Road Trip Sights – 33 Iconic European Panoramas

It’s far too rare that the camera can do justice to the scene you remember witnessing with your own eyes.

Sure you can use an editor to enhance colours or remove blemishes but it never quite matches your memories.

I find that panoramic images allow me to produce a photo that brings me closer to the original vision than any other type of editing. Here is a selection of panoramas from our recent road trip through Europe.

panorama amsterdam 1
Two of the things that make Amsterdam famous are bikes and canals. It amazed us that people would be able to find their bikes in some of the busier areas.
panorama amsterdam 2
You would expect to see a lot of fresh flowers at the Amsterdam floating flower market, but no, choose the wrong time of year and it’s just wooden souvenirs and a million bulbs.
panorama apeldoorn
A massive Palace and manicured gardens were not what we expected to find when we spent the night in the little Dutch town of Apeldoorn.
panorama austria
It may have been the warmest winter in over 100 years but a few places, like this lake outside Berchtesgaden, still managed to freeze solid.
panorama austrian alps
When we arranged a horse-drawn sleigh ride high in the Austrian Alps on Christmas Day we certainly did not expect it to look like this. So much for a White Christmas.
panorama berchtesgaden
A stunning view of the mountains around Berchtesgaden. It’s not likely that I would agree with Hitler on much at all but I certainly see why he loved this place.
panorama berlin 1
The Reichstag and the surrounding area of Berlin not only contain some amazing architecture but the thousands of chips in the stone caused by bullets are a stark reminder of the war.
panorama berlin 2
Occasionally common sense wins out over emotion, even in times of war. We are lucky today to be able to visit beautiful structures like the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin which was to be destroyed.
panorama bruges
An ice skating rink and a small Christmas market take centre stage in the Old Town Square of Bruges. Such personality and beauty is something we don’t get in Australian towns.
panorama bujedovice
Even though it looks more like a movie set these days, there is no doubt the castle at Ceske Bujedovice is incredible, especially in the mist. The town is also home to the original Budweiser brewery.
panorama colmar
If you never take a road trip around the Alsace wine region in France then your life will be incomplete. Filled with vineyards and enchanting fairytale towns like Colmar, there is something for everyone.
panorama cologne
Cologne is best known for the impressive Cathedral and 4711, but the bridge has become very popular with those who feel the need to leave locks around the world. I don’t get it!
panorama czech border
Right on the Czech / German border is a little town called Hrensko. It’s a picturesque place which is very popular with Germans who cross the border for clothes at extremely cheap prices.
panorama dresden 1
Dresden is a marvel. It was almost bombed to the ground during WWII but has been rebuilt in its original image and using much of the original materials. It was worth the effort.
panorama dresden 2
No matter which side of the river you wander in Dresden you will be rewarded with beautiful views and some of the finest architecture you will find anywhere in the world.
panorama dresden 3
This historical mural in Dresden “Procession of Princes” depicts a parade of 35 rulers of Saxony between the years 1127 and 1904. It’s also tough to photograph.
panorama france
It never ceases to amaze and excite when you drive around a bend and Europe and are confronted with another awesome ruin. Living in a young country makes these experiences somewhat surreal.
panorama germany
This is a great example of why I love to get off the Freeways, Interstates and Autobahns of the world. You have to be on smaller country roads to witness this type of peaceful beauty we found in Austria.
panorama hanover
As an artist of sorts, I have enormous respect for guys like this in Hanover. The amount of work that goes into each piece only to have mother nature take it a few days later. Commitment!
panorama innsbruck 1
Although it only made our itinerary on a whim when bored with Munich, Innsbruck was a welcomed addition. Stunning scenery, a nice Christmas market, great food and views for miles make it a winner.
panorama innsbruck 2
Multicoloured buildings add so much character to every city I have seen them in. Innsbruck is another great example that my home town could learn a thing or two from.
panorama krumlov
Cesky Krumlov came highly recommended by a number of my Travel Agent colleagues and their advice was spot on. It’s cute, relaxing and friendly, everything you need for at least a few days on any road trip.
panorama netherlands
We went hours out of our way to see these windmills in Kinderdijk. Sure they were pretty impressive but expensive fees were charged to get you close. We then discovered 5 windmills near our hotel in Bruges anyway, and they were free.
panorama paris 1
If you go to Paris and just check off the tourist attractions you are selling yourself short. Getting out and just walking the streets brings the real city to you and you see some amazing things as well.
panorama paris 2
The view from our apartment in Montmartre for New Year’s Eve. Such a disappointment that all fireworks were cancelled due to the recent tragedy. Still, I’ve spent NYE in worse places.
panorama prague
This is one of those iconic views around the world. Everyone that travels to Prague is legally obliged to take a photo of the Castle and Cathedral from across the river. It is spectacular though.
panorama provins
It was purely accidental that we drove through the historic town of Provins in France. I had never heard of it but it is an incredible hilltop walled town with a link to Joan of Arc and a thousand-year-old church.
panorama regensburg 1
The view from the hills near the Walhalla Monument outside Regensburg is beautiful by any definition. This was taken from old stronghold ruins where we sat and watched the River Cruise ships meander by.
panorama regensburg 2
You can’t do a German road trip without at least one enormous schnitzel, so we had 4 or 5 enormous German schnitzels during our three weeks… and sausage… and potato pancakes… and pretzels…
panorama rothenburg
Rothenburg ob der Tauber may have one of the world’s most photographed intersections and been the inspiration for the town in Disney’s Pinocchio, but it is equally beautiful outside the walls.
panorama salzburg 1
Even though it was Christmas Eve and we were a little disappointed not to have been freezing in the snow, Salzburg still managed to delight us with beautiful views, like this from the Castle.
panorama salzburg 2
11 degrees Celsius on Christmas Eve in Salzburg and the sun was out. Hot for that time of year but I thought the locals (just out of frame on the left) who were sunbathing were stretching credibility somewhat.
panorama troyes
We rushed through Colmar in the morning and I was a little disappointed that we were heading to Troyes instead of staying longer. But Troyes ended up being one of our highlights. Beautiful!

