12 Most Photographed Cities in the World

Enchanting Autumn Afternoon at Bastille Square in Paris, sRGB color space, Parisian street vendors, July Column

Some cities have certain characteristics that make them special to the camera’s eye. Whether romance, history, or artistic beauty, something attracts us to specific cities and makes us want to capture their images.

According to Sightsmap, a heat map that documents which cities on the planet have the most photographic activity occurring within them, are the top cities for practicing the photographic arts.

Most Photographed Cities in the World

1. New York City

9/11 Memorial panoramic view with flags and cascading waterfalls
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Big Apple will always be one of the most photographed landmarks in the world because of its many iconic landmarks. From the Statue of Liberty to the stores on 5th Avenue and everything in between, each borough in NYC has its character and charm. 

Times Square and the lights of Broadway only had the charm that this great city provides. The most photographed site in New York City is the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, not Central Park or the Empire State Building.

The building’s unique architecture and location in the heart of New York City make it a popular destination for photographers worldwide. This is the most photographed place in the world.

2. Rome

Rome: Most Photographed Cities
Photo: Moyan Brenn

As one of the world’s most ancient cities, Rome ranks second most photographed. The history of Rome is palatable from the first moment you step foot onto its streets.

From the cathedrals to the Coliseum to the many squares and fountains that give each section of the city its charm, Rome is like a world unto itself. It is easy to understand why it has historically been the center of some of the world’s greatest advancements during its time.

The most photographed site in Rome is the Trevi Fountain. Its ornate design and beautiful surroundings attract visitors and photographers from all around. The fountain was built in the 18th century and is a popular tourist destination.

3. Barcelona

Park Güell Barcelona mosaic bench and architecture
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Many don’t realize that Barcelona was founded as a Roman city, but its influence within the region came with its merger with the Kingdom of Aragon.

Many traces leftover from the Middle Ages can be photographed throughout Barcelona, with some areas seemingly lost. To experience this through the camera makes photographing this city a special event.

One of the most photographed places in Barcelona is the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia. It’s a Roman Catholic church designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi and is still under construction. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Paris

Ground-up perspective of the Eiffel Tower's intricate iron lattice work
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

When one thinks of Paris, one generally thinks of love or romance. Iconic images of couples kissing along the bridges that dot this city or in front of the Eiffel Tower have dominated the world’s visions of France and Europe!

However, Paris has architectural wonders dedicated to keeping glimpses of its humble roots alive. As one of the world’s most popular and photographed cities, Paris has always been a place for modern and contemporary art.

Painters, sculptors, and photographers have long been drawn to the city because of its unique beauty and history. The most photographed site in Paris is the Eiffel Tower. Completed in 1889, it was initially built as a temporary structure for the World’s Fair.

However, it was so popular that it was kept and is now one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The tower is 324 meters tall and has over 2 million visitors annually.

See Related: Most Romantic Cities in the World

5. Istanbul

Istanbul: Most Photographed Cities
Photo: Moyan Brenn

Istanbul has seen its fair share of conflict over the ages. Its location doesn’t help, considering it is the bridge between Europe and Asia. Founded in 660 BC, the city has been the capital of four world empires – the only city to make that claim.

The influence of Europe and Asia, Christianity, and Islam, as well as the stunning seascapes surrounding this city, make it the perfect place to capture an image that can be found nowhere else.

The most photographed site in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia. It was built as a basilica in the 6th century and was later converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It served as a mosque until 1931, when it was converted into a museum.

6. Venice

Venice: Most Photographed Cities
Photo: chensiyuan

With canals as streets, how can one not love the photographic opportunities that this city provides? Venice is also unique because the entire city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Grand Canal by itself could cause a photographer to spend days taking images! Add in the many bridges that help to connect pedestrians to the remainder of the city, and you may find that visiting Venice will want you to find a permanent home there.

One of the most photographed places in Venice is the Rialto Bridge, built in 1591. It is a suspension bridge that crosses the Grand Canal. It is one of Venice’s most iconic images and a popular tourist destination.

7. Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo may have the reputation of being a gambler’s paradise, but this city provides outstanding white-sand beaches and seascapes for the photographer to enjoy.

Capture a majestic sunset with pinks and oranges on one of Monaco’s surrounding hills that overlook the city, and you’ll create a memory that lasts a lifetime.

The most photographed landmark in Monte Carlo is the Casino de Monte Carlo. It is a gambling and entertainment complex located on the Place du Casino in Monaco. It’s the most glamorous casino in the world.

See Related: Best Tropical Destinations in the World

8. Florence

Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral)
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Florence is at the very heart of the beautiful Tuscany region. Combining ancient and modern stone arches, beautiful boulevards, and rolling hills dominate this region, creating an almost perfect picture without artistic manipulation!

Renaissance architecture dominates the skyline, making it the perfect setting for sunrise, sunset, or an afternoon picnic. The most photographed spot in Florence is the Ponte Vecchio.

It’s a medieval stone arch bridge that crosses the Arno River. It was originally built in Roman times but was rebuilt after being destroyed by a flood in 1966.

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World

9. Buenos Aires

Often called the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires offers visitors a glimpse of Europe. Romanesque architecture popular in the Americas is brought together with modern European styling to create a unique look that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Monuments, beaches, and the city’s religious emphasis allow rich photography opportunities. This city’s attractions include street performers, monuments, museums, and colonial-era buildings.

The most photographed place in Buenos Aires is the Obelisco. This is the most photographed monument in the city. It was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first founding of the city. It is a popular tourist destination and one of the most iconic landmarks in Buenos Aires.

10. Budapest

Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

They say that everything in Texas is bigger, but one visit to Budapest will make you realize that everything in Budapest is bigger!

Home to the world’s largest thermal water cave system, the second-largest synagogue, and the third-largest Parliament building, over 80 geothermal springs complement the Renaissance-style architecture that dominates this city.

Don’t forget about the Blue Danube. The most photographed spot in Budapest is the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. It is a suspension bridge that crosses the Danube River. The bridge was originally built in 1849 but was destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt in 1949.

11. Prague

People walking and gathering in Prague’s Old Town Square with the Prague Astronomical Clock and the Church of Our Lady before Týn in the background.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Having played a significant political role in many of the 19th and 20th centuries’ key events, Prague is dominated by a fusion of Gothic styling with modern techniques.

Having been a seat of the Holy Roman Empire, the squares, towers, and ruins within the city are a photographer’s dream. Then there are modern marvels, such as the Dancing House, that help to give each image taken here the personality it deserves.

The most photographed spot in Prague is the Charles Bridge. The Charles Bridge is a stone bridge that crosses the Vltava River. It was originally built in 1357 but was destroyed in a flood in 1784. It was rebuilt in 1822.

12. Madrid

Madrid: Photographed Cities in the World
Photo: PromoMadrid

Thoughts of Madrid bring about thoughts of formality and tradition. Even though the city has modernized, it has also emphasized a need to preserve its historic neighborhoods.

That emphasis pays off for the photographer because several areas date back to the 17th century, many casting shadowy spires in the late afternoon sun. The most photographed place in Madrid is the Plaza Mayor. The Plaza Mayor is a public square located in the center of Madrid. The square was initially built in 1619.

Would you like to see how popular photography is in your city? Visit Sightsmap, zoom in on your preferred city, and see which places are the most popular for pictures near you!

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Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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