The world is full of color!
Step out of your front door and you will realize that the world is a place filled with color and beauty even if it is not what you quite expected. Every sidewalk, street and city block has color and art to it even in its most brutal and practical forms, art and wonder can be found on the street corner. Some cities, however, have brighter, more prevalent bursts, of color.
Here we look at some of these dazzling places and why they are so bold and brash in their use of color.
1. Izamal – Mexico
Known as ‘the magical city’, Izamal has many beautiful sights to behold that include its 16th-century Basilica of San Antonio de Padua and other limestone churches that sit off of the cobblestone streets but what is immediately striking about the location is the fact that it is predominantly covered in a hue of marigold yellow that lends a visual warmth to it, even on rainy days.
This color comes from the colonial buildings that used it to reflect the heat but if you’re staring at the houses you’re not enjoying the rich vein of history and mythology that’s running through Izamal.
2. St John’s – Canada
One of the oldest cities in Canada and the capital of the Newfoundland and Labrador region, it has historically always been a very important port city in Canada. Because of this ship captains used to paint their houses in bright colors so that they could be easily spotted from the sea or as they were coming into port.
This is most prevalent on the aptly named Jellybean Row where all the houses have a candy-colored coating.
3. Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Known for the color and sound of its legendary carnival, in 2010, the local government decided they wanted to make this color a permanent aspect of the city and set about working with Dutch artists Haas & Hahn to make the slums and favelas of Rio a giant canvass for street art with splashes of vibrant color and pattern.
Multi-colored houses with rainbow facades now cover the city.
4. Wroclaw – Poland
One of the most visually stunning cities in Poland, it has an immense amount of history to its name and many cultural sites to visit but without a doubt, one of the real treats of the city are the many rows upon rows of ancient yet brightly colored houses that stand out against one another due to their bold paint jobs.
Giving the city a living color, the houses contrast magnificently with the bridges and plazas of period architecture.
5. Buenos Aires – Argentina
The barrio of La Boca is just one reason you should discover what this city has to offer to walkers as it has vibrantly painted houses decorated with the work of local artists on the street of Caminito that was itself declared an open air museum in 1959. Other, more upscale, districts are filled with grand, old-Europe style architecture.
Take a walk around the port or across the iconic Puente de la Mujer rotating footbridge, designed to represent two people dancing the tango.
6. Valparaiso – Chile
A port city that has long been considered a cultural hub of the South American country, its many residences and businesses are often bedecked in bright colors as an outpouring of creativity and expressionism from those that live and work in the stunning settlement. IF a visitor were to head to the censores along the funiculars that provide a bird-eye view of the place, they’d be able to get a fantastic sense of the waves of color.
Not just blocks of bright shades, though, there are also many bohemian murals and pieces of street art that draw the eye.
7. Copenhagen – Denmark
The Nyhavn canal in the capital of Denmark is from the 17th century and is lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, house and even the Royal Playhouse in the entertainment district of the city made from wood, bricks and plaster and many are covered in a layer of bright, bold paint to create a rainbow effect all along the canal.
A heritage harbor it is a jaw-dropping place to visit.
8. Burano Island – Italy
An archipelago of small islands in the Venetian province has grand walls surrounding them that are filled with stunning and complex murals but beyond the walls, the houses are painted in block colors in a practice that dates back many, many generations. As such, in a bid to provide some protection to this historical splash of color, there are only a few colors available to homeowners if they wish to repaint their building and it has to be agreed upon by the local government.
With boats and gondolas sailing past the garish streets, it is a treat to drift by the many auspicious frontages.
9. Pattaya – Thailand
An incredibly popular tourist spot due to its surrounding natural resources of scenic beauty and the hustle and bustle of inner city trade of food stalls and restaurants, Pattaya has many brightly colored houses that act as a tourist attraction themselves due to their contrast and variation throughout the city.
Crowds often throng the streets for picture perfect views and to snap up some snacks also.
10. Jodhpur – India
Known as India’s Blue City, the whole place is covered in one specific shade of the color which is believed to either stem from the Royals in the area painting their residences in the color and so others followed suit or it being the natural color of a copper-sulphate lime wash which was applied to buildings to prevent termites.
Either way, it has now become a defining feature of the city and even the taxi cabs share in this color.