We’re living amid a photo-obsessed culture. An article by Business Insider said, “people will take 1.2 trillion digital photos by the end of 2017”, with the majority taken on smartphones. In 2017, I snapped over 8,000 photos while traveling in 12 European countries. How about you? Did you contribute to the 1.2 trillion digital pictures in 2017?
Whether you’re just snapping photos to improve your memory of your experiences, to share on social media or for the art of photography, we’ve listed nine best cities you shouldn’t miss:
1. Rio de Janeiro
No other platforms are more intrinsically linked to photography and sharing of photos than Instagram. I searched the hashtag #Rio and #RiodeJaneiro on Instagram and found a total of 25 million posts.
Considered the most beautiful city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro takes visitors to beautiful beaches, lush tropical mountains, colorful stairs and magnificent panoramic views of the city. Brazil’s second largest city is also the host of the world’s biggest carnival – Rio Carnival.
The best places to photograph the panoramic views of Rio:
1. Christ the Redeemer for views of Sugarloaf and Botafogo Bay
2. Sugarloaf for Rio’s sunset views
3. The famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon
4. Rocinha, the biggest favela in Rio
Budapest is a stunningly beautiful city in Europe. Grand palaces and the Hungarian Parliament building, historical sites, the Danube River, bridges, churches, and cafes are places to capture photographs of this Hungarian capital city.
Even the thermal pools make for great photography, indoors or outdoors. Check out The Szechenyi Baths where men play chess in the pool and the beautiful art nouveau architecture at The Gellert Baths (Hotel Gellert).
Prague or Praha’s Gothic and Baroque architecture, hills, narrow alleys, trams, bridges draw millions of tourists each year. The city’s five independent towns, namely Hradcany (Castle area), Mala Strana (Lesser Town), Nove Mest (New Town), Stare Mesto (Old Town) and Josefov (Jewish Quarter) are filled with hidden gems.
Charles Bridge is the most photographed place in Prague, and it’s also the most crowded. I recommend going for the sunrise and before troughs of tourists arrive. I like Mala Strana by the river where you can photograph the bridge, river, and the swans. The Old Town Bridge Tower and Mala Strana Bridge Tower are two stops to put in your itinerary if you like aerial views of the bridge and city.
The capital’s monuments, memorial, and grand buildings are a feast for a photographer’s eyes. Some spots to take photos:
1. Lincoln Memorial
2. The Washington Monument
3. Tidal Basin
4. The Bridge at Yards Park
For additional places to photograph read Top 25 Hidden Photo Spots in Washington DC by Improve Photography.
Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, is beautiful year-round. In winter, you can catch the northern lights, and in summer you can enjoy the midnight sun and capture the golden hour when the sun is close to the horizon.
According to Guide to Iceland, the good spots for photography are Solfario (Sun Voyager), Harpan (concert hall), Tjornin (lake), Hallgrimskirkja Church, Grotta Lighthouse, Perlan, Landakotskirkja Church, the harbor, Arbaejarsafn open-air folk museum and Einar Jonsson Sculpture Garden.
6. Puerto Varas
Puerto Varas, a city in the Lake District of Chile, is one of the most picturesque places in South America. This lakeside city has an array of marvelous sights, like Lake Llanquihue (a glacier lake), Osorno and Calbuco snow-capped volcanoes and traditional German-style churches and houses.
7. Hong Kong
Set on the South China Sea coast, Hong Kong is a city of seven million people and is an important financial hub in Asia. Ruled by the British until 1997, Hong Kong is an excellent example of a city with an East-meets-West culture.
Amidst the modern high-rise buildings and fast metros are the centuries-old tiny quarters and row houses. Montane Mansion Building, The Peak, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Nathan Road and Victoria Harbour are some of the places worth visiting so you can capture shots of the people and the city lights.
Travel through time with your camera in China’s largest city, Shanghai. Capture both modern and ancient buildings amongst the millions of people and thousands of vehicles. The must-visit list for Shanghai begins with the Bund, followed by Pudong skyline (located just across the river from the Bund), Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, French Concession and Xintiandi.
The colorful colonial buildings, a mural of Che Guevara, the Malecon, vintage cars and cigar smokers are some of the images that come to mind when I think of Havana. Have you been there?
Photos and article by Claudia Looi