In some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and North Korea, tourists must be extremely attentive to the surrounding sights so that nothing superfluous gets into the frame. And in a number of tourist places, such as the Jewelery House in the underground vault of the Waterloo quarter of the Tower of London, where the British crown jewels are stored, and the famous Taj Mahal in India, insanely strict photography rules apply.
When we travel, we we take a lot of different pictures, and we are so used to it that we can’t even imagine: photographing in some familiar places is actually prohibited and illegal.
The consequences can be very different: from the screams of the guards to prison and fines for illegal photography or video filming.
Here are six of the most popular places around the world where photography is prohibited and tourists should be aware of the local laws while on vacation.
- Eiffel Tower, Paris
- Crown Jewels, Tower of London< /li>
- United Arab Emirates< /li>
- Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
- North Korea
This famous tower has long been a symbol and tourist attraction, especially when its 20,000 light bulbs light up every night. But it turns out that photographing or filming these beautiful sparkling views of the Eiffel Tower is prohibited.
Since the backlight is a work of art, European copyright laws state that special permission must be obtained in order to photograph and distribute images of the Eiffel Tower (including on social networks). Of course, it is unlikely that the French courts will start cracking down on the thousands of photos of the glittering tower that travelers share on social media.
The jewels of the Royal Court are kept under strict 24/7 security at the Jewelery House in the Tower of London and monitored by 100 CCTV cameras. Inside the Jewel House, photography or filming of these royal gems is strictly prohibited.
The guards have full authority to intervene if anyone is seen trying to take a photo of the jewels. Photographing the priceless royal collection is a potential security risk that could attract thieves looking for visual signs of security weaknesses.
Tourists in the UAE must be very careful when they are taking pictures. In the UAE, it is forbidden to shoot any military installations, palaces and government buildings. There is also a rule that requires people to give their permission before being photographed on the street, and these photos cannot be distributed without the consent of everyone in the photo. UAE airports have also imposed a strict ban on photography and filming.
There are quite a few cases where tourists have been jailed and fined for these illegal photos, even though they were simply unaware of the existing laws in the country.
It's no secret that residents and visitors to North Korea have some of the strictest rules in the world. Those traveling to the country must comply with certain photography laws. For example, photographs of monuments erected in honor of previous rulers of North Korea are not allowed to be “circumcised”; any part of the body, as this is a sign of disrespect. And in the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, photography is completely prohibited. Visitors wishing to see the mausoleum of the country's two previous rulers must hand in their phones and cameras before entering.
- Taj Mahal
Although millions of tourists and professional photographers from all over the world have captured this iconic landmark of India from the outside, photographs of the interior of the Taj Mahal are prohibited. Since this is a sacred mausoleum, it is considered extremely disrespectful to take pictures or videos while inside this beautiful monument.