Life Imitating Art: 35+ Spectacular Real-Life Locations Fit For A Wes Anderson Film

By Ayomitide F January 28, 2024

This article was originally published on travelerdoor

The Grand Budapest Hotel. The French Dispatch. Moonrise Kingdom. All of these movies are like a visual feast for your eyeballs! When you see that familiar symmetry, those vibrant colors, and the attention to detail, you know you’re in for something that’s not just any flick – it’s a Wes Anderson masterpiece! He is the creative genius responsible for these sensational films.

You may be wondering what makes those Wes joints so special. Well, a huge part of it is the locations. It’s almost like they are custom-designed to be the backdrop of his quirky films. Funky hotels, charming homes, lighthouses, cathedrals, and even street baths play significant roles in the Wes World. Why? Because they are all drop-dead gorgeous!

Today, we have a collection of stunning locations that would fit perfectly in such movies. Frankly, they’ll probably leave you with a nasty bout of wanderlust! eEnjoy!


Check out this book lover’s paradise! The Upper Lusatia Library of Sciences in Gorlitz, Germany, is something to behold. There are 140,000 books crammed into every nook and cranny, with archways cutting through rows of literature. It’s not just the largest library in Gorlitz but the entire region. 

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Way back in 1779, a bunch of smart folks from Gorlitz decided to form the Upper Lusatian Society of Sciences to celebrate their region’s history. Back then, it was like a members-only thing. Today, people from Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic flock here to soak up knowledge and share ideas.

Bohemian Pinksody

The Hotel Opera in Prague is a delightful pink marvel that screams Bohemian Neo-Renaissance. Prague itself is known for its numerous ancient buildings that snuggle up next to sleek, futuristic structures. In fact, the hotel stands in its hot-pink glory as the cool kid of the city’s less touristy Nové Město (New Town) part. 

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It is the perfect blend of Czech old-school charm and modern vibes. Just before Czechoslovakia declared its independence down the road in Wenceslas Square, Karel Češka purchased the hotel with big dreams of turning it into a family-run gem. Fair to say that was a smart move

Love Actually

St Luke’s Mews in London’s Notting Hill is a real charmer, and it’s got some Hollywood credentials to boot – you might recognize it as a filming location in Love Actually. You know, that spot where Mark confessed his love to Juliet! 

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The street is a picturesque dream with cobblestones, adorable carriage houses, and around two dozen homes, each with its own unique flair. We know it, and the Instagram influencers know it. That’s why the city council had to intervene after “tourists” caused damages worth several thousands. Yikes!

Hold the Gates

We’ll tell you something for free: the guys who made this didn’t have to snap this hard, but they did, and we absolutely love it! This gate isn’t your usual one – it’s more like a cultural hotspot. Rajasthan’s art, craft, and culture are all blended into this one structure. 

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It’s part of the Anupam Yojana by the Jaipur Development Authority, and it’s right on the bustling Jawaharlal Nehru Marg. Whether you’re into architecture, culture, or just want a cool Instagram pic, Patrika Gate is definitely worth a visit. Plus, it’s the southern gate of Jaipur, so you can’t miss it! Wes Anderson won’t either!


In 2009, Brighton & Hove’s charming seafront bandstand made a triumphant return to its Victorian glory after some serious TLC. Now, this seaside gem boasts a vibrant deck where you can catch awesome concerts, plus a cool café with a chill al fresco spot at the base. 

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Every summer from April to September, they roll out the red carpet with a Sunday lineup of concerts that’ll rock your socks off. But that’s not all this bandstand’s about – you can tie the knot, renew your vows, pop the big question, or even do yoga!

Run it back

Hotel Moskva is a four-star gem that has been around since forever. The building has been under government protection since ’68, and its story goes way back to when it was just a 36-room spot inside the grand Palace Rossiya. 

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Fun fact: If you stroll through the hallways, you’ll spot picture frames of all the famous folks who’ve graced the hotel. Over the past century, they’ve had more than thirty-six million guests walk through their doors, including legends like Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, and even Luciano Pavarotti.

