The photographs we take connect us to people and to places scattered throughout our past, transporting us back to moments and inspiring memories to be replayed. Many of us have spent time looking back through old photos in the past 18 months, remembering trips we have taken abroad and cities we have explored, but here at HIP Hotels we think it’s time to explore some new cities, take some new photos and make some new incredible memories! In light of World Photography Day coming up on August 19th, we have gathered together a list of some of the world’s most photogenic cities, alongside a few tips on where to go to get the best shots, and where to stay whilst you channel your inner photographer!
The fashion capital of the world, Milan is a city that exists in the wonderful balance between old and new, traditional and abstract, reserved and eccentric. Attracting, inspiring and capturing the hearts of hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, the atmosphere of this incredible city leaves no room for wondering if it’s time to go home; you’ll be too encapsulated by everything around you! With eccentric buildings and palaces alongside modern skyscrapers, there is no shortage of beauty for you to capture with the lens of a camera.
During your visit, make sure not to miss the magnificent Duomo Cathedral; built in the thirteenth-century, the cathedral features stunning stained glass windows, beautiful artworks and historically important statues, all of which are patiently waiting for you to photograph in your own unique way. One of the oldest, and arguably one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the world, the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is simply mesmerising in its splendor - Guiseppe Mengoni’s architectural design is nothing short of a marvel, so be prepared to lose time admiring it! Plus, the shopping centre is home to designer brands such as Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton, if you fancy treating yourself after a long day strolling. Milan is more glamorous than it has ever been before, but don’t get so distracted that you miss out on the sublime Italian food, that will be tempting you into every restaurant and cafe you pass!
Treat yourself like the many stars that grace the streets of Milan, and check into the luxurious Bulgari Hotel Milan, to complete the perfect getaway. Tucked away on a quiet street, Bulgari Hotel is situated within an eighteenth-century Milanese palazzo that has been brilliantly restored and renovated so that you can relax in complete bliss. The hotel’s Spa offers an array of ancient Italian treatments, that have been adapted for the modern age for your journey into tranquility, as well as soothing cleansing treatments, personalised rituals and a sauna, jacuzzi, pool and fitness centre. With its beautiful courtyards and green spaces to unwind in after recharging your batteries at the spa, you’ll be sure to be treated like a star at Bulgari Hotel Milan.
Nestled on the South East coast of Mallorca, the biggest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, lies the beautiful city of Palma. Not only is Palma an incredibly photogenic city, it is right on the shoreline and has its very own beach! Make your way to Palma’s glittering harbour and be inspired as you watch boats come and go, indulge in the beautiful seaside promenade that parallels the Platja de Ca’n Pere Antoni beach and capture the sparkling Mediterranean ocean right at your feet. The stunning gothic architecture of Palma is seen at its best at the Royal Palace of La Almudaina and Bellver Castle, which are definitely two of the city’s most photogenic buildings to capture in their brilliant splendor, so be sure not to miss them!
Located in the Old Town district of central Palma, the La Lonja neighbourhood is one of the city’s trendiest hotspots. Beautiful gothic architecture adorns the streets alongside traditional Spanish buildings with rustic green shutters and multicoloured facades, and flagstone streets are laid out waiting for you to find the perfect spot for some photographs of this gorgeous place! Palma is an incredibly beautiful city, and one of the best ways to capture its enchanting essence is to simply wander the streets - get lost in the hustle and bustle of the markets, witness the quiet of Spanish afternoons and watch the atmosphere of the night come alive with the spirit of this glorious city.
Situated in the heart of La Lonja lies Ocho Suites, a spectacular boutique hotel with Spanish inspired interiors and a Swedish twist. The sleek design of Ocho Suites in this decadent manor house offers practicality as well as comfort and style. There are eight unique suites, each complete with a kitchenette, living room and balcony, so that you can not only stay in this wonderful city, but experience what it’s like to live there in your very own apartment! Unwind with organic bath amenities from Lapland, relax in beautiful cotton bedsheets from Swedish Mille Notti, and flick through your photographs on the luxurious velvet sofas. As well as offering these fabulous self-contained suites, Ocho Suites has a restaurant and bar that serves delicious cuisine made from ingredients that are locally sourced, for a truly authentic Spanish experience!
Arguably one of the cities with the most brightly coloured monuments, Moscow has a rich cultural heritage. Its storied history is evident in its buildings, with modern establishments built up and dotted between the older classical buildings, visually telling the story of much of this city’s past. Take out your camera and capture the contrasting old and new, with older establishments reflecting in the glass of their contemporary counterparts. This might sound strange, but be sure to take your camera to the Moscow Metro! It has beautiful ornate ceilings, stunning chandeliers and intricate details, and is probably one of the most breathtaking pieces of public transport that you’ll ever use!
A visit to Moscow is absolutely not complete without a visit to the Kremlin and Red Square! The very reason many of the city’s visitors venture to Russia’s capital, it is the heartbeat of Moscow and completely steals the show. You will find the mesmerising onion-domed St Basil’s Cathedral, a piece of colourful architecture that is truly unique! Most likely photographed millions of times, every single person looks at monuments like this differently, and sees them in their own way, so don’t be afraid to feel like a tourist to capture your own interpretation of this incredible place. Be sure to enjoy a tipple or two of Russian cocktails as you indulge in the rich food offered round every corner!
