It seems that these days a trip or memorable experience hasn’t happened unless the moment is captured on film.
With the growing prevalence of social media, we’re keener than ever before to share our holiday snaps with friends and family. Instantly. No longer needing to wait to unpack and drop the roll of film off for developing. Nothing fuels wanderlust more effectively than FOMO (fear of missing out), and seeing the amazing places that others are visiting. Research by Sony Mobile found that over 50 per cent of travellers plan their itinerary based on photo opportunities. And half of those surveyed said that they would pick their holiday based on others’ holiday snaps.
Where’s top of your ‘yet to see’ bucket list? Here are seven of the most photographed places on the planet to help inspire you.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
Paris’ most snapped landmark faces stiff competition from the likes of the Louvre and Notre Dame, but the Eiffel Tower reigns supreme. One of the most recognisable structures in the world, the Eiffel Tower is also the most visited, welcoming over seven million people each year. The tower was completed in 1889 and is named after the engineer Gustavev Eiffel, whose company designed and built it. Originally constructed for the World’s Fair it was only intended to last 20 years but is now synonymous with Parisienne culture.
Big Ben, London
The nickname given to the Great Bell of the clock as well as the tower at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben is one of London’s most legendary landmarks. Regularly appearing in TV and film footage as well as social media feeds. Due to essential renovation work, Big Ben is currently shrouded in scaffolding, with the clock silenced until 2021 when the work is expected to be completed. Until then, visitors will have to be content with Little Ben in Victoria, a 20ft metal replica. Or head to the capital’s other iconic sights, including Buckingham Palace and the London Eye.
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
The iconic art deco statue was created by a French sculpture and built by a Brazilian engineer. Both a symbol of Christianity and a cultural icon, Christ the Redeemer is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Aspiring photographers beware though, the chances are you’ll be competing with hordes of other visitors keen to get the perfect shot; the 30-metre masterpiece attracts the majority of users on Instagram, where the particular hashtag has been used nearly 800,000 times.
Trevi Fountain, Rome
The beautiful Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous in the world, having appeared in numerous notable films including Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita. It’s also a symbol of hope: An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day; A trend that harks back to the ancient Romans, who believed this would ensure a safe and speedy return. The coins are collected daily and donated to charity.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Incan citadel of Machu Picchu is set high in the Andes Mountains, its exact former use remaining a mystery to this day. Described by Lonely Planet as “the most famous archaeological site on the continent”, the ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site was virtually forgotten until the early 20th century, when explorer Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it. Many people choose to visit on foot. Due to erosion, hikers on the Inca Trail are limited (500 people per day) and in February each year, the trail is closed for maintenance. Alternatively, visitors can take the (pricey) train from Cusco. However you arrive, this remains one of the most awe-inspiring places to visit. Somewhere that photos won’t entirely do justice to.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Burj Khalifa has retained the title of the world’s tallest tower since its completion in 2009. The mega structure comprises residential and office space in addition to the Armani Hotel Dubai, health and wellness facilities, four pools and two observation decks. It also lays claim to being the world’s tallest art gallery, with commissioned works by 85-plus artists from around the globe. The building was originally named Burj Dubai but was renamed in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates.
Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province
It’s little wonder that this northern Vietnamese landscape ranks as one of the world’s most photographed spots. The lush turquoise waters of Ha Long Bay are home to over 1,600 small islands and islets, mostly uninhabited. The UNESCO World Heritage site also harbours towering limestone karst rock formations, pretty junk boats and astonishing sunrises.