Warm grapefruit hues begin to light up the sky, reflecting on water and windows.
Rays of light break through clouds as one of the most beautiful sunrises that you’ve ever seen begins to peek over the horizon.
We asked travel bloggers to recommend their must-see sunrise spots.
Keep reading to discover 35 sunrises you need to see in your lifetime!
Table of contents
- Europe Sunrises
- United Kingdom Sunrises
- North America Sunrises
- South and Central America Sunrises
- South-East Asia Sunrises
- South and East Asia Sunrises
- Africa Sunrises
- Australia Sunrises
- Start Capturing These Beautiful Sunrises
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You can’t talk about beautiful sunrises without including Europe. With over 40 countries to explore and architecture that younger countries can only dream of, these spots should be at the top of your sunrise bucket list!
The Louvre, Paris, France
Submitted by Alysa of Voyaging Herbivore
The Louvre is likely one of the most famous landmarks in the world, which also means that it is a must-visit spot for beautiful sunrises. And everyone is well aware of this!
In order to get some Insta-worthy shots of the Louvre, you’ll want to get a bit before golden hour and be set up and ready to go.
The Louvre gets super busy around 8:30 am as the museum opens at 9:00 am. You’ll want to be ready to get your shot as soon as the sun starts to peek around the glass pyramid.
Read More: Where to stay in Paris
La Maison Rose, Paris, France
Submitted by Alysa of Voyaging Herbivore
Located in one of the most beautiful spots in Paris, Montmartre is full of places to see beautiful sunrises.
La Maison Rose is a restaurant today but is famous for its association with artists like Camus and Picasso.
You’ll need to be here for sunrise well before other tourists. When the restaurant is open, they also put out signs to discourage photoshoots, so it’s vital to be the first one here!
Read More: 5 Date Ideas in Paris
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
Submitted by Merryl of Merryl’s Travel and Tricks
Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Every year, the eternal city receives millions of tourists. Some to get blessed by the pope himself, whereas others to visit one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world, the Colosseum.
Naturally, the Colosseum Square is packed with tourists throughout the day pretty much every day of the year. This is why visiting the monument at sunrise has always been the best option. It gives you the time to actually enjoy this wonder of the ancient world without the chaos.
My favorite time to visit the Colosseum is at dawn sunrise or even a little after, in order to seen one of the most beautiful sunrises. There are very few people around, mainly locals. It is also the best time for photo ops as you can get your pictures with barely anyone around. The ticket window opens at 8:30 am throughout the year. If you’re one of the first few people there, you can actually enter quicker in less than 15-20 minutes. During the day, the security check alone can take up to an hour or two.
Read More: How to Spend a Weekend in Sicily
Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest, Hungary
Submitted by Kriszti of She Wanders Abroad
The Fisherman’s Bastion is probably the most popular tourist spot in Budapest therefore it gets insanely crowded during the day. It’s a panoramic lookout tower located on the Buda side of the city and it offers an amazing view over Budapest. The whole place looks like a fairytale castle, it’s a real must-visit on every Budapest itinerary!
If you want to avoid the crowds you need to get up very early and head there at the crack of dawn. One of the most beautiful sunrises happens right in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion so you will be rewarded with amazing lighting in exchange. The view is really magical so don’t forget your camera at home!
Another advantage of waking up early is that you don’t need to pay an entrance fee. Normally you have to pay 1,000 HUF (approx. 3.3 USD) for a ticket but if you’ll arrive before 9 am you can roam around for free.
Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
Submitted by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan
Everyone who comes to Rome wants to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure that they will return one day. The fountain is sculpted onto the backside of a palace tucked down one of Rome’s narrow cobblestone alleyways. While it’s a spectacular sight when you come across it unexpectedly, you can imagine how crowded this tiny space can get! Not only is it almost impossible to enjoy the moment when you’re packed in with so many other tourists, it’s also a prime spot for pickpockets.
Even in the evening, the crowds keep coming, as the fountain is a popular stop on night walking tours of Rome. While it’s probably worth making a separate trip to see it lit up at night and enjoy dinner at Origano Trevi, one of Rome’s best vegan-friendly restaurants, the only way to see the fountain without the crowds is to come very early in the morning.
At sunrise, you’ll be able to enjoy the Trevi in peace and quiet, and probably even get some photos without any other people in them. For the best lighting, stay a little longer to see the early morning sunlight hit the fountain once it rises above the nearby buildings. This is truly one of the most beautiful sunrises.
