Colorful Places All Over the World to Add to Your Bucket List
You may have already collected a few colorful destinations around the world on your “Been There Seen That!” travel list, but if you are looking to add some more insanely colorful destinations to your Instagram-worthy bucket list (or how to start your list), check out these ideas.
The Essence of Color
Color can have a profound effect on our emotions, moods and behaviors. Color is often used to trigger a response. For example, red evokes a feeling of passion, excitement, and confidence while blue can be refreshing and calming.
The world around us is full of color, color that adds a splash to brighten your day or color that becomes a feast for your eyes. Conde Nash Traveler agrees! Check out their favorite colorful places in the world.
If you are looking for some of the most colorful places around the world, these vibrant destinations are sure to please.
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Tips for Photographing the Most Popular Tourist Destinations Around the World
Check out these posts for tips to enhance your photography:
- 15 Popular Photography Gadgets
- Tips to Take Better Photos (And Look Good in Them too!)
- My Favorite Photography Things
1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the popular tourist destinations around the world. It is definitely one of the most colorful places in the world.
The canal houses in Amsterdam are typically narrow, tall and deep and overlook a canal. In medieval times, homes were taxed on their width, so these homes were built to be thin to keep taxes low. That didn’t stop the residents from incorporating brilliant color—there was no tax on that.
These colorful row homes have inspired illustrations that imitate the Dutch buildings and skyline. You’ll find these iconic canal houses between Amsterdam Centraal Station and Dam Square.
Once you visit Amsterdam, be sure to add the colorful tulip fields of the Netherlands to your bucket list.
2. Annecy, France
Annecy is another one of colorful European cities that features bright homes along canals.
Stroll along the canals on a sunny, summer afternoon to admire the pastel-colored fronts to the row homes, shops, and eateries. Even the random flowering bush adds a pop of color to be admired.
This print of a home along the Le Thiou canal in Annecy, France is available in the simplyjolayne Shop.
3. Boston, Massachusetts Doorsteps
Before visiting Boston, Massachusetts, my husband researched beautiful photogenic streets for us to visit. He found Acorn Street in Beacon Hill with its beautifully decorated front steps, potted mini peppers, and colorful kale in flower pots that was sure to be a photographer’s dream.
Fall is a dynamic time to visit Boston and view colorful spots throughout the city; it is one of the most colorful cities in the US to add to your bucket list.
4. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina in the Fall
Another delightful show of color in the Fall can be found along the Blue Ridge Parkway and within Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If you want to pick the most advantageous time to visit North Carolina, your best bet is to check this Fall Color Map and Fall Leaves Schedule. This helps you determine the best time to visit North Carolina as one of the most colorful natural places in the world.
Our family was able to visit at the beginning of the Fall color-changing season. Believe me, the peak color gets even better than this!
5. Burano, Italy
No matter the time of the year, the brilliant row houses along the canals in Burano, Italy offer a dramatic stop to add to your list of top colorful destinations around the world.
The sister island of Murano is much the same, and both islands are a short distance and easy day trip from Venice.
6. Butchart Gardens, Vancouver, British Columbia
With humble beginnings as a quarry, these immaculately kept gardens are tended by 50 full-time gardeners who care for 55 acres, 900 varieties of bedding plants, and 26 greenhouses.
No matter the time of the year, there is always something blooming in Canada’s treasured garden. And whether you spell it colorful or colourful, you’ll be delighted by what you see.
If you choose to visit, plan for at least four hours to wander through the gardens and give yourself plenty of time to explore these highlights:
- Ross Fountain
- Rose Garden
- Japanese Garden
- Star Pond
- Italian Garden
- Mediterranean Garden
7. Capitola, California
Capitola is a cute little seaside town along the shores of Monterey Bay.
You may wish to stop and peruse the fun tourist shops in Capitola, but also make a point to capture these cheerful, colorful seaside bungalows. They make Capitola a must-stop for Instagrammable colorful destinations to visit.
8. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is popping with color throughout the country from the wats in Ayutthya, the island of Ko Kret north of Bangkok, to the costumed children on the steps of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple.
It is one of my top 27 of the world’s most colorful destinations.
9. Colmar, France
Colmar is one of the romantic destinations around the world that is infused with extra color from flower boxes on half-timbered houses to a lively carousel to brilliant markets. It is among Travel and Leisure’s 15 of the World’s Most Colorful Destinations.
Just take a look at Colmar’s tourism website and you’ll see the explosion of color in the Old Town. It is one of my favorite colorful European cities.
The Meaning Behind the Colorful Houses
Ever wonder why Colmar’s houses were so colorful? (Or other homes in Europe?)
In order to more fully understand the reasoning behind the vibrant color choices of Alsatian homes, you need to venture back to the Middle Ages when very few people knew how to read. A Color Code was established to help citizens identify the business or trade they wished to find on city streets by its color.
- Emerald Green – represented sewing, fabric and leather trades
- Navy Blue – designated wood working trades
- White & Cream – represented construction trades
- Magenta Red – designated iron workers
- Ochre Yellow – signified businesses for bakers and pastry chefs
It is also important to note that the color of one’s home also indicated a religious preference: Red for Protestants and Blue for Catholics.
Now it makes sense right? I love that the colorful places in Colmar continue on today.
10. Ghent, Belgium
My husband and I spent the night at the Ghent Marriott right off Korenlei Street next to the canal in the center of the historic district. As we exited the hotel at the rear of the building after breakfast, we entered a storybook setting with the buildings, the canal, the cobbled streets, the smell, and the beautiful sunshine.
You will quickly discover that Ghent is one of the most enchanting destinations that you can explore… and so full of colorful places to visit! Choose one of the canal tours to get up close and personal with many homes and business.
11. Hallstatt, Austria
Whether you have the chance to visit Hallstatt, Austria on a day filled with sunshine, or on a rainy day, Hallstatt still shines brilliantly as one of the most popular beautiful destinations in the world.
The benefit to a rainy day? Our family stood under the tree of an outdoor restaurant—keeping dry and watching as the wait staff secured the outdoor seating area—and watched as tourists scurried out of town to avoid the downpour. It took about a half an hour for the rain to stop, and when it did, we had most of this colorful town to ourselves. Delightful.
12. Lake Louise, Alberta
Before you reach Lake Louise, make a stop at the Tokumm Creek Falls parking area. Can I just say AH-MAZ-ING! The area was somewhat similar to Red Rock Canyon by Waterton National Park, but even my dad, a lifelong lover of the outdoors and Waterton, agreed that this area was even more stunning.
The rocks were glacial gray, but against the turquoise of the water, the effect was outstanding. If you go, hike the moderately challenging trail up to Tokumm Creek Falls following the path which traverses over the gorge and Tokumm Creek far below a number of times. The sound of the falls thunders through the canyon.
Now that you’ve glimpsed the turquoise blue of the water here, keep on driving until you reach Lake Louise. The color at the lake is stunning as well.
The lake will surely be busy with tourists as it is one of the most popular colorful destinations around the world on many a bucket list, but you can still get a few people-free shots of the lake. You might even shiver as you watch a few hardy souls take a polar plunge!
13. Lourmarin, France
Lourmarin is a lovely little village with the cutest shops in the South of France. You will absolutely love Lourmarin and will want to add it to your colorful travel destinations bucket list.
As we wandered the streets, I commented to Chris that the French really know how to create a colorful vignette to draw you into their stores or surround their front doors. The loveliness even continues as you drive from town to town, passing vineyards and fields and flowering bushes.
14. Marsaxlokk, Malta
If you plan to visit Malta, be sure to include the bay in Marsaxlokk to your itinerary.
