Geo-tags, hashtags, photo-tags- oh my! With the ever-changing technology of today, and the ability for smartphones to always know where you are in the world, it is becoming easier and easier to rank what is being photographed in the world the most. And while there are millions of photographed spots around the world, we’ve used Sightsmap (read below to see how!) to narrow it down to some of our favourites in this collection of the most photographed spots in the world:
1. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, New York, USA
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the infamous architect who developed his own style of Prairie school architecture, the museum’s building is as photogenic as the artwork hanging on the walls. The museum is filled with contemporary pieces, and unlike many other New York institutions, it is open on Mondays, so expect a crowd at the beginning of each week.
2. Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain
Created by architect Antoni Gaudi, in the style of Catalan Modernism, this open-air park has been a staple of Barcelona’s tourist scene for over 100 years, along with remaining something close to locals’ hearts as well. Originally planned to be a private neighbourhood for the super-elite, complications in selling actual homes on the property arose and the project was re-branded as a public park. Eusebi Güell who gave the original orders to Gaudi to create the estate, died in his home here. After his death, his beneficiaries offered the space to the city council. This space is huge, and filled with so many different elements, both large and small, it is no wonder that it is one of the most photographed places in the world. Plus, it also offers fantastic views of the city.
3. Moulin Rouge, Paris, France
Famous before, but even famous after the movie of its name premiered, the Moulin Rouge has been a staple of tourists in Paris for years. While many will come to take a picture of the cabaret lit up at night, and may be even grab some of those famous chestnuts the Pigalle district is known for, don’t forget you can also go inside for the show every night.
4. Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
The Maiden’s Tower joins the list of the most photographed sites in the world with a fairly impressive history in film and television as well. The tower itself can be seen in several movies and tv shows, from The World is Not Enough to From Russia with Love. It is also the star of a few legends, including one on how it got its name of the Maiden’s Tower, and another about how it got its other name of Leander’s Tower. You can visit the tower to visit both a restaurant at the bottom and a cafe up top.
5. Caminito, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Caminito translates to “little path” in English, but this specific Caminito in Buenos Aires is much more than a tiny street. Filled with color, culture, and unique designs, there is something to look at everywhere you turn. An inspiration for the famous Tango piece “Caminito”, this space has significantly transformed over the years. Originally there was a small creek running through here, which led to a little bridge being built that eventually wasn’t needed because the stream dried up. After all that, tracks were laid for the area to be used as part of the local railway, but eventually that too ended. Finally, the area became a landfill and the people of the neighbourhood hated it! Luckily, in came Benito Quinquela Martin, a local artist, who spent years re-painting the buildings and creating the beauty you can see today. Martin’s friend, Juan de Dios Filberto then composed the tango “Caminito” further solidifying the transformed reputation of this neighbourhood. Come here to take pictures, but also to buy pictures. There will be local artists selling their work across the area.
6. Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic
This is another one of those most-photographed places that not only gets photographed itself, but also serves as a high viewpoint for tourists to take pictures from. Visit the top of the Old Town Hall in Prague, where the clock lives, to view and take photos of the main square. Or stand out front every hour between 8am-8pm and watch the clock do its magic. Built in 1410, the clock not only gives us information regarding holidays, equinoxes, and moon phases, but its hourly performance is interesting to say the least.
7. Niagara Falls, New York, USA
One of the most beautiful places in the world, it is no wonder that Niagara Falls makes this list. These massive waterfalls pour over both the Canadian and American borders and are named Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Formed during the last ice age, the flow rate of water at the falls is the highest in the world. Go to take in the sounds, smells, and splashes of the falls, this is a truly breath-taking fete of nature.
8. Piccadilly Circus, London, England
Visited by almost a 100 million people each year, Piccadilly Circus is a famous intersection where many tourists stop by just to have their photo taken in front of the infamous landmark. Think of how far-reaching the advertisements that plaster the outside of the buildings are! The space is also practical as it has its own London Underground station just below it.
