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10 Most Colourful Cities in the World 2023

As you start to wonder where to go next, a study by the American research platform Uswitch recently compiled a list of the world’s most vibrant locales. A digital color selector was used to rank the locations according to the amount of shades that could be seen in the photographs after destinations were chosen from a variety of travel periodicals. Are you prepared to find them for yourself? See the list below:


Top Most Colourful Cities in the World

  1. Little India, Singapore: A vibrant ethnic enclave known for its colorful shophouses, traditional clothing stores, and authentic Indian cuisine.
  2. Jodhpur, India: The “Blue City” of Rajasthan, famous for its blue-painted houses, magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, and rich cultural heritage.
  3. Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa: A colorful neighborhood with brightly painted houses, steeped in Cape Malay heritage and renowned for its culinary delights.
  4. Burano, Italy: A picturesque island in the Venetian Lagoon, known for its colorful houses, lace-making tradition, and serene ambiance.
  5. Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan: An artful village with vibrant murals painted on the walls of houses, transformed by the artistic talents of “Rainbow Grandpa” Huang Yung-Fu.
  6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A lively city famous for its stunning natural beauty, colorful beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, and exuberant cultural scene, including the world-renowned Carnival celebration.

These colorful places offer unique and enchanting experiences, each with its own distinctive charm and cultural significance.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Most Colourful Cities in the World

No.1 Most Colourful Cities in the World

Rio de Janeiro, often referred to simply as Rio, is a vibrant and iconic city located in southeastern Brazil. Nestled between lush mountains and the stunning Atlantic Ocean coastline, Rio is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, lively culture, and exuberant atmosphere.

One of Rio’s most famous landmarks is the Christ the Redeemer statue, an imposing art deco statue of Jesus Christ perched atop Corcovado Mountain. From this vantage point, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city, including the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain and the beautiful Guanabara Bay.

The city’s beaches are a central part of its identity, with Copacabana and Ipanema being the most famous. These sandy shores draw locals and tourists alike, offering a mix of sunbathing, beach sports, and lively beachfront bars known as “kiosks.”

Rio de Janeiro’s vibrant cultural scene is infused with music, dance, and celebrations. The annual Rio Carnival is one of the world’s most famous events, attracting millions of people who come to witness the colorful samba parades, extravagant costumes, and electrifying energy that engulfs the city during the festivities.

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Samba, a popular music and dance style, is deeply ingrained in Rio’s culture, and visitors can experience live performances at various clubs and venues throughout the city. The rhythm and energy of samba are contagious, making it hard to resist joining in on the dance floor.

Rio de Janeiro also offers a mix of historical and modern attractions. The Santa Teresa neighborhood, with its charming cobbled streets and bohemian vibe, is a favorite among artists and creatives. The historic downtown, known as Centro, features impressive colonial architecture and landmarks like the Municipal Theatre and the National Library of Brazil.

Nature lovers can explore the Tijuca National Park, the world’s largest urban forest, and enjoy hikes to waterfalls, peaks, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Despite its beauty and vibrancy, Rio also faces some challenges related to social inequality and crime, so it’s essential for visitors to stay vigilant and follow local advice for safety.

In summary, Rio de Janeiro is a city that captivates with its stunning scenery, infectious spirit, and cultural richness. Whether enjoying its famous landmarks, embracing the samba rhythms, or relaxing on its iconic beaches, Rio offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers from all corners of the world.

2. Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan

Most Colourful Cities in the World

No.2 Most Colourful Village in the World

Rainbow Village, located in Taichung, Taiwan, is a captivating and whimsical art installation that has become a popular tourist attraction in the city. Originally a military housing complex built during the 1940s, the village faced demolition in the early 2000s as part of an urban development plan. However, one of the residents, Mr. Huang Yung-Fu, a retired soldier, decided to transform the village into a colorful masterpiece with his artistic talent.

Instead of allowing the village to be torn down, Mr. Huang took it upon himself to paint vibrant and intricate murals on the walls of the houses and buildings. His artworks depict a wide array of subjects, including animals, people, plants, and imaginary creatures. He used a multitude of bright and bold colors, creating a kaleidoscope of eye-catching visuals that give the village its name “Rainbow Village.”

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The unique and creative transformation of the village caught the attention of the public and authorities, leading to a change of plans and ultimately saving the village from demolition. The government recognized the cultural significance and value of Mr. Huang’s artworks and decided to preserve the Rainbow Village as a cultural heritage site and a tourist destination.

Today, visitors from all over the world flock to Rainbow Village to admire the vibrant and artistic displays. The village has become a symbol of creativity, perseverance, and community spirit. Mr. Huang, fondly known as the “Rainbow Grandpa,” has become a local celebrity and a beloved figure in Taichung for his inspiring contribution to the preservation of the village.