Read More: The Best Vegan Eats Around the Globe
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Submitted by Summer of Traveling Summer
The Sagrada Familia is beloved architect Gaudi’s most famous work, Barcelona’s top attraction and one of Spain’s most visited landmarks. Every angle of the church has exceptional detail and it lends the perfect backdrop for Instagrammers, tourists, professional and amateur photographers alike.
Therefore it is always busy and hard to find a shot that doesn’t have tons of people in the background. In order to guarantee a quality photo of the UNESCO World Heritage Site it is necessary to arrive before everyone else and visit Gaudi’s masterpiece at sunrise. An added bonus is the soft, pinkish light of the early hours.
I tried to capture the Sagrada Familia around 2pm and the harsh sun ruined all my shots. Plan to arrive at dawn and enjoy the splendor of the cultural icon with few others. After you’ve taken plenty of photos there are several benches to admire the church that is still being built after 138 years.
Kotor Fortress, Kotor, Montenegro
Submitted by Samantha of Sam Sees World
Sunrise is the best time to visit most famous places, but this especially holds true for the Kotor Fortress in Kotor, Montenegro. The Kotor Fortress is one of the most beautiful sunrises and places to visit in Montenegro and can be reached by walking 1300 steps up a mountain. The hike up is grueling, but the panoramic views from the top are incredibly worth it.
The beauty rewarded at the end of this hike from the top of the Fortress attracts thousands of people each day. Plus the city brings in giant cruise ships full of people every day in the summer! This means if you do the hike during the middle of the day you will be accompanied by way too many people making the hike up slower and the views from the top crowded.
Because of this, hiking the Fortress before sunrise is a must. This way you can walk at your own pace, take photos without anyone obstructing them, and enjoy the views in all their authenticity.
Cesky Krumlov Castle, Czech Republic
Submitted by Martina of PlacesofJuma
The magnificent Cesky Krumlov Castle is beautiful and an absolute highlight of any visit to Cesky Krumlov. It is the main attraction and therefore the most visited place in the historic old town. During the day, when the tourists-crowds flock to the city, the castle is getting really busy. Anyway, you will fully enjoy the magnificent ambiance here in the evening or early in the morning.
In our opinion, it’s best to visit the castle at sunrise. Don’t worry, a large part of the complex, such as the inner courtyards and the passageways, are open around the clock. You can hardly any good photography here during the day, but in the morning, you will have the chance to shoot some amazing pics!
The highlight is the wonderful viewpoint from the castle down to the old town. Especially in the morning, at sunrise, the flair is here unique, and visitors will enjoy a wonderful backdrop. With a little luck, you can even marvel at the hot air balloons that start usually in the morning!
Hallstatt Viewpoint, Austria
Submitted by Martina of PlacesofJuma
Hallstatt in Austria is a breathtakingly beautiful village and one of the most famous tourist attractions in Austria. Located at the shore of the idyllic Lake Hallstatt, the historic old town is an UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Above all, the incredibly spectacular location between high mountains and the mystical lake makes this place so special. Every year 1 million guests come to visit this tiny village, which has actually only 800 inhabitants. One can only imagine what is going on in Hallstatt during the day.
One of the most visited places is the Hallstatt Viewpoint, the place where the best pictures of Hallstatt can be shot. From here you will have the most magnificent view of the idyllic village with the beautiful church, the wonderful Lake Hallstatt and the mountains as a backdrop.
Nowadays, it is certainly one of the most photographed attractions in Austria. And no matter what time of year, be it spring, summer, autumn or winter – this place is always so busy! But if you come at sunrise, you can enjoy this beautiful scenery with much more peace.
Read More: How to Spend a Weekend in Salzburg, Austria
Oia, Santorini, Greece
Submitted by Kriszti of She Wanders Abroad
What is the first picture that pops into your head if you’re thinking about Santorini? I’m sure it’s the whitewashed cliff-side towns with their deep blue roofs. If you want to see this postcard-perfect view with your own eyes you definitely need to visit Oia for that!
Sunsets in Santorini are really magical although they are usually extremely crowded. Since Oia is the most popular place on the island for sunsets obviously everyone wants to go there so be prepared for hordes of tourists!
