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Aren’t I allowed to take pictures here?

Did you know there are places in the world where you are not allowed to take photographs? You’ll be surprised how many of them are there actually! And before you say “but I see these photos all the time”, remember that most of them are property of big companies who pay great deal of money to deserve the right of photographing those places. Whether we like it or not, those rules should be obeyed if we want to avoid the prescribed penalties.

Do you know that you are not allowed to publish the night photos of the Eiffel tower? Yes, that’s right! During the night the tower light show occurs making this structure a piece of art and because of that it has many regulations about copyright.

You better not think of photographing security checkpoints, baggage scanning areas, security cabins, immigration counters or customs zones at the airports. In some countries they are so strict that if you brake this rule, you’ll go to prison right away.

Photographing and recording is also forbidden in many art galleries and museums but we have gotten used to this. For example, taking pictures of Mona Lisa at the Louvre is allowed but you cannot take photos of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Florence.

You’ll have to turn off your camera or your cell phone at the Sistine Chapel as well. At one point Vatican decided to renew the art of Michelangelo at the chapel but this was too expensive even for them. But the Japanese company Nippon Television Network corporation could afford it and together with the money they also provided all the exclusive rights to photography and video of the restored art. Although the contract expired, the rule of non-taking-photos is still on in the Sistine Chapel.

The mausoleums are big, impressive tombs, usually built for the deceased leader or some other significant person, and of course, you are not allowed to take photos here. One example of it is Taj Mahal In India; you can photograph it from the outside but you can’t do it on the inside.

As for mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship, you must be careful when photographing because there may be certain limitations. For example, most of Hindu temples will ban taking pictures within the inner sanctuary, as well as many Buddhist temples although this can vary from country to country.

The Red Light District in Amsterdam is also subject to a photography ban; this part of the city is known for its brothels, canals, cafes and prostitutes standing on the way and watching from the window. Do not take out your camera here because it may be taken away by force.

These are only some of the places where is forbidden to take photographs. And although travel photos are the favorite souvenirs today, some of the world’s most beautiful places just don’t allow taking pictures and at some of them you’ll have to pay a penalty if you brake this rule.

Be aware of these limitations and check for specific policies that you must respect when arriving at a particular location. No one wants to pay a fine for photographing, right?