Destinations Across the Globe Where Photography is Completely BANNED

Tourists have been warned about several destinations around the world where photography is completely banned including the Eiffel Tower

Tourists have been warned about several destinations around the world where photography is completely banned including the Eiffel Tower.

Photography experts at have named six spots across the globe where it is strictly forbidden for anyone to take pictures or videos.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this cannot be the case for some destinations around the world where photography is completely banned.

Unknown to most, it is actually illegal to take a picture of the glistening Eiffel Tower at night due to European copyright laws.

And in certain countries, like the UAE and North Korea, visitors need to be extremely careful of their surroundings to avoid taking any illegal photos.

Other tourist hotspots such as the Jewel House which is home to the crown jewels, and the iconic Taj Mahal in India also have extremely strict photography rules.

These are the spots around the world where photography is banned:

  1. Eiffel Tower, Paris

This famous tower has become an iconic of Paris, especially when its 20,000 light bulbs illuminate and sparkle every hour for five minutes from nightfall until one in the morning. But it is technically illegal to take photos or videos of the beautiful Eiffel Tower when it is sparkling.

As the lights are technically an artistic piece of work, the European copyright laws state that taking photos of the Eiffel Tower must be authorised and cannot be distributed (which included being uploaded on social media). But, it is very unlikely that the French courts will begin to crack down on the thousands of photos that are shared on social media of the glistening tower.


  1. Crown Jewels, Tower of London

The precious crown jewels are kept under high security at the Jewel House in the Tower of London, with over 100 CCTV cameras and guards round the clock. Inside the Jewel House taking photos or videos of these royal gems is strictly forbidden.

Guards are authorised to intervene if anyone is caught trying to photograph these stunning jewels. Taking photos of the priceless royal collection poses a potential security risk which could attract thieves to try and see visuals of security weaknesses.


4. United Arab Emirates

Tourists to the UAE need to be very careful of their surroundings when they are taking photos on their holiday. It is illegal to take pictures of any military locations, palaces and government buildings in the UAE. There is also a rule which requires people to give their permission before being photographed in the street, and these pictures cannot be distributed without everyone’s consent. Airports in the UAE also enforce a strict photography and video ban.

In some cases, tourists have been jailed and fined for taking these illegal photos as in some cases they were not aware of the laws.


  1. The Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

The official home of the Pope in the Vatican City sees millions of visitors through its door each year. The Sistine Chapel is a sacred location and home to some of the world’s most beautiful pieces of art. But tourists looking round the Chapel are required to follow a certain number of rules – such as covering their bare shoulders and wearing long trousers or skirts.

But there is also a ban on taking any photos or videos inside the Sistine Chapel. This rule dates back to the 1980s when Nippon TV in Japan gained exclusive photography rights when they funded the £3 million project to restore the Sistine Chapel. Security is tight and guards are authorised to delete photos on visitors’ phones.


5. North Korea

It is no secret that there are strict rules in place for residents and visitors to North Korea. Those travelling to the country have to follow certain laws about taking pictures, for example photos of monuments honouring previous dictators of North Korea cannot cut off any part of their body as it is a sign of disrespect. But in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, photography is totally banned. Visitors going to see the mausoleum for two of the country’s previous rulers must hand over their phones and cameras before going inside.


6. Inside the Taj Mahal

Although the outside of this iconic landmark in India has been captured by millions of tourists and professional photographers who have visited from all over the world, inside photos of the Taj Mahal are banned. As it is a sacred mausoleum it is considered extremely disrespectful to take photos or videos when inside of this beautiful monument.