10 Places Around the World Where Photography is Banned

Vacation is a time to rejuvenate and wash away the stress of daily life. The memory of a well-spent holiday is the best way to endure the drudgery of a daily job and regular chores. Looking at the happy faces of you and your loved ones in the photographs taken at the international tourist destinations provides the energy to plod through daily life. But, what if the rules of the place does not allow you to capture the memories?

There are many places around the world where photography is prohibited. In some destinations, you have to pay some money and get a permit to photograph. So if you are a photography enthusiast or a selfie enthusiast, you might not enjoy the trip to the place. Before you book a world tour, you should know of these places to avoid hefty fines, or worse, prison time.

Here is the list of some places around the globe where photography is prohibited.


Japan, a country at the forefront of technological development, has some strange laws when it comes to taking photographs. Many old shrines in the country do not allow it. The natives believe that the spirits in the shrine will get annoyed if they are photographed. This can create confusion in an international traveler.

South Korea

In South Korea, capturing the polaroid of women without their consent is an offense. It is regarded as sexual aggression and hence the punishment can be a hefty fine of nearly 9000 US Dollars or 5 years of prison time. As a foreigner, it is difficult to spend so much money and time in prison just because of a seemingly innocuous act. Hence be careful while on your international tour to Korea.


A picturesque land with beautiful canals and flowering trees, you will surely yearn to capture the beauty of Amsterdam. But you have to be judicious. Though there is no law banning photography, the natives of the land may protest. Especially the local brothel owners. There have been instances where the camera was wrenched away from tourists and in some cases, they were even manhandled. So when you are choosing a holiday to Amsterdam, keep this in mind.

United States of America

Even in a free country like the USA, many restrictions will astonish you. Here it is prohibited for tourists to photograph private properties. The owners can assert this right by placing a sign in their yard. If somehow you break the law, they can sue you and ask for compensation. Hence even if you see a beautiful mansion with a green lawn in the front yard, it is wise to control your impulse to capture it in your camera, as it may prove very costly.

United Arab Emirates

UAE is one of the places where tourism is of high priority. The whole land is so designed to attract tourists from different parts of the world. But even here, you will face restrictions for using a camera. You are permitted to photograph any area except the palaces. It may be out of respect for the privacy of the sheiks living in these bungalows.  But some other places like some bridges and government buildings are also included in the list of photography prohibited regions. So while you are enjoying an international tour in the land, be sure to know which all places permit you to capture your happy moments.

Sri Lanka

Ancient Buddha statues are the best attractions in the island country of Sri Lanka. Each idol has a long history that defines the heritage and culture of the land. Though it is not encouraged, tourists can take photographs of the statues, but not selfies. It is forbidden by law to capture selfies with the idols. We can only speculate the reason behind this strange law. But people making kissy faces near the most revered artifact as good a reason as any.


As everyone knows, Algeria is a conservative country. Most tour operators warn their clients about its strict laws when they book a tour to the land. One of the rules in the country forbids photographing women. It does not mean that you will get in trouble just because a lady accidentally appeared on your polaroid. But it is better to be safe than sorry. The same rule applies to military bases and equipment. Make sure to steer clear of all of them if you are a photography enthusiast.


A cultured and developed country like Britain also has some restrictions when it comes to photography. The only difference from other countries is that these rules do not stem from superstitions. The restrictions are only for commercial shooting. You are supposed to get permission before you capture the iconic landmarks and use them for commercial purposes. Hence, if you are an amateur who wants to capture the memory, you do not have to get worried as these laws do not apply to you.

North Korea

As you can imagine of a country ruled by a monarch, North Korea has iron-clad laws that prohibit many activities. One of them is photography. There are special zones in the country where leisure and photography are allowed. As a tourist, it is difficult to identify these areas. So while on your international tour, it is advisable to find a local guide who can give you the right instructions. Failing to comply with the rules can result at best in a heavy fine, at worst some time in prison.


A country with liberal laws for tourists also restricts photography in some monuments. Taj Mahal is the best example. You can capture as many as you like in front of the architectural wonder, but not inside. Red Fort, Akshardham temple, and many similar shrines and historical monuments have a rule that restricts photography. Some military bases and museums also have such measures to ensure security. So, before you travel to India, take some time to know these areas and avoid getting in trouble.

So these are some of the places around the world where you should be careful before using your camera. If you are booking a world tour, it is better to know about these places and avoid trouble. Hope you will have a wonderful journey without fines and prison time.


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