50 of the most stunning photos of cities around the world

@karaemurphy/Agora ImagesThese photos prove that there’s more to a city than just its skyscrapers.
  • Agora, a free photography app, revealed the top 50 finalists of its #Urban2020 photography contest, which celebrates the best urban photos.
  • #Urban2020 had more than 21,322 submissions from photographers around the world.
  • The images show each photographers’ vision of what an urban landscape is. Everything from skylines to metro systems to aerial views of a city were among the finalists.
  • To decide who will be the #Urban2019 hero, voting is open until January 9, 2020.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.


A photographer captured this geometric staircase in an apartment building in Rome.

@wunderbilder/Agora ImagesAccording to the photographer, the building didn’t have an elevator.

Source: Agora Images


“Pink beauty” shows another staircase, this one in Munich, Germany. The photographer told Agora that he had to go up and down the stairs many times to capture its different angles.

@frankseltmann/Agora ImagesThe sweeping staircase makes an arresting image.

Source: Agora Images


Many photographers captured the sun over cityscapes. For “A lonely morning in London,” the photographer took a picture of the sun rising behind the Tower Bridge.

@joelfriend/Agora ImagesThe sun rising over London.

Source: Agora Images


For the photo “Urban sunset,” the photographer visited a popular spot in Munich, Germany, that has stunning views of the sunset.

@msubirats/Agora ImagesPeople watch the sunset in Munich.

Source: Agora Images


“Sunrise in the city” is another nominee taken at a train station in Germany. The photographer took this shot as he was observing the people around him waiting for the train.

@tobboh/Agora Images‘Sunrise in the city’ was taken at the train station Dresden Hauptbahnhof in Germany.

Source: Agora Images


Scenes of the hustle and bustle of urban spaces are in a few of the nominated photos. This photographer purposely blurred the subjects in the photo “Urban” to demonstrate the fast-paced environment.

@birazhayalci/Agora ImagesThe blurred subjects demonstrate the urban lifestyle.

Source: Agora Images


This photographer finalist told Agora that when he took this photo, his intentions were to show the bustling energy of London turning from day to night.

@theliamman/Agora ImagesSaint Paul’s Cathedral can be seen in the background of this London shot.

Source: Agora Images


“Tokyo Vibes” shows the very busy streets of Tokyo on a rainy day. “The blue colour, the neon, the tones, and rain make it a real urban shot,” the photographer told Agora.

@cunodebruin/Agora ImagesThis photo shows the bustling streets of Tokyo.

Source: Agora Images


“Mind The Gap” was taken late at night on the London tube. “It’s a stark difference to the hustle and bustle of the day,” the photographer told Agora.

@_kennyc_/Agora ImagesThe photographer took this photo of the train in motion late at night.

Source: Agora Images


“Untitled” showcases Saigon’s chaotic evening rush hour.

@anhtrungqng/Agora ImagesThis image depicts the chaotic feel of Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city.

Source: Agora Images


Some photos gave an unconventional look at city life. “Abandoned skating” was taken by a young photographer in an abandoned chemical factory, where shattered glass littered the ground.

@benskaar/Agora ImagesThis photo was taken in an abandoned chemical factory.

Source: Agora Images


This aerial view captures a park in the heart of a city. The photo, titled “SYMMETRICAL URBAN,” also shows the symmetry of the landscape.

@i.ride.to.drone/Agora ImagesAerial views was another common theme.

Source: Agora Images


This aerial view shot, “Ship city,” was taken in the photographer’s hometown of Dhaka in Bangladesh. He told Agora that the vessels in the photo “are used to transport bricks, sand, and other goods.”

@azimronnie/Agora ImagesThis shot shows the urban landscape of vessels.

Source: Agora Images


A Brussels-based photographer told Agora that he captured this photo in Gold Coast, Australia, and said “urban isn’t just about cities and skylines, it’s also about the integration of urban and nature.”

@johandroneadventures/Agora ImagesThis photo shows the combination of an urban landscape and nature.

Source: Agora Images


This picture, titled “Night court press,” shows the simplicity of a sports game amidst the bustling city of Hong Kong.

