1. Get magical in London
Calling all Harry Potter fans! It’s time to look past the muggles and the boring photos that go with them upon arrival in London. Instead, get an exclusive tour of the Harry Potter set to see where all the magic happens. If you don’t know your Hufflepuffs from your Slytherins, don’t worry. You can also grab amazing cityscapes on the giant Ferris wheel that is the London Eye. Or, see the city through the looking glass at the Tower Bridge. No matter where you wander, be sure to snap some classic portraits framed inside a bright red phonebooth. If all else fails, re-create that famous Beatles Abbey Road album cover with your three besties on Westminster Abbey.
2. Snap your way through Paris
You’ll want to say oui to Paris’ subtle sophistication. Whether it’s snaps of historic architecture or selfies at iconic monuments (like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre), there’s plenty of Insta-worthy photo ops. Start with impressions of Versailles, Louis XIV’s decadent former home and royal playground. Make sure to head to the sparkling Hall of Mirrors bright and early (to avoid the throngs of visitors) with a knowledgeable guide to get the inside scoop. If you’d rather sleep in and enjoy a leisurely trip, secure skip-the-line ticket and breeze past the crowds like…well…like a royal.
3. See the best of Santorini
It’s pretty hard to take a bad picture on Santorini, the volcanic island that sits about 120 miles (193 km) off Greece’s mainland in the Aegean Sea. Known for its white buildings, picturesque architecture, dramatic sunsets, and (still active) volcano, Santorini just begs to be photographed. If you want to make your followers sigh with wistful jealousy, hop on this sunset bus tour to Oia. Get to this charming northwest village on a clear afternoon day to appreciate the sky framed against shades of blue-domed roofs, all-white buildings, and walkways. And make sure to snap the classic shot — you know the one — that blue-domed church seems to make it onto every Santorini postcard. For the perfect angle, walk down Gold Street and duck into a side alley to photograph those blue domes from above.
4. Hit the water in Slovenia
Row your boat over to Lake Bled, the lush Slovenian resort town just an hour away from Ljubljana, best photographed before sunrise or just after sunset. You can hike or drive to a viewpoint — like Mala Osojnica, just above 2,000 feet (609 m) above the lake — or tour the hilltop castle that sits on the eastern side. Or, check out the stunning landscape at Vintgar gorge by bike. But the most exciting views might be from below: see million-year-old cave formations while riding the underground train in Postojna Cave.
5. Cruise around Venice
We know the food is good in Italy, but maybe this time you can spare your Instagram followers pictures of pasta. Instead, shoot some charming cityscapes from the comfort of your Venitian gondola. Venice is the city of water, where you can catch glimpses of islands like Murano, Torcello, and Burano on a canal cruise and also reflect a unique perspective of the city. It might be worth waking up early to see the city in a fresh light, so you can capture the Rialto Bridge when it’s empty. Oh, and make sure to shoot the exterior of St. Mark’s Basilica. Then, head straight to Doge’s Palace for a perfectly royal backdrop to the golden morning light. These pics will make for stunning, oh-so-sharable posts that your friends will love.
6. Soak up the views in Lisbon
The photo ops in Lisbon are endless: from the iconic yellow number 28 trams to pastel-tiled facades and cobbled alleys, there’s a selfie to be taken at every corner. Alfama is a great place to start, as the oldest district in the city filled with friendly locals and views of the Tagus and Alfama rivers. Don’t forget to pause for a photo at the bull-fighting ring at Campo Pequeno. It’s Europe, so there’s definitely a castle here worth seeing through your lens, as is the medieval-looking Torre de Belem. This tower is best shot from the wide shoreline below, but you can also go inside and climb it for a 360-perspective of the river.
7. Explore every inch of Istanbul
OK, fine. Turkey isn’t part of Europe, but come on — what’s a short flight to Turkey? Istanbul is steeped in religion and history. This offers rich opportunities to capture beautiful cityscapes from lots of angles — like from the water. See the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia framed at dawn from the Sultanahmet Akeolojik Park, and get to both of the museums bright and early after that. You can get great shots of the ceiling and chandeliers from the ground floor of the Hagia Sophia, as well as the lovely mosaics here — just remember to bring a camera that works well in low light.Plan a snap-happy trip