National Geographic photographers know how to capture a photo, and at the same time, capture the hearts and minds of travellers who want to book their next trip. The magazine has some of the best travel photographers in the business and they can take such stunning photos that your next trip could be booked because you saw one of their amazing photos in their magazine or online. And that isn’t a bad thing, as photographers have a way to capture the beauty of a tourist place and can find the real beauty in the landscape with their lens.
In this list, you’ll find 30 photos by National Geographic photographers. All of these places are places you can travel to and explore on your own. Let these photographers be your tour guide and get your mind thinking of where you want to be in the upcoming year. With such beauty in the world, it needs to be explored and experienced, so don’t just look at a bunch of photos and wish you were there, book the tickets and get on the plane and head out to capture that perfect photo of an amazing scenic view. There is no shame in letting National Geographic be your travel agent.
30 Tbilisi, Georgia
Known for their artist, chaotic, dynamic culture, Tbilisi is not bound by traditions. Tbilisi is the capital and largest city in Georgia and has a population of 1.5 million people. The city is also along the banks of Kura River in which it hits the crossroads of Europe and Asia. According to National Geographic, that Tbilisi, embraces pop culture change and that they are not afraid to move forward but keep their ancient history alive by telling the story of how their people first discovered this beautiful city.
29 Malmö, Sweden
Malmö is the largest city in Sweden county of Skane County. The metropolis is considered the gamma-minus world city and the third-largest city in Sweden. The city is home to the Oresund Bridge and contains many historical buildings and parks. According to National Geographic, the city of Malmö was once owned by Denmark in the 15th century and in the 16th century; the city was sold to Sweden and became one of the first cities in Scandinavia. Now more than 4 million people live in this historical city.
28 Tadami Line, Japan
This photo is of a train on the Tadami Line in Japan. According to National Geographic, the line is 84 miles long and stretches across Japan, but it is this location that is perhaps the most stunning, as the train crosses the bridge and overlooks a foggy river below. During the spring, National Geographic says the train passes by cherry blossoms, autumn leaves and snow in the winter, making for an amazing sight. If you want to see all of Japan in a unique way, get on the Tadami Line and see what natural wonder Japan has to offer.
27 Lake Baikal, Siberia
If you’re not worried about a little cold, then head to Lake Baikal in Siberia, which according to National Geographic, is the deepest lake in the world at 5,387 feet. It holds more water than all the Great Lakes combined, but what is cool about the lake is that due to the arctic temperatures, it can freeze one to four feet thick, creating these caves of ice that allow you to explore inside. It’s definitely a unique experience to have and if you can brave to cold, you can grab a cool photo like this.
26 Lake Bled, Slovenia
This winter wonderland photo is from Lake Bled in Slovenia and could literally be out of a fairytale. According to National Geographic, the structure on the island in the middle of Lake Bled is actually a church, and it actually is a functioning church as well. Known as the Assumption of Mary church, it was built in the 17th century, and is a frequent spot for weddings. Who wouldn’t want to hop on a plane and head here for a destination wedding? Just get in a boat and sail across to start your new life.
25 Scala dei Turchi
This white cliff is off the coast of Sicily and is called Scala dei Turchi, or in English, the Turkish Steps. According to National Geographic, natural erosion has softened the limestone to make it look like a staircase to the water. Despite looking very high in this photo, the cliffs actually go down to the water, becoming a beachfront for people looking to swim in the southern Italian waters. Forget white sand on the beach when you can lay out for the day on this white rock formation.
24 Harar, Ethiopia
Known for its ice cream-colored walls and sacred shrines, Harar, Ethiopia is a must go to. Harar has a population of 122,000, of whom 60,000 are male and 62,000 are female. The city has been listed as a World Heritage Site in recognition of its cultural heritage. According to National Geographic, the reason why the Harari people paint their houses in different colors depends on whether they have travelled long ways to get to Harar or to Mecca. Harar is the fourth scared city in Ethiopia.
23 Grand Staircase
This amazing view from above of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument gives you a unique view of how the river cut through the rock to make this formation. According to National Geographic, this land is actually the most remote in the United States, and the last placed mapped in the mainland. It’s simply an amazing place to visit to see how the rocks were moved by the river and how vegetation thrives on the banks of the river that made this interesting snake-like pattern.
22 Shipwreck Beach
On the Greek island of Zakynthos, there is an interesting beach that is only accessible by boat. Navagio Beach, known as shipwreck beach, has one of the best views of any beach you will find in the world, as it rests within a rock wall that circles the island. According to National Geographic, the reason it is called shipwreck beach is that on the beach itself is the shipwreck of the MV Panagiotis, a ship built in Scotland and which landed on the beach in 1980. It’s not a tourist attraction, and if you want an amazing view, you can take a walk above the rocks and get a great look down to the beach.