One of our newest members of our collection, Richter Hotel Moscow is the perfect place to unwind, whilst continuing to immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful city. Richter Hotel was once an aristocratic mansion and has now been restored and renovated to combine the original nineteenth century opulence, with stunning local art and modern creativity. The rooms have high fresco ceilings, freestanding bathtubs and minimalist aesthetics to accentuate the original details and fantastic artwork. And with only seven rooms, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into your very own exclusive space, full of the charm and character that makes Moscow so brilliant.
The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is widely known for its stunning canals. With more than 62 miles of beautiful waterways and around 1500 picturesque bridges, a visit to this beautiful city will be one filled with photo ops of enchanting pockets of Dutch charm around every corner. One of the best ways to explore Amsterdam is by bike; cycle along the edge of the canals, over the bridges and amongst the cobbled streets and soak up the city’s amazing culture and heritage. There are dozens upon dozens of gorgeous boutiques, museums and bookshops for you to get lost in, as you find more inspiration for your photographs!
Amsterdam is filled with colourful seventeenth-century architecture, and practically every street looks like a postcard! If nature is more your style, Vondelpark and Beatrixpark are ready and waiting for you to explore at your own pace. One thing not to be missed on a visit to Amsterdam is a trip to the Van Gogh Museum; with some of the artist’s most famous works, the museum is not only for his fans, but for anyone hoping to indulge in the history and culture of the country. And what better way to do that than through the art of one of the country’s most famous residents?! Whilst you’re exploring the city, be sure to try local cuisines such as stamppot (a Dutch comfort food made from potatoes) and enjoy a pint or two of the local beer!
To complete your stay in this wonderful city, check into the canal-side boutique, Canal House. Once a merchant’s house, Canal House is filled with influences of Dutch art and history and oozes the eclectic and vibrant energy of Amsterdam. Nestled away in the artistic neighbourhood of Jordaan, this stunning hotel has luxurious finishings throughout, with silk wallpaper, plush velvet curtains and gorgeous colour palettes, creating the perfect environment for complete and utter relaxation. With one of the largest courtyard gardens in the centre of the city, and a bar with beautiful views of the Keizersgracht Canal, Canal House has everything you could possibly need to unwind and recharge your batteries in this exuberant city! Plus they have rental bikes available for you to hire for all your exploring!
One of the more lesser-known cities on our list but one of Europe’s greenest capitals, Ljubljana is simply too beautiful to miss! The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a traffic-free, pedestrian-friendly city, so there’s no need to worry about cars or buses getting in the way of your photographs! The architecture of this medieval city is simply astonishing; from stunning buildings to decadent bridges, all edging winding cobblestone streets, with hidden pockets full of rich history and charming personality nestled in every corner. Celebrate local traditions with local residents at Prešeren Square and tantalise your tastebuds with the traditional Prekmurska Gibanica cake, consisting of layers of walnuts, poppy seeds, apple and cottage cheese – it's truly delicious!
Roam through the meadows of Tivoli Park, the largest of the city’s green spaces, and live slowly for a while as you capture nature at its finest. A medieval city shrouded in myths and legends, a visit to the eleventh century Ljubljana Castle is the best way to soak up the history of the city with the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city. An emerald-green river flowing right through the heart of the city, Ljubljanica River completes this magical place in a way that makes it feel like it was pulled straight out of a storybook! If a fairytale is what you’re after, be sure to take a padlock with yours and your partners’ initials on and lock it onto Butchers’ Bridge, Ljubljana’s very own love-bridge. Whatever the reason for your visit, the spellbinding ambience of this city will easily inspire you to capture it in all its glorious beauty!
Nestled in the heart of Ljubljana’s Old Town is Lesar Hotel Angel, the only place you need to know about when planning where to stay on your visit to this incredible city. This family-run townhouse hotel is the epitome of luxurious comfort. With beautiful natural wooden flooring and exposed beams, to neutral colour palettes, chic modern finishings and a perfect level of cosiness, Lesar Hotel Angel is the perfect place to stay in this charming city. Not to mention it's situated perfectly for exploring the stunning sights of the Old Town, the famous Hercules Fountain and the Church of St James, which all sit on the hotel’s doorstep. With its cosy atmosphere and luxurious charm, Lesar Hotel Angel is the ultimate stay in Ljubljana and it just so happens that it is also incredibly photogenic itself!
The city of London, although one of the world’s most visited cities, is often mistaken as being an incredibly modern city in its architecture, but what makes London unique is that modern glass buildings have been erected next to buildings that are hundreds of years old. The city has no individual style, it is a beautiful culmination of centuries of architectural design, with the influences of every decade spread across it. This historical charm bleeds into the culture of the city itself - being the home and inspiration of many artists, writers and creators, London is filled with so many different personalities, and that’s what makes it both challenging yet incredible to photograph!
