When traveling the world, it’s hard not to notice how the cities differ (sometimes drastically) from country to country. Not only does the landscape change around you, so does the architecture and design of the city. Marveling at what humankind has been able to accomplish is a very satisfying past-time; people travel thousands of miles to see the magnificent high-rises in NYC or the ruins of the Coliseum. Just like food, natural wonders, and experiences, architecture is a highlight of many traveler’s vacations. If you’re the type of person that admires buildings in all of their glory, check out our list of the best destinations for architecture.
1. Florence, Italy – The Renaissance
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, it comes as no surprise that Florence is the best city in the world to admire the beauty of Renaissance architecture. You’ll feel as though you got transported back in time while you take in the fine embellishments, symmetry, and smooth geometric shapes that make this city’s architecture truly a sight to behold. If you have limited time here, you can’t miss the Florence Cathedral or the Basilica of San Lorenzo. They are the most iconic buildings in all of Florence and the fine details of each building will leave you awestruck.
2. Dubai, UAE – Modernism
Dubai has very quickly emerged in the past decade as the city to visit if you’re an architecture buff. The unique skyscrapers in Dubai create one of the most jaw-dropping cityscapes to ever exist due in part to the modern architecture juxtaposed by the old town and its Arabian design. If you want grand architecture, enjoy the dizzying Cayan Tower, stay at the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab or look no further than the tallest building in the world: The Burj Khalifa which stands at an astounding 163 floors, more than one and a half times that of the Empire State Building!
3. Athens, Greece – Classical
If history is your cup of tea, you’ll love Athens. Ancient, world-renowned architecture such as The Parthenon, The Acropolis and The Temple of Zeus have astonished travelers for hundreds of years. Some of the structures date back to 400 B.C. and are still standing, making it some of the most amazing architecture in the world.
4. Miami, Florida – Art Deco
This vibrant city is home to multiple architectural styles, but none are as prevalent as the art deco style. Eclectic pastel hotels and stores dot the major roadways throughout South Beach. While the neon signs and rounded edges may all seem to blend into one another after a while, there are a few gems that stand out in the crowd. Head to The Plymouth on S. 21st St. to get a futuristic and mysterious take on this style or The Breakwater on Ocean Dr. to enjoy classic art deco with the strong lines and neon accents.
5. Oxford, England – Gothic
The mysterious and elegant feel of Oxford, England lures travelers from all over the world. Characterized by grand spires, elegant arches, and plenty of buttresses, English Gothic architecture can be found throughout much of Oxford. To see the best examples, take in the magnificent steeple of Magdalen College or Merton College Tower.