By Georgia Moore
Arguably the most beautiful city in Northern Europe, the Scottish capital is full of vantage points that let you take in the views. From the winding streets and narrow closes of the Old Town, to the planned Georgian splendour of the New Town, the city rewards discovery by foot. But a walk up either Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat provide the best aspects of the city.
When you walk along Oia’s marbled streets and take in the breath-taking views of its white buildings and the views down to the caldera below, it is easy to see why the village’s blue-domed churches adorn so many tourist brochures. While countless Greek islands offer picture-perfect spots, the otherworldly beauty of Oia and Santorini needs to be experienced in person.
Thanks to its position on the shores of the glassy Lake Hallstatt and in the shadow of the Dachstein Mountains, Hallstatt offers spectacular views in abundance. The views of the Eastern Alps from the shores of the lake are a sight to behold. As are the views from the famous 5 Fingers viewing platform up on the Alps themselves.
The Maltese capital rises up from the Mediterranean like a 16th century fortress, which is, in many ways, what it is. The walled city retains much of the architecture it had in the 1500s, and the walled peninsula that the city rests upon remains a stunningly unique location for a European capital, perfect for amateur holiday snappers.
While nearby Barcelona is a much more storied destination, the town of Girona offers an equally picturesque slice of Catalonia – albeit at a much slower pace. The ancient town was originally settled by the Romans, and retains much of its medieval town centre. With its ancient walls, winding streets and gothic architecture Girona is a must-see destination in its own right, so make sure you don’t let the Catalan capital hog all of your time when you’re visiting the region.
It may be an obvious choice, but that doesn’t make Paris any less picturesque. The French capital is perhaps the most evocative of all Europe’s cities and there are few greater pleasures than enjoying a walk along the Seine and enjoying the views across to the Île de la Cité. It may be the most photographed city in the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get in on the action yourself.
There are no more beguiling cities than Venice. Built in a lagoon on a network of islands criss-crossed by narrow canals, the city is a holiday photographers dream. With endless views, unique architecture, and a glorious abundance of history this is one of the most picturesque places in the world.