If you want to experience Oia in a much calmer way I recommend seeing the sunrise instead of the sunset. Practically this is the only way how you can really enjoy the small but picturesque streets of the city. Seeing the golden light reflecting on the white houses and on the shimmering sea is a view that you will never forget. Plus, you will find almost all the best viewpoints empty and you don’t need to stand in line for that perfect Instagram photo! Sounds absolutely amazing, right?
United Kingdom Sunrises
The hills and the breeze that you’ll find in the United Kingdom certainly can’t be rivaled. While it’s known for its rainy days, a few clouds in the sky actually make for the most beautiful sunrises because of the light reflection.
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland
Submitted by Emer and Nils of Let’s Go Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is amazing, there is no doubt about it. There are about 40,000 interconnected black basalt columns along the seacoast creating a sight of dramatic beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage site is stunning and absolutely worth visiting! Yet, the most stunning natural phenomenon also attracts big crowds of tourists.
In fact, the Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s number one tourist attraction with about 1.5 million visitors in 2019. Besides ecological or sustainable tourism concerns (some basalt surfaces are unfortunately already polished by the millions of feet passing over them every year), the fun factor is limited by the crowds during peak season. This is something we experienced last year.
Our top tip is to arrive before the crowds get there. As the Giant’s Causeway can be visited at any time, why don’t you stop by for sunrise or very early in the morning? Tour buses usually don’t show up before 9 am, so before that, you will have this amazing place to yourself!
Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Submitted by Megan of Packing Up the Pieces
Watch the sun wake up the green sleepy landslip of the Quiraing, located on the northeastern finger of the magical Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Start the 4.2 mile circuit trek early before the sun awakes, with a headlamp and sense of adventure in tow. Follow the path in the wee hours of the dawn and walk next to jagged pinnacle rocks, rugged cliffs, and otherworldly landscapes. Explore the rocky playground, but start trekking up the landslip. Hop over the cattle fence and then onwards and upwards to a lovely flat section of the ridge. Savor the views as the sun starts to rise, poking its head above the choppy sea. Soak in the serenity of having this dramatic landscape to yourself. There’s nothing but grassy fields, steep cliffs, speckles of distant lakes, the mighty sea, and some impartial sheep grazing off in the distance.
As you return to the start of the circuit, be prepared to see the large groups of people wanting to steal a peek at this distinct landscape. Know that you had this gem to yourself, as the sun made the Quiraing come alive.
North America Sunrises
Although North America’s written history might be a little shorter than its counterparts, it’s certainly not easy to rival the beautiful sunrises found across the United States and Canada.
Keep reading to discover these must-see spots!
Lake Louise in Banff, Canada
Submitted by Alexandra of The Adventure Classroom
Banff, Alberta, Canada has exploded onto the travel scene in recent years, and all of a sudden everyone is flocking to the turquoise waters of Lake Louise. Now Insta-famous, this lake sees up to 15,000 visitors per day! To ensure you have an enjoyable experience, the best time to visit is by sunrise.
Check the sunrise time the night before, then plan to arrive at least 1 hour early to ensure you have a parking spot. Towards sunrise time, the parking lot is already full and cars move to the overflow parking much farther away. Imagine how difficult it is to find a spot in the middle of the afternoon!
Most people position themselves to get the iconic view of the lake with glaciers meeting in the middle, and the canoe hut off to the side. I would suggest picking a spot towards the right of the crowd in order to watch the sunrise in relative peace since there is still a small crowd watching with you. As the sun creeps up the horizon, more and more people congregate to that iconic spot, but not as many branch out to the sides.
Lake Louise is known for its incredible turquoise coloured water. As the water melts from the surrounding glaciers, it creates silt and rock flower. Once the sunlight reflects on the water, the turquoise colour appears. If you visit at sunrise, you will not immediately see that turquoise colour, but you will have a much more pleasant experience!
The Brooklyn Bridge, New York, United States
Submitted by Sean of Living Out Lau
Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan is probably one of the most popular touristy things to do in New York City and is one of the most beautiful sunrises.
Spanning 486.3 m and suspended 38.7m above the water, the Brooklyn Bridge connects the Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn. Being one of the most remarkable landmarks in New York City, it is not surprising that hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to see this incredible architecture every day.
In the daytime and evening, the bridge is completely packed with people. Tourists, joggers, cyclist (why is there a bike lane on the bridge?), families, and everyone and their families are there. It is impossible to admire the stunning piece of art or even walk on the bridge without being shoved.
