This is a little different top photography spots list to the others. Instead of focusing on a single town or city, It will be for a specific area of Austria. That area would be the Wachau Valley.

Wachau Valley

Wachau Valley is an area in the North East of Austria close to Vienna. It’s a valley around Danube stretching from the town of Melk to the town Krems. It’s full of beautiful nature views, vineyards and castle ruins all around the Danube bends.

The whole area is perfect for a day trip by car, as most areas are easily accessible without much walking. I will mention in the list how to get to the spot the easiest way. You can get here in about one hour from Vienna.

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Opposite Dürnstein

Probably the most well know view in the Wachau Valley. Right opposite of Dürnstein, there is a small beach. From there, you get a wonderful view of the town, framed by the hill behind it. If you do long exposure photography, you will even get a nice reflection in the Danube.

If you staying in the town of Dürnstein, you can get to this spot by taking the little boat ferry that goes across every few minutes. By car is not as easy to get across, as the closes bridge is in Krems.

Also, be careful when a bigger ship passes by. The water level on the beach can go up rather quickly from the created waves.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

On top of Dürnstein Castle

The view from the other side is also great. You can walk up to the Dürnstein castle ruins and have the whole town under you. It’s not an easy climb as the steps are quite steep, but it’s manageable. There are many spot along the walk that make for a good photo oportunities. These two photos are from the complete top, from a huge rock in the middle of the ruins.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

Abbey Church of Dürnstein

You can also visit the Abbey Church while in Dürnstein. I’m not 100% sure if tripods are still allowed inside, as I have not been inside in a while, but last time they had no problem with them. So you can always try :)

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

Spitz castle ruin

The Spitz castle ruin is another great spot with a great view. It’s on a small hill above the town of Spitz. You have to walk a bit up from the parking space, but it not far. The ruin is freely accessible (as the sign says, enter at your own risk) and can be entered at any time.

You can also walk up to the tower that’s in the middle of the ruin, but the steps there are a bit more steeper.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria



Red gate in Spitz

On the completely opposite side of Spitz you will find the Red gate. This is also a ruin, a part of a fortification. You can get really close to it by car and there is a small parking space for few cars next to a nearby house.

The area is freely accessible, there are not fences or anything like that there.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

Spitz vineyards

Right form the Red gate, you can walk into the vineyards in Spitz. You will find no fences or gates here, and you can walk all around the town through them. The vineyards make for a great foreground element when you try to take photos of the town of Spitz.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

Aggstein castle ruin

Let’s continue to another castle. The Aggstein castle ruin is on another hill further down the in the valley. Again, it’s very easy accesible, as there is a road going completely up to the castle. There is also a big parking space right next to it.

The castle is not always open (there is a winter break) and you will have to pay an entrance fee. You can use a tripod inside without any issues. You can go up to both sides of the ruin and from one you get a nice view of the castle, from the other the view in the Wachau valley is just spectacular.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria
Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

The rocks behind the Aggstein castle ruin

Right behind the castle, there is a huge rock formation. It looks like you can’t climb onto it, but that’s not the case. If you go along the walkway, that is in front of it, you can get around and on top of it. From there you get to view the whole castle. But be sure, there are no railing or anything, so you enter there at your own risk.

Top Photography spots - Wachau Valley, Austria

Melk Monastery

The monastery in Melk is just huge. You can go in for a tour, but you can’t take photos there. Still if you like to see a very beautiful cathedral from inside, you should visit it.

It’s not that easy to get a nice shot from the outside, as the monastery is on the hill. But my favorite spot is from the nearby bridge, where you can see the front of the monastery in a reflection.

I’m missing a photo here, as while I have been in the are few times, I either had no time to get a shot or the monastery was under reconstruction. But will add one here as soon as I have one :)

And that’s all the spots I want to share with you in this list. There are of course many more great views, as the Wachau Valley really is an area worth exploring.

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Lyon, France

I have posted a Top photography spots list in Paris long ago, but how about another one, from a second french city. So here, you can find my favorite photo spots in the city of Lyon.

You will notice that most of the photos here are night or blue hour ones. The reasons is I took them all in the middle of the summer, and during the day was just crazy hot and sunny to get anything nice.

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Passerelle Saint Georges

Let’s start with probably the most well know view from this city. The Passerelle Saint Georges is a pedestrian bridge right next to the center. It’s bright red, so it stands out quite a lot from the surrounding. You will get a great view with the Église Saint Georges church right behind it.

It looks great at night, but be ready to deal with very strong white lights on and under the bridge.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France
Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

You will see this basilica from far away, as it’s on the hill above the city. I wold not suggest walking up to it. I did, it’s not a short walk. Instead you can take an underground cable car, which is a part of the metro there.

The Basilica looks really great, and you can take some wonderful photos around it. The view to the city is not that great, as there are quite a lot of three in front of it. But still you can get some photos there.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

On top of the La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

When you already get to the basilica, don’t forget to take the guided tour. The entrance is to the right side of the basilica. You will be taken to some interesting sites in the basilica, but don’t be surprised if the guide speaks only french. But that not why you took the tour.

