Calling all architecture buffs: If you love spending your weekends wandering through Gothic cathedrals or soaking up cutting edge contemporary designs, it’s time to put these six cities on your travel list. Check out this round-up of the world’s top cities for amazing architecture.
You’ll find beautiful architecture throughout this Spanish city, but the most iconic pieces are by renowned 19th-century architect Antoni Gaudi. His style embraced everything from stonework to mosaics, with prominent influence from Asian art and Gothic Revival. The colorful Park Guell showcases his love for mosaics and stonework, while the unfinished La Sagrada Familia blends both Gothic and Art Nouveau styles into one of the city’s most iconic sights.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
As the birthplace of skyscrapers and modern urban architecture as we know it, the Windy City was a design capital in the 19th and 20th centuries. The vast Willis Tower was once the tallest skyscraper in the world, while the John Hancock Center embodies the post-modern structural expressionism style. Homes designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright can be found throughout the Oak Park neighborhood, and this area is also home to what was Wright’s own home and studio.
This Middle Eastern city has taken the skyscraper to new heights – literally – with stunning buildings like the shimmering Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 2,717 feet. With other eye-catching skyscrapers like the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and the twisted, 80-story Cayan Tower, Dubai has become one of the most prominent destinations for contemporary architecture.
The romantic city is filled with lasting remnants of ancient Roman architecture, from the Colosseum and Roman Forum to the Pantheon and Temple of Venus. Over the centuries, additions like St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican and countless piazzas have kept Rome bursting with architectural delights.
Miami, Florida, United States
As one of the world’s top spots for Art Deco designs, Miami is filled with plenty of eye-pleasing architectural offerings. The Historic District in Miami Beach boasts the largest number of Art Deco buildings in all their early 20th-century, pastel-hued glory, while the city’s Latin roots can be seen in the old Spanish colonials around town. Modernism lovers will find plenty to ogle in Miami, where the style’s minimalist designs and straight lines are prominent along Biscayne Boulevard.
Istanbul’s architecture reflects its storied past, with examples of Byzantine, Ottoman, Greek and Roman structures still standing today. One of the most famous examples of Byzantine architecture is the domed Hagia Sophia, once the world’s largest cathedral and still quite the sight to behold. Other great examples of architecture in Istanbul are the domes and spires of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, whose blue-tiled interior has earned it the nickname Blue Mosque.