Marsaxlokk, a fishing village, is known for its colorful fleet of “Luzzu” boats. They are moored everywhere in the harbor. The boats add a brilliant pop of color.
Photographing the boats should definitely be on your list of things to do in Malta when you plan your visit.
The luzzu boats, boasting vibrant red, yellow and blue colors, are decorated with eyes engraved on both sides of the prow, believed to be a symbol of protection while the fishermen are at sea and of good health.
15. Melbourne, Australia
Have you ever wanted to see brightly colored beach boxes? Take a little jaunt from Melbourne to Brighton Beach for one of my favorite colorful destinations in Australia. The beach boxes are brightly painted with a personality all their own.
These beach boxes have survived since the 1860s, weathering heavy storms, disrepair and various attempts to have them removed by the Brighton council. Gasp! Not one of the most colorful destinations in the world!
16. Oceanside, California
These cottages in Oceanside, California—known as Roberts Cottages—are located just steps from the beach.
Can you imagine staying here for a week while watching (and hearing) the beauty of the ocean? Each cottage has a pristine ocean view and is a short walk from the Oceanside Harbor and Pier.
In fact, if you are coming by train, the Oceanside Amtrak station is less than a mile away from these colorful places by the beach. You’ll find an abundance of colorful cottages close by as well, but undoubtedly the most colorful feature of Oceanside is the brilliant blue of the ocean.
17. Paris, France
Ahhhhh Paris. Is it on your bucket list?
Whether you plan to travel to Paris in the Fall, getaway for a romantic weekend with your sweetheart, or plan for an extended visit to explore the city, Paris holds the hearts and dreams of many.
Paris boasts a vibrant cafe culture, stunning stained glass windows, beautiful gardens throughout the city, iconic landmarks, Instagrammable moments at almost every corner, and colorfully decadent desserts and treats.
18. Positano, Italy
Schedule a boat tour of the Amalfi coast to explore another one of my favorite colorful cities in Italy—Positano—or choose to spend a couple of days and nights discovering the town. The bright pinks and blues and yellows of the hillside homes offer a stunning photographic backdrop.
In fact, if you are taking pictures, you and your camera will be busily snapping pictures throughout your visit!
If you fancy a day at the beach, stretch out on the colorful beach loungers with bright blue umbrellas for a little bit of shade.
19. Riquewihr, France
Apparently, the animators and creators of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast came to Riquewihr when looking for inspiration in creating that old provincial town. If ever there was a charming European town, Riquewihr can claim that honor.
And you can see the charm the moment you step under the arch into Riquewihr with pops of color on the homes and business with the added bonus of flowers and flower boxes everywhere.
20. San Francisco, California
From Chinatown to cable cars, the Presidio to the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco is one of the fun colorful destinations in the US to see and explore. Even as you walk along the street and come upon wall art, you’ll just want to stop for one picture after another.
The most iconic colorful landscape in San Francisco is the Golden Gate bridge. And if you can catch it in just the right light as the sun goes down, perfection!
21. Sherwood, Oregon in the Fall
Chris and I were visiting friends last Fall in Sherwood, Oregon. We stumbled upon Sunset Boulevard, a most amazing street popping with Autumn reds and oranges, and yellows.
Fall can be an awesome time to visit many colorful places all over the world.
22. Soeul, South Korea
Soeul, the capital of South Korea, features pops of color all over the city. Most often seen are the colorful lanterns hanging in street markets. Contrasted against the modern skyscrapers, are the Buddhist temples, palaces, and markets.
Some of the popular, colorful attractions in Soeul include:
- Myeongdong Shopping Street
- Lotte World – an indoor amusement park and shopping mall
- Blue House – the official residence of the president of South Korea
- Cheongwadae Sarangchae – a museum and welcome center
- Buddhist temples
23. Southern Alberta, Canada
The sunsets in Southern Alberta make a road trip through Alberta at dusk a must-see part of your itinerary.
