The most colorful places in the world will certainly be a treat for your eyes. Because we could always do with a little more color in our life, right? Let these vibrant neighborhoods and pastel-lined harbors spark your wanderlust.
VERNAZZA, CINQUE TERRE, ITALY
Vernazza is the next to northernmost town and perhaps most picturesque of the five towns of Cinque Terre in Italy. Colorful, antique homes cling to impossible cliffs that makes one of the most colorful places in the world. A lovely small harbor nestles under the shadows of an ancient castle and a dramatic seaside church.
With all the houses painted in bright colors making each street look like a rainbow, this Venetian island town could be the most colorful in the world. Legend has it that population began painting their homes luminous colors so that the fishermen could see them even in thick fog and avoid crashing into the shore after a voyage at sea.
Much of Havana’s architecture comes from its former Spanish rulers with an eclectic mix of 16th- and 17th-century-style buildings lining the streets. Around this time, colors of colonial blue and green were a popular choice but the introduction of stained-glass windows in the 19th century saw pinks, purples and oranges splashed onto the buildings too.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Dutch artists Koolhaas and Urhahn turned favelas in Rio de Janeiro into a giant canvas, creating brilliant works of colorful art on the walls of many homes. This instilled pride in color in a place that few would find desirable.
The ancient part of Chefchaouen, known as the medina, is covered in all shades of blue paint. You’ll find blue spreading across the streets, the walls, and even inside the homes on nearly every street and alleyway. It’s not hard to figure out why Chefchaouen is often called “The Blue Pearl of Morocco.”
BALAT, ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Within the city limits of Istanbul lies an area that’s pretty easy to get lost in the moment as you wander. Balat was the old Jewish quarter of the city. The pink and yellow building show the wear and tear of an area that’s been around since the first Spanish Inquisition.
In the Provence Village of Menton, colorful houses are easily recognizable on along the French Riviera, towards the South of France near Monaco. The town is full of old, beautiful and historical buildings and is said to be one of Europe’s most scenic locations.
Generations ago, the priestly caste of Jodhpur, India painted their homes blue to separate themselves from the rest of the citizenry. It wasn’t long until the rest of the old city, Brahmins or not, took up the tradition and painted their homes blue as well.
LA BOCA, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
La Boca is one of the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina. Is famed for its traditional colorful wooden houses and pedestrian friendly paths. There are many artist colonies in La Boca. They also utilize the colorful wooden houses in La Boca as part of the background while they perform different art forms.
The houses of Guanajuato tumble down the hills that surround it in every imaginable color. There’s no subtle, complementary color scheme—fuchsia pink mingles with pillar box red, saffron yellow, baby blue, and lime green.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
The buildings in Cape Town are separated by bright and friendly colors which change from address to address. Pinks, oranges, yellows, and blues mix together to create a community of eye candy.
Valparaíso is covered with color from city limit to city limit, a characteristic which has charmed Chileans and foreigners for generations. It’s brightly colored buildings make it one of the most colorful places in the world. The city climbs from the shore of the Pacific into the mountains above, covering the hills with a sight as rich as the personalities within.
Despite its tumultuous past, the city of Wroclaw, Poland has long embraced color as a part of its cultural identity. The buildings of its city center are rich in color, progressing from earth tones to pastels in a very old-world manner. This colorful take on classical architecture makes it one of the most colorful cities in Europe, and a departure from the rest of the entries on this list.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Despite its standing as the most culturally-progressive city in the United States. There’s another rainbow of colors shining brightly in San Francisco. This densely-packed peninsula city is home to a colorful architectural identity, one reflected in the varied paint styling that changes from door to door.
PELOURINHO, SALVADOR, BRAZIL
Salvador was the first capital of Brazil, and the Pelourinho area’s main square was once a place where slaves were punished. Despite its sordid past, it’s now a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a result, underwent a massive restoration process to preserve its pastel-colored 17th- and 18th-century buildings.
The legend goes that when the Dutch still ruled the island in the 1800s. The governor at the time suffered from migraine headaches, that he attributed to the Caribbean sun. He decreed that the residents paint buildings and other structures anything but white. Now we’ve got a World Heritage Site with buildings in blues, yellows, pinks, and reds with white trim.
The colorful cityscape of Reykjavik is noted with its downtown multicolored houses. Clad in corrugated iron that seems to come straight from a box of Lego. Along with being among the most colorful places in the world, it’s also one of the most underrated.
PROCIDA ISLAND, ITALY
Procida is the quintessential Mediterranean paradise, an absolute vision of colorful harborside homes and picturesque piazzas. The coast is filled with the cutest pastel-colored houses.
NOTTING HILL, ENGLAND
Into the back streets of Notting Hill, the homes are a rainbow of color. From canary yellow, light lilac, pastel pink and bright Mediterranean blue, and doors the color of gemstones. It’s definitely welcome on a grey London day!
In 2011, Sony Pictures decided to paint one of Spain’s traditional white villages in bright blue. As part of a marketing campaign for The Smurfs 3D film. Certainly, a sight that dazzles the eyes.