Cities are big, dynamic places. To truly get a sense of one, one must experience all of it, at all hours. If you don’t have the time for 24-hour urban exploration, than an accelerated film tour may suffice. Here are the top seven time-lapses videos of cities.

Dubai: We’re big fans of big buildings, so we love any well-shot clip of our favorite desert city-state.

Vancouver: Captured with a Super 8 camera mounted on a bicycle, this time-lapse is a collection of still images taken in 1974, occasionally juxtaposed with a shot of the same spot in 2011. Look at all those Volkswagen Beetles!

New York: Shot by Samuel Orr over the course of four trips to the Big Apple, “New York Day” is a collection of hundreds of thousands of still photos.

Montreal: The photographer of this video was shooting The 5-1-4 when a fire broke out downtown.

San Francisco: While focusing on the Golden Gate Bridge, this video jumps between serene visuals with a nostalgic soundtrack to a pulsating fireworks display set to panicked electronic music.

Toronto: Our favorite part of this clip is watching the Rogers Centre transform in fast-motion. If you’d like to see more visual collages of Canada’s most populous city, we have compiled our favorites here.

Earth: This is perhaps the best “city” time-lapse because it includes nearly every metropolitan area on the planet. Also, we love space and International Space Station!

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