While there are many ways to learn about a new travel destination, from trying the cuisine to visiting its tourist attractions, looking at its architecture is possibly the best way to explore the beauty and learn the history of a new place. Many buildings have a rich history behind them, and exploring them can add a different dimension to your trip.
Though US locations like Miami and New York City have iconic skylines, there are many more architecturally significant places to explore around the world. Here, we’ll take a look at some global destinations that are home to the most breathtaking architecture.
With instantly recognizable landmarks like the Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, and the Natural History Museum, London is a city that’s on the bucket list of travelers across the world. Analyzing the architecture of these buildings can give travelers and history buffs insight as to what may have been occurring at the time these places were built, telling the story of the city’s history.
Athens, one of the world’s oldest cities, is known for its centuries-long influence on architecture throughout the world. Examining stunning examples of Classical architecture is likely to spark interest in those who are considering a career in architecture, but the city also serves as a source of inspiration for leisure travelers thanks to its visually stunning buildings and landmarks.
Whether you’re renovating a home, coming up with plans for new construction, or simply looking to learn more about Grecian history, visiting the new and historic buildings in this region can provide you with inspiration and knowledge of the history of Athens and ancient Greece.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
To get a look at more contemporary architecture, a great place to visit is Dubai. Known for its extravagance and futuristic vibe, Dubai shows the many possibilities of what can come from an idea. The home of the famed Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world—shows just how far ahead Dubai is when it comes to aesthetics and architecture. This tower was developed by the same firm that is responsible for designing the world-famous Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower, in Chicago, Illinois.
Another remarkable attraction in Dubai is the Burj Al Arab. Renowned for its intricate details, the Burj Al Arab is home to the tallest atrium in the world. In addition to these buildings, Dubai is known for eye-catching architecture found practically everywhere in the city, such as popular tourist attraction the Dubai Mall.
Another hub for more modern architecture is Shanghai, China. The two tallest buildings in Asia, the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, give the city a more modern aesthetic. Other architectural points of interest include the Himalayas Center and the Oriental Art Center, designed by renowned architects Arata Isozaki and Paul Andreu, respectively.
In the financial district of Shanghai, you can find the Bund Finance Center, opened in 2019. The design of the building combines traditional architecture with modern concepts that give this place a distinct look. The building also stands out for its three moving layers of pipes that hang on the outside of the building. Made of bronze tubes of different heights that resemble bamboo, the “curtain” moves vertically in sync and even in time to music.
Barcelona’s architecture can be largely credited to 19th-century architect Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi’s colorful tile and glasswork can be seen all over Barcelona in buildings such as the Park Güell, but one of his most notable pieces of work is La Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic basilica. Although he died before he could complete the project, the stunning detail in this building shows the impact that he had on the direction of architecture in Spain for years after. Interestingly, construction is still underway on the basilica, and it is expected to be completed in 2026.
Tourists flock to Cairo, and it’s no wonder why. It’s home to the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is not only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but also the oldest. The Pyramid of Giza is also the largest of the three pyramids in Cairo.
In addition to the ancient landmark, the Cairo Tower, the Cairo Opera House, and the Sultan Hassan Mosque are recognized for representing the unique qualities of the architecture from this city.
So Much to Explore for Architecture Buffs
Architecture has a way of bringing a place to life and giving travelers a new sense of appreciation for its history and culture, making the preservation of important historical landmarks and buildings so important. Not only can architecture create a different traveling experience, but it can provide visitors with a different perspective. If you are interested in exploring places of architectural importance, coordinate with a professional travel planner to plan your vacation around these attractions.