The 11 Most Beautiful Neighborhoods In The World

The most beautiful neighborhoods in the world extend beyond aesthetics. For some, beauty might come from friendly neighbors, good schools, and easy access to stores, restaurants, or groceries. Others may find wide open space and an abundance of quiet the most charming feature. For some, an affordable cost of living could easily bump up an area’s wow factor, while others may be more drawn to just how much cultural capital a pricier area might grant. [Source:]

In big cities, neighborhoods are often smaller districts within the metropolitan area, while it’s more common to find cul-de-sacs and backyard swing sets in the suburbs. Depending on who you ask, either could be more favorable. In short, there’s no one answer as to what makes a beautiful neighborhood. However, for the architecture and design lover, there are some locales that are particularly striking. From cobblestone streets and colorful buildings to endearing residences and breathtaking nature, these areas are destinations in and of themselves. Below, discover 11 beautiful neighborhoods around the world—could you see yourself moving into one?

Lübecker Altstadt (Lübeck, Germany)

Germany’s most extensive UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lübeck is located in Northern Germany in Schleswig-Holstein. Lübecker Altstadt, the neighborhood comprising the city’s historic old town, is particularly striking, where medieval Gothic-style structures are in great supply. Here, visitors will find Patrician residences from the 15th and 16th centuries, brick Gothic churches, and winding cobblestone streets. “The preserved quarters of the Old Town show in their unity the medieval structure of the Hanseatic Town and represent a high-ranking European monument,” UNESCO explains. “The overall impression of the Old Town is reinforced by individual architectural highlights of ecclesiastical and profane character, whereas the combined effect is revealed through the unique town silhouette with the seven high church towers.”

Soho (London, England)

Known for its nightlife, dining, and shopping, Soho is among the most vibrant neighborhoods in London. Architecture fans will find a number of different building styles, including modern, Georgian, and Spanish renaissance. You’ll also discover charming old-school pubs such as the the French House, long favored by an artistic crowd such as Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon.

Sidi Bou Said Village (Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia)

It would be easy to mistake this neighborhood for a Greek Island, and while it does overlook the Mediteranean, it’s actually located in Tunisia. About 10 miles from Tunis, the stunning town is dotted with blue and white buildings designed in the Moorish and Italianate style. The Ennejma Ezzahra palace and the Sidi Bou Said Mosque are must-visit stops.

Higashiyama (Kyoto, Japan)

The Higashiyama district in Kyoto offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in traditional Japanese architecture. Full of preserved timber buildings that recall the feudal era in Japan, there is an abundant of shops, tea rooms, and restaurants. A hilly area, the five-story-tall Yasaka Pagoda overlooks the neighborhood and is the last extant element of Hōkan Temple, a sixth-century temple complex.

Gothic Quarter (Barcelona, Spain)

The Gothic Quarter in Barcelona is exactly what it sounds like: a neighborhood defined by its gothic architecture. Streets are small and winding, and the stone façades that surround visitors speak to the city’s medieval past. A highlight of the area is the Pont Del Bisbe, the covered footbridge seen here, which was actually built in the 1920s. The Cathedral of Barcelona is another major attraction in the neighborhood, as is the Museum of Urban History of Barcelona, which details the city’s beginnings as a Roman colony.

Fontainhas (Panjim, Goa, India)

Fontainhas is the Latin quarter in Panjim, the capital city of Goa. The area is known for its colorful homes, which reflect its history as a Portuguese colony until 1961. Wandering around the narrow streets is a joy in itself, but there are also a number of art galleries, restaurants, and of course, the nearby beach to round out the visit.

Montmartre (Paris, France)

Named after Montmartre, a large hill that overlooks the surrounding district, this neighborhood is one of the most charming areas in the City of Light. Sacré Coeur, the neo-Byzantine basilica that tops Montmartre, is certainly a showstopper, though the cobblestone streets, captivating alfresco dining, colorful store façades, and even a train that takes visitors through the village all add to its allure.

Carmel-By-The-Sea, California

Walking through Carmel-by-the-Sea may give one the impression that they’ve been transported into a fairytale. The small city is know for its European-village-like aesthetic, where visitors can find storybook-style buildings, captivating alleyways, and stunning courtyards.

Casco Viejo (Panama City, Panama)

In Casco Viejo (also called Casco Antiguo) one can find an eclectic mix of late colonial, neo-Renaissance, Caribbean, Gulf Coast, and French architecture, all resulting in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the world. The area, which is part of the historic center of Panama City, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, in part because “The Historic District’s layout, a complex grid with streets and blocks of different widths and sizes and fortifications inspired in late Renaissance treaties, is an exceptional and probably unique example of 17th-century colonial town planning in the Americas.”

Cerro Alegre (Valparaiso, Chile)

Located on a hill in the ever-colorful Valparaiso, Cerro Alegre is one of the most scenic spots in the city. A famous tourist destinations, the area is full of vibrant homes, shops, hotels, and restaurants.

Old Town Chefchaouen (Morocco)

Nicknamed the “blue pearl of Morocco,” Chefchaouen is a stunning, largely monochromatic city in the northern part of the country. Unsurprisingly, the area is known for its vibrant hue, so many visitors spend time exploring the streets and taking photos. However, there are also cute shops, restaurants, and hiking trails through the nearby Rif Mountains. [Source:]