The Most Photogenic Cities in the World: My 20 Favourite Cities to Photograph

The most photogenic cities in the world | WORLD OF WANDERLUST
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A question I’m so often asked is where is my favourite place on earth, but after almost 7 years travelling solo across 70+ countries, it is a question I struggle to answer definitively. My second love, photography, seems to determine the countries and cities I choose to travel to. I’m a sucker for beautiful architecture, intricate details, colourful sunsets, and anything out of the ordinary. So with that, here are my top picks for the most photogenic cities in the world!

Amsterdam flower market - World of Wanderlust

Amsterdam by World of Wanderlust Pulitzer_Hotel_Amsterdam Amsterdam Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

A city built on canals, Amsterdam is often regarded as one of the most beautiful, photogenic cities on earth (its not hard to see why!) Simply walking around this city is a joy in itself, though I would highly recommend doing so at sunrise before the crowds take to the streets.

Why its so photogenic: The canals are just the beginning. Look for the details and intricacies of the canal houses.

Paris Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust My favourite Patisseries in Paris | World of Wanderlust

2. Paris, France

Paris is another obvious but well-deserved city on this list, as I truly believe there is no other city in the world quite as magical as Paris! My favourite neighbourhoods to photograph are: Le Marais, Île de la Cité, Montmartre and Saint Germain.

Why its so photogenic: Uh, hello! This is Paris! For a deeper experience with the city, read Hemminway’s A Moveable Feast before you arrive and travel back in time to old Paris.

New York City Guide | World of Wanderlust New York City Guide | World of Wanderlust

3. New York City, USA

The city of New York can seem like a concrete jungle from afar, but the moment you look for the intricacies you will be amazed at what you can find. My favourite part of the city to photograph is around the Chrysler building as this is where you will find a variety of buildings, doorways and establishments in art deco style.

Why its so photogenic: Architecture on overdrive! My personal favourite buildings are the Flat Iron and the Chrysler building for its tribute to art deco.

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4. Florence, Italy

The city of Florence was first described to me as “the prettiest place on earth” by a boy I once dated for a grand total of two weeks in college. Right he was! The capital of Tuscany has so much discover indoors by way of museums, but the entire city is a living museum itself.

Why its so photogenic: Think terracotta rooftops, intricate details, and grand exteriors that are matched with equally impressive interiors.

Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust Tallinn Photo Diary | World of Wanderlust

5. Tallinn, Estonia

I first visited Tallinn on a day ferry from Helsinki and had read on various blogs that it was one of the prettiest, most underrated capitals in all of Europe. When I arrived in the old town, despite what I had read, I was blown away by the quaint charm this city possesses.

Why its so photogenic: The old town of Tallinn is a fairytale in real life.

Boulders Beach Day Trip from Cape Town | WORLD OF WANDERLUST Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town | WORLD OF WANDERLUST

6. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a favourite city of mine for so many reasons, but mostly for its natural beauty. Be sure to spend some time adventuring around the city and for day trips, as there are so many great locations within a short drive. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Boulders Beach are a few of my favourite day trips nearby.

Why its so photogenic: The city meets the sea in Cape Town and the west coast sunsets are some of the most memorable the world over.

7. St Petersburg, Russia

After studying Russian History at University some years ago, I’ve developed a longtime love for this country and especially the once capital, St Petersburg. Having only visited once for four days, I’m eager to get back to St Petersburg as soon as possible, as this city is full of unique architecture that almost always tells a fascinating story (if you’re interested in diving in deeper, I would highly recommend hiring a guide).

Why its so photogenic: The Hermitage museum is one of my favourite buildings the world over and certainly my favourite museum.

8. Marrakesh, Morocco

I’ve visited Marrakesh a few of times now and each time I’m surprised at how I still feel a sense of discovery each time I visit. This city has so many layers and intricacies – especially when you begin the windy road through the souks!

Why its so photogenic: Colours, vibrance, and chaos!

9. Kyoto, Japan

If you’re looking for the authentic Japan experience, Kyoto is the city of choice for a step back in time and through history. There are so many photogenic opportunities throughout the country, but none more so than in Kyoto.

Why its so photogenic: Ancient traditions, Japanese history and culture.


10. Budapest, Hungary

Years ago I dubbed Budapest Europe’s most underrated city and although now flying very much on the radar, Budapest is still one of the prettiest capital cities in Europe.

Why its so photogenic: The incredible architecture!