In fact, there is actual SCIENCE behind the phenomenon of amazing sunsets in Southern Alberta.
Apparently, the stellar colorful sunsets are amazing due to the shape of the land combined with Chinook wind conditions. That’s right, those mild, westerly “Chinook” winds drive moist air from British Columbia across several mountain ranges, wring out the moisture, and drop dry air on the prairies of Alberta.
This dry air is the beginning ingredient of a stellar sunset. You can read more about the sunsets in 12 Best Things to See on a Road Trip to Alberta and BC.
24. Texas Field of Blue Bonnets
If you happen to be spending your Spring Break in Texas and plan a visit to The Silos in Waco, Texas, you will undoubtedly come upon a field or two exploding with the color of blue bonnets. And undoubtedly, you won’t be the only one stopping.
The wild flowers are in a beautiful setting off the side of the road. With so many visitors and Texans choosing colorful destinations filled with wild flowers for pictures and picnics, you may find many spots matted down so that it looks as though a band of gorillas has nested overnight. Just have a seat or pose your family for a few pictures of your own. The flowers smell delightful.
The peak time for these colors and wildflowers is from the end of March through the middle of April.
25. Varenna, Italy
Varenna is one of many hillsides towns hugging Lake Como. Any of the towns surrounding the lake would be amazing and romantic colorful destinations.
Varenna drew both Chris and I in from the moment we arrived. Not only were the buildings brightly colored but also the business and storefronts. Italians, too, create beautiful settings by their front doors!
If you visit in the Fall, there is the added beauty of changing leaves, especially on the grape vines. Take the ferry from Varenna to Bellagio and have your camera ready to snap pictures of the colorful villages and homes you pass along the way.
26. Venice, Italy
Like so many other color-popping destinations in Italy, Venice offers brilliant color on their buildings and in their markets with the added benefit of canals filled with gondolas and striped gondoliers.
Ahhh, Venice. It is a fantastic city. A photographer’s dream for sure. You will walk a short distance, stop to take pictures, see something else amazing and stop. And you will be entranced by the charm of Venice. Wander your way along alleys, past the canals, and across bridges. So awesome.
27. Zion National Park, Utah
And finally we reach the beautiful destination of Zion National Park. This park features bold colored mountains, rock formations and awesome hikes.
I am a fan of National Parks all over the United States and most are some of the most colorful natural places any time of the year.
Be sure to get your Annual Park Pass and plan to visit Zion and other parks this year.
- Zion National Park
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Capital Reef National Park
Instagram Captions for the Most Colorful Destinations
- Color speaks all languages.
- Color speaks my language.
- Color always makes me smile.
- Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
- Colors are the smiles of nature. ~ Leigh Hunt
- We are rainbows, you and me. Every color, every hue.
- Use all of the colors in the crayon box.
- Don’t miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.
- So many colors, so many reasons to smile.
- I prefer living in color.
- How sweet to be a cloud just floating in the big blue sky!
- Sunset is my favorite color.
- Keep calm and find the magic of color.
- Life is like a rainbow. You need both rain and sunshine to make its colors appear.
- A camera teaches you how to see without a camera. ~ Dorothea Lange
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Final Thoughts on ALL of the Instagram Worthy and Insanely Colorful Destinations Around the World
It has been a whirlwind trip around the world to visit dozens of colorful travel destinations. I’m off to Norway soon, so I am sure that is another destination that I can add to my “Been There Seen That!” travel list.
What colorful destinations are on your list? What colorful destinations have you visited that have captured your heart? If the destinations aren’t listed above, my bucket list is always open to a few more suggestions.
You may also like these posts about more colorful destinations…
- 14 Best Places in Colorado for Family Travel This Summer
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- Best Things to See on a Road Trip to Alberta and BC
- 15 Breathtaking Hikes in Colorado
- Best Small Towns in Northern Italy You Need to See!
- 17 Dreamy Small Towns in Italy Near Florence