One of the most common questions I get asked is, what was the most beautiful city you have photographed?
Nearly three years later the answer for me still remains the same, but I decided to reach out to a few blogging friends and get their take on this timeless question too. With so many stunning landscapes to explore, street scene moments to get caught up in and breathtaking sunsets to enjoy a cold beer with, whittling down your favourite place to photograph is always a hard call.
My biggest recommendation to anyone taking an extended, or once in a lifetime trip, is to spend the dollar on a relatively decent camera. Sure, your iPhone is pretty good, but in certain light conditions, you might not quite capture that moment you want to remember forever. Luckily, as technology has advanced and competition has become fierce, some of the best travel cameras on the market nowadays don’t need to cost you a fortune. Whether you go compact or DSLR, make sure you are armed to capture these photogenic cities on your adventures.
Most people look surprised when I answer with Bagan. But that is not a city?
This ancient city, once the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, may not have the high rise tower blocks or the modern metros we align with cities in present day but I assure you these temples are my worthy winner.
Catching the sunrise from atop of a Pagoda, or taking a hot air balloon over Bagan as the mist rolls away is a truly breathtaking sight. Exploring the hundreds of ancient temples by bicycle and being blown away by the sheer scale of history here is something that should be on any Asia must see list.
Following the tragic earthquake which caused so much damage to this area earlier in the year, I added it to my must visit places in 2017 list. It is at times like this, when repair work is required, we can make our tourist dollar truly count by visiting such a historic place. Myanmar has also recently been in the news for tragic events which although have been occurring since before my visit have only just started getting main stream attention, understanding Myanmar before you visit is essential.
Michael from theunexamined.life
Without a doubt, the most photogenic city I’ve ever been to, is the city that I (currently) call home, Paris!
The first time you come, it will be a little surreal. I remember on the ride from the airport and the first time the Eiffel Tower peeked into view, it was such a rush! After seeing it in a million different places it was pretty crazy to see it for the first time.
I’ve been to places that have amazing architecture before, but never anywhere that has so much beauty concentrated in so small an area.
Some of the buildings, Notre Dame, for instance go back hundreds of years! It’s simply astounding to think that if you go and sit next to Notre Dame, somebody from 800 years ago could have sat in that exact spot, and marvelled at how beautiful Notre Dame is, just like you!
The part that upsets me, is that Parisian are just “whatever” about them. I was raised in Florida, and the only beauty my city had to offer was the beach!
I don’t think it’s possible for me to pick a favourite building, or favourite spot, there’s just so many to choose from. While the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is incredible, you can’t get the Eiffel Tower in the picture so I recommend Montparnasse or Sacré-Cœur if you want a sweeping view.
If you want the classic gargoyle-looking-over-Paris shot, you should head to Notre Dame instead. If instead you would like to visit an amazing garden in the heart of Paris, head over to Musée Rodin, especially if you’re here in the fall.
As far as the most photogenic neighbourhoods, I would have to pick Le Marais or Montmartre, both are gorgeous so you can’t go wrong with either.
If there’s one person to thank for making Paris such a beautiful city it would be Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the 1860’s he initiated the restoration of Paris. People of the day hated it, but we have him to thank for the grand boulevards and fantastic monuments.
If you’ll be in Paris in the next few months, shoot me an email and we can go for a drink!
Anna from SlightlyAstray.com
Let’s see, my answer for the most photogenic city isn’t exactly a city. But it is the single most gorgeous scenery I’ve ever seen. And this honor can only go to the magnificent Great Wall of China.
Maybe it sounds haughty of me to say this, but long-term travel can have a very detrimental effect. And that’s that when you live a life of seeing one amazing thing after another, places start to lose their luster. After all, how many beautiful beaches can you see and still get the same sense of wonder each time? How many cathedrals can you visit and still feel that same sense of awe as the first few times?
Basically what I’m trying to say is that it becomes harder and harder for you to be truly amazed.
After traveling for so long, I was starting to get to that point… and then I went to the Great Wall. And my jaws dropped in amazement again.