How do you get the best from your photos? Do you feel you have ever been able to match the live scene?

Dean Williamson
Dean Williamson
Dean is the main creative force behind Reasons to Visit. A road trip veteran with over 35,000 miles of driving in more than a dozen countries. He has also worked in the Australian travel and tourism industry for the past 10 years.

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    • Thanks, I quite like the Prague photo as well. I think by taking away so much sky it really focuses on how amazing the buildings are on that side of the river.

  1. WOW!!! stunning photos. I’ve few panoramic shots and I think from now on… I will do a lot:) Thank you for sharing. Phew…. Beautiful places you’ve been. Happy travels:)

    • Give it a try Lyn, the worst that can happen is the photos are tragic and you have to delete them. It only takes a few minutes to have a learning experience.

  2. Great panoramic pictures! I keep saying that I’m going to work on the technique of doing a panorama with my camera. I know I have to take a sequence of shots moving from left to right and then combine them in Photoshop, but it’s so much time consuming… I never had time to do it properly.

    • Thanks Anda. Most cameras and phones now have either a full auto panorama mode or at least an easy stich setting and some software to make the process quite easy. Check your camera, you might be surprised.

    • Thank you Elaine. I have a few vertical ones as well. The only thing I can think of so far is using Canva or similar to put them side by side in a grid. Oh, and put them on Pinterest.

  3. However sometimes I saw panoramic pictures, especially the ones made from camera techniques, does not reflect the true landscape or building picture. It looks not real, like the one in the little town called Hrensko

    • I know what you mean Long. The way it distorts and make the centre section much larger. It works best when everything is a little further away from you.

  4. Hi! Dropping by from #TheWeeklyPostcard. I agree that no matter how beautiful a photo may be, the actual scenery will never be fully captured by a camera. I often try to get wide shots and close-up shots of places I visit but the one in my memory would always be far better than any of my photos.

    • The only problem is that you only have your photos to try to show how awesome something was to others Claire. I often look at a scene in amazement and then try and try to get it reproduced in the camera. Somehow it never comes close even though it was the same view.

  5. Dean, Are you taking the panos with a DSLR and stitching them together? They are well done. I do love a pano, for sure and you are right, sometimes it’s the best way to capture the scene. I’ve been to all the places you’ve photographed and I love your shots.

    • I am taking most of them with my Nikon D3300 which has auto panorama. No more stitching for me! It doesn’t always work perfectly but it’s easy to keep trying till it looks OK. Thanks for the love.

    • I have been thinking about this type of post for a while and made sure to get plenty of suitable shots during the latest trip. I am about to check out your blog as well.

  6. What a lovely post idea! I try and use the panorama option on my mobile phone but it never turns out well. Think it’s time to try on my Nikon camera instead. Sometimes I don’t like how thin the panoramas turn out but they are certainly good for memories 🙂

    • Most of these were done with my camera. It’s a shame that panoramic shots look so bad on Pinterest because I have seen some absolute stunners. Give it a try on the Nikon, worst that can happen is you have to delete them!

  7. These are stunning! We have been capturing panaromic pictures of all the places we have been going to in New Zealand, look forward to putting together a post like this, loved going to so many of these places, love Europe travels 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard


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