With fall and winter slowly creeping up on us, the weather outside is about to get quite dreary and grey with lots of rain and snow depending on where you live. The long summer days full of color and life will be put behind us until the next year. For these 10 cities however, regardless of the weather outside or the season, because of their bright colors, you will always feel like you’re on a tropical vacation here. Keep on reading to discover some of the most brightly colored cities found on all corners of the globe.
Chefchaouen | Morocco
Nestled in the Rif Mountains of Northwest Morocco lies the picturesque village of Chefchaouen. Everything from the doors to the garbage bins is painted blue. This design was introduced by Jewish refugees in 1930 and is meant to symbolize sky and heaven. The residents that live in Chefchaouen regularly take time out of their days to repaint any spots on the buildings that are missing some color and to make sure their city is looking the best that it can, not only for themselves but also for the numerous tourists that flock to this city each year. Chefchaouen is often referred to as the ‘blue city’ and has become a hot spot in recent years for visitors trying to snap a shot of this Instagram worthy city.
Charleston | South Carolina
In Charleston, South Carolina there is a street filled with thirteen brightly colored houses named Rainbow Row. All the houses on this road are painted pastel colors and have been since they were restored in the 1930’s and 1940’s, which is why it bares such a name as Rainbow Road. These colorful Georgian Row houses have become a popular tourist attraction and are one of the most photographed sites in Charleston. Aside from their colors, these houses also showcase the architecture that made Charleston an appealing and popular tourist destination to begin with.
Cinque Terre | Italy
Cinque Terre is a cluster of five small villages in the Italian Riviera coast with its name meaning “five lands” in Italian. Cinque Terre is most well-known for the colorful houses that line the steep hills. These houses stretch up onto deep cliffs overlooking the ocean and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This area is also known for being inaccessible by motor vehicles with visitors only being able to reach the town either by boat, train, or through the various hiking trails.
St-Johns | Newfoundland
St-John’s is the largest city in all of Newfoundland and it’s also one of the most colorful. Even though St-John’s weather tends to be quite chilly and grey, it’s always bright and vibrant on Jellybean Row. This sweet sounding name refers to a row of brightly colored houses in the town that attract many tourists to the area. It is thought that the residents of these houses painted them bright back in the day to make them visible to fishermen in the fog. It was also an attempt to put some life back into an otherwise declining town. Even though Jellybean Row is named for a specific row of houses, there are many more brightly painted buildings in and around St-John’s making a pop of color everywhere you look.
Cape Town | South Africa
In the city of Bo-Kaap in Capetown, the buildings stand out more here than anywhere else in the city. The reason for this is because of the bright hues of pink, yellow, and blue that the buildings here are painted in. Though the city is quite old, dating back to the 16th century, the houses have only recently been painted the vibrant colors. For the predominantly Muslim neighborhood, painting the buildings these colors represents freedom, a celebration of Ramadan, and a celebration of Eid. The buildings used to all be painted white and neighbors will often discuss the colors to use ahead of time so as to avoid a clash of colors.
Nuuk | Greenland
Nuuk is Greenland’s capital city and is one of the smaller cities in Greenland. What it lacks in size, however, makes up for with its bright colors and warm atmosphere. In 1721, the people of Nuuk started building houses out of wood rather than living in tents and igloos. This is the time when the villagers started painting their houses in different, vibrant colors. The buildings were painted this way for practicality reasons and was meant to showcase the function of each building with commercial houses being red, hospitals were yellow, black for police stations, telephone company was green, and the fish factories were painted blue.
Rio de Janeiro | Brazil
In Rio de Janeiro, over 11 million Brazilians live in shanty, run down towns, called favelas. In these towns, basic human rights such as sanitation, police access, and running water are not guaranteed, making life for those who live here very difficult. In 2005, the Favela Painting Project was founded, which saw two artists travel to Rio with art supplies to have the residents of these favelas paint the buildings in these areas, vibrant colors. The project was thought up so that the people living in these less than desirable places could regain some pride for the place that they call home. This also made hundreds of tourists flock to these towns to marvel at these buildings and it also made Rio one of the most colorful neighborhoods in the world.
Wroclaw | Poland
Wroclaw is the fourth largest city in Poland and is home to beautiful architecture, charm, and vibrant colors. As one of the most colorful cities in Europe, Wroclaw can brighten up even the gloomiest of days. In the city’s old town most of the buildings are painted bright colors which represent the youthful and creative vibe that Wroclaw has. The city also sees much less tourists per year compared to Poland’s larger cities of Warsaw and Krakow which means it is much easier to capture some beautiful shots of these colorful buildings.
Jodhpur | India
Much like Chefchaouen in Morocco, the city of Jodhpur in the western part of India, is also covered completely in blue paint and is also nicknamed the ‘blue city’. Everything in this town is painted an indigo shade of blue from the doorknobs to the staircases. People originally started painting their houses blue to distinguish themselves from the lower class people however, after a while everyone started doing it until almost all the houses and buildings in Jodhpur were blue. The blue color is most popular among the residents as being a great way to cool down their houses from the strong and hot Indian sun.
Willemstad | Curacao
In Willemstad, the capital city of Curacao you can find crayon-colored buildings that line the harbor. These houses represent the mix of cultures, languages, and history found within the city. The bright colors of these buildings attract hundreds of visitors a year and are considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The buildings are repainted every year right before Christmas to ensure that the colors are always looking clean and bright. The history behind the bright, Caribbean colors is because of Curacao’s old Governor-general Albert Kikkert. In 1817, Albert, who was a chronic headache sufferer, passed a law stating that all houses and buildings must be painted in pastel colors. He did this because he thought that the glare of all the white houses were to blame for his constant headaches. All in all, this made Willemstad one of the most colorful cities and one of the most photographed as well.