Around the world bright colours inject happiness. From the toucans of the Amazon Rainforest to the shimmering Aurora Borealis of the Arctic Circle, colours overwhelm our senses and brighten our surroundings. Discover the most colourful cities around the world to add some colour to your life:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires combines European influence with Latin passion to create a bustling city full of adventure and excitement. As you venture through the barrios, you’ll explore varied design and architecture and discover traditional neighbourhoods laden with colour in the form of murals and painted buildings.
One of the best places in Buenos Aires to experience colourful architecture is Caminito in the La Boca district. Meaning ‘little path,’ Caminito is one of the most traditional alleys in the city and is popular with tourists thanks to its brightly coloured buildings and lively energy. It’s also a great spot to watch traditional tango. Interestingly, Caminito was named after a tango song by La Boca artist Benito Quinquela Martin.
We chatted to Kalina, travel blogger at Hello Kalina, who credits her adoration for travel to her multicultural upbringing. As a return visitor to Buenos Aires, we wanted to hear Kalina’s take on this colourful city, “I have been to Buenos Aires several times now, but I was first drawn to the city for its contrasts. It’s often referred to as the Paris of South America but I have found that it’s more than that. Buenos Aires blends European grandeur with Latin spirit. A mix of grit and glamour, bright colours butting up against concrete greys, greenscapes and hardscapes, old and new, Buenos Aires is a city full of character where its unique energy and passion are palpable.
“What’s so unique about Buenos Aires is that each neighbourhood has its own vibe - in the architecture, the atmosphere and even the people. As you explore the city, you can see the history through the changing landscape and truly get a sense of what drew people to the different areas. Collectively, these distinct neighbourhoods join to create an incredibly diverse and colourful city that its inhabitants are proud of.
Known for excellent rum and even better cigars, it’s no wonder Cuba is the home of great parties. It’s electric capital Havana has multiple layers and its complexity makes it a fascinating cruise destination.
The bright architecture and brighter culture bring colour to this beautiful city. A love of vintage automobiles runs deep here, and after just a few minutes you’ll notice beautiful classic cars lining every street. Cuba itself is seen as a rolling car museum and the 1950’s cars make you feel as though you are stepping back in time. Fidel Castro placed a ban on foreign vehicle imports in 1960, which means these old school American cars have been held on to and preserved ever since. Though the ban has been lifted, import taxes mean a hefty price tag is attached to modern vehicles.
Sher, from travel blog Sher She Goes, told us why everyone should visit Havana if they get the opportunity. “The chance to visit Cuba, a destination long closed off to Americans, was irresistible! As someone who loves urban areas and photographing architecture, I was really eager to capture the spirit of Havana. The buildings are run-down but beautiful, the cars colourful and vintage. Not only do they immediately identify Havana, but the buildings and cars are also a visual symbol of Cuba’s long history and tangled politics. I would absolutely recommend Havana and greater Cuba to anyone looking to travel to somewhere beautiful.”
We also spoke to Mel from BRB Travel Blog about her day trip to Havana, she said, “under the Caribbean sun and the gentle sea breeze, the buzzing streets of Old Havana almost feel like a movie set of an old Hollywood classic. The streets are filled with bright pink and purple retro cars of the ’50s with the colonial buildings painted in yellow, blue, pink and orange in the background. All of this will make you feel like you got lost in a time machine. These colourful elements and the communist revolution are what have made us romanticise the island for more than 50 years.
“As a traveller, I wanted to visit the country before the Americans flooded the island with McDonald’s and Starbucks. The country that is yet again reinventing itself and trying to look towards the future in the post-embargo era, Cuba will certainly not stop to be an interesting and colourful destination to visit, as a new era draws itself. Who knows if, in 15 years, we will still have the feeling of being in an old Hollywood movie driving through the city in a 1954 pink Buick?”
Copenhagen is known for its unapologetic embodiment of culture. As one of the best examples of modern-day design and the home of many important historical locations, the waterfront city holds something for every type of traveller. For the most iconic and colourful part of the city, head to Nyhavn. The old port was once home to fairytale writer, Hans Christian Andersen, and is now the most popular area of the city. As you walk along the waterside past colourful buildings, slip into a coffee shop for a drink and a traditional Danish open sandwich or grab a beer and sit on the water’s edge.
