Climate change is intensifying urban climate problems and the design of public and private spaces should take this into account. However, the public often does not recognize these problems due to perceptual barriers. The hypothesis of this paper is that such perceptual barriers can be overcome through ‘climate revelatory visualizations’ that communicate the problems and solutions in an understandable way and can nudge parties into taking action. We created and tested several photorealistic animated visualization styles. The results indicate that urban climate problems and adaptation measures should be presented in photorealistic animations with graphic overlays to overcome perceptual barriers. The climate revelatory visualizations should frame climate adaptation positively, and feature the everyday environments of the target audience. Visualizations that reveal current situations, specifically the risks of particular climate problems, prove to have a warning function, whereas visualizations that reveal adaptation measures can motivate citizens and urban designers to take adaptation action.