6 of the Most Photogenic Places in the World

No matter where your last holiday was, your holiday photos are truly special, if even only to you and your family. Sure, a photo of the view from your hotel room depicting the… um… beauty of the carpark it overlooks might not mean much to someone else, but it will always be beautiful to you for the memories that are associated with it. Having said that, there are some parts of the world that are essentially supermodels, seemingly made to look beautiful in real life (and on camera). It’s impossible to take a bad photo in these most photogenic places in the world. Get your camera ready!

1. Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand

This active volcano dominates the flat plateau upon which it sits for miles in every direction. Though it occasionally does erupt, and can sometimes be seen belchin dark smoke into the sky, the mountain is placid for the most part, and is achingly beautiful to behold. You can ski on her, or simply hike in her foothills (always checking the news before you head up, just in case today happens to have a fair chance of an eruption). Take photos of the Chateau Tongariro, a 1920s hotel that was built at the base of the mountain in the Tongariro National Park. It manages to look both out of place and yet entirely appropriate for its daunting surroundings.

2. Setúbal, Portugal

This is not some far flung region of the country, and in fact the northern districts of Setúbal are essentially the southern districts of Lisbon, Portugal’s luminous capital city. You don’t need to travel far from the city to come to Setúbal’s Costa da Caparica, which is the very definition of an isolated, meandering beach. As you walk further along the beach (particularly in off peak times), seeing another human can be a rarity. Make sure you’re in the Costa da Caparica township in the early evening, waiting with your camera for a remarkable photo opportunity. Each evening, tiny fishing boats literally surf the Atlantic waves and then beach themselves (to be later towed away by tractors). They then sell fresh seafood (that is often so fresh that it’s still flopping around). Tens of thousands of seagulls are always waiting on the beach, like a horror movie. When the fish is unveiled, they take to the skies in a screeching swarm. This is a sight you will never forget, and you’ll be glad you had your camera.

3. Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland

This fishing village (with less than 300 residents) is the southernmost settlement in Iceland. It’s a place of profound beauty and is somewhere to truly be alone with your thoughts. Photographs of this region will show lush green fields in the summer (and unending snow in the winter), framed by mountains in every direction. There’s a certain magic to Vík í Mýrdal, and this is partially because the town could easily be lost forever. An eruption at the nearby Katla volcano could melt enough ice to permanently submerge the town under a newly-formed lake, making Vík í Mýrdal but a memory.

4. Paris, France

This one might seem obvious, but the French capital is about the most photogenic city on earth. There is something almost heartbreaking about the loveliness of Paris when you see her for yourself. The best photos of the city proper can be taken from the rooftop of the Tour Maine-Montparnasse, a skyscraper in the Montparnasse district of the city. There are panoramic views of the city, along with an unbeatable view of that other tower Paris is known for.

5. Havana, Cuba

The colours of Havana are so vibrant that you might just want to take a photography tour of the city so that you can feverishly document its beauty. Havana’s Old Town (La Habana Vieja) is where your camera will get a true workout, and you’ll be thankful that cameras are digital these days as you take your 87th photograph of the day so far. You’ll want to spend an afternoon in the Callejon de Hamel, a small street in the central city. This is where a number of artists live and work, with their art taking over much of the street. In a city where colour is everywhere, the Callejon de Hamel is close to being a sensational sensory overload.

6. Shanghai, China

Modernity and tradition sit comfortably alongside each other in Shanghai. To a casual visitor, the effect could easily be jarring, and yet the contrast just works. 24 million people call this city home, and Shanghai boasts gleaming, futuristic skyscrapers shadowing over the older parts of the city. Take a stroll along the Bund (a waterfront district in the centre of the city) before catching a cruise along the Huangpu River to treat yourself to some panoramic cityscapes of this sprawling metropolis. Shanghai is a city that seems to be made for photos, even though the vast majority of its appeal is manmade.

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