Annecy_France Annecy_France

11. Annecy, France

I’m a firm believer that this is the most photogenic city in all of France! I visited Annecy a couple of years ago and travelled a while out of my way just to visit for a few short hours (not nearly enough, by the way!)

Why its so photogenic: Canals, the River of Annecy and the charm that comes with being by the water.

12. Rome, Italy

This list would never be complete without mention of Rome, the eternal city. From the Colosseum to the Trevi Fountain and everything in between, there’s so much to discover in Rome that you will need at least four days to explore just the highlights.

Why its so photogenic: Because its Rome!

13. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

There’s no city in the world that even comes close to the vibrant energy of Rio. With incredible sunsets atop Sugarloaf Mountain and from the top of Christ the Redeemer, this city is easily one of the most photogenic.

Why its so photogenic: Sunsets, colourful houses, city views that can’t be beat!


14. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona stole my heart before I had even touched down on the ground, having had so many travel-loving friends recommend I visit, flicking through their old travel snaps and mentally planning a trip of my own. I had just a few days in Barcelona for my first visit, so I’m beyond excited to be back there next month capturing the city on my new camera (instead of my iPhone!)

Why its so photogenic: Gaudi architecture is just the beginning.

15. Venice, Italy

Venice was another destination I felt as if I knew before I even touched foot on the ground, having pinned so many photos of the city and seen so many inspiring photos before I made a trip of my own. This city is most magical during golden hour and blue hour (the hours before and after sunset).

Why its so photogenic: The canals, architecture… everything is magical about Paris.

16. Zurich, Switzerland

As my personal favourite city in Switzerland, Zurich has a special place in my heart (perhaps in part also due to it being the first city I visited in Switzerland!) The small alleyways and side streets are my favourite to photograph, thanks to their charm and endless intricacies.

Why its so photogenic: Typical Swiss architecture, charming side streets

17. Osaka, Japan

Another city I adore in Japan for more of an urban feel is only a short one hour train ride from Kyoto and you can even visit on a day trip. Osaka is busy, bustling, and full of vibrance every which way you turn.

Why its so photogenic: Captivating urban city

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18. Alesund, Norway

Although I had never heard about it before I arrived, the city of Alesund quickly became my personal favourite whilst in Norway. Surrounded by an impossible beautiful landscape and with typical Norwegian charm, this is without a doubt my favourite city to capture in Norway.

Why its so photogenic: Art deco architecture, dramatic landscape

19. Prague, Czech Republic

I don’t think you’ll find a city the world over that captivates people more so than Prague. I have visited Prague in all seasons and my favourite would have to be during autumn/fall, with even more orange tones bringing the city to life.

Why its so photogenic: Fairytale vibes with a dark and mysterious underlining


20. Ghent, Belgium

Although you may not have heard of it before (probably due to its more popular neighbour, Bruges), Ghent is one of my favourite small cities in the world. Be sure to visit the castle for impressive views over the skyline and pack your winter woollies – it rains a lot here in the North!

Why its so photogenic: Flying under the radar, beautiful old town architecture


My Photography Gear

Below is a list of my photography gear to capture all of the above images. While there are many more gadgets I carry around with me when I travel, these are the essentials:

Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II

12-40 mm Lens

Olympus PEN EPL8



Over to you! What are your favourite cities in the world to photograph?

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!




    Laila MA - Rundt Ekvator

    April 22, 2018

    Fint innlegg. Jeg holder mange av dine byer som også mine favoritter 🙂



    April 19, 2018

    Your such a amazing writter the way you write is awesome.


    eric kalra

    April 19, 2018

    thanx for sharing this information…the way you write is amazing.



    April 10, 2018

    I NEED to go to Paris now I love photography… i’m missing a photo of the Eiffel Tower!
    Aleeha xXx



    April 4, 2018

    That’s what I call “awesomeness”. Thanks for valuable recommendations.

  6. Brooke Saward

    April 4, 2018

    I’m still yet to visit China outside of Shenzhen…. hopefully this year!

  7. Brooke Saward

    April 4, 2018

    Oooooo I do love San Francisco as well. Could probably write my favourite 50 haha! Thank you Debbie <3

  8. Brooke Saward

    April 4, 2018

    STOCKHOLM! <3 definitely should have chucked it on the list. Also loooooove Antwerp as well. So true - Europe is full of 'em! xx

  9. Brooke Saward

    April 4, 2018

    Yeah I’m a sucker for some good architecture! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    Kelly G

    April 4, 2018

    Great list! You definitely have a preference toward architecture and small ancient buildings in large ancient cities. Santorini, the Maldives, and Sydney would be on my list, but I’m a water person. Thanks for the inspiration!



