Guess what? New York didn’t make it.
Under inky skies dotted with stars, a city can come alive with the glitter of skyscrapers, the thump of activity, and the twinkle of neon signs. If the after-dark skylines of cities call to you, then you’d find this new study by UK-based hotel chain Premier Inn fascinating. The hotel chain researched over 250 cities on Instagram to find the most photographed destinations around the world after sundown.
New York may have topped the list in the US and Canada with 50,000 hashtags, it was number 13 in the world list, while no other American city even cracked the top 20. No surprise here that the world’s top 10 list was dominated by Europe. Ready to explore these beautiful destinations by night? We may have a recommendation or two on what to do there after lights out as well.
Top Picks for You
With over 1,000,000 hashtags, Paris was crowned the most beautiful city by night. A romantic walk by the Seine as the Eiffel Tower glitters in the distance is always a brilliant idea. The City of Light is exciting at night with its jazz bars, speakeasies, and cabarets keeping people enthralled. When you’re here, also take time out to catch an evening show at one of the city’s oldest cinemas, Louxor Cinema—more hidden gems of Paris are listed here.
WHERE: United Kingdom
The English city comes second with 231,000 night-time hashtags. London is a destination that’s eager to please, day or night. It’s the sight of London’s bridges all lit up after sunset that makes for a pretty picture. The usual suspects of restaurants, bars, theatres, and department stores aside, there are bus tours and nighttime walks to admire the sparkle. Want to up the glamor quotient? Go up to The Shard for a drink and see all the twinkles from the top.
With 182,000 hashtags, the old soul of Athens takes the third spot. The historic heart of Europe is known for its ancient ruins and you just need to do an image search (or fly out there) to see how spectacular they look under the moonlight. Its nightlife is eclectic with outdoor cinemas, jazz bars, and dance clubs. You can always find a good spot to catch the sunset and see one of the oldest cities in the world aglow under the cloak of darkness.
Get to a rooftop bar in Rome for the promise of a dreamy sunset–the sight will deliver. The Italian city is number four on this list with 174,000 hashtag hits. A walk on its cobblestoned streets at night will help you understand why. Whether you’re climbing the Spanish Steps, making a wish at Trevi, or touring the Colosseum, the nighttime adventures are worth boasting on Instagram.
The Polish capital is steeped in history, with its Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was destroyed in World War II, but you won’t be able to tell from its appearance—it has reinvented itself as a modern metropolis with vestiges of its past peering in. From a live Chopin concert in the Old Town to a sunset view from the terrace of the Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw by night is a beautiful discovery. No wonder it’s number 5 on the list of beautiful cities by night with 160,000 hashtags.
Crowding the cloud with 98,600 hashtags is Budapest, with the Danube glimmering in golden light at night. If you’re in the city with charming courtyards and hip boutiques, you can watch the sunset at the High Note Skybar, catch a movie at Buda Bed, or enjoy jazz at Budapest Jazz Club. More things to do in the city are here.
The only non-European city here, Dubai is all about glitz, gold, and glamor. Night owls can catch the sight of the city’s lit-up skyline at Burj Khalifa, cruise in the creek to gaze at its architectural gems, go camping in the desert, or explore local souks. There’s more to Dubai than what meets the eye and to find local gems, you will need to dig deeper. Here are some unusual ways to experience it.
A food-loving city, Lyon turns on its colors at night. Monuments, plazas, and streets are lit up in what is called a “night landscape”. Walk along the rivers Rhône and Saône, pop into one of the restaurants and bars, go shutter-happy looking at the white marble fountain of Place des Jacobins, and see the Lyon landmark Fourvière Basilica in all its night glory. The city has earned itself the eighth spot on this list after all!
Another French city is a place for nighttime Instagramming! Toulouse has 63,700 hashtags and it’s a city worth discovering by the moonlight. The Pink City (known to locals as La Ville Rose) doesn’t get as much attention as Paris, but it has weathered monuments, wonderful events, and a youthful spirit. It’s pulsating with locals and travelers late into the night and there’s a wealth of nightlife to keep your feet moving.
Not far behind Toulouse with 63,200 hashtags is this high-on-energy German city. Admire cosmopolitan Berlin from the deck of the Berlin TV Tower—you can watch the sun dip into the horizon and the striking city lights take over. Of course, there are beer gardens, nightclubs, live shows, and open-air theatres in the city that can show someone how to have a good time. Europe’s party central is also LGBTQ-friendly!