There are many elements that make a city visually interesting for photographers: architecture, parks, people, food. These elements converge to give a city its distinct character. But one element is often overlooked: color. While the average metropolis can be a colorless place dominated by concrete and steel, there are some where color flourishes.

Here are ten colorful cities across the world to inspire a photographer’s wanderlust.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Colorful cities - Cinque terre Italy
Image by waku

Situated on the rugged coastline of the Ligurian sea, Manarola is one of the five tiny towns that make up The Cinque Terre of the Italian Riviera. The colorful buildings spill down the cliffs to the local swimming hole and harbor below. The town has become a popular tourist destination with scenic hiking trails and popular vineyards located nearby.

Chefchaouen, Morocco

<a href="">Image by hiro0001</a>
<a href="">Image by Mauro Rodrigues</a>

Pictured: [1] Image by hiro0001 [2] Image by Mauro Rodrigues

Located in in the Rif Mountains in Northwest Morocco, Chefchaouen is famous for its buildings painted in shades of blue. The reason for all the blue is up for debate. The color is said to keep the mosquitoes away, and it was an important color for Jewish refugees, representing the sky and heaven, as well creating a mellow atmosphere during bright summer days. One thing is certain, all the blue creates plenty of fantastic opportunities for colorful photography.

Guanajuato, Mexico

Colorful cities - Guanajuato, Mexico
Image by Chao Kusollerschariya

The mountain town of Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered by many locals and tourists to be the most beautiful in Mexico. Colorful haciendas and colonial buildings spread out in all directions into the hills, with a network of underground tunnels serving as the major roadways, making it a very walkable and photogenic city to explore.

Jodhpur, India

Colorful Cities - Jodhpur, India
Image by imagehub

The second largest city in the state of Rajasthan, India, Jodhpur is known as the Sun City and the Blue City. Most of the houses in the old city are a blue hue; some say it started because the upper class Brahmins wanted to separate themselves from the masses, while others say that the blue keeps the houses cool in the desert heat.

Bo-Kaap, Cape Town

<a href="">Image by MG Africa</a>
<a href="">Image by littlewormy</a>

Pictured: [1] Image by MG Africa [2] Image by littlewormy

This suburb of Cape Town is known for it’s picturesque, brightly colored houses and cobblestone streets. Sometimes called the Malay Quarter, the city’s first inhabitants were Muslim descendants of slaves from South-East Asia, and it still has a predominantly Muslim character. Residents decided to paint their houses in celebration of Eid, coordinating with neighbors to avoid color clashes.

Wroclaw, Poland

Colorful Cities - Wroclaw Poland
Image by Pablo77

With a population of 637,075, Wroclaw is Poland’s fourth largest city, and was the 2016 European Capital of Culture. Tourists are drawn to this picturesque city for it’s relaxed culture, beautiful bridges and islands, and abundant nightlife. The heart of the city is Market Square in Old Town, which features rows of colorful buildings and lots of photographic opportunities.

 Burano Island, Italy

<a href="">Image by Katvic</a>
<a href="">Image by Don Mammoser /</a>

Pictured: [1] Image by Katvic [2] Image by Don Mammoser /

Situated in the Venetian Lagoon, Burano is an archipelago of four islands connected by bridges and canals much like its famous neighbor to the south, Venice. It’s famous for its brightly colored houses, which are said to have been painted so local fisherman could find the island in the dense lagoon fog. The rainbow of colors has become a major tourist attraction and another reason to plan that photography trip to Italy.

San Francisco, California

Colorful Cities - Painted ladies, San Francisco
Image by Sergey Novikov

One of the most visited cities in the world, San Francisco is famous for its hilly terrain, high tech startups, liberal culture, and scenic views. The colorful Haight-Ashbury neighborhood became famous during the 1960s as the epicenter of hippie culture, and still retains its counterculture spirit today. The row of Victorian houses overlooking Alamo Square, known as the Painted Ladies, are an irresistible photo opportunity.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

<a href="">Image by Jarmo Piironen</a>
<a href="">Image by Elena Elisseeva</a>

Pictured: [1] Image by Jarmo Piironen [2] Image by Elena Elisseeva

North America’s most easterly city and one of its oldest settlements, St. John’s, Newfoundland is known for its colorful row houses, which are often found on the town’s rolling hills, giving it a feel much like San Francisco. The tradition of bright colored buildings dates back to the 1970s when the city wanted to revitalize the downtown area.

Willemstad, Curacao

Colorful cities - Curacao, Netherlands
Image by Sorin Colac

Located in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, Willemstad is the capital of Curacao, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The city center features over 750 brightly colored pastel buildings that have earned the area UNESCO status. Legend has it that in the 19th century the Mayor of the city would suffer migraines from the hot sun reflecting off the white buildings, so he ordered the owners to paint them different colors.