During the seemingly endless winter days, our minds turn to travel more than ever now, as many of us have had our plans restricted in the past year. There is more than a beam of light for the travel industry this year and while certain adjustments need to be made, we can take you on some exclusive tours of the most colorful cities in the world, simply from your armchair.
Whether you need inspiration for your next city break or want to know more about our luxurious tours that let you truly experience these destinations, dive into our list and let your imagination journey through the technicolor barrios of Buenos Aires, Argentina to the soothing cerulean shades of Jodhpur, India.
Whilst visiting one of the most romantic cities in the world, cruise with Luxury Gold to the island of Burano, one of the six neighborhoods’ that make up Venice. The pretty multi-colored houses that line the canals will catch your eye as you approach and the area is very relaxing to stroll around.
The tradition of painting houses in different colors in Burano actually stems from a long line of fishermen who populate the community. When returning from a day’s fishing, the fishermen often found it difficult to pinpoint their home from another in deep fog, so they began painting their homes in different, bright colors to distinguish them. Now residents follow governmental guidelines when painting their homes so it remains as picturesque as ever.
Burano is also known for its homemade lace, and many of the colored buildings now house lace shops, with different stitches representing different women. Groups of women sit together to make each piece, continuing a centuries-long tradition of working together and keeping each other company on the long days their husbands were away fishing. This sense of support infuses the atmosphere of Burano, adding to the quaint feeling of the place.
The capital city of Poland is a striking place to visit, and not just for the abundance of historical monuments there. The architecture of the city tells its own story, rising from the ruins of past battles, with the triumphant pink-hued Barbican, rebuilt with bricks from old buildings to the classic Soviet Palace of Culture and Science, the juxtaposition of different styles is a marvel, even to the untrained eye. On one of Luxury Gold’s luxurious tours, Harmony of Central Europe, travelers can join a Local Expert to explore the charming Old Town, which has been lovingly restored and is now a hive of activity. See the red brick Royal Castle that has witnessed some of the most dramatic scenes in the country’s history, from demonstrations to uprisings, and even the setting for a rousing speech by former President Bill Clinton.
Wander through the bohemian Praga district to admire the modern artwork on its walls and see the contrast of older buildings brought to life by gigantic portraits, flags and even recreated battle scenes. Krakow is the Polish city people talk about most, but Warsaw is slowly becoming more appreciated by visitors to the country.
Perhaps there’s something about the winter weather in Europe that inspires the citizens to reach for the more vivid shades of a palette? No matter what time of year you visit Copenhagen, it feels like walking through a fairy tale. That would explain where one of the world’s most famous storytellers, Hans Christian Anderson, found his inspiration right here in his home town.
On the Timeless Scandinavia tour with Luxury Gold, it’s a joy to land in Copenhagen airport. This is one of the greenest cities in the world, where residents rate highly on the index of the world’s happiest people. Who could blame them? A stroll through the beautiful harbor area of Nyhavn, with its well-preserved 17th century houses lining the canal is a natural mood boost, and the chance to see the well-crafted wooden ships on the water. Grab a coffee in one of the pretty cafés and watch people go about their day the Danish way.
Copenhagen is not just picturesque by day. Step into the magical Tivoli Gardens by night to explore one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. You’ll find pagodas, dragon boats, places imagined from legend and a spectacular light show every evening.
Walt Disney visited the park several times, and it’s plain to see how he created Disneyland in its image, although it’s a far cry from any other theme park you’ve ever visited.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The enchanting city of Buenos Aires comprises several vibrant neighborhoods, with each blink taking in its ambiance and creativity. From the elegance of Belgrano, that suddenly segues into the neon lights of Chinatown, every corner offers a surprise for the curious traveler. Luxury Gold guests get a chance to learn more about this fascinating metropolis from a Local Expert. Explore the upmarket Palermo that has a real buzz around its designer stores and trendy bars. You’ll also see the blooming rose gardens of the Bosques de Palermo. San Telmo is famous for its pastel buildings, many dating from a colonial era. The area is steeped in history and has a lively Sunday Fair that is popular with the youth of the city.
