Let’s face it. We like colorful things. We are attracted to them the same way children scream for brightly colored candy at the grocery store. Maybe without the screaming. This is why food color like red #5 and yellow #6 exists and is perhaps giving us cancer. It’s just biology…or something. Our eyes are drawn to bright pretty things and colorful places are no exception. I’ve been a lucky lady and have recently traveled to many places that resembled a candyland. Consider me your color crack dealer as I take you to the world’s most colorful places.
I had a hard time narrowing it down to only one city so I’m going to just give Portugal one big shout out as a collectively colorful country. Lisbon, Porto and Sintra are 3 places that should be on your color radar. Your “color-dar”, if you will. Tee-hee.
Like most super cool castles, this one was built by a crazy king and for one am happy that he let his freak flag fly. I mean, who decides to make a red, yellow and pastel blue castle if they’re not slightly
Portugal also happens to be a place that has been underrated in Europe for years. It is less expensive than much of western Europe and enjoys warm weather for more months. The secret is getting out, so go sooner rather than later!
Read More: 5 Days in Portugal
I know anyone with an Instagram account has seen a picture of this place and maybe drooled slightly. This island is a photographer’s paradise. In fact, there is little else to do here. There is one commercial street with restaurants, cafes and cute tourist shops, but mostly people simply walk around and gawk. It is a nice
escape half-day trip from Venice. I recommend going as early as possible to beat the crowds of googly-eyed tourists entranced by the rainbow of color (I was one of them btw). Note of caution…stand a few feet in front of people’s homes if you can. People do live here, although it’s easy to believe this kaleidoscope of a place was built just for our enjoyment!
Ok. This place. Wow! I have never been as impressed by street art. It is EVERYWHERE. The city is a big free museum. Located on the coast less than 2 hours from Santiago, this is a must-see for anyone visiting Chile who loves art, color and fun happy vibes!
Read More: Street Art in Valparaiso, Chile
Morocco seems to be having a resurgence in popularity. Instead of the 1970’s hippie trail, now there is the “Instagram Trail”. Photographers can’t get enough of the mosaic tiles, colorful markets and exotic flavor. Not to mention, Marrakech is known as the “Rose City” with much of the old city painted this soft pink color. Who can resist that?
I barely know what any of this stuff is, but it was pretty and I definitely bought some. One of these crystal looking things may have been for my sinuses. They are really good salespeople!
This type of tile is called zellij. The geometric shapes with Arabic calligraphy is a type of Islamic art and used commonly in Moroccan architecture. It is mind-numbingly intricate and spectacular. The photo below is from Majorelle Gardens, designed by Yves Saint Laurent.
Read More: Guide to Marrakech
I hardly believe this is a real place, even when I look at my own photos! I felt the same way in person as I roamed around looking at the quaint pastel half-timbered houses with a dopey smile on my face.
Colmar is in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France on the border of Germany. The whole region is simply adorable and you find yourself waiting for Belle, Gaston, the seven dwarfs, or any number of fairytale characters to stroll by.
I haven’t yet been to Colombia, but it is one of the top places on my bucket list for many reasons including places like this. This Andean resort town is close to Medellin.
I had placed Colombia on my top places to go in 2017 in a collaborative post with other bloggers. Give it a read if you haven’t yet!
Another very popular destination, Cinque Terre will fulfill many colorful fantasies. It’s more than just a pretty face. There is excellent hiking here and really good food. Despite becoming alarmingly crowded, they’ve managed to not let the food quality go down like some touristy places (I’m looking at you Venice!). The villages look like glittering gems in the sea.
Cinque Terre is technically 5 different villages and some would include nearby Portovenere as the 6th village. Portovenere (pictured below) is a great day trip and can be reached by ferry or hiking. It happens to be way less crowded here as well.
This is the village of Riomaggiore. It’s almost like a 5-year-old girl was allowed to design this entire village with every shade of pink that she could imagine.
Read More: Best Photo Spots in Cinque Terre
I haven’t yet written about Romania, but I plan to soon because it truly surprised me and I absolutely loved it. I was expecting a more run down, old communist Eastern European feel (just being honest), but instead, I got charming pastel villages galore! Score: Romania 1 Cherene -3
This was only one of many cute towns that I visited. Sibiu and Brasov deserve a mention as well.
I couldn’t possibly write about colorful places without mentioning my home of 15 years, Miami! From the art deco district to the design district, there is plenty of color to go around. You can’t throw a stone on Instagram without hitting a picture of the Wynwood art district. I remember when Wynwood was a place you only visited with a police escort and a prayer. Things have certainly changed!
Read More: Local’s Guide To Miami
Copenhagen is a fun city full of character. And bikes. Tons of bikes. The canals are lined with colorful homes, particularly in the famous Nyhaven area pictured below. Interestingly, Denmark is high on the list of happiest places. I guess color is good for the soul?
I am really sad that I haven’t yet visited Poland because I hear nothing but good things about it. Just look at this place! So grand and stately, yet colorful AF! That’s hard to pull off if you’re not a drag queen. Well played Wroclaw!
I definitely left my heart in this perfect little seaside town in the Istria region of Croatia, and you can see why. Beyond the beautiful exterior is a heart of gold. The people are just as charming as the buildings. I came here to decompress after a particularly crazy Italy visit and I almost didn’t leave. It was refreshingly relaxing with clear warm Adriatic waters to swim in and yummy Croatian wine to drink as you roam the pastel cobblestoned streets of the old city stopping in cute stores to sample truffled this and lavender that.
This is one colorful little island. Where else can you see a rainbow of umbrellas and bean bags on the beach, bright fringy umbrellas in the streets, pretty floral offerings to the gods on the ground and brightly colored fabrics adorning the Hindu statues?
Read More: 20 Photos of My Best Things to do in Bali
Stockholm is pretty, elegant and one of those places you feel you need more time to visit because each island has its own character to discover. The Gamla Stan area is perhaps the most historic and colorful as well as most popular with tourists. It is like a pedestrian-friendly outdoor museum with winding cobblestone streets and beautiful buildings.
This is Stockholm’s oldest square, Stortorget. It is the historic heart of Stockholm and located in the old town of Gamla Stan.
Ah, Brazil. Home of some of the most joyous people I’ve ever seen. Brazil is a delightful mix of African, European and Latin American culture and in some cities, the buildings are as colorful as its people. Salvador da Bahia, is one of those cities. Once the capital of Portugal’s famed new world colony, it is now the Afro-Brazilian heart of the country. The descendants of African slaves have preserved their heritage here better than anywhere else in the world.
Hoi An is on Vietnam’s central coast. The architecture reflects its interesting melting-pot history and is a mix of eras and styles with wooden Chinese shophouses and temples, as well as French colonial buildings and ornate Vietnamese tube houses. One of the most famous sites is the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda. It’s easy to see why this charming town is a UNESCO world heritage site. I personally was delighted by all the colorful silk lanterns adorning all the streets.
Hope you could handle all that color! What are some of the world’s most colorful places that I missed? Where else do I need to go to get my color fix? Tell me in the comments!