That is why I highly recommend visiting Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise. It might be a difficult and unusual thing to do in NYC waking up in the early morning to see something that is there at all times, but it is worth the effort. The beautiful sunrise combined with the occasional mysterious fog brings out the beauty of the Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, the tranquility makes it an unforgettable experience!
Tidal Basin During Cherry Blossom Season, Washington, D.C., United States
Submitted by Adrienne of The Haphazard Traveler
If you’ve dreamed of visiting Washington, DC during spring cherry blossom season, the best place to be is the Tidal Basin — but only at sunrise! After mid-morning the Tidal Basin walkways get so crowded that it’s nearly impossible to get a photo without masses of people in it. I’ve lived in Washington, DC for more than 10 years, and it’s my favorite spot to see cherry blossoms every spring.
Located in DC’s West Potomac Park, the Tidal Basin is a partially man-made reservoir with more than 3,000 cherry trees. A 2-mile paved loop trail around the basin connects several monuments including the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and Martin Luther King Memorial. The basin also has views of the Washington Monument, so it’s the best spot to get photos of iconic Washington, DC sights framed by the fluffy pink blooms.
Cherry blossom “peak bloom” varies each year, but in Washington, DC it most commonly occurs in late March. If you’ve wanted to see cherry blossoms in DC, it’s easy to plan a trip — just be sure to wake up for sunrise at least one day!
Haleakala, Hawaii, United States
Submitted by Marcie of Hawaii Travel with Kids
One of the top things to do on Maui is seeing the sunrise at Haleakala Crater. People liken it to a religious experience watching the sunlight dance on all the craters and mountain ridges.
This Hawaii National Park on Maui is very barren and rocky and you might think you are on Mars. Because it’s so high up, it’s very cold, so bundle up.
You can drive through Upcountry Maui yourself (which is absolutely gorgeous) or take a guided tour. And some people even bike down Haleakala after sunrise.
While you are at Haleakala National Park, spend the day hiking on their many trails and check out their cool visitor center.
While you can go any time of day, sunrise is the most spectacular time. And the good news is that if you are traveling from the Mainland, chances are you will be waking up super early anyway because of the time difference. Take advance of this and go on one of your first mornings in Maui!
Delicate Arch, Utah, United States
Submitted by Agnes of Travel on the Reg
It’s hard getting up when it’s still dark out, especially when you know it’s for physical activity.
But beating hikers to the iconic Delicate Arch in Utah’s Arches National Park is worth it if you want to see the natural arch at its best.
The hike is a little over 3 miles roundtrip with 480 feet of elevation gain. I consider myself to be in decent shape, but there was some huffing and puffing going up the steepest section of slick rock towards the end. I couldn’t imagine this part of the hike in the middle of the day, when temperatures would have been climbing.
Once you’re there, it’s as if the landscape opens up, just for you. You’ll probably just have a few tripods set up around you from others who were just as ambitious, but the crowd will be nowhere near the level you’d expect later in the day, or at sunset.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos of the red-hued arch from different angles without any people in them, which I know is a rare sight these days. While you’re there, spend some time just taking it all in, and smile to yourself when you see the funnel of people coming down to a very different experience.
South and Central America Sunrises
South and Central America are still some of the most mysterious parts of the earth. The Mayan ruins are not completely understood but the remains of their intricate civilizations make for beautiful sunrises.
Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico
Submitted by Lucile of Lucile HR
When it comes to breathtaking views during sunrise, I suggest visiting the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Undeniably, this World Wonder never fails to captivate tourists with its mysticism. Escape the crowds by heading to the ruins really early in the day.
The most exciting and memorable way to get there (which I did) is by riding the bus from Valladolid and when you do, you get to ride with the nearby workers, who, by the way, speak Mayan and not Spanish. By choosing to travel this way, you’ll also get to experience the local culture.
The archaeological site officially opens at 8 am and it gets filled up rather quickly. But with a private sunrise tour that starts at 5:30 am, you get to enjoy the area quietly and more peacefully. I think it’s such a marvelous place that’s perfect for meditation and reflection.
Sun Gate, Peru
Submitted by Clara from Petite Capsule
The Sun Gate, or Inti Punku in Quechua, in Peru is one of the best places to visit at sunrise. From the Sun Gate you can see a stunning panoramic view of the Machu Picchu and the Urubamba River valley. At sunrise, the first rays of sunlight fall on Machu Picchu and you can watch as it is illuminated. It is a magical scene.