Splash out

Back in ’97, the City of Westminster locked up the Marshall Street baths. Fast forward to July 2010, and it was like a phoenix rising from the ashes, thanks to the Marshall Street Regeneration Ltd. Now, it’s part of the Nuffield Health leisure crew, with Everyone Active taking the reins. 

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They’ve spruced it up really nicely, packing in a gym, steam room, sauna, and even dance and exercise studios. But the cherry on top is that ’30s swimming pool, still rocking its original marble floors and a ceiling that’ll make you feel like you’re in a fancy cathedral.


Off the coast of Andros, Greece, there’s this seriously cool lighthouse called the Tourlitis Lighthouse. Since its debut back in 1897, it had been chilling just offshore from an Andros castle. But then World War II came along, and the original lighthouse didn’t make it. Bummer, right? 

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In the early ’90s, an oil tycoon swooped in and brought it back to life, dedicating it to his daughter. This revamped version became Greece’s first automated lighthouse – no more lighthouse keeper needed. And guess what? It still looks like it’s from a Dungeons and Dragons quest!

This Thing of Ours

Back in the day, Morristown, New Jersey, was like a magnet for millionaires, and many of them had all the makings of varsity athletes. Seriously, they had a whopping 91 mansions lining the streets by the turn of the 20th century. It was all thanks to the booming industrial scene in New York City.

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Since these folks longed to escape the urban hustle and bustle, they brought their fancy customs and toys along for the ride, and guess what? Morristown got a glow-up. The Madison Hotel, born in the midst of this suburban transformation in 1936, became a hotspot for the fancy crowd. And today, it still is!


Nestled since 1882 in the cozy embrace of a twisty hairpin turn along Switzerland’s epic Furka Pass, you’ll find the charming Hotel Belvédère. Back in its prime, this place offered rooms with killer views of the icy stretches of the Rhône Glacier and even a gnarly grotto carved right into that cool, blue-tinged ice.

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In fact, this spot was the backdrop for an unforgettable scene in Sean Connery’sBond film, Goldfinger. 007 was cruising through the Furka Pass in his slick silver Aston Martin, chasing down the baddies. Sadly, it is not such a hotspot anymore as it finally called it a day in 2016.


In 1806, James Gosling had this wild idea of sailing to America with a boatload of stuff, dreaming of striking it rich. But Mother Nature had other plans – a 91-day seastorm! He had to make an unplanned pit stop in St. George’s, Bermuda. After stepping onto that picture-perfect beach, James realized America could wait.

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Joined by his bro Ambrose, they snagged a spot and called it Gosling Brothers. They started selling off the ship’s loot but soon stumbled upon oak barrels of rum. They soon got fancy and started using old champagne bottles, sealing them with black wax. And that’s how people started asking for the “Black Seal.” 

Palmenhaus Schönbrunn

In the heart of Vienna, you’ll find the Palmenhaus Schönbrunn – a massive greenhouse that’s been wowing visitors since 1882. This place is like a global plant party, with around 4,500 different plant species strutting their stuff! It’s the crown jewel of the Schönbrunn Palace Park’s greenhouses, one of the world’s biggest botanical exhibits.

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They’ve got a 350-year-old olive tree gifted by Spain and a “living fossil” called Wollemia that’s a rare sight outside Australia. But the star of the show is a Livistona chinensis named the “Mirna palm” after Austrian swimmer Mirna Jukić. Planted in 2008, it’s reaching for the sky in the center of the greenhouse. 


Nestled right in the heart of Philadelphia, the Suburban Station has been buzzing as a major transportation hub for nearly a century. This underground gem still keeps the city connected with regional and local trains, just like it did in the good old days. Before the Station popped up, Philly was going through the motions. 

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But things got brighter as folks from Italy, Europe, and the South migrated there. World War I brought demand for labor at the Naval Yard, and the commercial boom was in full swing. The city started getting modernized, and the Suburban Station led the charge with its fancy lights and acoustic ceiling. 