@thedronelad/Agora ImagesA sports court in a busy city.

Source: Agora Images


“Churrería de guardia” captured a traditional churros stand on a dark winter night in an unknown location.

@danilupea/Agora ImagesThe photo is of a churro stand, submitted by a Romanian photographer.

Source: Agora Images


Several photos of colourful buildings were submitted to the contest. This photographer took the photo “Untitled” while sailing on the Nile River in Egypt.

@banudiker/Agora ImagesVibrant coloured buildings were seen throughout this contest.

Source: Agora Images


The photographer behind “Urban Living” told Agora that this building in Bratislava, Slovakia, reminded her of a Tetris game.

@zuzijanek/Agora ImagesThis building looks like a Tetris game, according to the photographer.

Source: Agora Images


According to Agora, this photographer waited until it was dark to photograph these residential buildings in Odaiba, Tokyo, so he could capture the “genius of the architecture.”

@angiolomanetti/Agora ImagesThis photo of residential buildings was taken at night.

Source: Agora Images


This image features a colourful building in the historic capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi.

@damiane/Agora ImagesA red building was the subject in this submission.

Source: Agora Images


“The Block” is a photo of the iconic architecture in Bilbao, Spain. According to Agora, the photographer calls his photo “a block of houses in which human activity is manifested in the image.”

@ajuriaguerra/Agora ImagesThis photo shows the architecture in Bilbao, Spain.

Source: Agora Images


Photos of skylines and individual buildings, such as “Hotel W,” was one of the main themes among the nominees. This photo is inspired by the iconic hotel in La Barceloneta, Spain.

@javito80/Agora ImagesPhotos of buildings were common among the nominees.

Source: Agora Images


For the image “Gotham City,” the photographer used a drone on a cloudy day to capture an eerie image of a skyscraper in Chicago.

@karaemurphy/Agora Images‘Gotham City’ is an aerial view of Two Prudential Plaza in Chicago.

Source: Agora Images


The finalist “Look up!” was taken in Stockholm while the photographer was covering Greta Thunberg’s march “Fridays for Future.” He told Agora he “wanted to transmit the moody feeling of the modern world we live in.”

@leowillgo/Agora ImagesThe perfectly-timed photo was taken in Stockholm.

Source: Agora Images


The image “International Children’s Library” was taken in Ueno City, Tokyo. The photographer said it was challenging to take the picture because of all the mirrors on the building.

@diselpower_gallery/Agora ImagesThis photo was of the side of a building was taken in Tokyo.

“Myriad” shows how futuristic and complex Brisbane in Australia looks. According to Agora, the photographer used a drone to capture this image above an intertwining highway with the city skyline in the background.

@dlr/Agora ImagesThis photo is of Brisbane in Australia.

Source: Agora Images


This photographer captured the nominated image “Nightscape in Rome” by taking two separate photos at different times in the same location.

@henrydo/Agora ImagesIt took two images to create this photo.

Source: Agora Images


“Sinking in the fog” is a foggy view of Moscow, Russia.

@borsch/Agora ImagesFog envelops Moscow in this haunting photo.

Source: Agora Images


This image, titled “City of gold,” shows Dubai’s skyline and is one of the only panoramic shots in the contest.

@patriciasoon/Agora ImagesDubai has a beautiful skyline.

Source: Agora Images


The photographer behind the award-nominated photo “Stockholm” wanted to show the contrast of the snow surrounding a bright, twinkling city, according to Agora.

@tom.bridges/Agora ImagesThis photo shows the city of Stockholm.

Source: Agora Images


“Organised Chaos” is an aerial image of the busy streets of Hong Kong.

@leemumford8/Agora ImagesThis shot shows the bustling city of Hong Kong.

Source: Agora Images


“Transamerica Vertigo” is a photo of San Francisco’s skyline.

@niroshan_a/Agora ImagesThis is an interesting shot of San Francisco’s skyline.

Source: Agora Images


“Cybertron City” is a photograph of Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road. “I wanted to convey this in my image: the electric feel and futuristic aesthetic of the city,” the photographer told Agora.

