant red colors play off the natural desert light, creating a magnificent beauty.
Havana, Cuba, is known for many things, including its cigars and rum, art scene, and overall 1950s vibe. But the most exciting thing about Havana might just be the bursts of color radiating from both the vintage cars racing up and down cobblestone streets and from vibrant buildings that first appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries. During the 19th century, stained glass windows were introduced to many buildings, creating brilliant color as the sun beats down upon the Caribbean city. Old Havana holds a UNESCO World Heritage status, as its history has been impeccably preserved, to the point where it almost feels time has stopped altogether.
Not far from the bustling city of Naples sits Procida, a tiny, enchanting Italian island stacked with with some of the most colorful houses in the world. A muse for artists, Procida's distinctive architecture, narrow streets, and cozy cottages have inspired great works of art. The island is easily walkable, as it spans less than 2.5 square miles. For another remarkable and Instagram-worthy view of the radiant cascade of houses, an exotic boat ride along the harbor won't disappoint.