Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.
As we move further into the 21st century, the buildings around us are becoming more modern, with renovations continuously taking place. Now although modern architecture is beautiful in its own right, it really has nothing on historic buildings and structures that have stood the test of time.
All over the world, there are incredible examples of architecture—some even unbelievable—that will teleport you back in time. So, if you’re an architecture fan, then a visit to these 11 destinations will be right up your alley.
Istanbul, Turkey, stands at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, with its architectural tapestry perfectly reflecting its diverse cultural heritage.
From iconic landmarks that showcase Byzantine architecture like the Hagia Sophia to those with an Ottoman influence like the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey seamlessly intertwines a mixture of styles you won’t find anywhere else on earth. As you navigate the bustling streets, gaze up at the contemporary skyscrapers, and stroll through beautiful public buildings, you’ll get the juxtaposition of old and new.
Rome is yet another incredible destination for architecture lovers, as the Romans were some of the world’s greatest innovators. The city boasts architectural heritage and a tapestry of history and artistic brilliance, which transports you back through its unique and interesting evolution.
From the world-famous Colosseum and the majestic Pantheon to the extravagant St. Peter’s Basilica and the awe-inspiring Trevi Foundation, Rome’s architecture is unparalleled and one that pictures just don’t do justice.
Florence, Italy, is home to exquisite Renaissance architecture that captivates visitors time and time again. At the heart of the city lies the Florence Cathedral, with its distinctive Renaissance dome and beautiful symmetry. Strolling through the city’s cobbled streets, you also encounter Gothic and Baroque styles like in the Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.
Cairo is the largest city in Egypt and is home to a mix of modern architecture and cultural heritage. Of course, one of the most iconic architectural wonders in Cairo is the Great Pyramids of Giza which stand as a testament to the advanced engineering skills of the ancient Egyptians.
The city’s Islamic architecture, which is characterized by intricate domes, geometric patterns, and minarets, can be found in neighborhoods all over Cairo and its mesmerizing mosques. Amidst the historical treasures, however, are also contemporary skyscrapers and modern structures that have reshaped the city’s skyline, transforming Cairo into a more modern city.
Cambodia has an intriguing history, and its architecture does a great job of reflecting that. One of the country’s biggest architectural marvels is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat—a magnificent temple built in the 12th century. Characterized by its towering spires and intricate carvings, Angkor Wat is a symbol of Khmer architecture and the country’s national pride.
Outside of Angkor Wat, however, Cambodia’s architecture is a combination of traditional Khmer styles with contemporary influences as the country strives to create a balance between old and new.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans truly is one of the most unique cities in America, especially because of its architecture. The city’s architecture is a fusion of French, Spanish, Creole, and American styles which sees grand balconies in the French Quarter and Creole townhouses in the Tremé.
The ruins of Athens, Greece, are one of the oldest forms of architecture in the world, with stonework dating back to 400 BC. At the heart of Athens stands the Acropolis—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and a perfect example of Greece’s classical roots.
Athen’s historic center blends Neoclassical and modern architectural styles with elegant columns, pediments, and friezes nestled amongst newer innovative designs. While in Athens, visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Hephaestus, Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and try to imagine how these magnificent buildings and structures were built when machinery hadn’t even been invented yet.
St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg, Russia, is known for its harmonious blend of European Baroque and Neoclassical styles that give the city an iconic skyline with gilded dome cathedrals, extravagant palaces, and unique towering churches.
However, one of the best places to see St. Petersburg’s iconic rococo-style architecture is the Catherine Palace. Featuring pale colors, beautiful curves, and elegant columns, the Catherine Palace looks straight out of a fairytale—a must-visit for those interested in architecture.
Marrakesh, in Morocco, may just be home to some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. For years, Marrakesh’s architecture has mesmerized tourists, and after a trip to the Medina—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—you’ll begin to understand why.
Marrakesh is home to iconic landmarks like the Koutoubia Mosque and the Bahia Palace, which showcase the city’s ancient architecture that spans all the way back to the 12th century. With intricate stucco work, colorful zellij tiles, and breathtaking arches, Marrakesh truly is an architecture lover’s dream.
You may not think that a city like Miami has any architecture worth visiting; after all, it’s just a city. But that’s not exactly true. Miami is home to the most extensive collection of Art Deco architecture in the world, as in the 1920s and 30s, architects transformed the city with art deco symmetry, geometrical patterns, pastel colors, and floral motifs. You can see Art Deco architecture, most notably in the South Beach district, but even the city’s contemporary skyscrapers are a sight not to be missed.
Miami’s dynamic mix of old and new, tradition and innovation, makes the city an architectural treasure trove that continually captivates residents and visitors alike.
The United Arab Emirates’ largest city, Dubai, is known for its luxury and futuristic designs. The city’s skyline blends cutting-edge design with traditional Arabian influences, and with the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, it’s a destination that all architecture lovers should tick off their list.
Although Dubai’s architecture may not be for everyone, it’s hard to disagree that the city’s dedication to pushing the limits and boundaries of engineering is truly impressive.
11 Day Trips From Reno: Desert Stops For Everyone To Enjoy
Are you planning a day trip from Reno, Nevada, and looking for some exciting options? Look no further than this article, which highlights the best day trips from Reno. There’s something for everyone, from skiing in Mount Rose to relaxing in Steamboat Hot Springs. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains and beyond!
Fly-Fishing, Skiing, Hiking, and Much More: 10 Montana Vacation Spots
Looking for an outdoor adventure in Big Sky Country? Look no further than this article, which highlights the top vacation spots in Montana. From Yellowstone National Park’s famous geysers to Glacier National Park’s breathtaking scenery, and Bozeman’s skiing and whitewater rafting, there’s something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to Montana’s beautiful wilderness, abundant animal life, and incredible national parks.
Best 16 Utah Vacation Spots
If you’re looking for a vacation spot that offers breathtaking natural scenery and exciting outdoor adventures, then Utah is the place to be! This article highlights the top places to visit in Utah, from the stunning Zion National Park to the unique Homestead Crater. Whether you’re interested in hiking, skiing, or simply soaking in a hot spring, Utah has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes of Utah!
10 National Parks To Skip If You Have Young Children
If you’re planning a national park trip with young children, this article is a must-read! Discover the top 10 national parks to skip if you have young children, from the rugged terrain of Denali National Park to the limited access to Isle Royale National Park. Learn about the challenges and potential dangers of visiting these parks with young children and plan your trip accordingly for a safe and enjoyable experience.