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Are you a selfie addict? 10 landmarks you CAN'T visit

By Compiled by Gauri Ghadi
July 08, 2015 09:04 IST
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What’s a day spent at an iconic destination without a selfie, right? They have become a way of life; even the Pope couldn’t escape one! But not all appreciate the addiction.

Some popular tourist hotspots do not allow the pic stick, while others have banned the selfie outright. Here are some famous ‘no braggie’ zones.

Sydney Opera House

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger takes a selfie in front of the Sydney Opera House. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

The crackdown on the "wand of Narcissus" continues. Sydney’s Opera House is the latest to join the anti-selfie stick brigade.

A spokeswoman for the Sydney Opera House said that taking photos during performances is prohibited. But they do permit visitors to indulge outside the iconic building and in the foyers.


Singer Ariana Grande gives Mickey Mouse a kiss at Disneyland in Florida. Photograph: Chloe Rice/Disney Parks via Getty Images

The happiest place on Earth made quite a few unhappy with a ban on the selfie stick.

The prohibition was imposed from June end because of the growing concern for crowd safety. A rollercoaster at California’s Disneyland was halted after a reveller pulled out the selfie stick. The ride was close for an hour.

There were a number of incidents that preceded that one.

Hey, but don’t frown. Selfies are still allowed at Disneyland. :) :)

White House

Tourist Li Cheng on vacation from Taiwan takes a selfie of himself standing in front of the White House. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House ended its 40-year-old ban on photos and cameras.

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the change on her official Instagram as she ripped up a White House sign that read, “No photos or social media allowed.”

But of course it came with a rider. While phones are now allowed, the selfie stick is a strict no no.

Pamplona, Spain

A participant attempts to take a selfie during the bull run. Photograph: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Which is the most reckless selfie ever? Definitely, the one clicked during Pamplona’s famous ‘running of the bulls’ festival.

The picture of a fearless runner holding up his phone while being chased by raging bulls went viral last year. He was fined $4100 (Rs 2.6 lakh).

Rightly, selfies have been banned by organisers of the death-defying run. And none should complain.

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

A Muslim pilgrim prays as another takes a selfie at the Grand Mosque during the pilgrimage of Mecca. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

A Muslim pilgrim prays as another takes a photo with his mobile phone at the Grand Mosque during Tawaf al-Wadaa (Farewell Tawaf) on the last day of the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Even the pious Mecca pilgrims couldn’t escape the narcissistic selfie fever. The #HajjSelfie was a hit on social media last year, but it didn’t go down well with Muslim clerics.        

They issued a warning against people taking selfies in Mecca saying they ‘defy the wish of our Prophet’. 

New York zoos

The tiger selfies were notorious on Tinder. Photograph: @tinderguyswithtigers/Instagram

It is illegal to take a selfie with the big cats in New York.

A law was signed last August prohibiting posing for photos with a tigers, lion or any other beasts after “tiger selfies” became a rage on dating sites.

You may think of it as cool, but the flash may just annoy the animals.

Forbidden City, Beijing

A man takes a picture with his smartphone outside the Forbidden City. Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The selfie stick is forbidden here.

The 15 Century palace from which Chinese emperors ruled for hundreds of years has banished the device to protect its priceless relics.  

"Selfie sticks cause safety concerns, whether for tourists or the exhibits," Shen Lixia, deputy director of tourist reception at the museum, said according to China Daily. "It may touch the glass exhibition case and cause damage to the cultural relics."

National Gallery, London

A gallery assistant looks at two of Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' which are on display at the National Gallery. Photograph:  Mary Turner/Getty Images

The National Gallery has joined New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian museums in Washington in banning the pic stick. “They are possibly quite dangerous to the art work,” art critic Brian Sewell told The Times

So if you were hoping for selfie with Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, you are out of luck.

Palace of Versailles, Paris

The entrance to the Chateau de Versailles with the statue of French King Louis XVI is seen in Versailles, near Paris. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

One of the most visited tourist attractions in France, the Palace of Versailles has banned the ubiquitous device from its premises.

Palace officials justified the new rule with the “need to protect artworks and other visitors”.  

The Colosseum, Rome

Nuns have a photograph taken in front of the Colosseum. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Romans want the selfie stick nowhere close to the historic Colosseum and you have American tourists to blame.

Two tourists from California were arrested in Rome after allegedly deciding to carve their initials into the wall of the Colosseum and then taking a selfie. No prize for guessing that soon followed the ban.

PS: Selfie sticks are also banned in South Korea, at the Wimbledon and Australian Open, London’s Emirates stadium, the tourist-laden Garoupe beach in France and Coachella and Lollapalooza music festivals.

Iran’s footballers have been warned against taking a selfie with female fans and so have been voters in London who take pictures at polling booths.   

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Compiled by Gauri Ghadi