Can you guess the world’s most photographed cities? When you combine big data and smartphones, you don’t have to guess. More information about what people are taking pictures of is available now than ever before.
In just two minutes, more pictures are taken across the world than were taken during the entire 19th Century. Thanks to Panoramio, a geo-location photo-sharing site owned by Google, we can easily see what the world’s most photographed cities are and where people are taking pictures in those most photographed cities.
Many billions of pictures are taken at the same locations by travelers every year. But what do the locals — those in the know — take pictures of? Looking at the data, we can share with you incredibly photogenic locations that very well may be more photogenic than the spots your guidebook tells you to visit. We hope you enjoy!
Number 10: Budapest, Hungary
One of the largest cities in the European Union, Budapest is home to numerous world-renowned cultural institutions. One of the most famous is the Museum of Fine Arts, which has over 100,000 pieces. The most photographed spot in this amazing city? St. Stephen’s Basilica, the tomb of St. Stephen, Hungary’s first Catholic king.
Number 9: Buenos Aires, Argentina
One of only two cities in the Americas on this list, Buenos Aires is the large, cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. A home to massive waves of European immigrants over the years, the city is sometimes described as one of the most European in the Western Hemisphere. Caminito — an alley filled with colorful shops, homes, and apartments, and garnished with tango dancers and street artists — is the most photographed location in Buenos Aires, according to Google data.
Number 8: Florence, Italy
Capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, Florence is well-known as a hub of Renaissance art and architecture and is sometimes called the largest “outdoor art museum” in the world. While there’s no shortage of amazing sights to capture with your camera, the most photographed location is the Piazzale Michelangelo, which provides a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Number 7: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Appearing prominently in two James Bond movies, Monte Carlo’s most photographed location is the Hotel de Paris, a perfect location from which to view some of the world’s flashiest cars and most smartly dressed socialites.
Number 6: Venice, Italy
The most photographed location in Venice — variously called The City of Canals, The Floating City, and the City of Masks — is the Ponte dell’Accademia, a picturesque bridge that crosses the Grand Canal and provides a lovely view of the many-named Italian city.
Number 5: Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, and before that as Byzantium, is full of history. Perhaps its most famous structure is the Hagia Sophia, followed closely by the Blue Mosque. Another spot you shouldn’t miss? Kiz Kulesi, or the Maiden’s Tower, which sits in the middle of the Bosphorus strait and provides an excellent vantage point to photograph Istanbul.
Number 4: Paris, France
It’s no surprise that Paris, the City of Lights, is one of the most photographed cities in the world. Surprising is the fact that the most photographed spot is not the Eiffel Tower, but the neon lights of the Moulin Rouge, the cabaret that gave birth to the can-can. Can can can you do that can-can?
Number 3: Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, capital of Spain’s semi-autonomous Catalonia region, is the third most photographed city in the world. Perhaps best known for the breathtaking, trippy, postmodern Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by Antonio Gaudí, Barcelona’s most photographed spot is actually another project of Gaudi’s: Park Güell, a park composed of funky gardens and modernist architectural elements.
Number 2: Rome, Italy
With its thousands of years of history, gorgeous architecture, and pristine climate, perhaps it’s no surprise that Rome would rank this high on the list. What is surprising? According to the Google photo service, to Coliseum is not the most photographed spot in Rome. The Trinità dei Monti is. It’s a Roman Catholic church that sits regally above the Spanish steps and the Piazza di Spagna.
Number 1: New York, United States
The Big Apple isn’t just one of the most photographed cities in the world, it is the most photographed. The most photographed spot in NYC may surprise you. It’s not the Statue of Liberty, Times Square or the Empire State Building, but the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, housed in an iconic building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The entire building is one continuous spiral.
Interested in testing the waters of landscape photography with an award-winning photographer? Join other aspiring photographers on a photo adventure with Jim and Lori Steinberg of Steinberg Photography. To see where we are headed next, check out our Workshops and Photo Tours!