19 Amazing City Tours By Drone and Timelapse

Youtube can be a total rabbit hole, especially when you’re on the road as digital nomad and looking for inspiration. I am looking for the next location and one of the best was to see a new city is now on Youtube in the form of drone footage.


You can literally tour a city without leaving your computer screen and it gives you a way better feel for the place that ground-level tourist videos. You can see the ghettos, you can see the sheer scale of the place, you can see the beach, or the river and you see how the city lights up at night.


That’s why drone footage could be the new tourist guide and if you want to make your own drone footage, then the best drone for the consumer right now, by a mile, is the DJI Mavic Pro. It isn’t cheap, at $999 for the basic kit and $1349 with everything you’ll need, but it is the best.


It will track you and shoot stable footage with minimal input. It is also one of the few drones that can take on a city tour.


By the way, do an awesome shoot of your home city, put it on Youtube and then drive traffic to it. You could cover the cost of the drone with one viral hit. Cutting drone and time lapse footage together is working in a big way for creators right now, by the way.


You can shoot it all with the drone or pair it with a GoPro or even a Sony A-6000 to form the ultimate slimline video kit. Get all of that together and you probably have the ideal video and still image set-up for digital nomads, bloggers and digital entrepreneurs on the  road.


You can get better resolution, but not in such a portable and lightweight package. This kit also shouldn’t get you too much attention as it doesn’t stand out as pro. Used right, though, they’ll give pro results.


Get the $999 version from Amazon now.



Of course, you need to know if you’re going to get bitten by the drone bug before you drop that kind of cash and most people want to start with something cheaper. The Parrot Bebop 2 is $499 and it doesn’t have the same level of automation, but it is designed to work with your phone to create  a headset.


It isn’t in the same league as the DJI, but it’s much cheaper and it’s a perfectly capable drone in the right hands. You’ll need to do more with this drone, but the remote control and phone connection should make that a pretty intuitive experience.




Let’s say you just want some inspiration, though. Well check out these incredible videos that are freely available on Youtube…


1. New York City


This was shot on the slightly more upmarket DJI Mavic Pro 4, which gives cinematic footage that would have taken a helicopter and pro-grade cameras before. So, it’s incredible what you can achieve with a drone these days, even if they could have done better with the music selection.


New York still has arguably the most imposing skyline in the world and the drone footage is pure cinema.


Take a tour of the Big Apple on a drone right here from the comfort of your own home and see just why some people rate this as the best city on Earth. We pretty much all want to travel to New York at some point. I’ve done most the US, but never the Big Apple.


That has to change.

READ THIS NEXT:  Rich Man Loses It All, Lives Happily On Island


Here is New York in 4K:



2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




Rio de Janeiro is a sprawling, intoxicating and sometimes dangerous city. From the favelas that line the mountains to the upscale hotspots on Avenida Atlantica, Rio is a city of contrasts.


It’s not for everybody, but you can take a tour of the city right here and decide for yourself.


For me, the people of Rio and Brazil make this one a no-brainer. It’s happening soon. Rio de Janeiro is a city with some problems. But for a European guy going to stay there, you’re guaranteed  a good time one way or another.


Have a look at the drone tour of the Brazilian city and then watch this stunning bit of cinema. It’s a timelapse video the likes of which I have never seen. Just watch it and wonder how they did it too:



3. Las Vegas




Stick with the footage. The daytime stuff is impressive, but this video and Las Vegas comes alive at night. That happens around the 1m30s mark and it’s a stunning transition into night hours.


From a distance, there’s a certain beauty to that gaudy neon lighting and mirrored buildings that erupted from the desert.


Take the drone tour and turn the sound down. This soundtrack is too much, you have been warned!


While you’re here, have a look at this epic video. It isn’t drone footage at all, it’s timelapse HDR footage and it is incredible:





3. Minsk, Belarus



Minsk 2016. DroneLapse from zweizwei |timelapse&hyperlapse| on Vimeo.


Now we all know that Minsk in Belarus is an austere and bleak former Eastern Bloc city, which was not built with opulence in mind. That’s changing, but this city is an industrial powerhouse first and foremost, which means it isn’t the prettiest place.


This video, though, makes it look like the setting for the next Lord of the Rings film. It’s a fine example of Dronelapse footage, shot over the course of 12 months. If you can do anything like this with a drone, you can make a living with it.


4. Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, Vietnam



This Far Eastern City is a world away from our daily life and that’s kind of the point. It’s so easy to take a few minutes and see how other people live. So do it.


Now known as Saigon, the city is home to 10 million people and it’s the economic and corporate capital of Vietnam. So, it’s not quite the backwater you might have thought and it’s pretty much on a par with any major Western city in terms of quality of life.


Take a drone tour through the city’s business district and prepare to be amazed. Then watch this timelapse and start booking your tickets…



5. London



The capital of the United Kingdom is a cultural center and home to some of the most famous architecture in the world, both modern and historic. There are landmarks at every turn, so the drone footage was always going to be amazing.


Great Britain just has so much heritage and history. London is a vibrant city with some of the world’s best restaurants and hotels, as well as entertainment.


Check out this video, too, which shows London in full flow:



6. Lima, Peru



The Peruvian capital is one of those cities that generally only hardened digital nomads and travelers get to see. That’s a shame, because the city is simply stunning and well worth a visit.

