Budget Travel: 9 Travel Sites Where Photography Is Not Allowed

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Back in October, Budget Travel had a slideshow about a frustrating topic, travel sites where photography is not allowed.

It drives me nuts when I visit a site and see the horrible rule posted informing us that no photos are allowed. It’s pretty much a guaranteed way to start off my visit in a negative way.

I tend to have a hard time following the rules and will make an attempt to sneak in a few photos anyway. If/ when I do this, I always shut off my flash just in case the reason for no photography is the potential harm a flash can cause.

Two sites come to mind where I took photos when I wasn’t supposed to.

  1. The Mutter Museum
  2. The Kuntskamera

Here is Budget Travel’s List:

  1. Main Reading Room- Library of Congress
  2. Taj Mahal- Agra, India
  3. Amish Communities- Lancaster County, PA
  4. Rosslyn Chapel- Roslin, Scotland
  5. The Valley of the Kings- Luxor, Egypt
  6. Emirates Palace- Abu Dhabi, UAE
  7. Bachkovo Monastery- Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  8. Golden Gai District- Tokyo, Japan
  9. Lenin’s Mausoleum- Moscow, Russia

What are your thoughts on travel sites where photography is not allowed? Do you tend to follow or break the rules to get that special photo?

Find out more about each of the 9 sites in the Budget Travel article HERE.

12 thoughts on “Budget Travel: 9 Travel Sites Where Photography Is Not Allowed

  1. I never take photos when they are not allowed. Its not always a matter of the flash doing damage, its sometimes a matter of respect. I think it is incredibly selfish and disrespectful to take photos in a place where the prohibition on photography has to do with religious reasons or the fact that the place is a resting place for the deceased.

  2. I agree with Seth. You should respect the rules outlined or opt not to give your business to them. But hiding behind “temptation” or justifying your breaking the rules is rather lame.

  3. I HATE when I see people trying to “sneak” a photo when they are prohibited. How about you LOOK at the site/object and remember it with your mind, instead of trying to take a picture so you can post on Facebook/Twitter/blog/whatever. Do you smoke in places where it says “no smoking?” Do you throw trash on the ground regularly? Do you drive through a red light if there are no other cars around?

    Sometimes places don’t want photos because they don’t want a bunch of dumb tourists clogging up walkways and viewing spots trying to take selfies. It’s not always the “flash will hurt this object” rule. It is incredibly rude and selfish to not follow the rules, simply because you don’t agree with them.

  4. Good luck sneaking in a few photos on your trip to North Korea.

    Sounds like you would fit in well with the people using their cell phone cameras for selfies when we had to evacuate a plane with smoke in the cabin this summer.

    Get with the program.

  5. I agree that in some cases it might be respect or traffic flow but when the very same pictures are for sale at outrageous prices in the gift shop, it’s hard to believe it’s anything more than $$$.

    I know with the right amount of baksheesh you can take photos in the tombs at Luxor.

  6. Add Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum in Hanoi to the list of places where photography is prohibited.

    No cellphones permitted, pass through a metal detector, must remove caps, guards watching, keep moving in single-file line, dim light…it would be a miracle if anyone actually succeeded in taking a photo in there.

  7. Seth- You bring up some good points/ reasons why photography might be prohibited.

    Ms M- I agree with some of Seth’s points too. I am not hiding behind anything or made excuses , I admit that I do or have not followed the rules. Lame or not, this is my choice.

    Dave- Some great points you bring up. I do look at sites and remember them but I also like to have photos of what I’ve seen. Photos are a great way to remember these experiences too. I don’t smoke at all, litter or drive through red lights. I also don’t use the term or take “selfies”. I find it rude when places prohibit photography so they can attempt to sell you books, postcards and other pricey souvenirs.

    AlohaDave- When I get the opportunity to go to North Korea I hope to bring back some great photos. Sorry you had to evacuate a plane over the summer. That must’ve been a scarey moment. I don’t see how taking photos when prohibited has anything to do with taking photos in dangerous situations. Care to elaborate?

    Omatravel- Exactly ! I was offered and paid (very little) baksheesh to be allowed to take photos in the Tombs of Luxor as well as many other sites around Egypt. The only site that was off-limits was King Tut’s tomb.

    Im Just Sayin- Tell us how you really feel.

    Miles- That would be pretty much impossible. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo was the same in terms of cameras and cellphones. All must be checked before entering.

  8. In the case of the emergency landing, the passengers under federal law must obey the cabin crew. The passengers were told to immediately disengage the seatbelts upon the plane stopping, leave luggage and hand carry items, move forward in the cabin toward the front exit, and exit out and forward of the plane. We put down in the middle of the airfield with emergency vehicles all over the place.

    Photos were 100% not allowed in the emergency and neither was carrying luggage and hand carry items.

    What happened in this situation was passengers going rearward in the plane to grab luggage from the overhead and carry it out, and passengers grabbing their cameras to take pictures inside during the evacuation, on the steps of the plane and outside the minute they were off the steps. It definitely delayed evacuation

    When passengers choose to violate federal law, take pictures in dangerous situations, and potentially endanger themselves and others, that is a problem.

    Should you go to North Korea and ignore the warning not to take some pictures you risk imprisonment. That pretty mountain over there may have a military installation on it and now you are guilty of spying. Or that person you inadvertently caught in your picture may be a government or military official and now you are guilty of spying. Don’t risk it. And also watch your behavior in religious institutions, especially in Asia and the Middle East.

    >I don’t see how taking photos when prohibited has anything to do with taking photos in dangerous situations. Care to elaborate? – See more at: http://michaelwtravels.boardingarea.com/2013/12/budget-travel-9-travel-sites-photography-allowed/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=budget-travel-9-travel-sites-photography-allowed#sthash.rY5YW6oJ.dpuf

    1. Thanks for explaining. Slowing down an evacuation to snap some photos is crazy and I don’t see what that has to do with my comments on taking photos at travel sites.

      In regards to North Korea, from what I understand photographs are allowed but it is in a controlled manor, maybe a bit more relaxed now than in the past. Not sure when I might get to visit although I would love to.

      I’ve been to Asia and the Middle East a bunch of times and have never had any issues.

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