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These Popular Tourist Attractions Restrict Photos

These Popular Tourist Attractions Restrict Photos
Jennifer Billock

Watch where and when you’re pulling out your camera – some of the world’s top tourist attractions either don’t allow photos at all or have restrictions on what you can do with your photos, and if you don’t follow those rules, you could be facing some hefty fines or other consequences for taking the shot.

It’s unfortunate but true: at some of the world’s most visited and most popular locales, taking a picture – and what you do with it – can get you in a lot of trouble. At the Eiffel Tower, for instance, the image of the tower at night with lights on is copyrighted. So you can take a photo, sure, but sharing them on social media or worse, selling them, can put you in deep water.

USA Today recently compiled ten of the most popular tourist destinations that don’t allow photos.

  • The Alamo; San Antonia, Texas: No photos inside in order to respect the building’s history.
  • The Biltmore Estate; Asheville, North Carolina: No flash photos, no photos for commercial use, no photography on the special tour inside the house.
  • The Jewel House and the Crown Jewels; London, England: No photos allowed for religious and security reasons.
  • The Grand Canyon Skywalk; Arizona: Cameras and cellphones must be left behind to protect the glass from scratches.
  • Rosslyn Chapel; Midlothian, Scotland: Photos outside are fine, photos inside are not allowed so visitors aren’t disturbed.
  • The Sistine Chapel; Vatican City: No photos allowed because flashes can damage the paint.
  • The Taj Mahal; Agra, India: Pictures outside are fine, no photos inside because it’s a tomb.
  • Westminster Abbey; London, England: No photos allowed because it diminishes the atmosphere and blocks the paths and views of other tourists.
  • Neuschwanstein Castle; Bavaria, Germany: No photos allowed inside unless you’re taking a picture out one of the windows.
View Comments (6)


  1. robsaw

    December 8, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Only the Eiffel Tower’s light show (5 minutes every hour during darkness) is copyright by the creator; the other images at night are NOT copyright. Besides, no one has ever been prosecuted for non-commercial posting of the light show on social media and likely never will.

  2. Centurion

    December 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Buckingham Palace London, England, United Kingdom. You know..where the queen lives.

  3. htb

    December 9, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    I’m disappointed about the list. When you enter the building you will be notified of the restrictions, so no potential to get into trouble. Quite the opposite to the example with the Eiffel Tower where you won’t know you’ve done something wrong until you get a legal notice and huge bill in your mailbox.

  4. RSSrsvp

    December 11, 2018 at 5:53 am

    I have visited the Alamo and frankly when you walk inside you can feel the presence of the fallen heroes there and shouldn’t have an issue with the policy.

  5. kkua

    December 16, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    The reason behind no flash photography for the Sistine Chapel is an incomplete picture. Before the advent of digital photography, Fuji film company sponsored the restoration work of the Sistine Chapel. All around the Vatican, Fuji was the official film. They wanted to keep the copyrights to the images and the gift shop/kiosk outside the Sistine Chapel only sold ASA400, ASA800 and ADA1600 films at hyperinflated prices. With thie film quality, you don’t need flashlight to take indoor photos in low lighting conditions.

  6. chipmaster

    December 19, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I remember the Sistine chapel, guards yelling no photos, then a few minutes later you’d hear the clicks from DSLR and phones with audio click and then a shout again of no photos. The security angle is bunk, the copyright is real but seriously whats the point with the easy availability of photos on the web and PS. I suspect in most places there are people stealing photos where non are allowed, unless they take your cellphone as some places now do to maximize $. It is true the crazy need to capture selfie moment of I was there does ruin the moment at many places these days.

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