The St. Vincent Pilgrimage Church is so majestic. It is located at the base of the majestic Grossglockner, which just so happens to be Austria’s tallest peak. Legend has it that way back in 914 AD, a brave Danish knight named Briccius hauled a flask of Holy Blood from Constantinople to this very spot. 

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St. Vincent also hosts a 16th-century late-Gothic altar, St. Briccius’s crypt and tombstone, and even an “Iron Book” with the names of folks who didn’t make it on the Grossglockner. Every June, folks flock here for the Pinzgau Pilgrimage – a true spiritual shindig with a massive mass at St. Vincent’s Church!

The Abbey

Quebec’s Saint Benedict Abbey has quite the story. Back in 1912, it was brought to life by Abbot Dom Joseph Pothier. Although it’s not Canada’s oldest monastery, it’s got some serious street cred in Quebec thanks to its architects – Dom Paul Bellot, Dom Claude-Marie Côté, and Dan S. Hanganu.

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Their motto, “in the beauty of peace,” pretty much sums it up. It’s a peaceful spot with a view that’s nothing short of breathtaking. Today, they’re a community of around thirty monks whipping up cheese, brewing cider, and running a shop where you can snag their goodies!

The Villa

Villa Sola Cabiati, or “La Quiete” as the locals call it, is a real gem on the shores of Lake Como, and it’s been standing tall since the 16th century. Back in the 18th century, it was the go-to vacation spot for the mega-rich Duke Gabrio Serbelloni. 

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This villa really is a Baroque dream come true. The Duke’s kids decked it out with a mind-blowing collection of paintings, frescoes, porcelain, tapestries, and furniture. They even lugged a bed all the way from Napoleon’s old haunt in Milan during World War II. Talk about determination!

For the Gram

Le Riad Yasmine is that one Moroccan oasis you’ve seen all over Instagram. Honestly, it’s worth the hype. This place stands out from the crowd thanks to its killer interior design, an attention to detail that’s almost obsessive, and the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet. 

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Morocco’s always been this rad mix of cultures and styles, and this riad is no exception. So, what’s a riad, you ask? It’s a swanky Moroccan mansion from back in the day, owned by the big shots. Le Riad Yasmine is one of those gems run by a super lovely French duo, Gabriel and Alice.

Angels Flight

Downtown LA’s got this awesome old-school funicular called Angels Flight – you know, one of those short cable railways that chug up steep hillsides. It’s only about 298 feet long, but boy, it’s a steep ride! This gem connects the Grand Central Market at the bottom to the Water Court shopping mall at the top.

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Now, Angels Flight’s history is a rollercoaster itself. It first popped up in 1901 but at a different spot just half a block away. Back in the day, it was a total hit – folks loved it both for the thrill and as a handy way to dodge one of Downtown LA’s steepest streets!


Back in 1879, a Prussian prince named Christian Craft Hohenlohe-Öhringen dropped half a million gold pieces to snag the Javoriny estate, nestled within Slovakia’s Tatra National Park (established in ’49). This place is like Mother Nature’s VIP section, boasting about 24,700 acres of untouched beauty in the High Tatras mountains.

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After the purchase, Hohenlohe put the locals to work. They built a lodge and also constructed a hydroelectric power plant, bakery, and more. Then, he imported exotic creatures like bison, ibex, and American deer just for some fancy hunting. Today, there are hunting trophies, weapons, memorabilia, a rare telescope, and a gong for classy events.


Ihantola, which translates to “Wonderful Place,” is an absolute gem! This snazzy Art Nouveau apartment building in Helsinki has been standing tall since 1907, making it the city’s oldest of its kind. Back in the day, when this beauty was being built, Finland was going through some pretty wild times. 

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The Kallio district was bustling with new streets, and Ihantola was like the shiny new kid on the block, changing the whole neighborhood’s skyline. It provided a comfy spot for the working-class heroes of the city. And you know what’s even cooler? Ihantola has stayed cool and kept its stylish Art Nouveau vibes intact since!

The Georgian

Back in 1933, when California’s coast was the place to be, The Georgian Hotel popped up in sunny Los Angeles. It was the brainchild of Harry J. Borde, a sharp attorney and judge. This historic gem with Romanesque Revival and Art Deco vibes, was one of the first skyscrapers to grace Ocean Avenue.