21 Mecca, Saudi Arabia
This photo is a stunning one of the city of Mecca, located in Saudi Arabia. Mecca is considered the holiest city in all of Islam. According to National Geographic, over 15 million people pilgrim to the site to worship. The complex pictured here is called the Abraj Al-Bait, and features the world’s largest clock face on the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. It’s simply an amazing site to be at, and in this photo, it truly looks like Mecca is the center of the world.
20 Nazaré, Portugal
This man got out just in time from the rock located around the beaches of Nazaré. He is crossing a slackline to get across the opening in the water. The beaches of Nazaré, according to National Geographic, are known for their extremely high waves, as they are influenced by the deep undersea canyon just off the coast. If you’re in surfing and wanting to catch a large wave, this could be the place for you. Located in Portugal, you know you are getting some beautiful beach weather and blue water.
19 Palace of Revelation, Vietnam
You would never guess that this photo is actually about the apocalypse, but this is from the Palace of Revelation in Vietnam, a hotel that is inspired by the Book of Revelation. According to National Geographic, the hotel was made to remind people of the tragic events of the tsunami in 2004 that hit many countries in the region. Despite the end-of-the-world reference, the hotel is in fact very colorful and welcoming to visitors, and to get into the hotel you have to walk on stars that lead you to the front door.
18 Seoraksan National Park, South Korean
This is perhaps the most visited national park in South Korea. It attracts many domestic and international tourist each year with its beautiful scenery. According to National Geographic, the National Park is just a fifteen-minute drive from Sokcho city. Also, the valley runs east to west with a paved road leading up to the park`s entrance gate. This rock valley contains many beautiful sites and is well worth a day visit. It’s interesting to think that with such beauty, this National park is also a World Heritage site and has been recognized for its biosphere reserves to the mountains.
17 Chongqing, China
Chongqing, China, the home of 30 million people, has a unique nickname, Fog City. That’s because, according to National Geographic, they get over 100 days of a year of fog. No surprise, its sister city is Seattle, Washington, another place used to fog. The city has plenty of historic World War 2 monuments, as it was one of the three headquarters for the Allies. So if you’re a World War 2 history lover, then don’t mind the fog, head to China and check out what’s beneath the thick layers of fog.
16 Dorset, England
Crop circle enthusiasts lie down as part of a ritual in Dorset, England. According to National Geographic, crop circle tourism is very high in this part of England, and it should come as no surprise that this community is located near the famous Stonehenge site. Some people think they are created by aliens and UFOs, while others believe it is the work of man and crop circles are just works of art, but who or what creates them doesn’t stop this group from getting out into those circles.
15 Arakurayama Sengen Park, Japan
If you had to pick out one beautiful part of this photo, it would be extremely difficult to do so. Especially with all the colors, scenery and history in one photo. This photo is of Arakurayama Sengen Park, and the five-storied pagoda that lives a beautiful view of Mount Fuji during the cherry blossom season in Japan. According to National Geographic, the peak times for climbing Mount Fuji is between July and August, but to see the cherry blossoms, head there in the spring to get the full perfect photo.
14 East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya
This photo comes from the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya and what you see is the living root bridge. The key words here are living root because this bridge that these children are crossing is actually made by nature. Two trees are put on either side of the river bank and according to National Geographic, over the next 15 to 30 years, their roots will grow into a stable foundation for the bridge. Locals then connect the gaps with bamboo scaffolding to create the rest of the bridge and make it safe to cross.
13 Jujuy Province, Argentina
Known for its beautiful scenery and indigenous culture, Jujuy is a province that is located in the extreme northwest of Argentina. Most tourists head for San Salvador de July first before exploring the rest of the province, which connects, to the border of Chile and Bolivia. According to National Geographic, apart from the fantastic contrast of land colours and formation, tourists are attracted to the indigenous roots in the culture of Jujuy. Most of the other tourists have the chance to explore the National Parks and jungles that come their way.
12 The Vatican
This photo is from the Vatican Museum and the view the man with the keys to the Vatican has when he opens the windows every morning. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are in his view every single morning, making for one amazing job to have. According to National Geographic, the Vatican is the smallest country in the world by land size, it is located entirely within the city of Rome in Italy. Millions come every year to see the religious site and take in some of the greatest architecture you will see in the world.
This photo is a tradition Omani rider performing at the Bahla Horse Festival in Oman, a small country located on the Arabian Peninsula. According to National Geographic, the festival celebrates what horses have done for history, and how they have changed much of history. Nearly 100 different riders will participate in the horse festival, so if you are in love with these wonderful animals and want to see people celebrate what they have done, then head to Oman to take in this amazing festival that is full of history.