Destinations that inspire brilliant travel stories

Anna Hart

Travel editor and writer

A picture really does tell a thousand words, so it’s no wonder Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook have changed how we travel – and how we search for travel inspiration – forever. Here’s how to make sure you use your camera to share the best side of your next destination…

Acapulco, Mexico: #BeachBliss

Amex Travel AU Acapulco

Ever since Hollywood’s rich and famous first flocked here in the 1950s, Acapulco has been known as Mexico’s premier beach party town. And today it remains easy to tap into that glamorous beach vibe, at a cliff top restaurant overlooking wide sandy bays and secluded coves, all set against a lush, jungle interior. Playa Condesa and Playa Caleta are popular, buzzing beaches already full of selfie-snapping travellers, so make your photos stand out by making the 10km drive north to the laid-back beach town of Pie de la Cuesta to share the lesser-known side of Acapulco with your friends and followers.

Get The Shot: Pie de la Cuesta also contains a serene lagoon perfect for water sports. Hand your smartphone to the captain and get the water-skiing Boomerang video of your dreams. If this is far too adventurous for your taste, a relaxing waterfront post is a classic winning scene, too.

Catania, Italy: #EpicAdventure

Amex Travel AU Catania

Sicily’s wildly varied landscape quickens the pulse of any adventure-lover, combining coastal, volcanic and mountainous scenery on one thrilling island. This Ionian delight is the perfect destination to tell an epic tale through your images, one of a morning spent hiking the precipitous trails along the cliffs, then diving into pristine waters to soak your weary limbs. Then return to the colourful, chaotic streets of Catania to feast on much-deserved swordfish and pasta alla Norma, and duck into edgy, arty under-the-radar cocktail bars. Perfect days come easy in Catania, so share each day like it’s a story.

Get The Shot: For hikers, backdrops don’t get much more dramatic than the smoking, dramatic figure of Mount Etna looming above you. Pass your camera to your hiking partner or whip out your selfie stick for an impressive wide-angle shot of your #epicadventure.

Montreal, Canada: #StreetArt vs #Architecture

Amex Travel AU Montreal

While Toronto is Canada’s economic powerhouse, Montreal is the country’s cultural epicentre, with over 250 theatre and dance companies, around 100 annual arts festivals, and a smattering of bohemian, artsy neighbourhoods where the creativity positively bristles. The best way to bring such a multi-faceted city to life is to sharply contrast the images you post; juxtapose the elegant 18th-century facades of Old Montreal and the grand Basilique Notre-Dame with edgy street art jazzing up the walls of the rising hipster mecca Mile-Ex neighbourhood. In Montreal, art is class-free and refuses to be confined indoors, so mix and match your snaps to convey the sheer artistic and architectural sweep of this creative city.

Get The Shot: Sandwiched between a semi-vacant car park and Mile-Ex’s emblematic warehouses, Alexandraplatz Bar is an intensely Instagrammable block party everyone is invited to throughout the summer, complete with a taco stand and food trucks, communal bench-style outdoor seating and ever-changing roster of street art. Think industrial-chic, German biergarten-inspired scenes that will illicit instant photo envy.

Singapore: #FoodPics

Amex Travel AU Singapore

Singapore has long been known within foodie circles as the street food capital of Southeast Asia, with a heady mix of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and European culinary traditions. On Instagram, scrolling through pricey, perfectly plated dishes from top restaurants can get monotonous, but social media followers love a bang-up-to-the-minute tip about affordable food finds in a far-flung city. And in Singapore, eating out is a thoroughly democratic affair; CEOs, fashion bloggers and politicians will all name a no-frills hawker centre food stall as their favourite place to eat chilli-spiked crab, fragrant spiced laksa, Hokkien mee, Nyonya dumplings or biryani. No matter who you are or where you’re from, food is the highly celebrated come-together here.

Get The Shot: Two modest Singaporean food stalls made history in 2016 by becoming the first street vendors to be awarded stars by the prestigious Michelin Guide. Join the 150-some diners at the Chinatown Complex in Smith Street mingling in the lunchtime queue for a chance to snap a pic at one of these stalls. At Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, you can get your hands on the world’s first Michelin meal for less than the cost of a burger.

Vienna, Austria: #CoffeeCulture

Amex Travel AU Vienna

Instagram is overloaded with photos of foam heart-shapes atop soya flat whites. What’s genuinely worth sharing, however, is Vienna’s elegant Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses) scene, where cafe culture all began. These opulent salons have welcomed writers, artists and musicians since the 1700s, and there is nothing more Viennese than an appreciation for art, music and literature – accompanied by mind-blowingly elaborate sweet treats, too. Some are housed in grand imperial residences, the legacy of the powerful Habsburg monarchy, others in student-friendly taverns. An Insta-tour around your favourite Viennese coffeehouses will inspire all your friends to follow suit.

Get The Shot: Central is perhaps the grandest of the coffee houses, and the most extravagant backdrop to that delectable cake shot. But lesser-known and more charming is the tiny Kleines, in cobblestoned Franziskanerplatz, with wonderful outdoor seating in the summer months overlooking the baroque Franziskanerkirche.

Anna Hart is a travel writer and author, whose first travel book, Departures, will be published by Little, Brown in January 2018. @annadothart

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