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8 Must-See Destinations for Lovers of Architecture

For lovers of architecture, traveling the world has to be at the top of the bucket list. There is nothing quite like experiencing the diversity of architecture as you visit different cities and appreciating how a city’s history and culture have shaped its built environment.

We’ve put together a list of 8 must-see destinations around the world for all architecture enthusiasts.


1. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is famous for its unique architecture, particularly the iconic works of Antoni Gaudi. His buildings, such as La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and Park Guell, are instantly recognisable and have become symbols of the city.

With over 2,000 years of architectural history, you’ll find a unique blend of Gothic architecture, Catalan Modernism, and Art Nouveau.


2. Chicago, United States

Back in 1871, Chicago suffered a devastating fire that reduced the city to ashes. It was this destruction, however, that paved the way for Chicago to cement itself as a city of architectural innovation.

Pioneering architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Jeanne Gang, and Frank Gehry used the opportunity to experiment with the use of ‘new’ materials and the invention of machines, leading Chicago to become home to the world’s first skyscraper.

Today, Chicago is known for its iconic structures including the Aqua Tower, the Spertus Institute, the Cloud Gate, and the LEED-certified Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower).


3. Athens, Greece

For some of the best-surviving examples of ancient architecture, look no further than the Acropolis. Construction for the area’s iconic Parthenon began in 447 B.C. and you’ll find most of the structure’s stone columns still standing today. You’ll be amazed by the hand-carved statues and the incredible efforts of the Ancient Greeks.

Besides the Parthenon, you’ll find other architectural treasures including the Temple of Athena Nike and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus sitting upon Acropolis Hill.


4. Chandigarh, India

India’s city of Chandigarh is a peek into the Utopian vision of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Composed of exposed masonry and concrete, curved forms, and eccentric sculptures, the city is considered a treasure amongst students of architecture. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the greenest cities in the country.

While you’re in India, why not pay a visit to one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements - the Taj Mahal?


5. Budapest, Hungary

With Budapest’s unique blend of Art Nouveau and Hungarian culture, it’s not hard to see why it’s considered one of the most gorgeous European cities for architecture. Architecture enthusiasts will be wowed by the mix of curved forms, organic shapes, splashes of colour, and a blend of iron and glass. Take a walk along the Chain Bridge for an incredible vantage point of the city, and visit Gresham Palace, Hotel Gellért and spas, the Museum of Applied Arts, and Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden.


6. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you want to take a look into the future of architecture, Dubai is another must-see destination. Home to some of the world’s most impressive modern buildings including the 830m-high Burj Khalifa and the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab, the city is known not only for its impressive feats of engineering but as a symbol of exponential growth and development. Other architectural wonders include the Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and the World Islands which can be seen from space!


7. Florence, Italy

While Rome is well-known for its classical architectural feats, the Renaissance aesthetics of the structures in Florence are hard to overlook. Embellished buildings, symmetrical and geometrical structures, wondrous columns, and impressive domes, every street tells a special story. Highlights include the Duomo, the Basilicas of San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella, and the Ponte Vecchio.


8. Marrakech, Morocco

For fans of Moorish architecture, the palace, open courtyards, and indoor gardens of Marrakech will fascinate you. Clay buildings with striking compositions and contrasts make for a photogenic city, no matter how basic your photography skills! The Red City will stun you with its attention to ornamental detail, from the mosaic floors to the elaborate fountains. Although you’ll find architectural inspiration everywhere you look, we recommend visiting Jardin Majorelle and El Badi Palace.

Design the Perfect Trip with Travelex

Once you’ve picked your next architectural destination, it’s time to prepare for your trip. Buying foreign cash is simple, with the option to purchase online and collect at your nearest Travelex store or at your local Australia Post office before you leave.

Alternatively, you can load select currencies directly onto your Travelex Money Card online or via our app for our very best rates.