Europe is a fantastic continent for photographing cities. With so many iconic places in such a compact space, it’s no wonder that it has such a high number of visitors each year. The thing that makes Europe so special is that there is such a diversity in these cities that it makes them all so different. From the classic beauty of Rome to modern London, if you want to photograph the most photogenic cities, a trip to Europe is a must for any travel photographer. Here are the 8 most photogenic cities in Europe.
Not many cities in the world can rival London when it comes to travel photography destinations. This capital city ticks off pretty much every box needed for a travel photographer. History, art, people, food, markets and some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. But even when you have exhausted all of the top sights there are still things places to explore. Head to any neighbourhood and you will experience a different look, feel and vibe. From trendy Notting Hill to the gritty Brick Lane, London doesn’t disappoint.
The Eternal City may be one of the oldest cities in the world, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. This is a city with almost 3,000 years of history, art and culture. It’s almost like Rome is an outdoor museum just waiting to be photographed. Ancient ruins like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum highlight the history of the Roman Empire. Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain shows its beauty. Castle Sant’Angelo and Pantheon it’s architecture. That’s all before you get to the stunning Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. But beyond the sights, there is also the real Rome, the everyday lives of people, cafes, restaurants and culture. Rome is a true photographer’s paradise.
Dubrovnik has played a major part in Hollywood movies and TV shows over the years. Known for its distinctive Old Town which is surrounded with a stone wall, the beautiful city on the Croatian coast is as photogenic as they come. Its range of baroque, gothic and renaissance architecture are as historic as they are beautiful. It’s no wonder this city is known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”.
If you have never been to Amsterdam, you might wonder what all of the fuss is about. But the capital of the Netherlands will keep you captivated and snapping away for days (or months). There is simply too much to cram into a short visit. So to really capture the beauty of this city you need to give yourself time to experience the canals, museums and food. Your shot list should be crammed full of sunrise shots by canals and late evening shots of the quirky narrow houses.
It almost as if Venice was built to be photographed. Nowhere else in the world has the same romantic aura and elegance of this city. But to really experience Venice to the full you should aim to visit during the Venice Carnival. The whole city becomes like an outdoor studio with willing models happy to pose to have their photo taken. The contrast of colours versus the old buildings makes for wonderful images. But of course, no collection of Venice is complete without a few shots of the famous canals and gondolas.
A city that literally rose the ashes of World War II, Warsaw is simply stunning to photograph. The Old Town was completely destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt in the same look and style that it was before. The result is a place that is teeming with photo opportunities. But the beyond the Old Town you can also get a glimpse of another side of Warsaw. From the gift of Stalin – a skyscraper with amazing views of the city to the modern malls directly opposite, Warsaw is a city of contrasts.
Sitting on the River Seine, Paris is as historic as it is beautiful. It’s no wonder it is known as the City of Love. The recent catastrophic fire of Notre-Dame has robbed this famous city of one of its icons. But there is still so much to love about Paris. From the wide boulevards of the Champs-Elysees with it’s iconic Arc de Triomphe to stunning Palace of Versailles. The list of photography spots is endless. There is the Musee d’Orsay, the famous Louvre Museum, Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, Moulin Rouge as well the beautiful alleyways that are dotted around the city. But of course, no Paris shoot is complete without Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece, the Eiffel Tower.
Straddling across the two continents of Asia and Europe, Istanbul crams in both cultures into one city. Arguably no other European city has such a wide abundance of influences from different cultures in one place. A stroll around the Old Town and you will see the famous Byzantine Hagia Sophia opposite the Islamic Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque). Then add the Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace Museum, the Grand Bazaar and the sheer number of photo opportunities will keep you snapping away for as long as you are there.
A few others…
It’s always difficult leaving out any location from a photography top list. In fact, you could easily create a top 8 with a completely different set of locations. So here are a few others that are worthy of being on this list:
Europe is a wonderful place for photographers. With so many iconic places so close together, there is too much to see and photograph in one lifetime. What’s for certain is that you will end up with iconic photos wherever you go in Europe.
Photo credits: Kav Dadfar – All rights reserved. No usage without permission. Dreamstime.