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It's amazing how much scenery can make or break a city. Rio de Janeiro without it's epic mountains would be just another dull developing world skyline, albeit probably still with excellent culture. Then again, Paris has one of the most boring settings imaginable, save for Montmartre, yet is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

What are your favourite natural settings for cities, and what do you think the scenery adds or takes away? Here are my best urban landscapes, in ascending order.

1. Lisbon: amazing scenery, with the sparkling bay and the castle hill. I think the situation is what makes Lisbon such an awesome city, since tbh its architecture, though aesthetically pleasing, is no different from most of the rest of the mediterrean.

2. San Fransisco: similar to Lisbon in many ways, though the architecture compliments the landscape better what with the skyscrapers and the bridge.

3. Rio: in some ways the grey block shaped buildings help with the city's exotic image, since it can't be confused with an American or European city, but I feel the landscape rather dwarfs teh city itself, apart from the majestic statue of Christ the Redeemer.

4. Hong Kong: couldn't be better, huge skyscrapers complementing the hills perfectly, in a city that might otherwise have been something of a Dubai.

5. Edinburgh: again, architecture matches the setting: the castle makes a fine centrepoint with the Royal Mile running down the spine of the crag, and arthur's seat makes Edinburgh truly unique. It's not my favourite architecture style but it's still beautiful.

6. Venice: my favourite scenic city, for obvious reasons: complements it perfectly.

Honourable mention to magnificent mountain cities, such as Munich, Vancouver, Innsbruck, Grenoble, and Darjeeling. I feel all should be better renowned for their beauty than they are.
 

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Paris has one of the most boring settings imaginable, save for Montmartre, yet is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

(...)

Lisbon: amazing scenery, with the sparkling bay and the castle hill. I think the situation is what makes Lisbon such an awesome city, since tbh its architecture, though aesthetically pleasing, is no different from most of the rest of the mediterrean.
For Paris, don't underestimate the Seine river and it's islands.

As for Lisbon's architecture, I don't agree either. It is very different from other southern European countries.

Other cities to note: Porto, Budapest, Luxemburg City, Valparaiso, Veliko Tarnovo, Stockholm, Bergen, La Paz...
 

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Vancouver is surrounded by the Rockies and the Pacific Ocean. It has a gorgeous skyline as well. It's definitely in my top 5.

So far some of the candidates for my list include Vancouver, Wellington, Auckland, San Fran, Seattle, and Hong Kong.
 

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Vancouver is surrounded by the Rockies and the Pacific Ocean. It has a gorgeous skyline as well. It's definitely in my top 5.

So far some of the candidates for my list include Vancouver, Wellington, Auckland, San Fran, Seattle, and Hong Kong.


Spoken like a true Torontonian.
Calgary is near the Rockies while Vancouver is up against the Coastal Mountain Range. The Rockies are over 800km fron Vancouver. Saying Vancouver is up against The Rockies is akin to saying Rome is in The Alps.
 

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Metro Manila may not look scenic in the city centre but it's surrounding areas and suburbs gives it a scenic look.

From Antipolo and San Mateo, Rizal (east of Metro Manila)





From San Pedro, Laguna (south of Metro Manila)





From GMA, Cavite (southwest of Metro Manila)



Laguna De Bay view (south Metro Manila)



In San Pedro, Laguna (south of Metro Manila)

 

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Everywhere and nowhere
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If we get lucky perhaps it would be the first time nobody will mention NYC, Paris ans London. And i would be happy about it;-)

Captown must be amazing! Hope to see it once;-)
 

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Mexico City used to be a lake especially back then when it was still Tenochtitlan. But it is interesting how it dried out.
 
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