Many of the world’s more frequented cities boast art museums with renowned paintings and sculptures, or have skylines comprised of the work of world-class architects. The seven cities on this list, however, are themselves works of art. They wear an array of colors that mimic an artist’s palette. From blue-hued Jodhpur in India, to the famously vibrant terraced buildings of Italy’s Cinque Terre, these seven cities are among the most colorful in the world.
Paste Travel’s Bucket List columnist Lauren Kilberg is a Chicago-based freelance writer. Her travels have found her camping near the Pakistani border of India and conquering volcanoes in the Philippines.
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The vivid facades of Balat, Istanbul's historically Jewish quarter, set it apart from the rest of the city. The district bursts with colors from its storefronts to the laundry drying from balconies along its narrow and hilly streets. Balat is easy to tour on foot and is located on the shore of Istanbul's Golden Horn.
Photo by Moyan Brenn, CC BY 2.0
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Guanajuato is widely considered one of Mexico's most beautiful cities and it takes only a glance to see why. Colorful facades of Colonial-era buildings line the narrow cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hot air balloon tours are popular among visitors as a way to witness the city in all its colorful glory.
Photo by Justin Vidamo, CC BY 2.0
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The colorful row houses of St. John's are a distinguishing characteristic of this Newfoundland city. From the facades of the entertainment district along George Street to the ships anchored in the city's harbor, there's nothing dull about St. John's.
Photo by Ben Laufer, CC BY 2.0
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The Italian Riviera and its famous Cinque Terre is one of the most notoriously colorful destinations on the planet. The area includes five villages, as well as Cinque Terre National Park. At one time, the brightly painted pastel facades of these terraced villages helped fisherman distinguish their houses when out to sea. Today, the colorful coastline is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo by Lorraine Tan, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Jodhpur's blue-hued buildings contrast vibrantly with its surrounding Thar Desert landscape. Located in the Indian state of Rajasthan, the city is painted in a spectrum of royal to pastel blues. For the best views, visit Mehrangarh Fort, which circles Jodhpur's old city and offers an elevated perspective. The city's affinity for blue serves a functional purpose more than an aesthetic one. The color helps keep buildings cool from the desert sun.
Photo by Phil Robinson, CC BY-NC 2.0
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As a whole, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city both physically and culturally. If you're looking for a prime example of this, head no further than La Bocca. This colorful neighborhood is a treat to all the senses with its nearly-neon facades, tango clubs and European-inspired eateries.
Photo by Victor, CC BY 2.0
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Valparaiso, Chile is a city of many colors. The facades of this seaport destination are painted in a rainbow of vivid colors. Today, Valparaiso is considered a cultural hub of the country and boasts a vibrant arts scene. It's no surprise that it has been the chosen home of artists for more than a century. Valparaiso is hilly, which makes taking in its colors easy as the buildings sit tiered along its sloped streets.
Photo by Pablo Necochea, CC BY-NC 2.0