No filter necessary: these travel destinations are some of the most beautiful and colorful places in the entire world. So put away those rose-colored glasses, no need to adjust your screens; these brilliantly bedazzling places are all 100% real, and accessible. Get out your passport, pick a loud outfit, and buckle up for a trip to some of the most eye-catching and vibrant scenes on Earth.
1. Little India, Singapore
Scattered throughout already-vibrant Singapore are small clusters of neighborhoods that make up some of the country’s ethnic enclaves. And while Chinatown and Muslim Quarter are beautiful in their own right, there is nothing quite like Singapore’s Little India. According to Culture Trip, “of all the ethnic enclaves in Singapore, Little India is the city at its most liveliest and colorful.”
Travel blogs suggest coming to this area with an empty roll of film and an empty stomach. Little India is filled with gorgeous temples and rainbow homes. Anyone taking a visit needs to go to the Little India Arcade, an outdoor flea market that sells everything from street food to beautiful textiles.
2. Lake Hillier, Australia
No, there’s nothing wrong with the screen. That is actually a 2,000-foot long, bubblegum pink-colored lake sitting right off the shores of the Pacific Ocean. But there is no diving into this lake, as its shores are blocked off for preservation purposes, so it can only really be enjoyed by most from the air.
And as if this strawberry milkshake-shaded lake could not get any cooler, it also comes with a mystery. No one is completely sure how this lake got its unique hue. But most scientists believe that it has to do with the only thing that lives in the lake, the microalgae Dunaliella slaina.
3. Provence, France
The only thing better than looking over and taking in the sights of the breathtaking lavender fields of Provence, France, is smelling them. If there were ever a time that we wished there was a scratch-and-sniff photo, it would definitely be now.
It is not like there is just one of these heavenly lavender fields in Provence. There are dozens, meriting guides that even rank the best lavender fields to see each year. Sadly, those brilliant purple hues do not last all year. The best time to make a trip each year would be during peak bloom, between the end of June and the beginning of August.
4. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
If anyone was unable to guess by the name, Old San Juan is not only the oldest settlement within Puerto Rico’s capital city of San Juan, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is in fact said to be the oldest settlement in all of the island. But if it’s said that colors fade over time, Old San Juan is here to prove everyone wrong.
Trip Savvy says that “Old San Juan has no beaches, no resort hotels, and not a whole lot of natural beauty — yet it’s still one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico.” The area is, instead, home to eclectic bars, stroll-worthy promenades, and art galleries.
5. Batu Caves, Malaysia
As if visiting a site that includes several caves, shrines, and temples was not enough to draw people to the Batu Caves of Malaysia, the scene is also painted in rainbow hues all the way up the slopes of its limestone hills. Located nearly seven miles outside of the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, the cave is said to be among the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
Exactly 272 technicolor-colored stairs climb up to the 400 million-year-old limestone formations in the three main caves, each of which features shrines and temples. And the antics of the monkeys that call the area home make the scene even more colorful in more ways than one — just keep an eye on your bag!
6. Shah Mosque, Iran
It has been called “Iran’s most beautiful mosque.” Shah Mosque is located in the city of Isfahan, an area unsurprisingly known for its stunning architecture. But even with the bar already set high, Shah Mosque stands out as a true architectural masterpiece.
Part of what makes this 400-year-old mosque so breathtakingly beautiful is its use of seven-color tiles, which create intricate mosaics on the interior and exterior walls of the building. But while the sides might be mesmerizing, visitors should not forget to look up at the equally impressive ceilings. Anyone could spend days just wandering around this mosque wondering at all of the patterns these tiles create.
7. Bo Kaap, South Africa
Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, Bo Kaap is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods and by far one of the most photographed locations in the entire city of Cape Town, South Africa. What’s more, this brightly-colored part of town also comes with a pretty colorful history.
The houses were said to be painted such bright colors as an expression of freedom and individualism. When these houses were on lease, they were required to remain white. Once people would buy these homes, they would paint their home a vibrant color to leave their mark. That seems like a much cooler way to celebrate rather than taking a picture outside holding up our new keys.
8. Red Beach, China
At first glance, it might seem like someone is walking up to a crimson-red beach. And that is exactly why this landmark was given the name that is equivalent to “Red Beach” in Chinese. But oddly enough, this “beach” is not full of red sand. Instead, this wetland is covered in reeds that make up one of the biggest reed marsh areas in the world.
What makes China’s Red Beach so remarkable is its seepweed plants, which seasonally turn a unique shade. Beyond these seepweed plants, the area is also home to 260 kinds of birds and 399 different wild animals, including some endangered species.
