10 of the best places in the world for travel photography

National Geographic’s Jim Richardson – a photojournalist whose work first appeared in the National Geographic almost 30 years ago – was recently asked to compile a bucket list of his 10 most iconic places in the world for photographers. Apparently, it didn’t take long. Here are the 10 places he chose:



Venice, Italy


Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu

Stonehenge, England


Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal

Easter Island

Easter Island

Ta Prahm Temple, Cambodia

Ta Prahm Temple

The Serengeti, Tanzania


The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Pyramids of Giza

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Do you agree with Jim’s choices? If you were compiling your own list of iconic places to photograph, please tell us in the comments which locations you would choose.

Comments (8)

  1. Katka says:

    I do agree, and I have seen a similar compilation where Prague (my hometown for the moment) was included, and while I might be biased about this one, I still think its worth considering. More than about Prague, Im biased about the Middle East,and Im definitely into the Jordanian sunsets, Algerian dunes and Moroccan zellij, just to name a few of my photo-favorites :-).

  2. Kirk Elliott says:

    Love this list but St Lucia is definitely missing & I have the pics to prove it.

    I’m also surprised to see that Hawaii is missing, but then again one could probably create 10 more lists of the 10 best places and every place would most likely be just as worthy as the next!

    Guess it just goes to show what a beautiful place this earth is and the more you travel it’s the more the beauty stands out

  3. Kirsi says:

    Don’t miss Montenegro. No photography talent needed, the landscapes, stories and people give you great pics and memories in any case.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Completely agree, I just want to mention a beautiful place in New-Zealand, Banks of Peninsula Akaora. So far from us but just amazing.

  5. These lists are for the most part made in an hour with little thought put into it, sorry Jim. And then showing mostly bland photos proves the point. Truth is, most anywhere is a great place for travel photography, most especially if you take people and street photos.

    If you really want to know many of the best places, check and see where the photo tours go. Most all of them go at least once a year to Myanmar/Burma, which is fantastic for unsung Yangon as well as it’s great historical sites, like the 4,000 temples of Bagan. And the people and street shooting is one of a kind.

    Go to India – an incredible place to photograph – and shoot only the Taj Mahal? Forget lists. It’s a big world out there with hundreds of “best” places for travel photography.

  6. Bryan Hoare says:

    I like these pics…

    I grew-up in Papua New Guinea, and in Kenya (and Uganda – where I was born) and remember each day as a child there being mesmerized by the colours and sights of the land; but what does it for me in my travels are the smells of a country are what makes the place and revive my memory on every magical occasion.

    From the pig fat and ash the locals used to put on their bodies in Papua New Guinea; to the spice markets of Stone Town in Zanzibar; the cooking in the night markets in Phuket, Thailand; the smell of the rainforest during heavy rain in Java, Indonesia. What of the “smells” of a place, I’d love to see an article about that?

  7. Kirk Elliott says:

    Hey Bryan,

    Nice post…Thx for sharing!

    I live in the Caribbean and I’m unusual Caribbean native as I was born in St Lucia to an Antiguan mother and a Bajan father. I attended university in Jamaica and I married a Trini!

    What I love most about travel is connecting with the salt of the earth people of the destination. From the street vendors to the folks in the countryside. And I’m always amazed that once you connect with the people they will take you into their world and share aspects of the location that you would otherwise have never experienced…

  8. “Myanmar is the most photogenic place that I have ever photographed.” Catherine Karnow – National Geographic Photographer

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