We asked Paulina, from sustainable travel blog Paulina on the Road, what first drew her to Copenhagen. “I came for an Erasmus organised trip while I was living in Skövde, Sweden. Copenhagen was, and still is, one of the top 5 destinations to visit when you are living or travelling in Scandinavia. The capital of Denmark is a very attractive city because of its location. On top, the city boasts an incredibly vast Viking heritage and is famous for its alternative neighbourhood of Christiana and the colourful houses of the city.
“Copenhagen has vibrant architecture, with many soft pastel-coloured houses. It reminds me of other bright cities such as Amsterdam and Cádiz and I think the colourful buildings of Copenhagen have a very positive effect on the mood of the town. The colours add more energy, a better-looking panorama and help the inhabitants and visitors to appreciate a contrast between the houses when the city suffers winters conditions!”
The capital of Rajasthan in India, Jaipur is aptly known as the Pink City. The city’s towering architecture is crafted beautifully from local sandstone. The history behind Jaipur’s pink facade actually lies a lot closer to home. In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited Indian on a tour. It was then that Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink, a colour denoting hospitality, to welcome its guests. The practice was made tradition by its residents and is now a requirement for all new buildings.
The chaotic streets of Jaipur are the perfect place to enjoy the fusion old and new. Rickshaws and buses weave around camels through the busy streets which are lined with these majestic buildings and amidst the chaos there are places of reflection, for a moment of peace.
Rachel, from Hippie in Heels, visited Jaipur a few years ago. “I visited as a backpacker 7 years ago and now that I travel in a new style, looking more for boutique hotels and experiences over sightseeing, I wanted to go back. The shopping, food and beautiful architecture drew me there.
“The buildings definitely make it seem very royal and magical which is what travellers are looking for here. The main Hawa Mahal was built in that way with many windows so the royal ladies could sit there and watch festivals and parades below.”
Burano is often overlooked in favour of its close neighbour, Venice. But this small island located in the Venetian Lagoon is a marvel in itself, famous for its rainbow of fishermen’s cottages lining its typical canals. The island is densely built up and as well as being beautiful is regarded highly for its intricate lacework. After strolling through the sunny streets, we recommend a visit to the Museo del Merletto to learn more about lace making.
You must also sample fresh seafood and Italian fare whilst in Burano. Thanks to its colourful fishermen, it is home to some fabulous seafood fresh from the lagoon - perfect for an authentic and unforgettable dish! The wine isn’t bad either and will accompany your time in this romantic wonderland perfectly.
We chatted to Nina, from Nina’s Travels, who recommends making the trip to Burano when visiting Venice. She said, “I’d highly recommend Burano, it’s a destination that should be put on everyone’s bucket list. The island is absolutely amazing and should get the same attention as its popular neighbour Venice.
“We are based in Slovenia meaning Burano is only about a 3 hour drive by car. After seeing all the amazing and colourful photos on social media, we felt it was about time to tick it off our bucket list too. The colourful fishermen's houses did not disappoint! I loved seeing the bright colours, it made me feel as though I was in a fairytale.”
Clare, from Suitcases and Sandcastles, adores Burano. “It wasn’t until my fourth visit to Venice that I finally made it over to the island of Burano. I always found the palaces, gondolas and grandeur of Venice too enchanting to want to leave - even for half a day. But I’ve always been drawn to colourful places and I kept seeing these incredible pictures of an island of brightly coloured houses in the Venetian lagoon and I knew I had to visit.
“The island is often called one of the most beautiful places in the world - and with good reason! Brightly painted fishermen’s houses line the banks of the canals, each a different colour. Walk down any street and you’ll see a kaleidoscope of colours reflecting into the dark green waters of the canal. This shock of colour is good for the soul. There’s something so cheerful about a place this brash and this bright. It’s hard to walk around without a big smile on your face.
“Even the 45-minute boat ride across to the island is beautiful. The lagoon is often shrouded with mist which makes it look like an Impressionist painting. Burano is a photographer's dream, so it can get very busy. You can escape the crowds by heading down side streets. Here, you’ll find little boats moored up at the sides of the canals and mint greenhouses with candy cane striped awnings. You’re guaranteed to leave the island with a bigger smile on your face!”