9. Favela Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the south zone of Brazil’s metropolis Rio de Janeiro sits a neighborhood that looks like a box of Crayola crayons exploded all over it. The favela, a word commonly used to refer to low and middle-income areas or “slums” of Brazilian cities, is known for its maze of graffiti-coated alleyways and vibrant buildings climbing steadily up Rio’s hillside.
Overall, there are hundreds of favelas in Rio, which are estimated to house over a million inhabitants, and Santa Marta is home to 8,000 of them. But out of all the favelas, it was Santa Marta that was chosen to be the backdrop in Michael Jackson’s politically-charged music video for the song “They Don’t Really Care About Us.”
10. Vinicunca, Peru
If anyone needed proof that humans are uncovering more and more secrets about our planet by the day, look no further than Vinicunca, also known as the Rainbow Mountain or the Mountain of Seven Colors. This incredible world wonder was only just discovered in 2015. That’s right, only a couple of years ago news of this beauty had not yet reached the outside world.
The reason it took so long for this unique mountain to be discovered is because for centuries it was covered in snow. But in 2015, the snow had melted off of this mountain, creating quite the shocking reveal. Scientists have concluded that the mountain’s hues come from environmental and weather conditions of this specific area, along with sedimentary deposits.
11. Holi Festival, India
It’s not just one place, but many. The annual Hindu festival known as Holi or the “Festival of Colors” is one of the most brilliant, shockingly vivid celebrations in the world. While satellite events now take place in other countries and in South Asian communities across the world, the festival began in North India as a way to welcome spring, put an end to winter, and celebrate love and the victory of good over evil.
So how exactly is Holi celebrated? Well, people basically spend the day just smearing colored powder and throwing water at each other. The fine powder is called gulal, and comes in a range of vibrant colors, turning this dance party into a rainbow-colored homage to springtime and happiness.
12. Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
Just two hours away from Tokyo sitting right on the Pacific Ocean’s coast is a park that looks like it was torn straight from the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. Unlike some parks, peak season happens all throughout the year, and depending on what month someone visits, the park could look completely different.
Of all the colorful places in Japan, this one might just take the cake. Each season, flowers are in bloom at this 500-acre park. In autumn, the 30,00 green Kochia bushes turn into a sea of scarlet, and in the spring millions of blossoms erupt into fields of either white or baby blue. If that is not enough, there are also rock gardens, herb gardens, and the Pacific Coast.
13. Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano has been described as “an island in the Venetian Lagoon…known for its lace work and brightly colored homes.” So, it sounds like Burano is basically heaven! Anyone visiting Venice needs to drop by this cheerful island of strikingly beautiful buildings and, yes, also canals galore.
There’s a system that decides who paints their homes which color. Anyone who lives in Burano and wishes to paint their home has to write a letter to the government, a rule dating back to the island’s golden age of development. The government will then let the resident know which colors they can use for their specific home. But judging by what we see, there’s no losing in this color lottery.
14. Skagit Valley, United States
The dream of running and frolicking through a field of flowers is a reality at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Every April in the northwest corner of Washington State, the fields explode with colors of tulips, daffodils, and irises. And this festival is not just located in one specific plot; it’s celebrated in fields across the entire town.
Every year, the festival is just a little different. Because of necessary crop rotations, every field features a different flower each April. For those living in the Pacific Northwest, there is no need to go to the fields of the Netherlands to run through rows of tulips — there’s an option right in their backyard.
15. Chefchaouen, Morocco
The small city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco is not just blue — it is every shade of blue, from azure to sapphire to sky hues. It’s no wonder Chefchaouen has been called “the blue pearl of Morocco.” It is believed that the area was first painted this color by the Sephardic Jewish refugees who once lived there.
The blue city is actually located a four-hour drive away from the popular tourist city Fes and 7 hours away from Marrakesh, so it’s not exactly a quick day trip, but the Internet age has made this blue-washed city Instagram and Pinterest-famous, creating a boom for local businesses.
16. Koon Seng Road, Singapore
Koon Seng Road has been called “the prettiest street in Singapore,” and for anyone who has ever been to Singapore, they know that is some rather high praise. Tourists flock to this specific road for the pastel-painted homes that date back to the 1920s and 1930s, during the British colonial era.
The houses were built and designed according to the Peranakan Chinese tradition. Some of the descendants of the original owners still live inside of these homes. Come to see these beautiful buildings up close and in person, and stay to people-watch as tourists arrive for iPhone photo shoots in color-coordinated, matching outfits.
17. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
There is nothing in the world like the Great Barrier Reef. This world-famous UNESCO site off of the northeast coast of Australia hosts the largest collection of coral reefs on the planet. More than 400 different types of coral, 1,500 species of fish, and over 4,000 mollusks call the 2,500 individual reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef their home.