To get to the Sun Gate to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu, you will need to be doing the four days classic Inca Trail hike or the two days Royal Inca Trail hike. Though check with your hiking tour company that you will arrive at the Sun Gate at sunrise.
The Sun Gate can also be accessed by hiking from Machu Picchu. However, as entrance into Machu Picchu is from 6am, and the walk takes 30 minutes to an hour, it is unlikely you will be able to get to the Sun Gate for sunrise. Due to the terrain, It’s recommended you wear hiking shoes to get to the Sun Gate. You won’t be disappointed with the view.
Mayan Ruins, Tikal, Guatemala
Submitted by Diane of Travels with Eli
Exploring the Mayan ruins of Tikal Guatemala at sunrise is an incredible experience. Not only can you avoid the stifling jungle heat by visiting early in the morning, but you can also avoid the crowds of tourists.
Because many tourists fly into Tikal on a day-trip from Antigua or Guatemala City or arrive by bus from Belize, Tikal National Park doesn’t usually get crowded until after 10:00 am. When we visited Tikal early in the morning, there were times when there wasn’t another tourist in sight.
The best way to visit Tikal at sunrise is to spend a few nights in one of the lodges near the park entrance. We stayed in the Jungle Lodge and it was absolutely lovely. Staying within walking distance of the park entrance for a few nights gives you the option to explore Tikal from 6:00 am when the National Park opens until it starts to get hot and crowded around 11:00. You can then walk back to the lodge and spend the heat of the day lounging at the pool. Around 3:00 the crowds thin out again and you can return to visit Tikal in the evening.
South-East Asia Sunrises
South-East Asia has recently come on the radar of social media and we’ve seen more beautiful sunrises than ever before! The green terraces and forests combined with ancient architecture and pink sunrises make for absolutely stunning sunrise shots.
Campuhan Ridge Walk, Bali, Indonesia
Submitted by Kriszti of She Wanders Abroad
The Campuhan Ridge Walk is one of the most scenic walks you can do in Bali. If you are visiting Bali for the first time Ubud is one of the best places to stay at and this way you can easily visit the Campuhan Ridge Walk as well! This 2 km long paved pathway is located on the western side of the city and it’s easily accessible by foot.
Since the weather in Bali is always really hot it’s best to go early in the morning. On one hand, you will find the whole place completely empty, you will only meet with a few locals who are doing their morning walks before sunrise. But the most important thing is that the weather is a lot cooler in the morning and since there are no shades during the walk it is really tough to do it in the middle of the day.
Seeing one of the most beautiful sunrises behind the green hills and hearing the birds chirping in the morning will definitely make this walk unforgettable!
Mount Batur, Bali, Indonesia
Submitted by Jessica of Jess Obsessed
My alarm blares at 1:30 AM. I groggily hit snooze, thinking this can’t be right. But my friend nudges me, reminding me that I volunteered – enthusiastically – to wake up at this ungodly hour. The rice fields surrounding our Airbnb are pitch black. There’s no coffee. What have I gotten myself into?
It turns out, I got myself into one of the most rewarding hikes I have ever been on because Mount Batur is magical at sunrise.
Mount Batur is a UNESCO world heritage site about 1.5 hours outside Ubud. You must hire a guide for the sunrise hike; it’s uphill over rocky terrain for 2 hours in the dark. We booked a private tour through our AirBnB that included transportation.
Our driver picked us up at 2:00 AM to drive to Mount Batur. Tip: bring your own toilet paper. The bathroom situation is not – let’s say – high quality.
We met our guide at the base of the mountain, little more than a teenager but he knew every twist and turn, always by my side to help me up the tricky parts.
I’m not the most athletic person but this hike was hard. It was a blessing that I could hardly see because I might have given up! However, it was worth it to reach the summit just before the golden rays of the sun start to peek over the horizon, to feel like you’re sitting in the clouds sipping tea warmed by lava steam.
Standing on top of that mountain, I felt so peaceful and accomplished. The Mount Batur sunrise hike is popular, so you won’t have the mountain to yourself but it’s 100% the best time to visit!
Next, we’re off to Thailand!
Borobudur Temple, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Submitted by Natalie of Voyaging Scribe
The beauty of Borobudur Temple during sunrise is no secret. This wide-spread knowledge isn’t necessarily a good thing, though.
Located near Yogyakarta on Java, Indonesia, Borobudur Temple hosts huge crowds each morning trying to witness this famous sunrise. And because of its popularity, the admission fee at sunrise is actually higher than the normal admission fee during the day.