9. Great Pyramid, Giza, Egypt
It doesn’t take much explanation for why this makes the most-photographed list, as it is both the oldest and largest of the infamous pyramids of Giza. Often the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza is still relatively whole. When you are done learning all about its fascinating history from your tour guide, ask him or her to capture you in front of this perfect Egyptian backdrop.
10. Yu Garden, Shanghai, China
Many of the items on our list have been part of the world for a very, very long time, and this is no exception. The Yu Garden was started in 1559, to help ease the minister Pan En during the Ming Dynasty. The gardens have suffered a tumultuous history, falling victim to several wars, but have since been restored to being one of the most beautiful places in the world. Come here to breathe, relax, and find your zen. Take some pictures, but don’t forget to take time to meditate as well.
11. St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest, Hungary
Home to the right hand of King Stephen, whom the church is also named after, the most breath-taking photographs of this site are inside. As the largest church in Hungary the building itself deserves some credit too, and is recognized as one of the top ten most photographed buildings in the world. This is also the tallest building in Budapest, making the view from the dome one of the best spots to take photos of entire city from.
12. Ponte dell’Accademia, Venice, Italy
Venice is known for its waterways and the series of bridges built to help both tourists and locals alike navigate around those waters on foot. The Ponte dell’Accademia is one of four bridges that spans the entire Grand Canal of the city, and is interestingly made of wood. While many lovers used to come to lock padlocks here, it isn’t a practice much anymore. Another reason you need to get a photograph here is that it may be gone soon- the city is discussing a replacement bridge for the future.
13. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
It wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without a photo of the Eiffel Tower. Surprisingly not the number one photographed spot in the city, or even the number two, according to SightsMap. The photo-tracking website has it ranked at number 5, after the Moulin Rouge, Sacre-Coeur Basilica, Arc de Triomphe, and Place Charles de Gaulle. Nonetheless, it deserves a spot in the most-photographed list for its sheer beauty and ability to be recognized around the world by almost anyone. Be sure to view the tower in both its daytime and night-time presence.
14. Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Sydney, Australia
This hand-carved bench, is much larger than you would imagine, and is dedicated to former Governor Major-General Lachlan Macquarie’s wife. It was carved out of the sandstone by convicts in 1810 and used by Elizabeth Macquarie often, as she peered out into the waters of Sydney Harbor. The site is near the Royal Botanical Gardens. While Sydney is number fourteen on Sightsmap’s website, this landmark is number one in that city.
15. Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
Rome is ranked second in the world of the most photographed cities on Sightsmap, with the Trevi Fountain being named second in the area. After almost two years of renovations, the fountain has been back open and ready for coins to be flung into its waters since late 2015. Although beautiful any time of day, catch a glimpse in the evening if you want to see the beauty of the water lit up. And again, don’t miss the chance to throw a coin over your shoulder to ensure that one day you will return to this beautiful city.
The company Sightsmap has developed a program that tracks the number of photos being taken in a very specific area, and has mapped it so that you can visually see what the hot-spots around the world are. They have a global ranking for each city, and then within those cities the sites are also ranked. For example, France is ranked #4 in the world, and within Paris, the Eiffel Tower is ranked #5. Of course, this is constantly changing as more and more people go to different countries and take more and more pictures.
“Emily Meadows is the author of Emily's Guide to Kraków. She currently resides part of the year in Ocean City, Maryland and the other part in Aspen, Colorado in the midst of her travels.”
Image details and licenses: https://flic.kr/p/SrKZn3 (badcrc, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/y8rcUs (Diriye Amey, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/8foZV8 (Gabriel Villena, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/9AkUKX (一元马, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/bVs611 (Malingering, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/aZPcXr (ehpien, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/WwAupZ (cmh2315fl, CC BY-NC 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/di9cD1 (Jimmy Baikovicius, CC BY-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/fECqm6 (Daniel Kakiuthi, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/q1gsjP (Shawn Clover, CC BY-NC 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/7Dikiu (Neil Howard, CC BY-NC 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/yKhQhU (Brian Koprowski, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/eiDFRf (Sergey Galyonkin, CC BY-SA 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/forxyu (Robert Linsdell, CC BY 2.0), https://flic.kr/p/pNrVek (Chris Hearne, CC BY-NC 2.0)