Never before has photography played such a huge part of travel, even for amateur, smartphone photographers. Adele Thurlow has put together a collection of the world's most photogenic and Insta-worthy locations. How many have you been to and which will you add to your travel plans in 2018?
New York hosted an estimated 61.8 million visitors in 2017 so it's unsurprising it's the #1 most Instagrammed city for the second year in a row.
● Rooftop view:
Complete with Swarovski decor on the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock is considered the best viewing deck in NYC. From here you'll have unobstructed views of Central Park and the Empire State Building among your Manhattan Skyline photos.
● Best sunset:
Looking down 42nd St from the Tudor City overbridge, provides the absolute best sunsets you'll find in the Big Apple.
Las Vegas dominates Instagram's list of the most photographed hotels in 2017, taking seven of the top 10 spots. The Las Vegas Strip also features at #10 of the world's most Instagrammed locations.
● Best photo of the famous Bellagio Fountain:
From a fountain-view room at the neighbouring Cosmopolitan Hotel.
● Best photo of The Strip:
Order a cocktail from the bar on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental for a spectacular vantage point of The Strip through wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows.
Machu Pichu, Mt Fuji, the Empire State Building, Trevi Fountain, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Burj Kalifa, the Colosseum — they're the most photographed landmarks in the world, so much so you could probably pick them all out of a line-up, even if you haven't been there in person.
They're popular for good reason of course; they're spots of extreme natural or architectural beauty, so why wouldn't you want to take a photo of them? But how to steer clear of cliche and still get a snap? Try a different angle, focus on an interesting detail, capture something unusual happening while you're there. Or, just roll with the tried-and-tested shot and don't worry about it. It's an iconic view for a reason, right?
WHERE TO NEXT?
Oman is referred to as the Gulf's undiscovered gem — the true Arabia. Its friendly people, Bedouin history, and colourful contrasts of desert sand dunes, mountain ranges, and glistening coastlines will keep your shutter busy.
Pose on a rock ledge on the rim of Wadi Ghul, Oman's Grand Canyon.
● The newly marked Jordan Trail
links ancient trade routes across 650km of staggering history — a path Jesus, Moses and Mohammed are believed to have walked. Divided into eight sections, the trail passes through ancient villages, forests, canyons, deserts, and along the shores of the Red Sea.
● Must-have photo:
The canyon entrance to the ancient city, known locally as Al-Siq, in Petra.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
All eyes will be on Russia when it hosts the Fifa World Cup in the middle of 2018. The final match will be held in mid-July in Moscow, which is also this year's second most photographed city.
● Iconic photos:
Moscow's enormous Red Square is bordered on one side by the walls of the stately Kremlin and the colourful St Basil's Cathedral at the southern end — one location for an album full of iconic images.
● Unexpected scenery:
The Golden Ring strings together several cities north-east of Moscow that fill the senses with awe. This countryside in the heart of Russia features cherry orchards, quaint cottages, picturesque churches, and plenty of photo opportunities.
● Pyeongchang, South Korea
, is the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics. It's known for Odaesan National Park, and the trails across the Taebaek Mountains.
● Traditional photo:
Capture the Buddhist culture of the Woljeongsa Temple, with its nine-storey octagonal pagoda.
● Modern marvel:
The spaceship-like architecture of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza is the most photogenic new landmark in Seoul.
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