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Fast forward to the 1940s and 1950s, and The Georgian became the go-to for folks from the Douglas Aircraft Factory. It was home to aircraft designers, wartime heroes, and even some high-stakes gamblers. The late 60s welcomed more luxury and even more luxurious guests like Rose Kennedy, the First Mother herself!

Post Office

Australia Post has been all about connecting folks and supporting communities for a couple of centuries. They’ve got this epic property stash, including 73 heritage buildings that are sitting pretty on Crown-owned land. These beauties have been around since the colonial days, through to post-Federation, and even post-WWII. 

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This place really was home sweet home for the postmaster! Architecturally, it’s got that cool Edwardian Baroque style. You can spot some classy details all over the façade, from the porch columns to that “scalloped” fence. This quirky gem is like an old mate in the North Hobart community, always there with a friendly face.


Beautiful, just beautiful! Nestled amidst Iceland’s breathtaking snow-capped mountains and along the longest fjord in the country, Hauganes is the kind of place that’ll steal your heart with its natural beauty and yes, its epic jacuzzis. With just around 140 friendly folks calling it home, Hauganes is the ultimate chill-out spot. 

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Enjoying the thermal baths might mean some pleasant fin-tastic company. Humpback whales love dropping by to put on a show, sending spouts of water soaring and splashing around with their epic tails. So if you’re into whale watching, this is the place to be!

The Baths

The Western Baths Club has been the go-to spot for swimming and leisure since way back in 1876. Yep, that’s right, this place is a real Victorian gem, and it’s been holding it down at 12 Cranworth Street ever since. Alongside its buddy, the Arlington Baths, it’s the last of its kind in the city.

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Back in the day, it drew in folks from all walks of life, from merchants and bankers to writers and doctors. Even some fancy Scottish society members made appearances. Today, after several struggles and restorations, the Baths now boast over 2,600 members!

The Mills

Yet another pink beauty! This majestic structure was built back in 1853 by a local grain honcho named Otis Mills. John E. Earle, the architect, did his magic, and it cost a cool $200,000 to put up. Even the Civil War couldn’t ruffle its feathers! 

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It went by the name St. John Hotel for a while in the early 1900s, and President Theodore Roosevelt himself gave it a nod when he visited the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition in 1902. Ownership of the hotel has switched hands multiple times, but this building remains a triple OG!

The Golden Pass

Now, this one is like a dreamy train ride straight out of a postcard. It calls Montreux its home base but dances through the stunning scenery of southwest Switzerland, linking up Montreux, Gstaad, and Zweisimmen along its beloved 38.8-mile-long route. 

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When people from all over started hearing about the “Golden Pass” train, it was hard to resist. There were comfy trains and even dining car services. Even the WWII couldn’t shake its A1 reputation. The Golden Pass is still choo-chooing till today. Oh, and they added “Panoramic” rail cars for those epic views!


Back in the glitzy era of early Hollywood, the Eastern Columbia Building was a real showstopper. This killer thirteen-story Art Deco masterpiece is right at home in Downtown Los Angeles’s Broadway Theater District. Everybody and their grandma’s camera have had a date with this building!

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Claud Beelman, the brain behind this stunner, got it done in just 9 months. Crazy, right?! Originally, it was the HQ for the Eastern-Columbia Department Store. Nowadays, it’s home sweet home for some lucky folks, as they turned it into condos in 2006. It’s still turning heads like a Broadway superstar today. 


Just by the picturesque Ugly Wolf Lake in Iceland, you will see Úlfljótsvatn Church. It is a clear standout in the land of villages with their own churches. Why, you ask? Well, this wooden gem, standing tall since 1914, sports an extra-large steeple that’s hard to miss. 

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Named after the notable Úlfljótur, a big shot in the ancient Icelandic Parliament known as Althingi, this place carries some history. While the church’s origins might be a bit hazy, you can bet there’s a treasure trove of church leaders who have come and gone. And it has remained a protected monument since 1990!


