Happy International Selfie Day! You might think we’d stand firmly on the curmudgeonly side of things when it comes to selfies. Well, you know what they say about assuming, right? In this case it doesn’t really apply, as we’re both for and against selfies. On the one hand, they are vacuous snapshots of the narcissism that will see our species go extinct. On the other, who really cares? If you want to take a photo of yourself, here are some by-gum stunning spots in which to do so.
Nebotčnik — Ljubljana, Slovenia
Once the tallest residential building in Europe (an impressive accolade if every there was one) but now a cafe and nightclub, Ljubljana’s Nebotičnik offers 360 degree views of the magnificent Slovenian capital. Ljubljana Castle gets most of the plaudits, but you surely want it in the background of your selfie. Come up here for that perfect shot, although do the right thing and at least buy a coffee while you are there.
Admiral Embankment — St. Petersburg, Russia
The imperial Russian capital is a veritable delight of a city, and the best place to express one’s vanity is along the banks of the Neva. The city’s University Embankment is one of its most iconic, but you should try to get the unusual Kunstkamera museum in the background. Head to the Admiral Embankment and aim across the river.
Skyline Bar — Riga, Latvia
Views of Riga simply don’t get any better. That should suffice for this entry, surely. Head to the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija, get in the elevator, make a beeline for the 26th floor and take a picture of yourself with the expanse of the famous city behind you.
Bruno Weber Park — Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich’s Bruno Weber Park is a photographer’s dreamland whether or not those pictures include the taker. A mass of contemplative concrete structures, the unusual imagination of Bruno Weber is a thing to behold and then some. Get ready to be photobombed by mythical beasts and other things that vaguely resemble actual creatures.
St Mary’s Basilica — Krakow, Poland
What does God think about selfies? Well, we don’t to presume when it comes to the opinions of the Lord, but as he invented them we’d say he isn’t too bothered. The magnificent St Mary’s Basilica in Krakow is home to some truly enchanting stained glass windows and a breathtaking altar, all ready and waiting to be sullied by putting your own face in the middle of it all. If indoor shots aren’t your thing, head up the Mariacki Tower for that panoramic snap.
Street Art — Johannesburg, South Africa
In truth, the overwhelming majority of graffiti falls under the heading of ‘regrettable’. When done well it is an art form to behold however, and those visiting Johannesburg will encounter a city full of vibrant street art and colourful graffiti, breathing new life into tired neighbourhoods and dilapidated buildings. The colourful energy also happens to provide an excellent selfie backdrop.
The Big Fish — Belfast, Northern Ireland
Plenty of great selfie options so far, but what of you picky readers who are looking for something that combines art with a delectable vista and some sort of warping of reality? Rather predictably, Belfast is the place to go for the unpredictable. The city’s Big Fish (or Salmon of Knowledge) near Lagan Weir was constructed in 1999, to celebrate the regeneration Lagan river. It will look suitably terrifying stood ominously behind you.
Herăstrău Park — Bucharest, Romania
The lungs of Bucharest were neglected following the revolution of 1989, but Herăstrău Park has since been restored to whatever comes above glory. A 187 hectare mass of greenery that offers plenty to do, the park also contains a wide variety of spots from which to pose and click, including a rather unsightly statue of Charles de Gaulle. If you’re worried about looking less than your best, stand next to this monstrosity.
Next to Gustav Peter Fabergé — Parnu, Estonia
You may be familiar with the House of Fabergé, but did you know that the founder was born in the Estonian seaside town of Parnu? You do know. A studious statue of Gustav peter Fabergé was installed in 2015 to mark the bicentennial of his birth, so take a seat next to the man and smile.
Dubrovnik Cable Car — Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik has been at the heart of the recent backlash against tourism, a fight in which our side has not been helped by idiots clambering onto the city walls hoping for a decent selfie and internet notoriety. Our advice is this — don’t be an idiot. The Dubrovnik Cable Car is ready and waiting to take you 778 metres above the Old Town, with two panoramic terraces and not a loss of dignity in sight.
Žižkov TV Tower — Prague, Czechia
What is the best way to ensure that the city’s ugliest building doesn’t ruin a photograph? Take the photo from the building, naturally. Žižkov’s TV Tower gets way more criticism than it deserves, but it is undeniable that Prague’s best view can be found from the much maligned tower’s observation desk. Head up for the perfect shot but nothing else, as no one should have to pay more than 70czk for a beer.
Church of St. Sava — Belgrade, Serbia
If you’re looking to take a photo that showcases both the monolithic dominance of Christianity in Europe and your own ability to pout, stand in front of Belgrade’s Church of St. Sava and hit that Blue Steel. The unfinished temple is one of the largest houses of worship on the continent, a magnificent example of Serbo-Byzantine architecture. The interior is fascinating, but construction sites don’t make for decent selfie spots.