Luckily, for those seeking to escape the crowds- and a slightly` cheaper option- there is an alternative unknown to many. On Bukit Barede there is a viewpoint overlooking the valley in which Borobudur Temple lies. At this hilltop, I witnessed one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen in South East Asia. And that’s saying something.
A misty fog covers the trees and temple far in the distance, with the sun rising over the whole scene. And when you’re done with the sunrise, you can head over to explore the temple. You’ll pay the cheaper, non-sunrise admission, and you’ll get there right as the sunrise crowd starts leaving and before the normal day crowd starts coming in.
Best of all, you’ll still experience the beauty of the temple bathed in the sunrise golden hour light- just without the crowds!
Mt Ijen in East Java, Indonesia
Submitted by Cassie of Cassie the Hag
There is no better time to set off to Mt Ijen than the middle of the night. And on this sunrise hike, you get two marvels for the price of one, which makes it one of my all-time favourite solo travel adventures.
You really do have to visit Mt Ijen in the dark or you won’t be able to see the first attraction; the natural phenomenon of a blue flame blazing on the side of a mountain. The combustion of sulfuric gases in contact with air at temperatures above 360°C causes the blue fire. The smoke is painful for your eyes and throat and you have to wear a gas mask, but it’s worth it.
Secondly, hike up to the top of Mt Ijen to watch the sunrise over a turquoise sulfur lake. This lake is 2148m above sea level and is the largest acidic lake in the world.
Although hiking back down the mountain was tiring, it was gorgeous to see more of East Java’s stunning natural scenery in the light of day. This is a sunrise experience you won’t forget.
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Submitted by Hannah of Hannah’s Happy Adventures
The Batu Caves are a stunning complex of caves and temples just outside of Kuala Lumpur. It was one of my favourite places in Kuala Lumpur. If you want to see it at its best hosting one of the most beautiful sunrises, an early morning start is necessary.
Now it may primarily be a temple, but the multicoloured staircase leading to the Batu caves are significantly more famous. These form the backdrop for the perfect photo but only if you can capture it before the crowds arrive. Therefore, it’s 100% worth waking up and arriving at sunrise. They’re open from 6 AM, so there’s no excuse!
I loved exploring the complex, but the cave was a little underwhelming. For me, the highlight was the staircase itself. Remember it is a temple, so you must cover knees and shoulders, or you can purchase a shawl at the bottom.
The easiest way to reach Batu caves is by taking a Grab or taxi from the city centre – costing around 30 MYR ($7) each way. The drive takes approximately 30 minutes. Alternatively, a cheaper option is to take the train from the Kuala Lumpur Central Station to the Batu Caves railway station. This also takes 30 minutes but factor in time to arrive at the station.
Mua Caves in Ninh Binh, Vietnam
Submitted by Steph of A Nomad’s Passport
Mua Caves is one of the places that you should visit during sunrise before it gets overrun by tourists. It is one of the highlights of Vietnam, so it is best to arrive there between 5 and 6 AM.
It is named after the cave in the mountain, but the best thing to do is to climb the mountain. You will walk up steep staircases and after around 300 steps, you can either go right to a smaller pagoda or to the left. If you visit during sunrise you should head towards the left as the vantage point will give you a spectacular view over the mountains and the Ngo Dong River that cuts through the landscape.
Visiting Mua Caves for sunrise has two benefits. You will see the rising sun paint the mountains and pagodas in incredible colors all while having the place nearly for yourself.
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Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Submitted by Emily of Wander-Lush
When it comes to beautiful sunrises in Asia, it doesn’t get more iconic than daybreak over Angkor Wat. The ancient temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia is a tourist mecca and hugely popular for sunrise. Most tourists tend to move onto another temple as soon as the show is over, however, so it’s an excellent time to go inside. Apart from thinner crowds, the early hours of the morning are also a lot cooler.
For first-time visitors, the best way to see Angkor Wat is on a tour of Siem Reap. A good guide can show you the best place to position yourself for a great sunrise photo sans crowds, and take you inside to tour the grounds afterwards.
If conditions are right, you’ll see the temple and the towering palm trees that fringe it silhouetted against a purple-blue sky. The glassy lotus ponds in front of the temple are incredibly beautiful and offer a nice reflection. Once the sun is up, move against the masses and head along the stone gangway to the temple interior. You’ll probably have the area all to yourself – watch as the resident monks start their chores, sweeping the stone floors and lighting incense.
