Interest Pieces

The places around the world where selfies are completely illegal

Tourists are being warned that they could get into serious trouble after snapping a picture of themselves at these destinations where selfies are banned. Photography experts at have named the seven locations across the globe where it is strictly forbidden and even punishable for visitors to take selfies.

Credit – Pexels

For example, taking an innocent selfie on holiday could turn into a nightmare situation for visitors – such as having to pay a €3000 fine in Spain. Some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world have banned selfies – but many have introduced the law to protect visitors.

New York and California both have legislation in place to stop selfies being taken with tigers and bears, surrounding fears of people getting dangerously close to these animals. The railway network across Japan has banned the use of selfie sticks for safety reasons as the overhead wiring could cause electrocution.

The Tower of London and Garoupe beach in France are also popular with holidaymakers, but have enforced strict bans on selfies.

Matt Dahan from said: “It’s now become second nature to take a selfie wherever we are to send to our friends and family, share on social media, or just keep as a memory for ourselves. It’s difficult to imagine that some tourist hotspots around the world have actually banned anyone from taking a selfie but it has happened.”

Many destinations have forbidden visitors from snapping a picture of themselves for safety reasons – such as getting too close to dangerous animals in America or fears of electrocution in Japan.

“Others have enforced the ban as pictures could be used as a security threat – like in the Tower of London; whilst Saudi Arabia has forbidden selfies during the pilgrimage to Mecca for religious purposes,” he says, “A popular beach in southern France wants everyone to embrace their time abroad and not focus on bragging on social media by sharing selfies – that’s why during the busy season selfies are not allowed.”

Below are seven spots around the globe where taking a selfie is banned  and tourists should stay aware of certain laws about photography when holidaying.

  1. New York

Although it’s one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the world, the state has made it illegal to take a selfie with any of the big cats who are homed at zoos, carnivals and circuses. This ban was introduced to protect residents and tourists, after a social media trend saw a rise in ‘tiger selfies’.

  1. Tower of London

The precious crown jewels are kept under high security at the Jewel House in the Tower of London, with over 100 CCTV cameras and guards round the clock watching out for people trying to sneak a selfie. Inside the Jewel House taking photos or videos with these royal gems is strictly forbidden as it’s seen as a security risk.

  1. France

Garoupe beach in southern France banned holiday-makers from taking selfies during the busy season in the middle of summer. This law was introduced to stop people from bragging about their holiday – with the beach authorities wanting Garoupe to be a haven to enjoy in the moment, rather than showing off on social media.

  1. Saudi Arabia

The government has introduced a ban for those on the pilgrimage to Mecca after selfies being taken on the holy journey have been seen as disrespectful. Reports state that taking these selfies is a tourist attraction taking away from the tranquillity required for these acts of worship.

  1. Spain

Selfies are banned during the annual Running of the Bulls event held in Pamplona, Spain to stop visitors putting their lives in danger at the controversial occasion. Those trying to take a selfie with the bulls could be subject to hefty fines of €3000.

  1. Japan

Across the West Japan Railway Company, selfies taken with a selfie stick have been banned. The law was introduced after the company issued a warning to travellers that the overhead wiring may cause electrocution, even if the selfie stick doesn’t touch the wires.

  1. California

Similar to New York, the state of California in America has banned selfies being taken in the Lake Tahoe region. This law was introduced amid fears of safety for visitors given the high percentage of wild bears in the area and worries that people were getting dangerously close to the animals.

For more information about specific laws and customs about photography abroad, please visit