14 Iconic Places in the World Where Photography Is Prohibited

Last Updated on December 16, 2020 by

Photographs are immortal mementoes that revive memories of the things captured when you’re away enjoying a family holiday or a beach holiday. A camera is the heart and soul of places, occasions, and scenic views that you may not see again.

Would you be surprised if you come to know that there are a few places on our planet where photography is forbidden no matter how heavenly and mesmerizing it might be? There is a fine if you are caught clicking. Strange, but true! Come, let us find out where you are not supposed to expose your camera, or allowed photography.

1. The Library at the Abbey of Saint Gall (St. Gallen, Switzerland)


The Library at the Abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland is one of the oldest libraries on the globe. Established in 719, this library contains priceless manuscripts dating more than 1,000 years. The guards stationed at the library entrance will make sure you do not carry your camera inside. A group of guards will be on vigil inside to prevent you from using your mobile phones for clicking pictures. And yes, you need to put on soft shoes to maintain the floors.

2. The Alamo (Texas, USA)


Regarded as an altar for the freedom of Texas during the 1836 revolution, visitors are not allowed to take photographs inside this illustrious building. While you look around, you must lower your voices while speaking and men are required to remove their hats as a sign of respect. ‘Remember the Alamo’ is a famous phrase in the US. Even if you have booked an all-inclusive holiday package, cameras still do stay in your bag while touring these key places.

3. Golden Gai (Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan)


This intrinsic patchwork of tiny alleyways is crammed with over 300 bars, with seating for a very few people. The Japanese regard this place as a remnant right from the times of yore. This is a place where international visitors can experience a unique night out. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs of the alleyways. Moreover, the reason goes back decades ago when prostitution was highly common in this area.

4. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Northern Territory, Australia)


Despite being Australia’s most famous landmarks, photographs are not allowed for commercial purpose, including social media updates and posts. The ancient aboriginal tribe from the Uluru-Kata Tjutu Park observe their rituals with sanctity and restrict visitors to click photographs or make any documentaries. They believe their custom is degraded if sacred activities are clicked or even filmed. Well, no one will spank you for clicking a quick picture with your cell phone, but you can expect a scold if you set up your tripod.

5. Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (Pyongyang, North Korea)


The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun is a mausoleum of Kim Jong-il and Kim II-sung, which is considered as one of the most heavily-guarded territories in the world. Visitors flocking to North Korea with budget holiday packages must submit their things, including cameras and mobile phones apart from their wallet before entering the gate. The place maintains a dust-free zone. Hence, they must pass through a dust-blowing machine to ensure they do not carry dust particles into the halls.

6. Jiangsu National Security Education Museum (Nanjing, China)

This spy museum is interesting as well as intriguing. You will be allowed inside the Jiangsu National Security Education Museum if you are a Chinese citizen. It displays spy gadgets, secret equipment and documents dating back to the 1800s. The Chinese government considers these instruments to be sensitive to foreign exposure. You might be allowed entry, but photography is not allowed.

7. Inside the Taj Mahal (Agra, India)


A UNESCO World Heritage and one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal has every reason to be photographed, adding colour and life to the background. However, being a tomb, you are not allowed to click pictures inside; it is considered as an insult. There are warning signs dictating what you can do and the things that are forbidden. Keeping aside the photography part, the view is something to behold. Newlyweds with honeymoon packages should not be discouraged, but enjoy every moment wherever possible with your partner.

8. Michelangelo’s David (Florence, Italy)


This is a world-renowned masterpiece in Italy. You can stare at it as much as you can, but if you are carrying a camera, the guards will yell at you. The no-camera zone in this building maintains a strict rule and purity for the iconic statue. Though thousands of visitors flock to admire the piece of art, no one is permitted to click pictures, no matter how much their fingers itch to click.

9. Jewel House (home of the Crown Jewels) London, UK


No one will be allowed to photograph these bejewelled jewels kept at the Jewel House in London. Above all, these treasures are under the security of 100 guards and more than 100 CCTV cameras. The visitors are kept under strict observation so there is no room for any gimmicks.

10. The Sistine Chapel (Vatican City, Rome, Italy)


You are right in thinking that photography in the Sistine Chapel is because of the sacred area. But the fact also proves that 20 years ago the chapel artworks were restored and the photography ban remains till today. Do not forget to marvel at the authentic design and furniture in the chapel.

11. Valley of the Kings (Luxor, Egypt)


Everyone who enters these illustrious tombs and monuments is searched, and if you do hide a camera in and click, you risk an E£2,000 (US$115) fine.

12. Westminster Abbey (London, UK)


The church believes that the integrity of the building would be damaged with the distraction that widespread photography brings – but it does have a gallery of photos on its website that you can download for personal use. Despite such prohibitions, you can still enjoy your trip.

We all have heard about this important religious building in London. Right from royal weddings to funerals, this sanctuary is vital to English history. However, preserving this iconic structure remains critical even today, hence, photography is prohibited.

Don’t be disheartened if you are not able to capture the best shots at these places. There’s much more you can enjoy and make your holiday memorable.

13. The Red Light District (Amsterdam)


The beauty of Amsterdam not only goes into the eyes of the beholder but also their cameras. Nevertheless, the Red Light District is famous for brothels, canals and coffee shops as well. Photography is banned because of the prostitutes who stand in the way and look from the windows. Do not expose your camera, it might be taken forcibly.

14. The Eiffel Tower (Paris)


What? Are you serious? This cannot be!!! But, that is correct, you are allowed to take as many photographs during the daytime and share and publish but clicking night shots without permission is illegal. The reason is – the light show makes Eiffel Tower a wonderful piece of art. Therefore, as a work of art, it has different copyright guidelines.

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