Submitted by Lee of The Travel Scribes
Pink and purple start to streak the sky as you bump along the dusty back roads, racing to get that perfect spot. Hot air balloons start to take off all around you, floating up into the sky as you clamber up on the hillside to take in the best sunrise of your life. Yes, it’s sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar; a dawn you will never forget.
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), has increasingly become a tourist hotspot due to its laidback atmosphere, friendly people and epic landscapes and cities, including bustling Yangon and beautiful Mandalay. But it is Bagan, the city of a thousand temples, that attracts people far and wide.
There are currently over 2, 000 temples in Bagan, all dotted around the slightly barren landscapes of the town. Only available to visit with an e-bike, you’ll spend most mornings rolling out of bed, strapping on your helmet and going in search of a temple or a hillside to view the sunrise. Sunrise there is particularly special: you don’t only see the sun peeking out behind the many temples and the skyline but, like Turkish counterpart, Cappadocia, from October to April you’ll be able to either take a hot air balloon ride or watch them ascend slowly into the morning sky.
South and East Asia Sunrises
Nothing can complete with a beautiful sunrise over an unreasonably high peak after a morning hike.
Keep reading to discover the most beautiful sunrises in South and East Asia.
Submitted by Neethu of Our Backpack Tales
Kolukumalai located in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu is famed to house the highest organic tea plantations in the world at 7130 feet above sea level. The tea here is said to have a unique flavour for this very reason! Just around 35 km from Munnar, Kerala, Kolukumalai is a popular spot to witness the sunrise and also the rare Neelakurinji flowers that bloom only once in twelve years.
Tourists often stay at Suriyanalle town which is close to the Kolukkumalai base and take a Jeep Safari to the Sunrise viewpoint. We took our Jeep ride at 4 in the morning. The Kolukumalai Jeep Safari rates are fixed at Rs. 2000 per jeep ($30 for 6 people).
The changing colours of the sky make for one of the most breathtaking and beautiful sunrises. Many travel agencies also host trekking and camping activities here. A short trek to the Kolukkumalai Peak is also recommended as standing one step above the clouds and fog is just an amazing experience!
Chandrabhaga Beach, India
Submitted by Shalini of Eager2Travel
Chandrabhaga beach is located in the quaint little town, Konark in Odisha. This place is famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple. The sunrise at the beach takes place around 6 am and you will be surprised to see how many people gather such early in the morning to witness it. It is a mesmerizing view, the sun reflects on the blue water and the brown sand turns golden with the first rays of the sun.
You can also go for parasailing, ATV ride and Jet Ski too. There are many seafood options like crabs, lobsters, and prawns too. After bathing at the beach, you can also plan to visit the Konark Sun Temple. You will be amazed to see the intricate patterns made by the artists of 13th century and also there are many interesting legends about the place.
Kala Patthar Summit, Nepal
Submitted by Erika of Erika’s Travelventures
Kala Patthar is a mountain summit that reaches 5,550m in elevation, located near Everest Base Camp in Nepal’s Everest Region. From this “small” mountain, you can see incredible views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks, including Ama Dablam (6,812m), Nupste (7,861m), Lhotse (8,516), and Mt. Everest herself at 8,848m.
The best time to hike up Kala Patthar’s summit is before sunrise, because once the sun peeks out over Mt. Everest in the distance, the blinding light prevents you from enjoying any more mountain views until mid-day. Getting to Kala Patthar’s summit takes about 2 hours, which means you’ll need to leave from Gorak Shep (the nearest village with guesthouses) at around 3 in the morning depending on the season. It’s a freezing cold and grueling hike, especially since you are starting at 5,164m in altitude. At 5,550m, the air pressure is only 50% of what it is at sea level, and only the most mentally and physically prepared hikers will make it to the summit.
The reward for reaching the top of Kala Patthar though, makes it all worth it. Many hikers will agree that summitting Kala Patthar before sunrise is the highlight of their Everest Base Camp hike, because the views are much better than from Everest Base Camp itself. You’ll be surrounded, 360 degrees, by the tallest and most impressive mountains in the world. If you are looking for a grand Himalayan challenge, Kala Patthar is waiting for you with one of the most beautiful sunrises.