The goal is the last spot on the tour, the top of one of the towers of the basilica. From there you will get the best view of the city, with this beautiful statue in the foreground. No tripods allowed though.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

Passerelle du Palais de Justice

Another pedestrian bridge. This one is quite busy, so if you would like a people free photo, go there in the morning. It has this nice bend in the middle so if you set you camera low, you can nicely create a lead in to the Palace right behind it. There is also something like a “fountain” next to it and you could try a reflection in there. I got none, as there was not much water when I was there.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France



Passerelle du Collège

And one more pedestrian bridge. The river crosses the city a lot, so there are many beautiful bridge there. For this one, you can walk down under it, and get a view of it in its fullest. There are not many ships going up and down the river, so you will also get a great reflection there.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

Place des Jacobins

I just love how beautiful this fountain is and I think you will too. It’s just a short walk from the city center, and it’s not as busy of an area as the main square.

Euronews

This is maybe not the typical spot I would recommend, but the architecture is just too unique to pass on. The Euronew building (the green one) and the Lizeo Online Media Group building close to it (the orange one) booth look crazy like something from a scifi movie. Worth a look :)

They are both a bit further away from the center, in a more port area. To get here, I would suggest going to the Hôtel de Région – Montrochet tram stop or Musée des Confluences stop and walk from either one.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France
Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

Statue Flower Tree

This is a really cool tree looking flower statue right in the center. It’s a bit hard to use in composition as there is a fence around it, but if you have a wide enough lens, you can go close and get over the fence with your camera.

Top Photography Spots - Lyon, France

That’s all for this list from Lyon. I hope you enjoy your visit to this wonderful city, and get many nice photos there.

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It’s time to add another city to my top 5 photography spots list, and today it’s Amsterdam. As Amsterdam is very much about the canals, the places I will mention here are mostly on them, and really capture the look of the city center. There are specific popular spots with photographers, but they are a bit harder to find if you don’t know the location, as the canals are similar around the area, and it’s hard to identify certain spots from just the photos. So as always, I will be including the GPS locations, to make you search easier :)

I will include more than 5 spots this time (keeping the name for consistency :)), and I will also include two spots in Zaandam. Zaandam is a smaller city near Amsterdam (I’m not sure if its like a city part of Amsterdam or not), that you can reach within minutes by train. It includes some great photo spots, which you really have to check out :) As some spot are further away, I will also try to include simple directions how to get there.

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1. At the canals (spot 1)

This is probably the most popular spot for photographers. Each time I was there I seen at least few with tripods around. Still as it’s not easy to find (I got questions about it :) ), check out the exact location from GPS. It’s also one of the few spots, where all the lights on the bridge work, so you will get a nice reflection in the water. This spot looks great from both sides of the bridge, so don’t forget to look at both :)

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam

2. At the canals (spot 2)

One more, different spot at the canals (there are many). This one is different, as you can get down onto this small docking platform, to get a view from closer to the water. It just creates the best reflections in the water, either way you look.

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam

3. Near Nemo

The Nemo science museum on it’s own looks great, but in this area I mostly take different photos. There are two things here. First if you have a longer lens, you can get a nice view of the center, with the Church of Saint Nicholas. Secondly, the two pedestrian bridges are great for shots. And when you done here, you can just walk towards the train station from here, to get even more great locations. Or you can walk to the Montelbaans tower, which is also very close.

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam

4. In the center

There are many places to take photos in the center, but this one you should visit. There are two views here, one is right in the middle (see GPS location), from where you get this great reflection (but only in the evenings and in the morning, at other times the boats come by too often). The second one is from the nearby bridge where you see the reflection from a bit different angle.

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam

5. I Amsterdam sign / Rijksmuseum

This spot is just so busy all the time. You always see people getting photos with the sign, climbing on it and just being in the way :) So for best photos, go here for the sunrise. You should have it for your self for few minutes then. I prefer to use a long lens, 100mm or more and just stand at the end of the pool here, to get nice reflection of the Rijksmuseum in the background. Btw. the pool changes over the year, sometimes it’s empty, sometimes there are tulips in it, sometimes a statue.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Rijksmuseum, and also the great looking passage through it, as it open all the time.

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam



6. Zaanse Schans

While one is in Netherlands, one of course should get some photos of the windmills. And the best spot for that is the Zaanse Schans. This is a small, very beautiful village not far away, with quite a few windmills and nice spots to view them from. You will have to take a train from the Amsterdam Central station to get here. There is one every few minutes and you have to get out at the Koog-Zaandijk stop and then walk few minutes to get to the Zaanse Schans area. There you can just explore as much as you want :)

Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam
Top Photography Spots - Amsterdam

7. Inntel Hotel Zaandam

If you like strange architecture, as I do, you should definitively also check out the Inntel Hotel in Zaandam. It’s quite easy to get there, just take a train from Amsterdam Central, and get out at the Zaandam stop. There is a train going there every few minutes, and it’s only few stops. The hotel is right next to the train station, and the area is quite empty in the evening. Only each time a train arrives, you have people passing by, but you can take photos in between :)

