10 Dreamy Exteriors We’re Loving from Around the World

Warning: You’ll want to book a flight, asap.

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For any fellow dortrait fans, one of the best parts of any trip can be the time spent wandering around tiny streets, soaking in the architecture, and photographing as many colorful exteriors as possible. Thanks to some of our favorite travel accounts on Instagram, we can now get our daily wanderlust fix without needing so much as a passport.

Which is why photos of doors and gorgeous homes continue to be the images we bookmark the most. There is so much to learn from a great exterior. It’s as much a source of color palette inspiration as it is a lesson in the history of the city in which it is situated; you learn a lot about the style of a destination from its architecture.

Here are a few of our favorite snaps of homes from around the world, each with their own distinct personality, sure to inspire a bit of wanderlust. Might be time to book that last-minute trip after all.


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Porto, Portugal

As anyone who has been to Portugal will tell you, intricate tilework is a big part of artisan culture. Azulejo tiles are the best-known example; blue and white glazed ceramic tiles whose origins date back to the 13th century. You’ll find them in boutiques in the form of small, giftable bowls and wall plaques, as well as around Portugal’s cities on older architectural builds.


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Asilah, Morocco

The colors of Morocco are deserving of an entire story for themselves. As are the rugs. Both shine in this vibrant home in Asilah, a little town on the coast. The contrast between bright aqua and rich oranges and berries offers the perfect tonal juxtaposition.


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Paddington, Australia

Combining the traditional Victorian terrace house with one of the trendiest hues around makes for what is quite possibly the home of our (and Barbie’s) dreams. The Paddington suburb of Sydney is known for these terraced exteriors, which you could spend an entire morning photographing if you wanted to.


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Lofoten Islands, Norway

Not much can generally pull attention from an orange house, but a massive snow-capped mountain found on Norway’s Lofoten Islands may just do the trick. The rustic A-frame cabin falls fully in line with Mount Olstinden, creating a moment of perfect symmetry that’s visually stunning.


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Puglia, Italy

You’ll only find this conical-style home in one very specific part of Italy. Located in Puglia (most famously, in the town of Alberobello), Trulli are essentially dry stone huts. Some of them have been updated with a plaster for the quintessential rustic Mediterranean style. If you’re ever in this part of the country—it’s the heel of Italy’s boot—be sure to book a bed and breakfast in one of these traditional abodes.


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Palm Springs, USA

You’d think this retro ranch-style home just screams classic Palm Springs—and it does, from the outside. The interior is wildly bold and saturated, designed by photographer Danielle Nagel to be anything but traditional. It’s a contemporary take on mid-century modern, elevating a style made most popular by this area of the United States. The best part? It’s available to book on Airbnb.


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Plateau Mont-Royal, Canada

Plateau is one of Montreal’s most vibrant neighborhoods, so it makes total sense that the houses would reflect that. The next time you’re in the city, take a break from all the cool vintage shops and artsy boutiques to dip into the residential side streets. There, you’ll see homes as colorful as these. 


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London, England

You might think colorful townhouses are a trademark of London’s Notting Hill area, but in reality, these candy-colored homes are everywhere. Older, traditional buildings jazzed up with bright doors are everywhere in the city. You could spend an entire day wandering the boroughs and filling up your camera roll.


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Havana, Cuba

Few things have become as instantly iconic on travel ‘grams as those of a cool vintage car surreptitiously placed in front of an equally cool (and technicolor) old building in Cuba. The recent surge in the locale as a travel hot spot has given new visibility to these charming older buildings, preserved for years as a part of the city’s history and culture.


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New York City, USA

One of the best things about New York City is how each neighborhood has characteristics that uniquely identify it so perfectly. Each part has its own personality. For the West Village, a picturesque, quieter area defined by its cool eateries and stylish boutiques, this would be the brownstone buildings. They typically come accompanied by an immaculately decorated front staircase and stoop, and are as alluring as the neighborhood itself.

See more ways travel inspires our design: Amazing Paint Color Combinations Inspired by our Travels How to Get the Well-Traveled Look at Home, Without Actually Traveling 13 Inspired Gifts for Your Favorite Wanderluster

Elly Leavitt

Writer and Editor

Elly enjoys covering anything from travel to funky design (tubular furniture, anyone?) to the latest cultural trend. Her dream apartment would exist on the Upper West Side and include a plethora of mismatched antique chairs, ceramic vessels, and floor-to-ceiling bookcases—essential to her goal of becoming a poor man’s Nora Ephron. You can probably find her in line at Trader Joe’s. You will never find her at SoulCycle.