Tinakilly House is the epitome of Victorian elegance with a touch of Irish charm. Originally crafted in 1883 for Captain Robert Halpin, the mastermind behind “The Great Eastern” and a telegraphic cable guru, this country mansion is surrounded by seven acres of immaculately landscaped gardens in Wicklow. 

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But Tinakilly House isn’t just a pretty face – it’s a gateway to adventure. Just a stone’s throw from Dublin, you’ve got epic mountain drives, historic hotspots, lush gardens, top-notch golf courses, horseback rides that’ll make you feel like a knight or a duchess, and strolls that’ll put a pep in your step! 

The Lanesborough

Built in 1719 as the residence of James Lane, the last Viscount Lanesborough, this place was always destined for greatness. By 1825, it was in dire need of a makeover, and architect William Wilkins stepped in to jazz it up with the classical Greek Revival style of Regency-era England. 

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The property sat vacant after being used as a hospital for many until the Duke of Wellington purchased it. In 1988, the Lanesborough Hotel emerged from a dream team of architects and designers who added 93 rooms along with the elegant Celeste restaurant. Subsequently, The Lanesborough became an instant hotspot for celebrities and still is!

Mafia, what else? 

Back in 1939, the Hotel Sevilla had some seriously shady connections. It was like a Micheal Corleone casino from Godfather II. An Italian Uruguayan mobster named Amleto Battisti ran the operations. This guy was also responsible for La Bolita, the city’s lottery game, the racecourse, and even the famous Casino Nacional.

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Santo Trafficante Jr., one of the most powerful mobsters in America, also ran the place once upon a time. He was so welcoming that he even offered Al Capone a free stay at the hotel. Don’t let its beauty fool you, Hotel Sevilla was a gangster’s paradise! 


A sunshine aquarium? Who would have thought? Most of us might like our fish tanks as blue as the sky, but this Seaside Aquarium defies the odds and instantly shines for daring to do so! Who knows, maybe the fish enjoy that Lemon Vibe too.

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Wes Anderson would totally dig that. Imagine a yellow aquarium with only yellow fish and lemons served as a fun time snack. Whenever you are in Oregon, make sure to catch up with the fins at this sunshine Lemonade aquarium!

Get comfy!

Where in the world will you find these perfectly pink lockers? They don’t reside in a retro roller rink, a groovy gallery, or Barbie’s schvitz-house, but rather in the hot springs of Budapest, and boy, they’ve been bubbling since way back in the 12th century! 

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The Császár Thermal Bath is the OG of Budapest’s thermal bath game. Originally built by Szokoli Mustafa, it got a makeover in 1844 by József Hild and now hangs out with the National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy. So, next time you’re in Budapest, take a dip in this living piece of history! 


Check out this mind-blowing flying saucer-looking house. Cool, right? They call it a Futuro house, and there are fewer than 100 of these babies in existence. But wait, this particular one has a backstory that’s straight out of a sci-fi flick. It supposedly started its life at the Playboy Club Hotel, of all places! 

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With this bad boy, you wouldn’t know whether to live in isolation or appear before Congress for a hearing. Either way, it’s an experience worth having, and you might just uncover some secrets that’ll make your jaw drop. Grab your spacesuits!

Bienvenido a Olivedo

The Hotel Olivedo is the only cozy, old-world escape you’ll ever need. The charming Art Nouveau-style building is nestled along Lake Como and boasts just 10 rooms. You read that right – ten. And it has everything there is to offer!

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Unobstructed Lake Como views that are downright breathtaking, easy strolls to the ferry dock, and Varenna’s best attractions. The best part? It’s got that family-run feel you won’t find in big, fancy hotels. Also, all the rooms come with small balconies perfect for sipping your morning coffee with a view to die for! 

The Split

The Croatian National Theatre in Split, or HNK Split for short, has been around since 1893. It is a timeless gem in Dalmatia because it’s one of the world’s oldest theaters still kicking. And we know it will be around for much longer.