The Bund, Shanghai, China
Submitted by Alexandra of The Adventure Classroom
The Bund is an extremely popular tourist attraction in Shanghai. Given that it’s free and boasts stunning views, it is rightfully bustling with tourists trying to flash their peace signs without anyone else in the photo.
The Bund refers to the area in and around Shanghai’s impressive skyline, which sits on the banks of the Huangpu River. On the west side of the river is a wide pedestrian walkway that offers wide views of the infamous skyline across the water.
The skyline itself is made of dozens of skyscrapers, including the Oriental Pearl Tower – known for its distinct red globe – the bottle-opener tower, and the Shanghai Tower – the 2nd tallest building in the world. This trifecta distinguishes Shanghai from other major Asian cities.
I’ve been in Shanghai for 1.5 years now, and I’ve seen the Bund at sunset on a river cruise, at night with sparkling lights, and during a national holiday, which can see up to 1 million visitors at a time! My visit was the most peaceful during sunrise.
I stayed at a nearby hostel so that I could easily walk to the Bund in the early hours of the morning. It turned out to be a gloomy day, so I didn’t actually see a colourful sunrise, but the pedestrian walkways were empty. I only saw the occasional jogger passing me by. By 8 am, it was already starting to fill up! If you want a peaceful moment alone with one of the most beautiful sunrises, get there before everybody else does!
With 54 countries to explore in Africa, you’re bound to find one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world.
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, Namibia
Submitted by Sandra of The Puzzle of Sandra’s Life
The stunning red dunes of Namibia’s Sossusvlei and the iconic Deadvlei with its tree skeletons are two of the most amazing places to visit in Namibia and best to be enjoyed as early in the morning as possible.
Not only to avoid other tourists, but the scorching sun and extreme temperatures too! It gets unbearably hot in the desert, and since there’s no shade or water around, it’s better to be done with sightseeing by noon – trust me.
It’s one of those places you just have to get up in the middle of the night for, but I can assure you it’s well worth it! Especially if you’re into photography like me and want to get the best shots possible.
For that I’d suggest you to pick the accommodation that’s located inside the Namib Naukluft Park itself. This will give you access to the gates of the most sought-after sights an hour ahead of everyone else, right before sunrise, which not only lets you get stunning photos with no people in your shots, but also lets you experience the vastness and the serenity of the Namib desert in all its glory.
We can’t talk about beautiful sunrises and skip Australia! With coastlines, the world drools over you’ll easily find some of the most beautiful sunrises in the world here.
Bryon Bay Lighthouse
Submitted by Jess of Sneaky Detour
Byron Bay Lighthouse is a very popular destination located on the East Coast of Australia. This iconic lighthouse is visited and photographed by over 500,000 people every year, and for good reason too. As it is a very popular destination, heading up there at sunrise will allow you to not only beat the crowd but as the sun rises over the blue ocean it perfectly lights up the lighthouse for the best pictures.
The views of the surrounding beaches and mountains are equally epic at this time of morning and really highlight some of the best things about Australia. Not only is it a beautiful lighthouse but it is also a perfect spot for whale watching during the blue whale migration which happens every year during May – November.
The town of Byron Bay itself is something you don’t want to miss either with its hippie and alternative vibes, cafes, music scene, and beaches. This sunrise is definitely something you won’t forget and really is the best way to start your day in Byron Bay.
Submitted by James of Team AJ Travels
The Twelve Apostles on the Victorian coast of Australia is one of the highlights of the Great Ocean Road drive.
This iconic rock formation has two long viewing platforms that sit atop the headlands overlooking the rough seas that have shaped the rocks over thousands of years.
It is a spectacular sight!
Due to its popularity, and lack of anything else in the vicinity, you will have busloads of tourists arriving every day. Even on a rainy day in the middle of winter, you will need to fight for a position.
I visited at sunrise and the only person there was a photographer who had a few cameras set up trying to get that perfect sunrise shot.
It was an eerie place to be as the darkness was lifting. And with the clouds well and truly set it, there was no magic lighting that came over the horizon in an instant (I am sure this happens on a nicer day).
But we had all the space we needed to take in the view and appreciate what we were seeing. Without feeling obligated to move to make way for someone else.
By the time we walked back to the car park, it was already starting to fill up. We made it out just in time!
Start Capturing These Beautiful Sunrises
Now that you know where to find the most beautiful sunrises in the world, why not learn how to capture them!
Check out the posts below to discover all of the camera gear that you should be traveling with or start exploring other destinations.
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