READ THIS NEXT:  Sex Capitals of the World: Pattaya


Have a look here at the drone tour and think about taking a trip to Peru to see Lima in all its glory. It’s a vast, sprawling city that caters for the seriously rich and the poor. There’s a tennis club overlooking the cliffs, but then Lima is one of South America’s biggest mongering hotspots as the girls will go with you for $30.


It’s cheap to live and have fun in Lima and it’s on ‘my list’.


Get down to street level with this video, which brings the city to life.



7. Tokyo



Tokyo is a living, breathing ecosystem of a city that never quite gets to sleep. It’s a unique place and anybody that goes generally has a thing for the city.


It’s a rank outsider for me right now, but anything is possible. Especially when you look at time lapse videos like this one that give the city a real Blade Runner feel.




8. Budapest, Hungary




Budapest is an olde world city that has found its place among the modern day giants. It has heritage, modern nightlife and pure opulence for those with the funds to pay.


The historic casino is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, so go in and lose a few bucks as you admire the city’s most glamorous building. Then go and see the royal palace that overlooks the Danube.


Here is Budapest shot in timelapse. It’s a thing of wonder.




9. Buenos Aires



The capital of Argentina is one of those formerly great city that has arguably fallen on hard times. The economy is tough, but Buenos Aires is still a cultural and entertainment center of South America and it was once a leader.


Take the drone tour of Buenos Aires and find out why it’s on my list of places to visit.


Then check out this piece of digital wizardry:




10. Dubai




Everything is larger than life in Dubai. It’s a city that prides itself on being the world leader at any cost. So, you’ve got the world’s biggest, most expensive and fanciest buildings.


The country redefines luxury, but it doesn’t have much soul. It’s all too new for heritage. Take the drone tour of Dubai anyway and revel in the madness of man-made beaches, seven-star hotels and more.


Then check out this amazing timelapse video that takes you through the streets of Dubai.




This one isn’t bad either and takes you right to the backstreet markets of Dubai.



11. Paris, France




The French capital is a spectacular city that is the financial, economic and cultural heartbeat of France.


There are the palaces, the shopping, the monuments and museums that mean Paris has something for everybody. Of course, the Eifel Tower takes a starring role and this video shows just how beautiful the city can be.


It’s expensive, but it should be on your bucket list if you’ve never visited Paris.


Check out this amazing timelapse video,too:




12. Munich, Germany




Munich is a strange blend of Gothic architecture, a Germanic mentality, and yet somehow there’s a sense of fun about the place. Berlin has it, too, but Munich really does know how to put on a night out.


It’s also full of landmarks and historic buildings that give the place a unique flavor, along with the food and beer. Visit in the summer if you’re going to Munich, it gets seriously cold and snowy in the winter.

READ THIS NEXT:  Is Pattaya about to close down Walking Street?


Check out this incredible timelapse video of Munich too:



13. Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul is where the East meets the West and there is nothing quite like the Turkish capital anywhere on Earth.


The architecture is mash-up of everything and you’ll find old Moorish buildings, full-on Middle Eastern architecture, ancient forts and Western-style skyscrapers nestling alongside each other.




14. Venice, Italy




This ancient Italian city is built upon a river system that survives to this day. Those Gondolas now cost $100 an hour, but there are plenty of bridges and proper river taxis too.


This city is dominated by St Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco, together with Doge’s Palace. But you could simply walk the streets for days taking in the crumbling architecture that  has just about found a balance with the surrounding water.


Check out this timelapse video, too, to get up close and personal with Venice.




15. Marrakech, Morrocco



Morocco was not my favorite travel experience, but it is a very different city that looks pretty impressive from the drone.

The only way I’d go back to this city would be with an all-inclusive resort. The city center hotel we had served the worst food in the world and that was a four-star. So a five-star all-inclusive should have something you can eat.

Apart from that, and the people trying to drape cobras and monkeys on you for a photo, Marrakech is pretty cool.

Here it is in 4K:



16. Manila, Philippines



Ok so this video blurs the lines between drone footage and pure creativity. It’s not the most valuable city guide here if we’re honest. But it could inspire one or two of you to visit this amazing place.


It has one of the most spectacular skylines in the world and it’s one of those cities that comes with a pulse. Manila is a place everybody should go at least once in life.




17 Venice, Italy




This ancient Italian city is built upon a river system that survives to this day. Those Gondolas now cost $100 an hour, but there are plenty of bridges and proper river taxis too.


This city is dominated by St Mark’s Basilica and Piazza San Marco, together with Doge’s Palace. But you could simply walk the streets for days taking in the crumbling architecture that  has just about found a balance with the surrounding water.


Check out this timelapse video, too, to get up close and personal with Venice.




17. Hong Kong




Hong Kong is one of the world’s great financial centers, it comes with more history than you can shake a stick at and it’s one of the most modern cities on Earth.


It’s expensive to live in Hong Kong, but as a place to visit it looks to be truly unique.


Check out some timelapse footage here:



19. Sydney, Australia




The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House are two  of the most famous landmarks in the world. Sydney is a cool city that attracts travelers and digital nomads from around the world.


Australia has about a million animals that can kill you, maim you or eat you, but the city itself is an amazing place. It’s on the ocean, it’s the cultural center of the whole Australasian continent and it’s a place we should all visit.


Take the drone tour of Sydney and then check out this timelapse:




Add Comment