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As one of the city’s major hotspots, HNK Split is a bustling place! They put on about 300 shows every year, and guess what? Around 120,000 folks show up to catch those performances. We’re talking opera, ballet, drama, and even sweet symphony concerts by their very own orchestra!

The Graveyard

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is like the guardian angel of a pretty gnarly part of the Atlantic Coast. Just off the coast of Cape Hatteras, where things get really interesting – the Gulf Stream meets up with the Virginia Drift from way up in Canada. 

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When these two currents decide to tango, they basically push southbound ships right into the not-so-fun sandbar – a 12-mile-long obstacle course called Diamond Shoals. Over the years, this spot’s become a notorious ship Graveyard with possibly thousands of wrecks!

Ring the bells

Madone! Look at this tiny chapel, fellas. You are looking at the smallest wedding chapel in the world. The building is a cozy 78 square feet or about 7 square meters. Seriously, it’s so small you could bump into your own shadow in there! 

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If you’re all about that intimate vibe and want to get hitched with just your nearest and dearest, this place could be your jam. It’s the ultimate “close-knit” wedding venue, where you’ll be practically elbow to elbow with your few guests. 


Next, we have the National Museum of African American History and Culture! This is one place you don’t wanna miss out on. It’s like the big kahuna of cultural destinations, and it’s all about diving deep into the African-American story and how it’s woven into the tapestry of history. 

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It’s not just a building; it’s a cultural hub. A spot where folks can really get in touch with their roots and soak up the rich history and culture of Black people in America. They’ve got a treasure trove of over 40,000 artifacts, which is pretty mind-blowing!

Strandbad Wannsee

This awesome open-air spot on the east side of Großer Wannsee Lake in Berlin is a total gem. They threw open their sandy shores back in 1907, and it’s still one of the coolest inland lidos in all of Europe. 

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During World War II, this lido was like a bright spot in some dark times for the folks in Berlin. After all that chaos, in 1947, over 600,000 peeps still came to hang out. Strandbad Wannsee is that one spot where good times never seem to end!


The West Coast of South Africa is a charming slice of old-world vibes. Paternoster, a cozy fishing village nestled along a windswept, postcard-perfect beach, is one of the many gems the region is known for. It’s famous for its vintage whitewashed cottages and untouched natural beauty. 

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And right at the heart of this coastal haven is the Paternoster Hotel, an iconic local spot with a history stretching back over 150 years. They’ve got ten comfy rooms, a charming self-catering cottage with a lively pub and restaurant that’s just a leisurely stroll away from the main beach. All they do is chill!

Swiss Cheese

This Concert Hall is like the Beyoncé of acoustics. It’s got that unique sound that’ll give you goosebumps. Russel Johnson, the brains behind it, was a New Yorker with a knack for making magic happen. He cooked up this sweet ratio of 1:1:2 that makes the sound here downright perfect. 

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And let’s not forget about those 24,000 plaster reliefs – they’re the secret sauce of this incredible piece! Each one’s about 20 cm long, and they’re scattered all over the place, making this hall not just architecturally stunning but also an experience you won’t forget.


Now, this one totally belongs in a Wes Anderson flick.  It looks like a crayon box exploded in there! Seriously, it’s not your usual red-brick deal – it’s more like a dollhouse for firefighters. We can only imagine what the inside looks like. We bet it’s just as rad. 

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The fire truck looks all saucy, totally popping against those soft pastel vibes. Even the firefighter gear would be on-brand. On one side, we’ve got vintage fire alarms, and on the other, brass doorknobs. We need a Wes Anderson firefighter drama film real quick! 

Light ’em up

Located just across the Tagus River from Lisbon, the Farol de Cacilhas lighthouse has quite the story to tell. Way back in 1886, it started beaming its light through the thick Lisbon fog, guiding sailors like a champ. With a height of 40 feet and a trusty bell, it was one trusty navigator. 

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But as time sailed on, it became old-school. In 1983, it was shipped off to the Azores to fill in for a lighthouse that got the shakes from an earthquake. It pulled double duty for over two decades before making a comeback in 2009, looking all fresh and modern on a swanky new pier!