Panoramic photos are one of the best inventions in photography, particularly in the digital age. Everyone loves to look at them, and there’s nothing better to frame a room - not to mention the way they make you feel like you’re really there. But where are the best places in the world to take them?
We’ve run down a list of the ten of the best panoramic photo locations in the world - it’s your job to actually get there and take it!
1. The Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA)
If you’ve been to the Grand Canyonin Arizona, U.S.A., you know what we’re talking about with this one. Grand Canyon National Parkis 277 river miles or 446 kilometers long, 18 miles (29 kilometers) wide in some parts, and a mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. The main reason a panoramic is so necessary here is that the sheer vastness of the canyon is almost impossible to experience unless you’re actually standing on the rim or climbing down into the canyon itself.
2. Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, was started by Antoni Gaudí in 1883, a famous architect/designer/mathematician from Catalonia. The Sagrada Familia is a temple that the great man worked on for 43 years until he died in a tragic accident with a trolley car. He is known as the Master of Catalan Modernism and Barcelona’s greatest architect, and his work was considered very progressive. The Sagrada Familia has to be seen to be believed, and reaches 170 meters (557 feet) above Barcelona’s skyline to the heavens, constantly under construction. Gaudí’s signature whimsical pillars, shapes, detailed mosaics, and colorful stained glass are mesmerizing - absolutely perfect for a panorama.
3. Magyar Metropolis (Budapest, Hungary)
The Magyar Metropolis is a combination of three separate cities, brought together on November 17th, 1873. The cities were Buda, Pest, and Óbuda, and surrounded the Danube River that became the today’s capital city of Budapest, Hungary. The city now contains some 1.7 million people and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The breadth and vastness of the city as well as its belle époque architecture are inspiring and breathtaking. With your smartphone in hand, you can visit the Széchenyi Baths and the Labyrinth of Buda Castle - both panorama-worthy.
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is the celebrated capital of the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), and is the heart of culture and historical charm mixed with modern amenities. The Burj Khalifa is one of the world’s tallest buildings at 2,717 feet - that’s 160 storeys. If you want one of the most amazing panoramics in the world, you can book your tickets here for At the Top, the Burj Khalifa’s observation decks. You can stand on the outside observation deck at level 148 for USD$135.86 (500 dirham) per person and take that astounding panoramic you’ve always wanted of the architectural marvel that is Dubai - truly the jewel of the desert.
5. Tokyo, Japan at night
Tokyo is not the setting of the original Bladerunner film for nothing - it’s known as the “Town for Young People” or “the Electric Town” because there is so much nightlife and, well, so much light. Like Budapest, Tokyo is a mix of traditional Japanese culture and new ideas, but Tokyo truly embraces its newness in every particle of its futuristic being. Tokyo houses 13.5 million people (that’s more than either Mexico City or New York City), and is part of the largest metropolitan area in the world (37.8 million). To add to the population density, Tokyo is only 2,191 square kilometers. Tokyo is fun during the day, but the neon sky lights up at night, providing the perfect cityscape for your next impressive panoramic photo.
6. Aurora Borealis from Mount Kirkjufell, Iceland
Mount Kirkjufell, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland, is near Grundarfjordur, and is a tiny town in west Iceland. The summit is 1,500 feet above sea level, making it the biggest landmark in the area. This mountain is the most-photographed in all of Iceland, and can be seen from the waterfall directly across the road. The mountain is solitary and tall, so make sure you take your panoramic from next to the waterfall on the hill. The Aurora Borealis is stunning from the same location if you’re lucky enough to be there then!
7. Han Son Doong, Vietnam
Han Son Doong is the world’s largest cave, located in central Vietnam and discovered in 2008. The cave is 3 million years old and the ceiling soars 650 feet (198 meters) above when you’re standing in it. Now this is a fantastic place for a panoramic photo! Han San Doong (translated it means “Mountain River Cave”) is in the heart of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh, and fewer people have visited it than have summited Mount Everest. The cave is more than three miles (five km) long could house an entire New York City Block.
8. Ningaloo Reef, Australia
Ningaloo Reef in Australia is another amazing place for a panoramic photo - we suggest a waterproof smartphone! If you can, plan to take your image from April to July when the annual whale shark migration to the area occurs. You can snorkel and dive with the harmless sharks daily, with boats leaving from Exmouth and Coral Bay, or you can sleep on a catamaran on the reef and take your panorama at dusk or dawn.
9. Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Carnivalin Rio has up to two million people per day held the week before Lent. In 2019, it will start on Friday, March 1st and end on Saturday, March 9th, so buy your plane tickets now and get ready for some of the most elaborate costumes, makeup, and floats you’ve ever seen - perfect for a panoramic.
10. Space, anywhere
We realize not a lot of people can make the trip into outer space - but jeez, can you imagine the panorama you could take up there? While you’re there, maybe you can jet on over to Saturn for a photo of its spectacular rings. Sigh - maybe someday. For now, we can enjoy photos from the famed Hubble Telescope.
Taking images of the moon in its various phases and then editing and stitching each image into one amazing panoramic can look amazing...
Well, that’s our rundown of best places to take a panoramic photo (on or off the planet) - if you think of any others, we would love to hear about them! Oh, and send those photos to us so we can see the vistas you’ve captured using this amazing technology.