Whether they're postcards of Instagram posts, there are a number of landmarks that simply resonate with us and remind us of a distinct place in the world. Often times, it's these images that serve as our first travel and adventure triggers, observing the life in & around them. We fall in love with these bustling cities by virtue of the vibrancy that comes through in pictures. While some landmarks in large metropolitan centres are tourist magnets & largely avoided by those that live there, others are deeply intertwined in the everyday lives of its citizens.
The Eiffel Tower is not doubt a symbol of Paris and French ingenuity, and has been in everything from artwork to clothing designs as the ubiquitous emblem of all things Parisian. Whether photographed in the day with tourists and Parisians alike making their way to and around it, or at night with it's soft, romantic lighting - it's stood the test of time as one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Remnants of a by-gone era, the colosseum is a standing testament to the grandeur that was the Roman Empire. Understanding it's history and the purpose it served - sports & entertainment - it's easy to transport yourself back to a time when it was still in use. With millions of visitors daily, it's one of Rome's most popular attractions, and for good reason. Built around the year 80 AD, the colosseum served as a home for spectacles such as battles, fights, and grand performances complete with special effects. It's current state is due to a few natural disasters over the last millennium, but even with damage, it's one of the most beautiful structures to photograph.
Once the tallest's freestanding structure in the world (beat out by the Burj Khalifa in 2004), the CN Tower stands out against the office and condo-laden Toronto skyline. Much like other cities and their own note-worth building, no depiction of the city is complete without it. From the outside, you can see it's dizzying heights and appreciate an array of multi-coloured lighting; changed periodically to reflect a season, celebration or homage. Inside, though, some of the most beautiful views of the city can be captured. Whether from the tower's many steps or glass-floored elevators, glassed floored observation decks or revolving gourmet restaurant; it's possible to see panoramic views that stretch far beyond the city limits.
St. Stephen's Basilica
Easily the biggest landmarks in Budapest, it's also the largest church buildings in the country. Named in honour of a former monarch, this Neoclassical building was completed in 1905. From nearly any angle, the structure is beautiful, so it's no wonder it's one of the most photographed landmarks. Not only is the outside exquisite, the church's interior boasts stained glass, huge skylit domes and winding stairs - as well as space for 8500 people. In addition to guided tours and access to bell towers and an observation deck with breathtaking views of Budapest, weekly organ concerts fill the church with lush sounds every Monday at 5 P.M. - for less than $20.
Empire State Building
When you think of New York City, you might think of the Statue of Liberty but you always remember the Empire State Building. While Liberty requires a quick ferry trip outside the city, the tall steel structure is right in the heart of Manhattan - making it an easier draw for photo ops of all kinds. Built in Art Deco style, the building's architecture harkens back to an earlier time that creates visual contrast among the buildings around it. Large observation decks inside give you views of the city (and beyond!) unlike anywhere else in the city.
No matter where you go, try something new when you take your memory snaps from an angle or perspective you've never seen before. Don't be afraid to get creative. And as always, be sure to pack using your Rise Gear
luggage, and make sure your phone or camera comes along for the ride.