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Europe's Most Underrated Photography Destination

Panoramic Photo of Riga Latvia by Shawn M. Kent

Introducing Riga, Latvia

Riga Latvia is a vastly underrated travel photography destination. I’ll confess until I found out I would be heading there on a work trip I would not have been able to pick it out on a map. Riga is virtually unknown, getting only 2 million tourists each year, compared to the 83 million Paris receives. But this is to its benefit as a photography destination as there will be fewer tourists to contend with when shooting.

While Riga is little known, it is at its essence an artistic city. With absolutely breathtaking Art Nouveau architecture, a medieval old town, and idyllic parks there is no shortage of shooting opportunities. As an added photographic bonus, the days are also incredibly long in the summer.  Sunset does not begin until midnight, lasts forever, and then sunrise is only 4 hours later. Do yourself a favour and shoot all night when you visit.

Old Town Riga

The first stop on your photo adventure should be a visit to Old Town. This medieval district is full of incredible photo opportunities. Everywhere you turn is begging to be photographed. Discover ancient churches, historic dwellings and more along the narrow cobblestones streets. I recommend shooting at night to get the best results. The ambient lighting is superb, and at night there are fewer tourists to clutter your shots.

Parks of Riga

Next up on your photography schedule should be the parks of Riga. Riga is full of gorgeous parks, public spaces, and sculptures. Do yourself a favour and go for a walk along any of the beautiful open areas in the city. While wandering, you will discover hidden gems and peaceful photo locations in the many parks in the city. If you are in a romantic mood, hire a boat for a tour of the canals or simply walk the many paths that meander through the city parks.

Riga Architecture

Perhaps most noteworthy is the stunning architecture. Not only is Riga home to some of the finest and best-preserved Art Nouveau architecture in all of Europe, but modern architecture also dots the landscape.  Discover stunning sculpted facades in the vicinity of Alberta street. Then take your tripod and camera down to the waterfront to shoot the amazing modern additions on the west side of the Daugava river.

Riga Latvia Quick Facts

Women To Look Up To

Latvian women hold the world record as being the world’s tallest, with the average Latvian lady coming in at an impressive 170 cm.

A Pagan Past

Latvians were among the last to join Christendom and remain very pagan at heart. A number of pagan celebrations and traditions are still celebrated today.

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey

Latvia's National Sport is Hockey, a number of Latvians play in the NHL and the National Team fans are some of the loudest and most passionate in the world.

This collection of photos can only scratch the surface of the many great shooting locations in Riga. While I had just a few days in this stunning city, I left feeling there still were so many more places to discover. Without a doubt, this beautiful city is near the top of my list of favourite places to visit.

Finally, you can discover all these locations and more in the PIXEO App. Do yourself a favour and book a trip to this often overlooked jewel of Europe. You won’t be disappointed.

Waterfront View of Vanšu Bridge in Riga Latvia - Photo by Shawn M. Kent

Shawn.Kent

Shawn M. Kent is the creator of the PIXEO App and shares responsibility for running PIXEO Inc, with his wife Lisette Kent. By day he is the Public Affairs Chief Warrant Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and in his free time he is a landscape photographer and father.


Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island Photo Location

Toronto Photo Locations Guide - 10 Best Photo Spots in the 416

Photographing Toronto

In the hunt for Toronto photo locations, you will discover the city is big. Really big. Toronto is the fourth biggest city in North America, and certainly the biggest in Canada. It is a city of diverse cultures, amazing architecture, and hidden photographic gems.

Nailing down the good photo locations in the T-Dot is a daunting task. Most anyone who visits will be immediately drawn to the CN Tower and this area is a must visit. But for the visiting photographer, there are more great Toronto photo locations just outside the tourist center. We’ll skip the obvious stuff downtown around the tower and if you’re willing to walk or Uber, you’ll discover these photo spots are well worth the trip.


Toronto Museum Subway Station

One of the most photogenic Subway Terminals in the world. The Toronto Museum Subway Station features a number of sculptures and modern additions. When visiting Toronto this photo spot is a must visit during any visit to the big city.


Graffiti Alley

Toronto's Graffiti Alley

Toronto is full of vibrant street art. So much so that they have dedicated an alley in the Fashion District to the art form. Covering several blocks this photo location features hundreds of expansive and extremely high-quality graffiti murals. A perfect shooting location for urban model shoots and other photographic styles.


Sharpe Centre for Design

Sharp Centre For Design Photo Location

There are a lot of interesting architecture photography opportunities in Toronto. But perhaps no building is as interesting and fun to shoot as the wild Sharp Centre for Design.


299 Queen St. West

299 Queen St. West Photo Location

Home to CTV, Bell Media Headquarters, CP24 and other television stations. The truck crashing through the wall of the building offers an interesting perspective in the city and a challenging subject for the wandering photographer.


Grange Park

Grange Park View of CN Tower in Toronto

A quiet park in the city offering some interesting foreground for shots of the CN Tower. As well there are a number of sculptures in the park and can be found right next to the Sharp Centre for Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario. If you’s taking photos of the Sharpe Centre you might as well snap a few from this shooting spot as well.


Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island

Toronto Skyline from Olympic Island Photo Location

If you visit Toronto you have to take a shot of the beautiful city skyline. There is probably no better shooting spot than along the waterfront of Olympic Island. Easily accessible park area offers what is probably the best arrangement of skyscrapers with easy access to the waterfront to get good foreground.

Photo by Amarpreet Kaur.


Tommy Thompson Park

Tommy Thompson Park Photo Location in Toronto Ontario

A big slice of nature can be found in Toronto at this Park. A little run down, but very expansive, it features marshes, waterfront views of the cities and is a heaven for bird photographers. If you are looking for a nature break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. This photo destination might be just what you need.


Club Zanzibar

Club Zanzibar in Toronto, Ontario

This strip club is not a very good strip club, but it is very photogenic (on the outside of course, we’re pretty sure cameras are not allowed inside). Bright neon colors make it one of the most colorful storefronts in the city. You can find this neon masterpiece photo spot just up the street from Dundas Square.


Casa Loma

Casa Loma Photo Location in Toronto

Next is this beautiful castle style estate in the heart of the city. Casa Loma is without a doubt one of the top photo destinations in the 416. Besides the stunning gardens, tours and other photo opportunities, did we mention it is freaking castle? You must visit this bizarre and interesting photo spot.

Photo by Rena Cugelman


Toronto City Hall

Toronto City Hall Photo Location

Toronto City Hall is a great photo spot, offering many interesting angles and photo opportunities in Nathan Phillips Square. As a result, this area is well worth a visit. We recommend shooting this location at night as the light show is spectacular.

Toronto is an awesome place to get amazing photographs. Whether you shoot professionally or just want to fill your Instagram feed, you will find many epic Toronto photo locations. Be sure to let us know your faves by leaving a comment below.

As always, all these photo locations and more can be found in the ultimate photo scouting app, PIXEO. Download it today from the Apple App Store!