Ever seen a picture of a lovely avenue online and wanted to visit it straight away? Ever wondered what the most beautiful streets in the world would be like? These are the sort of questions that inspired a new study, seeking to use science to understand that feeling every traveler has had: of falling in love at first sight with a particularly picturesque avenue! Using AI eye tracking technology, real estate company GetAgent explored whether it was possible to determine which streets around the world captured people’s attention and interest - and the results are eye-catching indeed.
The Eye Tracking Study
UK-based GetAgent is a company that analyses data on real estate agents' performance to aid property sellers. Proceeding from the fact that a street can inform the opinions of home buyers and travelers (which hotel one would choose over the other, or which place to pick for a staycation, for example), GetAgent conducted a research study on their website, seeking to reach a scientific method to determine which streets are the most pleasing and interesting to a general audience.
The research was conducted like this: 40 participants were asked to look over 50 pictures of streets around the world, themselves picked using desk research. As they did, an eye-tracking software was used to record them and track their eye movements; then, AI technology processed and analyzed the data, calculating how long each participant spent looking at each picture and how many times they went back to a certain street. The average viewing was used to rank which streets were the most captivating and attractive to the largest number of participants.
The Top 5 Most Beautiful Streets In The World - It’s Science!
The research results ended up ranking 20 streets around the globe as the most eye-catching and beautiful streets in the world.
|Rank||Street||Location||Country||Total views||Avg. fixation time|
|1||Philosopher’s Path||Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture||Japan||550||6.2s|
|2||Rue Principale||Rocamadour, Lot||France||363||4.64s|
|3||Via Baldassarre Galuppi||Burano, Venice||Italy||252||4.22s|
|4||Herbert Baker Street||Groenkloof, Pretoria||South Africa||256||4.17s|
|5||Lombard Street||San Francisco, California||USA||282||4.05s|
|6||Circus Lane||Stockbridge, Edinburgh||UK||272||3.95s|
|7||The Circus||Bath, Somerset||UK||259||3.74s|
|8||Gold Hill||Shaftesbury, Dorset||UK||348||3.4s|
|9||Lijnbaansgracht||Amsterdam, North Holland||The Netherlands||295||3.45s|
|10||Orchard Road||Central Area, Singapore||Singapore||218||3.31s|
|11||Bourbon Street||The French Quarter, New Orleans||USA||267||3.19s|
|12||Cherry Blossom Avenue||Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia||Germany||254||3.13s|
|13||Quechua Street||Cusco, Cusco Province||Peru||295||3.12s|
|14||Rua do Bom Jesus||Recife, Pernambuco||Brazil||279||3.07s|
|15||Vicars’ Close||Wells, Somerset||UK||124||3.05s|
|16||Rue de l'Abreuvoir||Montmartre, Paris||France||198||2.9s|
|17||The Street||Castle Combe, Wiltshire||UK||226||2.96s|
|18||Arlington Row||Bibury, Gloucestershire||UK||247||2.91s|
|19||Via Torre Belvedere||Spello, Perugia||Italy||201||2.85s|
|20||Elm Hill||Norwich, Norfolk||UK||227||2.82s|
Interested? Here's a little bit more about the top 5 most beautiful streets:
Philosopher’s Path - Kyoto, Japan
Philosopher’s Path is a famous stone walking trail in the northern region of Kyoto. The walking street follows the Lake Biwa Canal for 2 kilometers and is lined up with cafés, boutiques, and small shrines, as well as hundreds of cherry blossom trees; it is one of the most popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots in Kyoto. Philosopher’s Path ranked number one on GetAgent’s research, holding participants' eyes for an amazing 6.2 seconds on average - cherry blossom viewing clearly works remotely, too.
Rue Principale - Rocamadour, France
Rocamadour is one of France’s charming medieval towns, built vertiginously on the edges of a gorge over the Dordogne River. The Rue Principale, the main street, runs through the heart of the city and is lined with charming boutiques, restaurants, cafés, shops, and museums. Part of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage, the Rue Principale of Rocamadour has been visited by all sorts of pilgrims, from the devout common folk to the aristocracy, since the 12th century. Rocamadour has many historical and religious monuments, as well as a centenary Virgin Mary Sanctuary. In the study, the medieval stone street Rue Principale was viewed 362 times, for an average of 4.64 seconds.
Via Baldassarre Galuppi - Burano, Venice, Italy
Burano is an island in the Venetian Lagoon, in Northern Italy. Known for its leaning bell tower, intricate lace, and colorful homes, Burano is an artists’ place. Its most attractive street, Via Baldassarre Galuppi, is named after a native 16th-century composer; sound and color indeed seem to come to life in Via Galuppi, with multicolored buildings and vibrant shops creating a spectacle for visitors - and viewers! This Italian shopping street got 4.22 seconds of average fixation by participants in the study.
Herbert Baker Street - Pretoria, South Africa
The fourth-ranked street in the study is located in Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capitals and the seat of the Executive branch of the government. Pretoria is also known as “Jacaranda City” due to the 70,000 Jacaranda trees spread throughout the city, which bloom a bright purple every South African spring - between September and November. Herbert Baker Street, a long road lined with residences and hotels, stands out even among the rest of Pretoria due to its spectacular 100 white Jacaranda blossom trees. During the rest of the year, the trees are a luscious green, ensuring it remains attention-grabbing. In the GetAgent study, Herbert Baker Street had a viewing average time of 4.17 seconds.
Lombard Street - San Francisco, USA
Lombard Street is a well-known spot in exciting San Francisco. A truly unique street, it was constructed on a steep hill in a nearly dizzying zigzag shape, with eight hairpin turns - driving down this street is an exercise in careful driving! Lombard Street runs through twelve blocks, and each curve is framed by luscious flower bushes and plants, lined by buildings on the sidewalks. Lombard Street seems to be as captivating in the photo as it is in person, getting 4.05 of average viewing and 5th place on GetAgent’s research study.