The world’s most colourful cities

There’s no shortage of exciting and fascinating destinations in the world, but these six cities stand out for their vibrancy and remarkable colours.

Chefchaouen, Morocco
It’s easy to see why this mountain village draws visitors marvelling at its buildings in all shades of blue. Aptly nicknamed the ‘Blue City’, Chefchaouen has been all things azure since the 15th century when Sephardi Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition arrived with their tradition for painting buildings in their favourite colour.

Photo credit: Intrepid Travel

Cinque Terre, Italy
As the name suggests (‘Five Lands’ is the English translation), Cinque Terre is not one but, rather, five towns on the Ligurian Coast. Warm-hued buildings jut out, seemingly at all angles, from the rocky coast, and bright-hued fishing boats bob in sharp contrast with the clear aqua ocean. The five towns of Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza, which are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are fishing villages by nature, and now attract vast numbers of tourists every year.


Photo credit: CN Traveler

Havana, Cuba
Famed for its classic American cars and cigars, the capital of Cuba has a reputation for being a most lively destination. But it’s not just the culture in Havana that’s colourful; the city itself is filled with pastel-toned buildings, bright crayon-coloured cars, and vibrant art (or graffiti, depending on your perspective).


Image credit: GQ

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Jodhpur, India
Just like Chefchaouen in Morocco, Jodhpur is awash with cerulean tones (which also earns it the moniker the ‘Blue City’). This Indian city almost resembles an oasis, with its blue houses, shops and other buildings adding a serious splash of colour in the surrounding Thar Desert.


Photo credit: Jarrod Castaing

Pelourinho, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
‘Pelourinho’ refers to the historic centre of the city of Salvador, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the early 1990s. For over two centuries, from the mid-1500s, Salvador was the capital city of Brazil. Now a popular destination for those wanting to revel during Carnival, Salvador has buildings across the colour palette.


Photo credit: Gabriel Franceschi

St John’s, Canada
St John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador province in Canada. It’s also the oldest and most easterly city in North America. Featuring jellybean-coloured row houses on the cliff tops, St John’s evolved in to the multihued city it is today when a local paint company released a new vibrant colour range. Locals grabbed at the chance to update the previously dull grey and brown properties.


Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/ Alamy Stock

Have you visited any of these colourful destinations? Which places would you add to this list?

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Written by Lucy


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