@donaldhyip/Agora ImagesThere were a lot of photos of Dubai in this contest.

Source: Agora Images


This photo, titled “Two opposed worlds,” shows a beautiful sky hovering over buildings that are sitting on the water.

@hadangkhoa/Agora ImagesThe sky and buildings make for a beautiful combination.

Source: Agora Images


“Trapped” is a snapshot of Hong Kong. The photographer told Agora the goal was to make the viewer feel like they were trapped in the city.

@laboussole.seon/Agora ImagesThis photo gives the feeling of being trapped in a city.

Source: Agora Images


“Vessel” is a photo of New York City’s Vessel landmark that opened in early 2019.

@ericc_photography/Agora ImagesThis photo is of the Vessel structure in New York City.

Source: Agora Images


Another photo of the Vessel in NYC, “Urban” shows a serene sky surrounded by the new urban structure.

@pifpie/Agora ImagesThe photo shows another unique view from the centre of NYC’s Vessel landmark.

Source: Agora Images


Some other photos in the contest were of miscellaneous scenes. “Saigon Vietnam” captures two women working on the Saigon’s new metro line.

@nguyenvuphuoc/Agora ImagesThe vibrant yellow colour stands out in this photo.

Source: Agora Images


The photographer of the photo “Social life” reflects the reality of how people are currently living in a modern, urban environment. The photo was taken at the Tate Modern in London.

@olegp/Agora Images‘Social life’ shows today’s modern, urban living.

Source: Agora Images


Some submissions were black and white images such as “Eyeshape.” These photos showed the photographer’s own take on an urban image.

@marcelvanbalken/Agora ImagesThe photographer had their own version of an urban landscape.

Source: Agora Images


Nominee “Radioactive” was taken in Charleroi, Belgium. The photographer described this area to Agora as “one of the most famous spots in Belgium for urban exploration.”

@notanothermica/Agora Images‘Radioactive’ was taken in Charleroi, Belgium.

Source: Agora Images


Another black-and-white photo in the contest is finalist “Gótico profundo.” It was taken in the streets of Barcelona, Spain, and the photographer said he spent an hour in the same place to capture the light in this photo.

@paulaaranoa/Agora ImagesThis photo was taken in the streets of Barcelona.

Source: Agora Images


“Those eyes” was taken in the streets of Yerevan, Armenia. In the photo, what looks like a man’s eyes are actually little stones that were in the water when the photographer captured the photo, according to Agora.

@alicesukiasyan/Agora Images‘Those eyes’ is a unique black-and-white photo.

Source: Agora Images


According to the photographer, this picture (titled “Standing Strong”) shows “an urban setting that depicts the struggle and strength of both nature and man, and how this can lead to growth and success.”

@øystein/Agora ImagesIn this photo, a flower is growing out of concrete.

Source: Agora Images


Another common theme in the urban contest were photos of different cities’ transit systems. “Chicago’s Metro Transport” is a photo of the photographer’s son riding the CTA metro train in Chicago.

@hwilson8/Agora ImagesA boy riding Chicago’s CTA metro train.

Source: Agora Images


Finalist “Stockholm, Sweden” is of one of Stockholm’s beautifully designed metro stations

@leo.wies/Agora ImagesA metro station in Stockholm.

Source: Agora Images


“Underground'” is another nominated photo of Stockholm’s subway, also known as “the world’s longest art gallery.”

@dmartphoto/Agora ImagesStockholm is filled with beautiful metro stations.

Source: Agora Images


According to Agora, it took the photographer over three hours to capture “Tram Lines” in Budapest and frame the tram within the bridge.

@jprphotos/Agora Images‘Tram lines’ is another example of a train photo.

Source: Agora Images


Two of the finalists had photos of people posing in an urban setting. “Untitled” (below) was taken in Madrid, Spain.

@nataliworldphotography/Agora ImagesThis image was taken in Madrid, Spain.

Source: Agora Images


The other photo with a person in it is “Urban style,” which was taken in Lleida in Spain. The photographer told Agora that the model in the photo was actually freezing since it was so cold outside.

@ares_mahol/Agora ImagesA model posing in Spain.

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