Lonely Planet Writer



Some travellers like the shape of things. Buildings, specifically. Are you one of those people who geeks out on architecture when you're visiting a new city?

Do you go somewhere explicitly to immerse yourself in buildings from another era?

You might not take it as far as architecture tours, but for many of us, walking around and within spaces constructed by another culture is a big part of getting to the heart of a place.

langonnefrance wants to explore French colonial style buildings in Hanoi, while dillydog is keen to poke around in New York's old industrial neighbourhoods. vitale83 recommends taking in the "glowering, socialist-era behemoths" if you're a Beijing bound building nut. Meanwhile, these travellers are hankering for a dose of Belgian architectural heritage.


Sometimes it’s the desire to see history before it vanishes that motivates.

These Thorn Tree members are anxious to see the faded glory of Kashgar, currently facing major demolition.

But the new still holds appeal. Whether it’s Barcelona’s emerging Spiral Tower (still under construction) or the transformation of Paris' former industrial zones, shiny new structures can attract a wanderers eye (and few could argue that destinations build their tallest and fanciest with the tourist dollar in mind).

Meanwhile, some folks are interested in the tension between old and new that often arises with transformation. Is it an essential improvement? Or a loss of character?


Do you care about buildings when you travel?

[Photos: Lonsdale House/Chris & Steve, Kashgar - the old city/elr1983, Hanoi house/Manu & Carsten]