Fuel your wanderlust with these spectacular snaps of cities around the world

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Nicola Rachel Colyer
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National Geographic Traveller captures the raw beauty in faces, cultures and places across the globe, telling stories to invigorate and inspire.

Its Travel Photographer of the Year is now open to readers, pulling together an archive of truly breathtaking photos captured by people from all walks of life. Delve into a  world of escapism with some of the standout images from the cities category of the competition, below. 

Fancy putting your own photography skills to the test? Send in your entries by 27 May 2016 to be in with a chance of winning a seven-day polar bear photo safari for two at Churchill Wild - Seal River Heritage Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.

  • Above the Foggy Lineup by Toby Harriman

    Location: Fort Winfield Scott, California, United States

    Another favorite unique aerial shot I have of the Golden Gate Bridge. This time I was graced with some of the most beautiful sunrise fog I have ever seen. This was a morning I will remember for a long time.

    © Toby Harriman

  • Lombard Street - San Francisco by Toby Harriman

    Location: Russian Hill, California, United States

    Helicopter Aerial. Lombard Street is known to be the most crooked street in the world. But Vermont Street, the other San Francisco street claimed to be the "most crooked" has seven turns instead of eight, but its hill is steeper than Lombard's.

    © Toby Harriman

  • Beneath the Eiffel Tower by Alejandro Merizalde

    Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France

    During my recent trip to Paris, I wanted to take a photo that would show the Eiffel Tower from an angle that would be a little bit less common. I chose to make it while standing directly underneath the structure and create an almost abstract - yet totally recognizable - point of view of this
    wonderful icon.

    © Alejandro Merizalde

  • Digital Panel of Hong Kong by Julia Wimmerlin

    Location: Hong Kong

    This amazing stacked architecture of Hong Kong shows the housing of its rather dense population. It's visually striking to understand that your whole horizon is built from people's lit windows. It shocks you that each life so big and important to the person himself and his close circle looks just like a tiny star in a huge sky next to millions of the same stars.

    © Julia Wimmerlin

  • Facades of old houses in Sidhpur by Aashit Desai

    Location: Siddhapur, Gujarat, India

    The 19th and early 20th century Dawoodi Bohra neighbourhoods, or Bohrawads, of Sidhpur, Gujarat, have a strong European architectural character to it. Built by the Dawoodi Bohras, a Shia Muslim trading community from Gujarat, they have a very distinct history and identity. The residences are rows of narrow, deep houses, about three to four stories high. Their houses in Sidhpur have a strong European character with gabled roofs, ornate balconies, pilasters, columns and decorated doors and window.

    © Aashit Desai

  • Yemeni Fortress by Paul Nevin

    Location: Wadi Dohan, Yemen

    With my police escort I had arrived at my lodgings on dusk, perched on the edge of a massive escarpment in Wadi Dohan. In the fading light and on the valley floor I could see this fortress like village. Having imagined how it might present under a rising sun, I was up at first light and below
    me, shepherds and their goats making the only sounds. The sun rose, bathing the escarpment in golden light, it seemed like an eternity before it finally gilded the top of the fortress like village magic.

    © Paul Nevin

  • We'll Touch the Sky by S. Kowalski

    Location: Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain

    In Spain I watched the sun set over the old quarter of Seville from atop the largest wooden structure in the world, the Metropol Parasol. The piece is controversial to some due to its hefty price tag and modern presence in a sea of historic buildings and clanging cathedrals. I found this juxtaposition between the old and new to be exactly what inspired me most. While the past sat rigid and rooted to the ground, this organic wave of art lifted the city to new heights and into the future.

    © S. Kowalski

  • Arts and Sciences City by Jose Luis Vilar Jordán

    Location: Valencia, Spain

    © Jose Luis Vilar Jordán

  • An Evening in Dubai by Mohsin Abrar

    Location: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Dubai - A city made out of undaunted vision and sheer passion....from a desert to the most revered city around the globe.

    © Mohsin Abrar

  • Infinity Intersection by Chris McCann

    Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

    Los Angeles has long been synonymous with traffic jams on the freeway. Here is a snapshot of one of these LA freeway interchanges as seen from above, allowing the viewer to gain a full appreciation for the bustling motions of the city.

    © Chris McCann

  • Read Between The Metro Lines by Argus Paul Estabrook

    Location: Seoul, South Korea

    I remember thinking, could that be me? Is that a glimpse of my future self? We were caught in reflection, inside of a reflection and amid the busy metro of Seoul, South Korea.

    © Argus Paul Estabrook

  • The Dictator's Dream by Maria Holzinger

    Location: Roma, Latium, Italy

    The "palazzo della civiltà italiana," was imagined and built as a great symbol of fascism for the world. Like many of Rome's iconic buildings, this relic of dark hours that came and passed is now part of the Eternal's city 'stone memory'. Today, growing inequality, lack of economic growth, unemployment, war and terrorism foster populism and may threaten our democratic ideals. Is memory enough?

    © Maria Holzinger

  • Urban Jungle by Andy Yeung

    Location: Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is a great city, but lurking beneath the prosperity is a severe housing problem that depresses every dweller in this city living in horrid conditions.

    © Andy Yeung

  • Early Morning on The Great Wall of China by David Wu

    Location: Beijing, China

    Visiting the Great Wall of China on an early winter morning while it was devoid of tourists and covered in a light fog made for a unique atmosphere.

    © David Wu

  • Childhood by Wing Ka H.

    Location: Hong Kong

    A boy enjoys the moment while playing basketball after school.

    © Wing Ka H.

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Nicola Rachel Colyer

Nicola Colyer is a freelance writer and ex-corporate girl. A francophile and relapsing sugar-free graduate, she'll often be found seeking out the best places for brunch or struggling to choose between a green juice and a G&T.