9 Art Cities That Architects and Architecture Lovers Must Visit

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While architectural inspiration can be found just about anywhere, some destinations are absolutely iconic in terms of features, landmarks, silhouettes and styles. If you’re in a creative slump, visiting these art cities can get your juices flowing again. Or, just put them on your bucket list as ‘eye candy’!

Here are 9 art cities where you can find the best architecture and inspiration:

1. Dubai, UAE – Contemporary architecture enthusiasts will love Dubai, with its ultra-modern buildings and record-breaking structures. Along with the tallest building and only artificial archipelago in the world, the emirate also boasts of top-notch luxury hotels, shopping malls and entertainment centres.

2. Marrakech, Morocco – If you want to explore 12th to 17th-century Moorish architecture, this is the place to be. Marrakech is filled with mosques, minarets and palaces or riads with interior gardens and private courtyards, open skylights, clay walls and intricate mosaics, all unique to this area.

3. Portland, Oregon – With the highest concentration of LEED-accredited or ‘green buildings’ in America, a bike-friendly city plan, focus on energy efficiency and preservation of spaces for urban agriculture, Portland is leading the way in sustainable architecture and organic design.

4. Miami, Florida – The historic Art Deco district of Miami Beach is home to the world’s largest collection of art deco buildings, more than 800! These reflect the opulence and elegance of modern architecture from the 20s and 30s, with symmetrical shapes, pastel hues and fluid curves.

5. Rome, Italy – If you’re looking for classical Baroque architecture that spans the 16th to 18th centuries, incorporating a variety of styles and art forms as well as engineering innovations from that period, head to Rome. The city is a paradise for art and architecture lovers

6. Athens, Greece – Another treasure trove of Classical architecture, Athens is filled with ancient ruins and stonework from thousands of years ago. Visiting this city is like going back in time and watching architecture evolve through the ages, with different styles added to existing structures.

7. Petersburg, Russia – The richly decorated Rococo architecture in this area was influenced by Italy’s Baroque designs but developed as a form of fighting the latter’s strict symmetry. Buildings like the Catherine Palace are light-hearted instead, with fluid shapes, curved lines and pale colors.

8. Shanghai, China – This is another great destination for fans of Art Deco and contemporary architecture, with futuristic skyscrapers and buildings that seem to multiply overnight. The city is rich in cultural and architectural experiences that you will not find anywhere else.

9. Milan, Italy – Steeped in traditional extremes for years, Milan is adapting to changes in modern architecture, design and art. Today, spaces for studios, workshops and exhibitions are popping up all over, with young designers choosing to stay on and explore their passion here.


At Excella Global, our procurement specialists can help you plan a trip to an architectural destination, source materials for specific styles, and much more. If you’re looking for a global sourcing specialist to work with you on your next project, get in touch with us now and let us take care of all your needs and project requirements to make your next project a mega-hit!

Shruti Agarwal

Shruti Agrawal is the Managing Director of Excella Global. Her electronics engineering background encourages her to be on the lookout for ways to challenge and disrupt business models to make them better. She has a keen eye for architecture and design paired with the ability of recognizing trends that work, which allows her to put forward value for her readers in the content she creates. Her experience in the procurement and sourcing industry only adds to this.

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