Lonely Planet Writer

Are these the most colourful neighbourhoods in the world?

Houses and residential areas tend to be designed in muted or neutral colour palettes, but there are some wonderfully vibrant exceptions to be found around the world. You could never be blue if you lived in one of these cheery and colourful neighbourhoods.

South Africa

The brightly-coloured buildings are situated in the Malay Quarter of Cape Town, close to Table Mountain.

Colourful buildings in the Malay Quarter of Cape Town Central. Image: Daniela White Images
Colourful buildings in the Malay Quarter of Cape Town Central. Image: Daniela White Images

Argentina

Caminito (or ‘little walkway’ in Spanish) is a street museum and traditional alley located in La Boca, a neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.

Caminito in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Image: Hiroshi Higuchi
Caminito in La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Image: Hiroshi Higuchi

Northern Ireland

These jewel-coloured houses can be found on the Whitehead waterfront in County Antrim.

Houses on the Whitehead waterfront in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Image: Marco Bottigelli
Houses on the Whitehead waterfront in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Image: Marco Bottigelli

Mexico

Guanajuato, the capital of Guanajuato state, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and charming colonial-era city situated in a picturesque valley.

Guanajuato City in Mexico. Image: www.infinitahighway.com.br
Guanajuato City in Mexico. Image: www.infinitahighway.com.br

Germany

The gaily-hued houses found in Rothenburg town centre are near to St. James Church.

Colourful houses in Rothenburg City, Germany. Image: Jose Fuste Raga
Colourful houses in Rothenburg City, Germany. Image: Jose Fuste Raga

Austria

The creative Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna was designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

The Hundertwasser Haus,in Austria, Vienna, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Image: Paul Harris
The Hundertwasser Haus,in Austria, Vienna, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Image: Paul Harris

Italy

Burano is a pretty island in the northern part of the Venetian lagoon. It’s famous for lace-making and its brightly-coloured fishermen’s houses.

Burano island in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy. Image: annhfhung
Burano island in the Venetian Lagoon, Italy. Image: annhfhung

England

These houses brighten up London’s Notting Hill, which was the setting for the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ film of the same name.

Colourful residential buildings in Notting Hill, London. Image: Ingrid Rasmussen
Colourful residential buildings in Notting Hill, London. Image: Ingrid Rasmussen

Albania

Tirana is the capital of Albania, and is known for the pastel buildings surrounding the city’s focal point, Skanderbeg Square.

Painted houses in Tirana, Albania. Houses. Image: David Forman
Painted houses in Tirana, Albania. Houses. Image: David Forman

California

These Victorian houses lend vibrance to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco.

Colourfully painted Victorian houses in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, California, Image: Gavin Hellier
Colourfully painted Victorian houses in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, California, Image: Gavin Hellier

Italy

The seaside neighbourhood of Vernazza in Cinque Terre is often characterised as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Colorful houses at seaside, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy. Image: Greg Gibb Photography
Colorful houses at seaside, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy. Image: Greg Gibb Photography

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.