    April 4, 2018

    Ouu love this list! Some other places that I’ve loved: Toulouse in France, The Hague in Netherlands, Stockholm in Sweden, Antwerp in Belgium, just to name a few. But honestly, so many beautiful photogenic cities in Europe!


    Cindy Brooks

    April 3, 2018

    Guilin, China! Utterly magical!



    April 3, 2018

    Lhasa in Tibet, Banff National Park in Canada (not a city, but gorgeous), San Francisco, the Outer Hebrides. Every place I visit is my new favorite. Love your list!



    April 3, 2018

    This is a great list! I would like to add Istanbul too to this list 🙂 Sydney is not a bad option either!



    April 3, 2018

    Just stumbled upon your blog. I loved the post and all of the suggestions. I have a touch of wanderlust myself having taken my first across country trip at just 6 weeks old. I’ve never made it to Europe, but would love to. Do you travel with someone and if not, what are your suggestions to stay safe (beyond the normal ones)?

  16. Brooke Saward

    April 3, 2018

    I loooove Canada so much, will definitely be back!

  17. Brooke Saward

    April 3, 2018

    Its always hard to narrow it down!

  18. Brooke Saward

    April 3, 2018

    Thanks Tricia! <3


    mahiki kensigton

    April 3, 2018

    I do not know how to make only a top of 20! If you think so well the list is long overdue, I should start from top 50 at least, I guess it would take you to decide what to add.



    April 3, 2018

    This is such a great post! Thank you for sharing, am bookmarking this!

    Tricia (



    April 3, 2018

    Come to western Canada for your next travel adventure….. British Columbia and Alberta are stunning. Canada and Canadians welcome you!



    April 3, 2018

    Most beautiful city in the world: Bruges (Belgium). No doubt about that.



    April 2, 2018

    Such beautiful places!



    April 1, 2018

    Lovely post !! I’d recommend you to add India to your bucket list. Every corner and alleyway in India has something to marvel at and some of the most picturesque sights, you’d love to capture !!



    March 29, 2018

    Awesome. it’s very beautiful. i like it.



    March 29, 2018

    I love Salzburg, Austria and anywhere in Scotland!


    Sheryl B

    March 29, 2018

    Very informative and It was an awesome post. I love reading your fantastic content. Thanks for sharing it with us. We are so greatful to your sharing.


    Darshan pal

    March 28, 2018

    This is really a helpful blog for getting information, really amazing writing skills. Thank you for writing here for us.


    Renuka Walter

    March 28, 2018

    It’s a fabulous list! I’m glad you included Prague and Venice in the list. I simply can’t get over Venice…:)


    Harry Pattinson

    March 27, 2018

    Soo awesome thanks for sharing soo beautiful



    March 27, 2018

    This is a great travel inspiration! I’ve heard about Tallin being very beautiful from a couple of my friends and other places have been on my bucket list for years. Being from Prague myself, I appreciate it made it to the list! xx A.


    ivana split

    March 27, 2018

    I want to visit all of these cities. I visited some of them, like Rome, Barcelona and so on, but obviously not all.

    You have travelled so much! I absolutely adore your photographs btw.

    I didn’t know you studied Russian history. How lovely! I’m fascinated by Russian culture and I’m currently dreaming about visiting this lovely country.


    Donald Lindberg

    March 26, 2018

    If you’ve ever the chance,Lisboa, Portugal,,,Think San Francisco,,but in Europe!



    March 26, 2018

    Love this post and of all the places on this list I’ve been I 100% agree! My histogram is full of Paris, Florence, Rome, and London!


    cavin straut

    March 26, 2018

    I so enjoyed reading your post. I think after many many years of writing in the other-than-blogosphere I’ve developed my voice and have finally set foot into that sphere. Nice to know you’re here.



    March 26, 2018

    I have only visited 3 of these cities, but Budapest and Barcelona are definitely two of my favourite places that I have been to so far.



    March 26, 2018

    Happy to see the city where I’m currently studying (Amsterdam) made the list!


    Petit Hotel Prague

    March 26, 2018

    Rio is QUITE photogenic! There are some stark contrasts between different parts of it too.



    March 25, 2018

    Ohh so cool! But it makes me wanna travel immediately, haha 🙂 L



    March 25, 2018

    I love Ghent for sure! Such beautiful pictures! I’ll be visiting Paris soon… So excited!



    March 25, 2018

    Europe is full of photogenic cities – these are all such amazing pictures with so many colours!

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