I was browsing in a camera shop tonight and got thinking about taking photos at night. I suddenly realised that of all the outdoor photos I have uploaded or taken, about 95% of them are daytime! So here’s 5 of my favourite cities by night, for views.
Night photos work best in cities with decent lighting – stating the obvious but this means the likes of Sydney and Tokyo look better at night than say Uyuni in Bolivia. I’ll kick off my list with Asia’s skyscraping metropolis – Hong Kong!
1. HONG KONG: Victoria Harbour:
For views, you cannot really beat Hong Kong. And I know I’m only basing this on places I’ve actually seen at night, but I love it. A pretty, clean, shiny harbour reflecting boats, skyscrapers and with mountains in behind, it is hard not to love the busy night time appeal of the Kong. For the best night views, it’s either:
(a) Get a tram up to The Peak!
(b) find a mate whose flat has a decent view (I’ve lived in 3 places in Hong Kong all of which had amazing night views!)
(c) go for dinner in a restaurant on a high floor such as Aqua or Sky 100 . Please note that you have to pay in Sky 100 to get to the top, though Aqua allows you to just pop in for a quick cocktail and enjoy the view.
2. Tokyo, JAPAN:
Strangely Tokyo isn’t one of my favourite cities yet at night it somehow gets my vote. By day I found it expensive, too big and just inspiring. At night, outdoor food stalls, relaxed locals and endless lights give it a whole new appeal to the average passer by. I have yet to experience the same contrast in any other city I have ever been, so honestly – check Tokyo out at night and compare it to the daytime. It’s an amazing transformation. I visited Ginza, Shinjuku, Roppongi, Shinagawa, Shinkiba and Shibuya at night so I base my experience on those places. The lights of Tokyo at night just need to be seen.
3. Sydney in AUSTRALIA:
Sydney has to be in my list – I lived out there for a couple of years and to have the view of Sydney Harbour every night is a traveller’s dream. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour. A bustling nightlife – you really can chill out a lot in Sydney at night while also enjoying one of the world’s top cities. I made it to a New Year’s Eve fireworks display before and loved it. Get yourself down to the waterfront and relax with a beer! You will just love it!
4. St. Malo, FRANCE:
I’m sure this will be a surprise inclusion to most but I just love St. Malo in Brittany. By night, this quiet port houses nothing more than relaxing tranquility within it’s well maintained city walls. Boats come in and out at all hours of the days, the walls light up at times, festival seasons are fantastic and St. Malo hides a charm only those who have been there will ever know about. Get yourself into a restaurant in the downtown, order a few crepes and beers or wines and watch the sunset over the harbour in a world bereft of skyscrapers. Proof that not all cities at night for views have to have skyscrapers or be well lit up. I used to work on boats in and out of St. Malo and my memories of the shining harbour at night will live forever.
I spent a fair few nights in the city itself, but most of my views of the gorgeous St. Malo were from the bow of the ship as we sailed in or out of this splendid French Port! If you live in the south of England, hop on a Condor Ferry and spend a night at least in St. Malo!
5. Budapest in HUNGARY:
Budapest is stunning. Get yourself up to a place called Gellert at night for a different type of night view – no lit up commercial advertising boards here. This is Eastern Europe remember and the most prominent feature is the marvellous Parliament which shines onto the river Danube which separates Buda from Pest. Squashed in between is the island of Margit Sziget. All worth seeing from Gellert – and cracking at night. Bring a decent camera and some warm clothes. And try Hungarian sweet wine and a drop of goulasch. It’s a top city.
So there you go – that’s my top 5 cities for night views. I tried to mix it up a bit and of course left a few gems out. New York, London, Sao Paulo, Caracas and Macao will have to wait for another time. Get out there and see these amazing top 5 at night!
Don’t Stop Living!
You can read more about great cities at night here: Top 5 Cities At night and to stay up to date with Jonny Blair’s travel tales and tips check out his travel, work and lifestyle websiteDont Stop Living.