Awe-Inspiring Architecture Stays Around the World
Is doesn't matter if you're a seasoned architecture aficionado or just a casual admirer of unique and beautiful structures, appreciating the buildings that make a destination unique is one of the many pleasures of travel. With that in mind, we invite you to explore six cities which have all been highly endorsed for architecture and design by Booking.com travelers. Whether it’s historic homes, landmark office buildings or gothic cathedrals, all these cities have created art out of the otherwise ordinary. From the futuristic cityscapes of Brasilia to the Cubist curiosities in Rotterdam or the ancient Roman spas in Bath, there are literally miles upon miles of stunning architectural treasures just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
A visit to Shanghai offers up a cornucopia of skyscraper-studded skylines, buzzing nightlife, a mouth-watering foodie scene and all kinds of futuristic structures. The entire city is a bewitching fusion of historic temples and ultra-modern urban landscapes. The most imposing and iconic of all the buildings in the city's skyline is the Shanghai Tower, reaching a staggering 632m (2,073 ft). It's not only the tallest building in Shanghai, but the second tallest in the world. Other architectural highlights that are not to be missed include Perkins and Will’s Natural History Museum in the Jing’an Sculpture Park and Sissi’s Wonderland library for children.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Shanghai with a variety of pubs, bars and cafes nearby is the environmentally friendly URBN Boutique Shanghai hotel. This luxurious and modern accommodation boasts spacious rooms and grand design.
Brasilia was designed for the express purpose of being the new capital of Brazil in 1960 and is known for its sleek, modern architecture. It has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique, futuristic urban planning, which from the sky evokes the image of an airplane. Once a barren desert, it is now a bustling metropolis filled with astounding museums and monuments - making it the perfect place for an architectural adventure. The Cathedral of Brasilia is a design lovers’ must-see, along with Brazil’s National Congress building, which is one of the city's most interesting designs, a striking juxtaposition of two tall towers flanked by two half spheres.
Where to stay: B Hotel Brasilia is located in the city's popular North Wing. Designed to to allow guests to truly appreciate the unique architecture of Brasilia, the B Hotel also has a year-round outdoor pool and a rooftop sun deck offering impressive views of the entire city.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
The second-largest city in the Netherlands and home to the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam is known for its bold, modern architecture. Whether a public space or a personal home, this city boasts amazing architecture at every turn, due its mix of modern skyscrapers and innovative architectural styles. Take a walk past the cube houses, or Kubuswoningen, to experience some of Rotterdam’s most quirky designs. These homes are built in the form of tilted cubes on top of concrete pillars in order to look like trees. Make sure you save time to visit the Netherlands’ first ever skyscraper, the Witte Huis: it may only be 45 meters high, but for many years it was the tallest office building in Europe.
Where to Stay: The luxuious nhow Rotterdam offers explorers the chance to stay in a piece of iconic contemporary architecture. Enjoy stunning views over the river Maas from your room before heading up to the rooftop bar to observe this vibrant Dutch skyline by night.
Bordeaux is celebrated for its abundance of historical architecture dating back to the 18th century - it is even has a specially designed walking tour to showcase all its must-see buildings. The Bordeaux Famous Architecture Walk takes you from the Palais Rohan, Bordeaux’s City Hall building, and finishes at the Pont de Pierre, planned and designed under orders from Napoleon himself. If you're looking for an injection of modern design amid all this history, seek out the avant garde Cité du Vin, a curvaceous silver structure that serves as both a museum and exhibition space devoted to the Bordeaux wine the region is famous for.
Where to Stay: L'Appart D'Oli Et Tiane is a stylish apartment located in the heart of Bordeaux. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine on your arrival before hitting the streets to admire its beautiful architecture by night.
Located in Somerset in South West England, the city of Bath became a world heritage site in 1987 due to its amazing architectural history. A must-see are the Roman Baths and the city's namesake, an ancient Roman spa built above Bath's natural hot springs. While you may not be able to soak in them today, you can still marvel at the amazingly preserved structures. Another one of Bath’s most iconic sights is the Royal Crescent, a stretch of 30 houses in front of the beautiful Royal Victoria Park. Wherever you wander, you will be struck by the beautiful color of the local golden Bath stone that is used to construct most of the city's landmark buildings.
Where to Stay: Perfectly located for your architectural adventure, The Halcyon Hotel Apartments, Henry Street are only 200 yards from the Roman Baths and a short walk from Bath Abbey. These fully-serviced apartments will make you feel like pampered royalty, coming home to unwind after an invigorating day spent exploring this beautiful city.
Dominating the southern banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago's architecture is often considered some of the most interesting in the United States and reflects its multicultural history. A fire in 1871 enveloped much of the downtown area and destroyed many of its historic buildings, making way for a rise in original new architecture. The eager design devotee should make sure not to miss the Aqua Tower, The Art Institute and the world-famous Sears Tower. Built in 1973, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world at the time and held that title for 25 years. A visit to Chicago also wouldn’t be complete without a photo in front of the beautiful mirrored sculpture, "Cloud Gate", also affectionately known by locals as the “Bean”.
Where to Stay: Freehand Chicago is a hotel that has both private and shared rooms for every kind of traveler. Its central location makes it a great choice for exploring the city and it’s only a 15-minute walk from the shores of Lake Michigan.