Today, there are a few sections of the Great Wall available for visiting. But Beijing locals will all say that the Simatai section, while not the most popular, is the most beautiful. This section of the Wall has not been heavily restored and is more or less left in its natural state.
When you arrive at the top (either by hiking or by gondola), there is nothing like gazing out and seeing the Wall snake through the lush green hills. This is a scene that left me completely breathless. It made me appreciate just how hard China worked to protect its country and how many lives were lost to build this great wonder. As we followed the Wall down, every turn provided a stunning new view. I dare you to not take a million photos!
Andrea of scribblesnaptravel.com
The most photogenic place I’ve ever visited must be Hoi An, Vietnam. To me, it is the very definition of a dreamlike place, especially the old town. The buildings are painted a vibrant shade of yellow, and there are colourful lanterns hanging everywhere, meaning that every frame that you fill in your camera’s viewfinder is just bursting with colour.
It’s so incredibly romantic and dreamy – I wish I could go back! By the river, you can lower lanterns into the water and make a wish, which again offers you the perfect photo opportunities.
Then, of course, Hoi An is home to some of the best food in Vietnam, which is no small feat when you consider how delicious the cuisine is on the whole.
I was guilty of posting many food porn photos while I was there! The photo that I’m sharing here is one of my favourite photos from my travels so far and shows why I loved it in Hoi An – look at all the colours!
Candice from Freecandie.com
The most photogenic city I’ve been to is easily Prague, Czech Republic. I’ve been four times now, and I still walk around in a dreamlike daze. Even the crowded, touristy areas around the Charles Bridge and the Old Town can’t diminish Prague’s beauty! It’s remarkably preserved, even after two world wars. The skyline is dotted with spires and steeples, and everywhere in the Old Tend is a blend of romanesque, renaissance, gothic, and art nouveau architectural styles.
One of my favourite views is on the other side of the Vltava River, around the Castle, looking back on the city. The Letná beer garden is also an awesome place to grab a beer and take in the views of the river and the city. It’s also super fun to just rent a paddle boat on the river for a unique perspective.
If you’ve already spent time in Prague, though, Cesky Krumlov is my new favourite spot. It’s a few hours of driving (or bus) from Prague, but it’s one of the most colourful, beautiful little towns I’ve ever come across, and it’s much quieter than the capital. You only need a few days to enjoy the town — pop into some low-ceiling pubs, roam around the castle, check out what’s on at the theatre. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back time.
Dave from Man vs Globe
When I try to think back to the most photogenic places I have visited, one places stands out as head and shoulders above the rest. Havana.
Since the revolution of the 1950’s, political and trade embargoes have left the country in a time warp making it one of the most unique, and at times other-worldly, capital cities on earth.
The city itself is stunning. Throughout history, different nations have tried to make this island home and stamped their own style on the place. Between the beautifully coloured baroque and colonial buildings that are slowly crumbling away, the neo-classical Capitolio Nacional and the exquisite art deco designs of it’s 1920’s boom, Havana’s buildings are beautiful to look at. Made all the more interesting as the facades and interiors tumble down.
Meticulously maintained Cadillacs and Chevys cruise along the city’s seafront. An icon of the city, these classic cars are ubiquitous in Cuba due to the regime’s ban on American car imports. Each one diligently preserved as if new as it would be impossible for a regular Cuban to acquire a new vehicle.
On the streets of Havana Vieja you find children playing in the street, old men having an intense chess match or musicians blaring out the sounds of Salsa and Son that Cuba is known for, making this city the perfect spot for street photography.
All of this makes Havana one of the world’s most photogenic, and most photographed, cities.
I spent 3 days exploring the place before embarking on a trip around western Cuba. I wandered the colourful streets and hung around the squares of Havana Vieja. I climbed the ramparts of El Morro to watch the sun set above the city. I walked along the sea front Malecon, a popular place for locals to while away the evening. I even joined a 600,000 person strong march through Plaza de la Revolucion to celebrate International Worker’s Day Havana is magical and I urge everyone to visit as soon as they can.