For stunning views over the centre of this incredible city, take a trip in the London Eye, and see the beautiful architecture of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey from above. Visit and photograph other iconic locations, such as Notting Hill, Camden Locks, Richmond Riverside, Brick Lane, Hyde Park, Soho and Trafalgar Square, each place mesmerising in its own way. Whether you’re more interested in the origin of a pocket of London or how it became the place it is now, paying attention to details with a camera will certainly help you discover it! Now don’t forget to take breaks and recharge with some delicious food; with everything from street food to fancy restaurants, and classic English pubs to elegant cocktails bars, London is ready and waiting for you to take your pick!
To continue the fun of your stay, make sure to check into NYX Hotel London Holborn and have a cocktail (or three!) in their stunning bar. With an energetic atmosphere complete with glamorous furnishings, unique local artwork and eclectic details, NYX Holborn knows how to help its guests make the most of their time in London. One of the city’s newest hotels, NYX Holborn regularly hosts events, pop-ups and DJ sets, and captures the electrifying spirit of London that you may well be searching for! If you’re after a quieter stay, the Renna Spa at NYX Holborn caters to your every need in the name of relaxation and rejuvenation. Whatever your preference, be sure to give the collection of retro arcade games in the lobby a spin before you head home!
If you are a fan of the Renaissance era, Florence is the ideal destination for you and your camera. Situated in front of the rolling hills of Tuscany, Florence offers the best of both sides of Italy, with the city and surrounding countryside shining in equal measure. With countless quaint cobbled streets, decorated on every side with Renaissance palaces, churches with stunning fresco ceilings and pockets of authentic heritage, the city has all the historical beauty you could possibly want to capture through the lens of a camera! The city is also incredibly chic and modern, so don’t get so lost in the architecture of the past that you forget to appreciate the contemporary additions to this beautiful city.
Whilst you are there, don’t try to count how many art galleries there are, or you won’t have time to enjoy them! Each and every one of the city’s many galleries is full of some of the most famous works of art that the world has ever seen; with pieces by the renowned founder of Renaissance art Michelangelo, to Leonardo Da Vinci, and everyone else in between, be prepared to be left mesmerised and speechless by the incredible artworks that these galleries house. The Florence Duomo and the Column of Abundance are some of the many beautiful monuments from the past that Florence is home to, so be sure not to skip out on those whilst you’re there! Remember to not let all of this distract you from the fact that Tuscany, and therefore Florence, is home to some of the world’s best wineries… So what are you waiting for? Be ready to capture some awe-inspiring photos around the city and then be ready to indulge in the rich Tuscan flavours between your schedules!
To complete your beautiful Italian escape, check into Hotel Savoy, the hotel that sits directly opposite the central point of Florence. With a combination of classic European elegance and clean contemporary lines and modern touches, Hotel Savoy perfectly captures the essence of Italy whilst providing a beautifully luxurious stay. Many of the hotel’s rooms and suites have stunning views out over Florence, and overlook the Duomo or the Piazza Della Repubblica, so you can continue to soak up the beauty and culture of Florence whilst you unwind in blissful privacy. Make the most of your stay here and head to Irene’s Bar to indulge in some tantalising cocktails, as you sit back and browse through all the wonderful photographs you have taken on your explorations of this wonderful city!
The romance capital of the world, Paris is well known for its picture perfect pockets of beauty. This timeless city not only has incredibly beautiful architecture in highlights such as the Sacré-Cœur, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre Museum; the city is also filled with cobblestone streets, monument-lined boulevards, and buildings oozing with Parisian charm. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, and if you want a truly special photograph of the monument, be sure to be there after sunset - every hour, on the hour, the tower glitters with lights! A truly magical sight. Another spot to be seen at night is the Moulin Rouge, as the theatrical symbol of Paris is lit up in magnificent splendor.
Whether your goal for a trip to Paris is to soak up the culture or test out your photography skills, the Notre-Dame is not to be missed. Although the interior is still not open, due to the damage caused by the devastating fire in 2019, simply standing in its presence gives you a sense of how special the Notre-Dame is to the people of Paris. Despite the ongoing restoration works, the Cathedral’s beauty continues to shine through, and its detailing can still be captured by the avid amautuer photographer. Wander round Montmartre and watch local artists at work, but be sure to take a break from photographing the streets and indulge in the quaint bistros and cafes, beautiful boutiques and wine bars that are elegant in a way that only Parisian wine bars can be! No matter where you wander in this magical city, there will be beauty worth photographing around every corner!
To rest your head after your days exploring, book yourself a stay at the world’s first boutique hotel and one of the city’s smallest five-star hotels, L’Hotel. This luxurious secret hideaway is the quintessential Parisian stay. Hosted by many celebrities from Oscar Wilde to David Bowie, this private, romantic, bohemian and stunningly fashionable hotel still remains under the radar and is the best-kept secret of the Left Bank. Be mesmerised by the enchanting spiral staircase, individually designed luxury rooms with impeccable details and lavish fabrics. Enjoy some exclusive French dishes at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Restaurant, and indulge in the unexpected flavours from Chef Gregory Rejou.
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