Monday, June 22, 2015

Top 5 Cities For Night Views

By Jonny Blair

Inspired by the view of Hong Kong all lit up at night, I thought it would only be right to compile a list of my top 5 cities at night from my travels. These are based on cities with views rather than nightlife or entertainment.

Night photos work best in cities with decent lighting - stating the obvious but this means the likes of Sydney and Tokyo look better at night than say Uyuni in Bolivia. I'll kick off my list with Asia's skyscraping metropolis - Hong Kong!

1. HONG KONG: Victoria Harbour:

Hong Kong at night is totally fantastic. There are lots of places you can go to view it's lit up skyscrapers, most of which are centred around Victoria Harbour, either there on that side of Kowloon, or across the water on Hong Kong Island. With a backdrop of mountains on one side and hundreds of lit up skyscrapers all around, this place provides you with endless shiny, happy moments relaxing, enjoying the view. You have a choice of where to go to see it:

(a) head to The Peak!

(b) head to a friend's flat that has a balcony view. Most people in Hong Kong live in Skyscrapers - myself included (three times) and you get a simply amazing view from them.

(c) eat your dinner in a top floor restaurant such as Aqua or Sky 100 . Aqua has no entry fee - pop in for a cocktail and enjoy the view. Sky 100 is considerably higher and with a better view but they charge an entry fee.

2. JAPAN: Tokyo:

Although I'm not a fan of Tokyo (for whatever reason I am not sure - I normally love all the big cities), at night it livens up and the amazing lights give the city a whole new buzz. At night I visited Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Roppongi, Shibuya, Shinkiba and Ginza and was impressed by the bouyant array of lights, people doing whatever they wanted (mostly eating and shopping). For a travelling Northern Irishman, I did find Tokyo a little bit crazy and actually haven't even written about my trip there properly yet.

3. AUSTRALIA: Sydney:

Sydney has to be in my list - I lived out there for a couple of years and to have the view of Sydney Harbour every night is a traveller's dream. The Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour. A bustling nightlife - you really can chill out a lot in Sydney at night while also enjoying one of the world's top cities. I made it to a New Year's Eve fireworks display before and loved it. Get yourself down to the waterfront and relax with a beer! You will just love it!

4. St. Malo in FRANCE:

This might seem like an odd choice, and actually even for me it is, but I always feel like I leave Europe out of my travel stories (despite the fact I come from Northern Ireland!) so St. Malo at night has so many fond memories for me. Best of all, I got paid to watch St. Malo by night as I worked there numerous times! This gorgeous old style walled city in on the Brittany Coast in the north of France. At night, the local streets serve up amazing crepes, lush French wine and have a lively yet respectable vibe about them.

I spent a fair few nights in the city itself, but most of my views of the gorgeous St. Malo were from the bow of the ship as we sailed in or out of this splendid French Port! If you live in the south of England, hop on a Condor Ferry and spend a night at least in St. Malo!

5. Budapest in HUNGARY:

What? Another European one? Yes, as the view of Budapest from the hills at Gellert is stunning! I was lucky enough to get driven by a local girl up to the hills to view the city by day and night, at night the stunning two sides of Buda and Pest meet, split by a wide river, the gleaming island of Margit Sziget in between and the incredible Budapest Parliament. Don't forget to pop for some sweet Hungarian wine and Goulash after your trip to Gellert Hills!

So that's just a snapshot of my top 5 cities for night views. Of course I've left lots of them out, I can think of New York, London, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Johannesburg and Caracas as other decent cities by night, will maybe do some more night posting in future.

Don't Stop Living!!!


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