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Visiting Venice? Take a ferry ride to Burano and explore the flamboyant houses that take centrestage on the small fishing and lace-making island.
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The narrow 17th century buildings that characterise this canal-ringed city are the result of tax avoidance: rates were based on the amount of street frontage that properties took up.
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Meander through Chefchaouen’s blue maze of Spanish and Moorish architecture gracing the labyrinth of alleyways.
St John’s, Newfoundland
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Downtown St John’s is renowned for its “jellybean row houses” – a nickname given to its brightly coloured Victorian terrace houses.
La Boca, Buenos Aires
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Discover the eclectic houses of Caminito, in the neighbourhood of La Boca, which were originally painted in the 1960s by local artist Benito Quinquela Martín.
Gamla Stan, Stockholm
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In Stockholm’s Old Town, medieval cobblestone-lined streets, and buildings adorned in rich reds and yellows, date back as far as the 13th century.
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Pristine white walls punctuated by deep blues make Santorini a postcard-worthy location.
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Travel just over 10 kilometres south of Victoria’s capital to seaside Brighton and take in the 82 pretty-as-a-picture bathing boxes and boatsheds.
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Seemingly trapped in time, Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage site where vintage cars and colonial buildings evoke a beautiful past era.
Portobello Road, London
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Famous for hosting one of the world’s largest antique markets, Portobello Road’s Victorian houses are almost as colourful as the people who visit the area.
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This Phlegraean Island, off the coast of southern Italy, has a vibrant array of waterfront houses, interspersed with lemon groves – making it a Mediterranean paradise.
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The Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia (known commonly as Pelourinho –“pillory” in Portuguese) was the city centre during Portuguese colonial times. Its name derives from the punishments endured by African slaves. Under a government initiative in the 1990s, hundreds of building facades were restored – and took on colourful new identities.
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On the Amalfi Coast, the pretty pastel-hued buildings of the popular seaside village of Positano are stacked all the way down the steep cliffs to the beach below.
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It might only be a tad over 15 square kilometres, but Shibuya has a population of more than 220,000. Shibuya Crossing is the busiest intersection in the country and all the surrounding buildings are covered by illuminated signage and advertising.
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Antigua is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its Spanish colonial and Baroque architecture. Beyond the 17th century Arco de Santa Catalina, Agua Volcano can be seen in the distance.
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Local inhabitants of Albufeira, the tourist hotspot on the Algarve coast, have dubbed the blue, pink, yellow and orange buildings and apartments north of the marina “Legoland”.
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The city centre of Willemstad, capital of the tiny island of Curacao in the southern Caribbean, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its remarkable Dutch colonial architecture. Colourful townhouses line the cobbled streets surrounding the harbour.
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The Old Town of Poznań sits on the west side of the Warta River. The centre of the once-walled Medieval city is the Stary Ryneck, or Old Market Square, which is surrounded by colourful former merchant’s houses dating from the 16th century. The buildings now house restaurants, bars and pubs.
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The village of Kulusuk on the tiny island of the same name (it measures only eight kilometres by 11 kilometres) is home to fewer than 300 people and was only permanently settled in 1909.
Lake Como, Italy
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The lakeside towns of Lake Como, including Varenna, Bellagio and Menaggio, are famed tourist destinations and home to many colourful cottages and extravagant villas.
San Francisco, United States
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Many of San Francisco’s Victorian houses are painted in eye-catching colour schemes, from the subtle to the garish. Most famous are the Painted Ladies, a row of Victorian homes on the eastern side of Alamo Square.
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Nicknamed the Pearl of France, Menton sits on the French Riviera along the Franco-Italian border. In the late 1800s, it became the summer destination of choice for European aristocrats. Many of the hotels and villas in the area date from this period.
Times Square, United States
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The first electric billboard appeared in New York’s Times Square in 1904 and by the 1920s, ads were generating tens of million dollars. The area – the most visited place in Manhattan – is now awash with animated billboards and illuminated signage.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Puerto Rico’s capital is the second-oldest colonial capital in the Americas and its old town, Viejo San Juan (Old San Juan) is characterised by public squares and brightly-painted forts, churches and row houses.
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The prettiest houses on the Aegean island of Symi are the neoclassical homes along the coast surrounding the town of Ano Symi, which were built in the mid-1800s. A burgeoning tourist trade and an influx of expats has resulted in the restoration of many buildings.
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Located in Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm, this quaint little square – the oldest in the city – is the setting for local events such as performances and the yearly Christmas market.
Up Next: The World’s Most Spectacular Colourful Lakes
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