Pictures, or it didn’t happen – is the adage of modern day. We don’t know about you, but one of our favourite things to do when we’re not actually traveling, is to travel through Instagram. From the watercolour-esque landscapes of Xinjiang to the charming coastlines of Porto, these snaps are a reminder of how much of the world there is to see, and of how much adventure awaits. Even though the pandemic has us all grounded at the moment, here are our top 5 choices of most Instagrammable cities in the world that you must visit once we’re cleared to fly.
Porto is a historic and varied city, from the warren of narrow streets that make up the ancient Ribeira district through to the grand plaza of the Trindade district. The region is famed for the production of Port, which is still stored and matured in the vast cellars that stretch along the banks of the Douro River. Porto is also home to one of the most Instagrammed and most stunning bookstores in the world – a must visit whether or not you’re a literary fan.
While this autonomous territory in northwest China might not immediately come to mind, Xinjiang is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind landscapes that few can boast about posting on Instagram. Thanks to its unique geographical position – it shares its borders with Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia – the famed Kanas Nature Reserve in Xinjiang boasts a beautiful natural ecosystem formed by lakes, rivers, glaciers, forests, and grasslands. Our favourite time to visit Xinjiang is in autumn, where the flora come alive in a riot of reds, golds and yellows.
Forget Paris for a second and head to Lille instead, France’s northernmost city. Sharing the border with Belgium and heavily influenced by Flemish culture, think charming cobblestone-paved walkways that meander through the old town’s adorable Flemish architecture. The city is also home to preserved citadel that has been transformed into a park, and is a perfect summer picnic spot.
This Baltic capital might not be a top European destination, but it should be! A perfect juxtaposition of new and old, Tallinn is wonderful for a bit of Instagram photography. First you have the Old Town, perched up on a hill in the middle of the city with preserved fortresses and high walls, making it feel as though you stepped a thousand years back in time. Then you have the newer, hipster parts of the city with its reformed factories and warehouses that now house art galleries, bars or farmers markets. It is the city for street photographers, and if you care to drive out city limits, you’ll find a plethora of nature ops to shoot, from marshes to dense woodlands.
Sure, you’ve seen the snaps of the London Bridge, Big Ben clock tower and ubiquitous red phone booths and black cabs – but when it comes to Instagram photography, the city has so much more to offer. Head up north to the eerie but ethereal High Gate Cemetery, where you can wander amidst tombs of some of history’s most famous dead, like Karl Marx. Down south across the river, you’ll find up and coming towns like Peckham Rye and Nunshead that house painfully cool entertainment and dining venues (and patrons!) that make for gritty street photography.