Amazing Destinations for Architecture Lovers
If columns, arches and doors make you ohh and ahh, you'll love these incredible architecture destinations.
Absolute Best Destinations for Architecture Lovers
We travel to see different cultures, try different foods and meet different people. But if you love architecture, you also travel to see pretty buildings.
If this is your main motivation to hop on a train or a plane, you should check out the following 10 cities. With different styles of architecture that reflect complex histories, these destinations are an architecture lover's dream.
10. Belgrade, Serbia
The Serbian capital suffers from a bad case of being underrated. Part of why tourists ignore it has to do with its Soviet past and its role in the tumultuous Yugoslav Wars. But the city's geographic location has made it a center for the merging of different cultures, which inevitably lends itself to interesting buildings.
You'll find the historic parts of town filled with examples of 19th-century styles that included romantic and neoclassic architecture. There are also art nouveau and neo-Byzantine buildings that contrast with the bleak brutalist architecture of the Soviet Union. In modern Serbia, you'll find tall, sleek office and apartment buildings adapted to 21st-century life.
*Rankings are based on Buildworld's "Top Global Destinations for Architecture Lovers" and are based on Tripadvisor reviews of architectural landmarks.
9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It should not be a surprise to see this famed city listed on here. After all, it is home to the Burj Kalifa, which towers at 2,722 feet in height and earns the title of the tallest building in the entire world.
Dubai is well-known for its ultra-modern architecture that has turned it into an oasis in the desert. But next to the interestingly-designed skyscrapers, you'll still find landmarks that boast more traditional styles. The most interesting of these may be the Jumeirah Mosque, built in Fatimid style.
8. Kilkenny, Ireland
Contrasting Dubai is magical Kilkenny, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. The most famous landmark is the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, but you'll also see estates and working class houses, as well as farms that give a glimpse into life in centuries gone by.
Other must-see spots include St. Canice's Cathedral and St. Mary's Medieval Mile Museum.
7. Lucerne, Switzerland
Situated in the German part of Switzerland, Lucerne's beauty is undeniable. Often considered one of the most picturesque places in this astonishing country, its best architectural wonder is its wooden Chapel Bridge.
When you're done visiting this 14th-century bridge and snapping postcard-perfect pictures from it, you can visit the medieval Musegg Wall, see Gothic and Renaissance architecture blended at the Church of St. Leodegar or enjoy the Baroque Jesuit Church, which dates back to 1677. And if you're into something a bit more modern, the Lucerne Railway Station is a perfect example of late 19th-century tastes.
6. Chicago, United States
If one U.S. city had to make the top 10, of course it would be Chicago. After all, the city has its own architecture schools and was a center for 20th-century pioneers in the field. You'll find works by giants like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van de Roche. Visit landmarks like the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, Marina City and Robie House.
Want to dive deep into the city's architectural history? Take the Chicago Architecture River Cruise tour. Trust us, you will not regret it.
5. Quito, Ecuador
Quito's historic center is one of the largest colonial towns in Latin America. Walk around this UNESCO World Heritage Site to see gems like the 16th-century Iglesia de San Francisco and its plaza or the Basilica of the National Vow, the region's largest neo-Gothic church.
But after seeing the vestiges of the country's colonial past, dive into its equally interesting modern architecture, which includes Ecuadorian brutalist buildings like the Polytechnic Theatre. Recently, a new wave of 21st-century architecture blends technology and post-modern styles with pre-Columbian materials and motifs.
4. Liverpool, United Kingdom
There's no denying London's charm, but Liverpool beats out the capital in terms of interesting architecture. Considered the best city in England for Victorian architecture, you'll see well-preserved structures throughout. Alongside them, you'll also get to see examples of Tudor, Elizabethan and Georgian buildings. The latter are mostly found in Canning.
3. Quezon City, the Philippines
Part of Metro Manila, this planned city was built in order to alleviate Manila from its congestion. It worked as the capital of the Philippines from 1946 to 1972. And while that plan didn't quite pan out, the city has managed to position itself as the most architecturally interesting in the country.
See the art-deco Quenzon Memorial Shrine, the modern Cubao downtown and the 400-year-old Santo Domingo Church.
2. Manchester, United Kingdom
After you've visited Liverpool, head east to Manchester. Here, you'll also get to gawk at Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as Art Deco, neo-classical, neo-gothic, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and more.
But the city's main architectural draw comes from its importance during the Industrial Revolution. Admire the unusual beauty of warehouses and worker's housing complexes that have now been converted into bars, barber shops and boutique shops. This is industrial chic at its best.
1. Lasi, Romania
Most people outside of Europe haven't even heard of Lassi, so you're probably to see this Romanian city rank as the number one architectural destination. The capital of Romania during the last two years of World War I, Lasi is still considered the country's cultural capital because of its numerous sites and landmarks.
Several buildings boast styles like Neoclassical, Rococo and Baroque. Others have the signature greyness of Soviet architecture. But the one place no architecture lover can skip is the Palace of Culture, a gigantic neo-gothic wonder that is the pride of the city.