Rainbow Village offers a delightful and colorful experience, with every corner presenting unique and whimsical artworks. It has also become a favorite spot for photography enthusiasts, with countless photo opportunities to capture the vivid murals and the spirit of Mr. Huang’s creative vision.

The heartwarming story of Rainbow Village and its captivating artistry make it a must-visit destination in Taichung, providing a joyful and meaningful experience for visitors of all ages.

3. Burano, Italy

Most Colourful Cities in the World

No.3 Most Colourful Cities in the World

Burano is a charming and picturesque island located in the Venetian Lagoon, just a short boat ride away from Venice, Italy. Renowned for its colorful houses, vibrant canals, and intricate lace-making tradition, Burano is a popular destination for tourists seeking a unique and idyllic experience.

The island is famous for its brightly painted houses, each adorned in a spectrum of vibrant colors. The tradition of painting the houses in vivid hues is said to have originated from the desire of fishermen to easily recognize their homes while out at sea. The result is a stunning and photogenic landscape that captivates visitors at every turn.

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Burano is also known for its intricate lace-making craft, which has been passed down through generations. The island’s lace-making tradition dates back centuries, and the delicate lacework produced here is highly sought after and valued as a unique Venetian art form. Visitors can explore local shops and workshops to witness artisans skillfully creating lace products.

As you stroll through the island’s narrow streets and picturesque canals, you’ll find charming little squares and colorful bridges, adding to the enchanting ambiance of Burano. The island’s peaceful and laid-back atmosphere makes it a perfect escape from the bustling crowds of Venice.

In addition to its colorful houses and lace-making heritage, Burano is also known for its excellent seafood restaurants. Dining in Burano allows visitors to savor fresh catch-of-the-day dishes while enjoying the serene waterfront views.

Burano’s proximity to Venice makes it an ideal day trip destination, but the island’s unique charm and tranquil beauty also make it a wonderful place to spend a leisurely and relaxing vacation away from the bustling city.

Overall, Burano’s colorful facades, historic lace-making tradition, and serene surroundings make it a hidden gem in the Venetian Lagoon and a delightful addition to any visit to the enchanting region of Italy.

4. Bristol, England

No.4 Most Colourful Cities in England

Bristol is a vibrant city located in the southwestern part of England. It is the largest city in the county of Bristol and one of the major cultural and economic hubs in the region. Known for its rich maritime history and contemporary arts scene, Bristol offers a diverse and exciting experience for residents and visitors alike.

The city’s maritime heritage is deeply ingrained, and its harbor played a significant role in trade and shipping during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the Bristol Harbour is a popular spot for leisure activities, with numerous restaurants, bars, and shops lining its waterside. The M Shed museum provides a fascinating insight into Bristol’s maritime past, showcasing its history as a bustling port.

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Bristol is also famous for its association with the world-renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel, spans the picturesque Avon Gorge and is a symbol of the city’s engineering prowess. Clifton, the area around the bridge, is an affluent and picturesque neighborhood with elegant Georgian architecture and scenic parks.

The city’s arts and cultural scene are thriving, and Bristol is known for its creative spirit. The street art culture, spearheaded by the renowned artist Banksy, has left a lasting mark on the city’s walls and buildings. Stokes Croft and Nelson Street are notable areas to explore the vibrant street art scene.

Bristol is also home to a plethora of museums, galleries, and theaters. The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, the Arnolfini contemporary arts center, and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre are just a few of the cultural institutions that contribute to the city’s artistic vibrancy.

For those interested in science and exploration, the We The Curious science center offers interactive exhibits and activities for all ages, making learning fun and engaging.

Bristol’s lively music scene is worth mentioning, with a diverse range of live music venues and festivals taking place throughout the year, catering to various tastes and genres.

The city’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with its combination of historical charm and modern creativity, makes Bristol an exciting destination for travelers and an attractive place for people to live, work, and explore.

5. Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa

Most Colourful Cities in the World

5. Most Colourful Cities in the World

Bo-Kaap is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood located in Cape Town, South Africa. It is renowned for its colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and Cape Malay heritage, making it a unique and picturesque area to explore.

The neighborhood’s history can be traced back to the 18th century when it was settled by slaves brought from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other parts of Southeast Asia by the Dutch colonialists. These slaves, known as Cape Malays, contributed significantly to the area’s cultural diversity and culinary traditions.

The most distinctive feature of Bo-Kaap is its rows of brightly painted houses, showcasing a delightful array of colors that create a charming and cheerful atmosphere. The tradition of painting the houses in vibrant hues is believed to have started as an expression of freedom and identity for the former slaves after they were emancipated.

Wandering through the neighborhood, visitors can immerse themselves in its rich cultural heritage. The Bo-Kaap Museum offers insights into the history and lifestyle of the Cape Malay community, showcasing artifacts, clothing, and memorabilia from the past.

