10 Most Photographed Places in the World Will Surprise You

May 25, 2018

In the age of Instagram, taking a photo and sharing your travel experience is almost as important as the experience itself.

According to InfoTrends 2014 Worldwide Image Capture Forecast consumers will take one trillion photos in 2015 — and that number will go up to 1.3 trillion by 2017.

So what are we taking all these photos of?

SightsMap, a website that pulls data from the Google Maps tool Panoramio, is able to pinpoint the world’s most photographed places. The top results will surprise you.

Photo from Flickr by Chris Eason

  1. New York: The Guggenheim Museum

New York is the number one photographed city in the world. With more than 53 million tourists visiting the Big Apple every year, that’s hardly shocking. Visitors make a beeline for famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park but surprisingly, those are not the most photographed landmarks in the city. That honour goes to the Guggenheim Museum. The building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and opened in 1959, houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. The cylindrical building, with its continuous spiral ramp, has been photographed more than any other landmark in the world.

Photo from Flickr by Stefano Costantinia

  1. Rome: The Trinitàdei Monti

It would be hard to find a non-photogenic part of Rome — everywhere you look there are fountains, glorious cathedrals and classical architecture. It’s no wonder this city came in at number two. Even if you haven’t been to the Italian capital, you’ve likely heard of many of its famous landmarks including the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, but have you heard of the Trinità dei Monti? The late Renaissance church sits at the top of the Spanish Steps, overlooking the Piazza di Spagna. Initially built in the 1500s, the church is now the most photographed place in all of Italy. The Sallustiano Obelisk, which stands in front of the church, was unveiled by Pope Pius VI in the late 18th century. Photo from Flickr by Funky Tee

  1. Barcelona: Park Güell

This Spanish city could be mistaken for a giant living art gallery. Many of the colourful and ornate buildings lining the streets can be attributed to a single architect: Antoni Gaudí. His modernist works include the breathtaking La Sagrada Familia church, but the most photographed of his creations and, indeed, the most photographed site in Barcelona, is Park Güell. Built in the early 1900s, the public park blends gardens with elements of Gaudí‘s unique style of architecture. Photo from Flickr by Jose Losada

  1. Paris: Moulin Rouge

It is hardly a shocker that Paris is one of the most photographed cities in the world. Landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are world famous but neither of these sites are the most photographed in the city. That honour goes instead to the Moulin Rouge. The French cabaret is the birthplace of the can-can and the focus of a 2001 movie of the same name. It is now one of Paris’ main tourist attractions, recognizable by the red windmill on its roof and the bright neon lights that illuminate the night sky.

Photo from Flickr by Edwin Poon

  1. Istanbul: Kiz Kulesi

Before being invaded by the Ottomans, Istanbul was part of the Roman Empire known as Byzantium and later Constantinople. It's not surprising then, that much of the city's striking architecture reflects its Byzantine past. The area’s most photographed site sits on a small islet 200 metres off the coast, at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus Strait. The Kiz Kulesi, also known as the Maiden’s Tower, is said to have been originally constructed by ancient Athenian general Alcibiades in the fifth century. Photo from Flickr by Andy Hay

  1. Venice: Ponte dell'Accademia

Founded in the fifth century, this northern Italian city spreads over 118 small islands in the Adriatic Sea. UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 1987, recognizing the cultural significance of the city and its series of canals. The Ponte dell'Accademia is one of only four bridges that span the city’s Grand Canal. From here you can see the churches and palaces that dot the landscape. Built in 1933 as a temporary replacement to the original iron bridge that had sat on that site since 1854, this simple wooden structure quickly became a favourite landmark and is now the most photographed spot in what is arguably one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Photo from Flickr by Emma, Michael and Elway's Excellent Adventures

  1. Monte Carlo: Hotel de Paris

This paradise for the rich and famous on the French Riviera in Monaco is synonymous with luxury and opulence. The Hotel de Paris, established in 1864, sits on the west side of the Place du Casino. Famous guests have included Cary Grant, Nelson Mandela and Michael Jackson, as well as Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, who celebrated their 20th anniversary in its private wine cellar. While most tourists will not be able to afford the Diamond Suite Winston Churchill at $17,000 a night, many do stop and take selfies in front of the 5-star hotel, making it the most photographed landmark in Monte Carlo. Photo from Flickr by Joe deSousa

  1. Florence: Piazzale Michelangelo

Italy is the only country to have two of its cities on this list. Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city is filled with impressive monuments, buildings and churches, including the domed cathedral Santa Maria del Flore. You can see many of the landmarks from the Piazzale Michaelangelo, which is on the hill just south of the city centre. Tourists flock to the square to take in the panoramic views and, of course, take plenty of photographs, making it the most photographed place in Florence. Photo from Flickr by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

  1. Buenos Aires: Caminito

Buenos Aires is the only city in South America to make it into this list. The most visited city on the continent is known for its European-style architecture. It’s most photographed site is Caminito, meaning little walkway. In the late 1950s, Argentine artist Benito Quinquela Martin transformed the traditional alley in a rundown barrio (neighbourhood) to a brightly coloured street museum. He painted each of the houses in unique colour combinations. Today you can also expect to see street performers dancing the tango in front of camera-wielding tourists. This little alley (it’s less than 100 metres long) is the most photographed area in all of South America. Photo from Flickr by Gerry Labrijn

  1. Budapest: St. Stephens Basilica

The capital of Hungary is a stunning city occupying both banks of the river Danube. It is home to several striking Renaissance and neo-Renaissance buildings, including St. Stephen’s Basilica. The church is named after the first King of Hungary and his hand is believed to be housed in the reliquary. It took more than half a century to complete, but the large church is now the country’s most photographed landmark.

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