Must-See Scenic Streets Across The Globe

Must-See Scenic Streets Across The Globe

Photo of Nic Brown
An Arts & Culture map by

Whether you pass through the tree-lined avenue of Rua Goncalo de Carvalho in Brazil or walk beside the centuries-old canals of Lijiang Old Town, you're sure to be amazed by these beautiful roads.

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    In most cases, gum-covered surfaces are a slightly gross form of vandalism. But, this bubblegum wall is pure art in Post Alley, a narrow walkway off of the storied Pike Place Market. The stickies began accumulating courtesy of impatient patrons who were waiting outside the box office of the Market Theatre. Nowadays, leaving your mark on this bona fide tourist attraction is practically a ritual in the Emerald City.
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    Ninen-zaka and the parallel Sannen-zaka are the most well-preserved historical streets in the former Japanese capital. You'll find an array of stores selling everything from ancient skincare tools to traditional matcha treats. Due to its proximity to Gion, Kyoto's famous geisha district, spotting elegant, kimono-clad silhouettes here is nothing out of the ordinary.
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    Jacaranda trees are considered a symbol of the South African city, but the planting of new ones has been prohibited in recent years due to their high water intake. Fortunately, you can still admire the pretty, lilac-colored blossoms on a few major avenues in the suburbs — with the Lukasrand tower, a local landmark, far in the distance.
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    Also known as The Dark Hedges, this stretch of country road in Northern Ireland is canopied by tall beech trees dating back to the 18th century. The eerie-yet-gorgeous tunnel calls to mind the haunted forest scene from Snow White — a.k.a. the scariest thing in our childhood-memory bank.
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    Opened in 1865, the Rue Cremieux was named for Adolphe Cremieux, a 19th-century attorney and politician. Located near the Gare de Lyon in Paris, the street is lined with colorful houses, some of which have paintings of plants and animals on their walls, says Over Blog. 
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    The tree-lined, well-manicured avenues of Orchard Road in Singapore complement a huge variety of shopping along Orchard Road. One hundred years ago, the street was lined with nutmeg trees and bamboo, says Rough Guides. Today, the trees are angsana and shoppers can visit dozens of restaurants and designer stores.
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    This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an ancient city from the 13th century that brings land and water together on many of its streets. According to UNESCO, there are 354 bridges in the city, and the water is used to supply every house in town and to wash the streets. The houses add to the town's beauty and are built in the traditional Naxi style with adobe bricks and wood. 
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    Although notable for its Victorian-style houses and green landscape, Lombard Street in San Francisco earned its fame for having eight hairpin turns. According to San Francisco City Guides, Lombard originally had a 27 percent grade, making it impossible for the people living along the street to own vehicles. After the the switchbacks were installed, the grade was reduced to 16 percent and cars could finally traverse the narrow, steep road. 
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    Located in northern Morocco between two mountain peaks in the Riff mountains, Chefchaouen is a gorgeous city of blues, where nearly all the walls and houses of the medina are painted blue and white. The tradition comes from the town's former Jewish population, says Compete Morocco, and the bright colors liven up the city even on cloudy days. According to Atlas Obscura, the city was founded as a refugee camp when the Spanish Inquisition forced Muslims and Jews out of Europe.
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    The Rua Goncalo de Carvalho in Porto Alegre, Brazil is a forest oasis in the middle of a concrete urban center. According to Treehugger, the street is transformed into a shadowy, green tunnel by more than 100 tipuana trees. In recent years, attempts to build a parking garage along the street were ended by a local environmental group, the Amigos da Rua Goncalo de Carvalho. Today the street is recognized as a site of Ecological, Cultural and Environmental Heritage.
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