The Most Visually Striking Cities in the World
Collected by Becca Blond , AFAR Local Expert
Some skylines just stick out in your memory more than others, and have something about them that makes them instant Instagram stars. From the neon lights of Tokyo and Bangkok to the iconic New York City skyline, and from the stunning architecture of Sydney to the light and romance of Paris, these visually striking cities need no filter to showcase their photographic good looks.
Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
One World Trade Center, 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10006, USA
A view from New York Harbor of the Manhattan skyline with the new World Trade Center near completion. One World Trade Center (nicknamed Freedom Tower) will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the...
21, 100 S Sathorn Rd, Yan Nawa, Khet Sathon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10120, Thailand
Bangkok might not have the most distinctive skyline in Asia, but it certainly has its share of sophisticated rooftop restaurants and bars from which to admire the metropolis. Of the numerous places for a meal or drink, three rooftops stand out....
Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Ticket Office, Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
This is definitely one of the best ways to see Cape Town if you're on a very short stay. With a few different tour routes, as well as a two-day option, I'm hard pressed to find a better way for a tourist to get in all the sights. City Sightseeing...
Praça Iaiá García, 160 - Ribeira, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 21930-040, Brazil
Based on volume of water, Guanabara Bay is the largest bay in the world. The shape of the bay and surrounding granite monolith mountains (including iconic Sugarloaf Mountain) was formed by erosion of the Atlantic Ocean, and it is that fantastic...
Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
A short drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An is a spellbinding UNESCO World Heritage site, with intact 16th-century architecture that celebrates its origins as a trading port that long welcomed merchant ships from China, Japan, and Europe. The Old Town...
The Peak, Hong Kong
If by chance you still haven't yet fallen in love with Hong Kong during your trip, a visit to the Peak Lookout on a clear night will make sure that you do. The view from here is what people keep coming back for – Hong Kong's signature skyscrapers...
Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
Riad Zitoun El Kdim, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
The spaghetti explosion of lanes and alleys of the Marrakesh medina are seemingly designed to confuse the unwary visitor, but getting happily lost is part of the fun – you never know what might lie around the next corner. Strike out from the...
Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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