For even more culture, Recoleta is packed with museums and galleries so art-lovers will be spoiled for choice. Of course, it is also home to the famous cemetery, where the legendary Eva Peron rests. Little streets of tombs are framed by stunning sculptures and mausoleums, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the country.
La Boca is truly where the color of Buenos Aires comes to life. Every building resembles a Fauvist painting palette. Here, visitors will find tango studios alongside steakhouses, and many will notice the European flavor of the old port area, which is a great place to see work by local artists. Another highlight of the neighborhood is La Bombonera, where the famous football team, the Boca Juniors, play every week.
In a continent that is alive with hues, Valparaiso stands out as one of the most colorful cities. It is a wonder to explore the hilly port city – it stands like an open-air gallery spread across miles. Exclusive tours such as Classic South America let guests explore the historic UNESCO protected streets and admire the natural Ampitheater setting.
The walls are decorated with the work of numerous local street artists, reflecting the culture and heritage of central Chile. Spot the murals that depict local life and the huge animal caricatures that joyfully play along the street walls. The government encourages local artists here, so they can often be seen at work with their spray cans, bringing their creativity to life on the side of a building.
The houses are all painted in pretty colors too – it seems that everyone is in on the arty vibe of the city. Many streets open on to fantastic Pacific Ocean views that further enhance the beauty of Valparaiso. Even the stone steps have poetry or song lyrics painted on them, making every footstep an adventure.
Ascend by funicular to the Museo a Cielo Abierto to find out more about local artists, or visit the barrio (neighborhood) of Cerro Concepcion to see mosaic stairs and grab coffee at a local café. La Sebastiana is another must-see, once home to the famed Chilean author and poet, Pablo Nerudo. Step out onto the terrace where he would watch the fireworks over the city on New Year’s Eve.
Situated in the dusty desert of north Rajasthan is the Blue City of Jodhpur, aptly named for the shades of its buildings. There are many theories as to why most of the old part of the city is painted blue – some suggest that it deters termites, other that is cooling and some even say that it is a sacred color, associated with the god Shiva.
The most spectacular view of the city is from the Mehrangargh fort that sits 30 meters above the city on a perpendicular cliff. Luxury Gold guests can take in the panorama from the fort and discover more about imperial culture in the well-stocked museum of Jaswant Thada. The detail in the white marbled building is mesmerising. There’s also a merry tuk-tuk ride through the brightly-colored streets of Jodhpur to the Sadar market, where locals sell pashminas in every shade and rich fabrics.
Although some of the blue houses are certainly on the modest side, there are many interesting buildings to see in the city. Umaid Bhavan Palace, once home to the Maharaja, ruler of Jodhpur, is now a luxurious resort that was recently voted the world’s best hotel. The rose-pink turreted structure showcases multiple styles of architecture, but the result is truly impressive.
Cape Town, South Africa
It’s not just the turquoise of the ocean against golden sands, or the arresting lush landscape that spreads out from the city that makes Cape Town so colorful. It’s the culture, the food, the music that has sprung up from the grassroots here. As a Luxury Gold guest, you can explore this delightful city from the exquisite Twelve Apostles, situated right above the Atlantic Ocean. Travel to central Cape Town to discover the Bo Kaap neighborhood. The area is full of color and cheer that was borne out of hope and resilience. Dating back to the 1760s, the Dutch East India company housed many of their slaves from Malaysia and Indonesia in the houses and everything was painted white. It wasn’t until Nelson Mandela came to power that slaves had the power to buy their houses here, and painted them in bright colors to declare their freedom. The oldest building in the city is now home to the Bo Kaap museum, which is a great place to discover more about the history of Cape Town.
Bo Kaap has been inhabited by the same families for over a century, so many residents have deeply personal links with the history of the area. It is a fantastic place to explore and enjoy a typical Cape Malay meal, which is an aromatic fusion of Middle Eastern and Dutch cooking and taste the specialty cardamom tea. The area is an important heritage center for residents of Cape Town.