8. Skylounge

The Skylounge is not a typical spot that I would recommend. But as Amsterdam is quite flat, there is quite a lack of higher up spots with a nice view. The Skylounge is a bar on top of the Hilton Hotel in the city center. It has an outdoor terrace, where you can sit down, have a drink and take few shots :). The entrance is free, you just have to walk into the hotel, and take the elevator to the 11th floor. Not really a place for tripods, but you should be able to take few nice shots handheld. I did not get the best shot while I was there, so I will have to return. So here is one, just to show you the view :)

9. A’DAM Lookout

The A’DAM Lookout is a recently opened lookout/restaurant tower in the Amsterdam. It’s probably the highest point you can get to in the city. The view is nice, but there are few problems. You will need a very long lens as the tower if further away from the center, and secondly, the lookout area uses fences to prevent you from falling, with only few holes to put a camera through. I was not even able to place a tripod so, that I could use a wider lens. You just can’t place it close enough. Still, if you have a long lens, or you just want a nice view of the city, it’s worth the visit. Also, when you are in the elevator, have your phone or camera ready, look up and record :)

To get here, you have to go to the main train station, walk through it to the pier, and take the free ferry to Buiksloterweg (there is one every few minutes).

A’DAM Lookout
A’DAM Lookout

10. Keukenhof

If you are in Amsterdam between the end of March and the end of May, and you catch good weather, you should definitively visit also the Keukenhof gardens. This is a very unique garden full of tulips. It quite busy but also very beautiful. The easiest way to get there, is to go to the Shiphol airport and take a designated bus that goes from there. It take around an hour to get from the city here, so plan accordingly. You can check out Keukenhof website for specifics.

Keukenhof
Keukenhof

Thats all for this list, don’t forget to check out all the other ones :)

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Cesky Krumlov is a wonderful place for a photographer to visit. Many great views of the city, all within a few minutes walking distance from each other. So in this list, lets look at the spots I liked the most while being there.

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Also, if you would prefer to have a photographer guide in Cesky Krumlov, you can check out Johny from Johny’s Prague Photo tours, who now also offers tours in Cesky Krumlov. More about that on his website here.

1. Viewing platform near the castle

This platform gives you just the best view of the city center. It’s especially great for when you are trying to take a panorama shot. There is one problem with this location though, that it is closed at night. So you can get there from around 7 in the morning to sometime in the afternoon (I don’t remember there being opening times written on the door). The entry is free, and of course you can use your tripod there.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic
Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic

2. Viewing platform in the city

This spot will be probably the first you visit as is right at the entrance to the center of the city. It gives a very nice view of the castle, and from what I have seen, they don’t close the gate to this place even at night. Be ready for it to be quite filled with tourists.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic

3. Over the staircase (Nad Schody) street

A really adequately named street, as to get there you have to go up the stairs from the city center. The view of the city, and especially of the cathedral in the middle is nice from here, just have a higher tripod, as there are bushes here and there in the way.

Morning in Cesky Krumlov



4. Parking area

Right when you are entering the center of the city, you will see a small parking area on the right side, that looks like its private and off limits. But it isn’t. Just go there, and you will even find benches under the trees. It gives another very nice view of the castle and the rivers bend.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic

5. Cloak bridge

Another very nice view of the city center, with one big problem. The problem are the very strong flood lights that you get right in your face. So if you want to get a photo from here, either do it during the day, or do as I did, include more of the bridge. Like this you will hide from the lights.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic

All these spots are very close to each other, and you can actually create a path between them, going from the 4th, through the 2nd, 5th, 1st and end on the 3rd.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic

The whole path is only around 2km.

Thats all for this list, don’t forget to check out all the other ones :)

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Same as by Paris, I would call this more a list of nice locations, and a real Top spots list will require more visits to London (hopefully soon :) ). So for now, here is a temporary list.

To see all my photos from London, look into the London Category
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Tower bridge

Of course this was my first destination, and probably is for most people. Taking photos on the bridge is great, just in the area around the bridge, don’t be surprise if you get stopped by security guards. I was twice in a mater of minutes :) I would really suggest having a small tabletop tripod and a clamp as a backup, just so you can get the shots you want.

Passing red buses
Colorful Tower Bridge

City hall area

This area is really close to the Tower bridge, and also give a great view of it. Again there is a big chance that you may be stopped by security guards (if you use a tripod) in this area, but that haven’t happened to me. Again a tabletop tripod could be real help in this area.

London City hall
In the Matrix

Westminster bridge

Surprisingly no security guards here, and a really nice view of the bridge and from the bridge. Also great spot for early morning, if you want to get a passing buss in from of the Westminster palace.

Big Ben
Morning bus

London Eye

Another spot where you should be prepared for security guards or police to stop you (that is a recurring theme in London, btw.). Still the view of the London Eye is great and the lights on the nearby trees are there all the time.

The London Eye
The London Eye in the morning

Leadenhall Market

As all the other spots are outdoor, I’m including one that is indoor. The market is only partially indoor, but the architecture is just stunning and looks wonderful. It’s a little harder to find in the middle of a very modern area, but really worth it.

Leadenhall Market In London

 
There are of course many more (Canary wharf, Piccadilly circus, Westminster cathedral….), and I hope to update this list again
 
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