Not all streets are created equal. Take the colorful Caminito that anchors Buenos Aires’s La Boca neighborhood: It not only provides visitors with a vibrant photo op but also serves as a reminder of how the neighborhood was built in the 19th century. Streets, however, don’t have to offer a history lesson or be rendered in Technicolor to be charming. Some are notable for their stunning natural features, such as the cherry blossom tunnel in Bonn, Germany, which makes an appearance for a few short weeks every spring. Here AD surveys fourteen of the most beautiful streets in the world.
1. Tetsugaku No Michi
Located in the Japanese city of Kyoto is a 1.2-mile-long street named Tetsugaku no michi. The cherry tree–lined road runs parallel to a canal and past Ginkaku-ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The best time to visit Tetsugaku no michi is April, when the road’s overhanging trees are in full bloom.
2. Shambles—A Street
The buildings that line Shambles—a street in York, England — were erected as far back as the 14th century. The charming timber-framed buildings bend and, at times, hang over the cobblestoned street below.
3. Steiner Street
Made famous in such movies as Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and television shows like Full House (1987-1995), a row of houses on Steiner Street near Alamo Square in San Francisco have become a historic landmark, attracting thousands of tourists each year. The Victorian and Edwardian – styled homes are beautifully painted in various pastel colors.
4. Calleja de las Flores
Located in the Andalusian city of Cordoba, Calleja de las Flores is a narrow street that runs right into a plaza. With its many flowers and white-washed walls, the charming Spanish street is very typical of the region.
5. La Boca
The multicolor homes that line the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, still reflect much of their late-19th-century history. When European immigrants arrived from the Italian city of Genoa, many of them became dockworkers, who, with little to no disposable income, built their homes with thin pieces of corrugated sheet metal from the docks, coated with leftover paint. When one color inevitably ran out, they would simply use another one. And thus a colorful neighborhood was born. Today, Caminito (shown) is brought to life by an artist’s re-creation of the old tenement dwellings that used to line La Boca’s streets.
6. Lombard Street
San Francisco’s Lombard Street has become one of the city’s most visited sites. Tourists often gather to watch as drivers make their way through the hairpin turns. Completed in 1922, the street was designed to slow cars down on its steep hill. Drivers are advised to proceed at 5 m.p.h.
7. The streets of Chefchaouen
The streets of Chefchaouen, a small city in northwest Morocco, are famous for their different shades of blue. Founded in 1471, the city was once used as a fortress for exiles from Spain. Over the centuries, many Jews moved to Chefchaouen, bringing with them the ancient belief that using blue dye would remind people of God’s power. For the most vivid experience, visitors should stroll down such streets as Al Hassan Onsar, Rue Outiwi, and the tight stairs leading up and down Rue Bin Souaki.
8. Jerez de la Frontera
Located in Andalusia, Spain, Jerez de la Frontera is a city known for its exquisite wine. Here, a street in the historic center is shaded by grape leaves from vines grown along the surrounding walls.
9. Qiyi Street Chongron Alley
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1,000-year-old Old Town in Lijiang, China, is famous for its orderly canals and walkways. Walk along Qiyi Street Chongron Alley or Wuyi Street Wenzhi Alley for some of the more spectacular street views.
10. Cherry Blossom Avenue
For two to three weeks each spring, the magical tunnel created by the trees lining Cherry Blossom Avenue in Bonn, Germany, brings in tourists and photographers alike.
11. Bregagh Road
Bregagh Road in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, is a birch-lined street designed in the 18th century. Nicknamed Dark Hedges, the road will be instantly recognizable to fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones.
Paris’s Champs-Élysées could well be the most famous street in the world. Beautifully manicured trees line the 1.2-mile-long avenue, which stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc d Triomphe (shown).
Lined with boats and bicycles, Amsterdam’s many canals have drawn tourists through the ages. But the Brouwersgracht, located a little more than half a mile northwest of the central train station, just might be the most picturesque in the Dutch capital.
14. Águeda’s Umbrella Sky
Águeda’s Umbrella Sky Project began in 2011 as a part of the Portuguese city’s annual Ágitagueda Art Festival. Each summer, when temperatures soar, a handful of Águeda’s narrow streets feature canopies of colorful umbrellas that provide shade to the pedestrians below.