Besides its cultural significance, Bo-Kaap is a culinary delight. It is home to numerous restaurants and cafes that serve traditional Cape Malay cuisine, known for its aromatic spices and flavorful dishes. Visitors can savor specialties like samoosas, bredies, bobotie, and koeksisters.

In addition to its colorful streets and culinary delights, Bo-Kaap also offers stunning views of Cape Town and Table Mountain, making it a favorite spot for photographers and travelers looking to capture beautiful vistas.

Overall, Bo-Kaap is a delightful and culturally diverse neighborhood that presents a unique blend of history, architecture, and flavors. It is a must-visit destination in Cape Town for those seeking to experience the city’s multicultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere.

6. Little India, Singapore

No.6 Most Colourful Cities in the World

Little India in Singapore is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood located in the eastern part of the city. It is one of the city’s most iconic ethnic enclaves, reflecting the heritage and culture of the Indian community in Singapore.

When you step into Little India, you’ll find a bustling atmosphere with bustling streets lined with colorful shophouses, traditional Indian clothing stores, spice shops, and vibrant Indian restaurants serving delicious authentic cuisine. The area is especially lively during major Indian festivals like Diwali and Thaipusam, when the streets are adorned with elaborate decorations and there are special events and ceremonies taking place.

One of the main landmarks in Little India is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, an ornate Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. It’s a popular spot for both devotees and tourists alike, offering a glimpse into the Indian religious practices and architecture.

The neighborhood is not only a place for shopping and dining but also an excellent spot to experience Indian culture in Singapore. You can find traditional music and dance performances, and it’s a great place to buy traditional Indian textiles, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

Little India is easily accessible by public transport, with its own MRT station (Little India MRT Station) and is a popular destination for locals and tourists looking to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Indian heritage and flavors right in the heart of Singapore.

7. Jodhpur, India

No.7 Most Colourful Cities in the World

Certainly! Jodhpur is a captivating city located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, India. It is often referred to as the “Blue City” due to the distinctive blue-painted houses that adorn the old city, creating a mesmerizing and picturesque sight.

The city is renowned for its historical significance and architectural wonders. One of its most prominent landmarks is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort, which sits atop a rocky hill and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The fort’s imposing structure and intricate detailing are a testament to the skill of Rajput architecture.

Jodhpur’s old city, situated at the base of Mehrangarh Fort, is a maze of narrow streets, bustling bazaars, and vibrant markets. The markets are a treasure trove of traditional Rajasthani handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and spices, making it a haven for shoppers and a great place to experience local culture.

The city’s rich heritage is further reflected in the Umaid Bhawan Palace, a grand and opulent palace that showcases a blend of Rajput and Victorian architectural styles. Today, part of the palace is a luxury hotel, while another section serves as a museum, allowing visitors to glimpse into the royal history of Rajasthan.

Jodhpur is also famous for its vibrant festivals and cultural events. The Marwar Festival and the Rajasthan International Folk Festival are among the notable celebrations that showcase the region’s traditional music, dance, and folk performances.

Additionally, Jodhpur boasts a delectable cuisine, offering a variety of flavorful Rajasthani dishes that tantalize the taste buds of both locals and tourists.

Overall, Jodhpur’s enchanting blend of historical significance, vibrant culture, and captivating architecture makes it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic experience of India’s royal past and colorful traditions.


What are the most colourful cities in the world?

  1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  2. Rainbow Village, Taichung, Taiwan
  3. Burano, Italy
  4. Bristol, England
  5. Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa
  6. Little India, Singapore
  7. Jodhpur, India

Why are these cities so colourful?

There are many reasons why cities are colourful. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Tradition: In some cases, the use of bright colours in architecture is a tradition that has been passed down for generations. For example, the colourful houses in Burano, Italy, are said to have originated in the 16th century, when fishermen painted their homes in different colours so that they could easily identify them from the sea.
  • Climate: In other cases, the use of bright colours is a practical way to deal with the local climate. For example, the white houses with blue roofs in Mykonos, Greece, help to reflect the sun’s heat, keeping the interiors cool.
  • Tourism: In some cases, cities may adopt a colourful aesthetic in order to attract tourists. For example, the colourful buildings in La Boca, Argentina, are a popular tourist destination.

What are the best times to visit these cities?

The best time to visit colourful cities depends on the specific city and its climate. However, in general, the best times to visit are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and there are fewer crowds.

What are some of the most popular activities in these cities?

Some of the most popular activities in colourful cities include:

  • Walking tours: There are often walking tours available that will take you to the most colourful parts of the city and explain the history of the colours.
  • Photography: The colourful buildings in these cities make for great photo opportunities.
  • Shopping: There are often shops and markets selling souvenirs and local handicrafts in colorful cities.
  • Food and drink: There are often restaurants and cafes serving traditional food and drinks in colourful cities.





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