These technicolor reefs stretch for 1,430 miles, all of which are protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This extremely delicate habitat is constantly threatened by dozens of different elements, and has been closely monitored to try to limit the impacts of tourism and fishing.
18. Kawachi Wisteria Garden, Japan
What is better than a colorful walk? A colorful walk through a tunnel of deliciously fragrant blooming flowers, of course! This real life fairy tale scene is easily one of the most romantic places on earth. A wooden tunnel structure is covered in 150 flowering wisteria plants in rows of whites, blues, purples, and pinks.
For those travelers seeking out colorful places to enjoy, take note: the garden is best to visit in the springtime, around April or May, depending on the year. In fact, Atlas Obscura says that this is basically the only good time to visit. Otherwise, the tunnel just looks like a tangled mess of empty branches, and not worth the trip out of town.
19. The Flower Bulb Region, Netherlands
There are tons of reasons to visit the small yet plucky Netherlands. But every year, the countryside attracts thousands of visitors all hoping to see the country’s world-famous tulip fields. The perfectly-arranged rows of flowering bulbs in shades of reds, yellows, pinks, whites, and oranges stretch as far as the eye can see, and they are located just 30 minutes outside of Amsterdam.
For those who do not want to simply take a stroll through these fields of flowers, there are options to take bicycle and sailing tours. But the most famous tourist attraction is the Keukenhof Tulip Garden, which is open in the spring, usually from March to May.
20. Hội An, Vietnam
In an already breathtaking place like Vietnam, Hội An has been called “easily one of the most beautiful places in Southeast Asia.” This former commercial port is now a quaint fisherman’s town with bustling street markets, brightly-painted buildings, and a river running right through the middle of downtown.
The historic area is completely closed off to cars and motorbikes, so people can walk through pedestrian-only streets while comfortably gazing at the colorful homes and alleyways. And the city somehow manages to become even more colorful in the dark of night. Beautiful silk lanterns light up all of the streets, riverbanks, and traditional Japanese covered bridge.
21. Marble Caves, Chile
To get to the Marble Caves requires a trip to a remote area of Chile and hopping on a boat, kayak, or ferry. But while the trip might not be the easiest, the views are absolutely worth it. The calm waters of one of Chlie’s largest glacial lakes lead to a cluster of marble islands.
The swirling lines of the marble rocks combine with the bright blue water to create a striking scene unlike anything else in the world. The best time to visit this natural beauty is between September and February when the ice melts into this lake, turning the water shades of turquoise and sea-foam.
22. Rainbow Village, Taiwan
Rainbow Village is a small area in the Taiwanese city of Taichung, and it’s been utterly plastered with cartoonish scenes and a jolly grandpa. What could be better? This bright village was once a neighborhood where veterans of the Chinese Civil War lived. But in 2008, Taiwan’s government wanted to tear down the district to make room for redevelopment.
A resident named Huang Yong Fu, also known as Rainbow Grandpa, was one of the last veterans to stay in his home, and he painted his building with happy images to save it from demolition. Soon enough, his neighbors began asking him to paint their homes. The plan ultimately worked and the veterans got to keep their residences — and tourists get plenty of bright and cheerful art to enjoy.
23. Moco Museum, Netherlands
Anyone who is visiting Amsterdam needs to hop on a bike a take a trip over to The Moco Museum. This modern and contemporary art museum is basically a perfectly-curated funhouse for grown-ups. But the biggest draw to this museum is its huge collection from famous graffiti artist Banksy. In fact, this locale was the first museum to display the artist’s work.
Exhibits in this independent museum feature rooms that take visitors straight into the world of pop art, as well as rooms that are filled with giant purple balls or vibrant lights hanging from the ceiling, with mirrors that give the illusion that the room lasts forever.
24. Notting Hill, England
There’s much more to Notting Hill than being the backdrop of one of the best Hugh Grant movies. Taking a trip to this part of London pretty much ensures a perfect day. The colorful neighborhood is filled with chic boutiques, street markets, and some of the finest restaurants the city has to offer.
Besides people-watching and staring at the beautiful homes, those visiting Notting Hill are drawn to its famous Portobello Road and its half-mile-long antiques market, known to be the largest in the world. And while they’re there, tourists can’t help but drop into a small bookshop to live their Julia Roberts dreams. How can you go wrong?
25. Unicorn Café, Thailand
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is said to be the most magical place on Earth, but Bangkok’s Unicorn Café begs to differ. This cafe looks like a Lisa Frank sticker pack from the ’90s blew up all over it and then opened its doors to the public.
The walls are painted in sherbet tones, the floors are covered in galaxy-themed carpets, guests sit in giant plush pastel booths under a ceiling decorated with unicorn stuffed animals, and the food is served in similar rainbow hues with unicorn themes. It is every toddler’s dream, but made for adults and kids alike.
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