The 10 Most Colourful Places In The World
Some spots are just made for Instagram.
When you travel, you quickly come to realise that the world is a truly incredible place. Take the pyramids, for example. Or Iguassu Falls. Or the $1 IKEA hotdog. Then there are those places that are so jaw dropping, so breathtaking, so awe-inspiring in their colour palettes that they look like international Willy Wonka factories and replica Wizard of Oz sets.
So ready your Instagram filters – here’s an ode to the world’s most miraculous pantones. May they infuse us all with good travel will and an appreciation for pastel.
#1 Chefchaouen, Morocco
Make the calming Chefchaouen your next Moroccan pit stop and escape the often maddening souks and chaotic bazaars for a little slice of the blue paradise. It’s like a very soothing doctor’s surgery or an oceanic-themed musical set, with the added benefits of kofta, kebab and kif on tap.
#2 Nyhavn, Denmark
Just imagine – you’re sitting at a quayside café of sunny side up Nyhavn canal. The sun is warm, the Denmarkians (jokes, we know they are Danish) are friendly and the gable town houses are painted in the prettiest pastels your eyes ever did see. Nice, huh? So nice it deserves another plate of herring.
#3 Bo-Kaap, South Africa
This place is vivid in the best sense of the word. Forget your pastels, Bo-Kaap is all about those neon blues and the brightest of oranges, retina-burning pinks and scalding yellows. Originally a garrison for mid-18th century soldiers, this “upper cape” area became home to freed slaves after the ’30s emancipation and my goodness, did they put their stamp on it.
#4 Valparaiso, Chile
From its mad love of street art to the crazy steep cerros (hills), there is always something happening in old Valpo. When it comes to summing up Chile’s favourite city, we can’t do any better than Pablo Neruda who so famously said “Valparaiso, how absurd you are…you haven’t combed your hair, you’ve never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.” Kick on Valpo, we like your style.
#5 Oaxaca, Mexico
Between the cobblestones, the crumbling facades, the tropical fruits and the colourful flags, Oaxaca is the perfect background for some seriously vibrant holiday snaps . This beauty of a town, with its rainbow-dipped front doors, is flanked by towering mountain peaks that hold plenty of activities for day trips. The entire city resembles a delicious Rainbow PaddlePop (or international ice cream equivalent of your choice).
#6 Burano Island, Italy
Situated near Torcello at the end of the Venetian Lagoon, Burano Island looks like Venice if someone had used MS Paint’s “Fill with Colour” tool all over it. Legend has it that the island’s fishermen originally painted their houses in bright colours so as to be able to seem them while out on the water. Because honestely, how fun is seeing your house from a boat? (Very.)
#7 St Johns, Canada
This chilly bay side babe is so colourful that its houses are referred to as “jelly beans”. Cute, I know. Much like a mini San Fran, St Johns is home to a collection of artists, musicians and other creatives who seemingly feed off the town’s pleasing pantones. Oh Canada, how we love thee.
#8 Gamcheon Village, South Korea
CNN posed the question, “Is Gamcheon Village Asia’s artsiest town?” And while we reckon there’s some stiff competition on that front, we are willing to wager a few post-work drinks on this South Korean gem being Asia’s most colourful. What, with its labyrinth of tiered homes and ode to public art.
#9 Caminito Street, Argentina
Sure, Caminito Street is touristy, sure it’s more “representative” than authentic and sure, it sits smack dab in the middle of the commercial La Boca, but don’t let that put you off in a cloud of travel snobbery. Caminito is an exhibit like no other – it’s the world’s first pedestrian museum. Take a wander down the cobblestones, soak up the colour of the old conventillos, enjoy the vibe of the barrios and discover an old-school Argentina like no other.
#10 Trinidad, Cuba
Now, that’s our kind of taxi. In Cuba the sun is always shining, the water is always warm, the music is always pumping and the cha-cha is always – well – cha-ing. The cities are also always colourful. Take Trinidad for example, this laidback city boasts Unesco-listed cobblestone streets, guitar-playing troubadours, horses and carts for transport, and more than a splash or two of paint. Havana go to there.
(Lead image: O Palsson/Flickr)