The Travelbird website recently released a list of the 470 most frequently tagged Instagram locations on the planet (yeah, I know, 470 is a weird number and I have no idea why it was picked). You can find the list HERE. As I’m sure you’re also about to, I spent the 10 minutes after discovering the list scrolling down to see how many I’d visited. After about the first hundred on the list I started to get a bit bored and the ‘attractions’ were getting more and more obscure, so I focused my efforts on the top 100. Below I’ve highlighted my favourite five photos from the places I’ve vistited on that list. What’s your personal top 5? Let me know in the comments section below!
Number 7: Big Ben, London, United Kingdom
I currently live in London, so in theory I should have a hat-full of photos of Big Ben, but weirdly I only had three to pick from. I guess it’s true that you never play the tourist in your home city! As you’re probably reminded in every pub quiz you enter, Big Ben is actually the bell in Elizabeth Tower, but I’m pretty sure that in this case it’s Elizabeth Tower that is the most ‘Instagrammed’ sight. If you’re looking for a great shot of the tower then walk across Westminster Bridge to the opposite bank of the Thames and turn right on to the Thames Path. As you come down the stairs turn right and back on yourself and you’ll find a great little alcove from which you can set up a tripod with people tripping all over you. Then walk your way back across the bridge taking photos as you go! (My wife also tells me this is the view Monet used to paint his Houses of Parliament series)
Number 24: Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The Angkor Wat Archeological complex is one of the truly mesmerising sights of the world. When combined with a sunrise or a sunset, that feeling is multiplied by ten. Despite the volumes of tourists around the main sites, a complete hush seems to descend over the entire crowd during sunrise or sunset and, other than the frequent click of a camera shutter, you can seemingly enjoy the experience in relative quiet as everyone stands in awe. Although a sunrise experience means getting out of bed at a somewhat ungodly hour, to miss the experience would be a huge mistake; so make sure that on at least one of your days in Siem Reap you make the trip to Angkor in the early hours of morning in the pitch black and be prepared for one of the most breathtaking sunrises you’ll likely see; definitely Instagram worthy!
Number 46: Pike Place Market, Seattle, USA
Opened in 1907 Pike is officially the oldest continuously operated market in the US and bills itself as a ‘meet the producer’ market. Although it attracts droves of tourists it really isn’t just a tourist attraction. It hosts a full farmers market in addition to a craft market and over 200 independent shops. Feeling peckish? The market boasts over 80 places to grab a bite and if you’re a fan of that Starbucks place I hear people raving about then Pike Place Market is also home to the first Starbucks that opened (and still has the original logo). Probably one of the more famous places to get a photo is either outside Starbucks or the one above of the main Pike Place signage!
Number 54: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Without doubt, the Grand Mosque is the highlight of a trip to Abu Dhabi and a mere 20 minute drive from downtown! With a monstrous Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and enough room for 41,000 worshipers it’s fair to say that the overstated opulence of the UAE extends to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, but I just can’t deny what an amazing (and photogenic….and free!) sight it is. It may not have the history and romance of the Taj Mahal, but in terms of architectural grandiose it’s definitely up there; hence it ranks so highly on Instgram! You’ll need to make sure that you’re suitably covered up if you want to visit (particularly the ladies). If you don’t have the appropriate clothing then you’ll be asked to don a rather fetching borrowed outfit which has seen the recent sweat of a thousand others (in other words – take your own long sleeved clothing). There are free tours throughout the day (follow the signs upon arrival) which are definitely worth doing. Beware; it gets extremely hot. Thankfully there’s an air conditioned café to cool off in!
Number 56: The Washington Monument, Washington, DC, USA
I lived in DC for just under 12 years, so I’ve definitely got a soft spot for the city and its major sights. I fear that the Washington Monument might be on the list because of the trend to lie on the floor some distance from the sight and position yourself so that he monument represents a rather more phallic symbol than intended. Nonetheless, I’ll keep it classy here and talk about the fantastic pictures you can get of the Monument from the tidal basin during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The annual festival celebrates the donation of 3,000 cherry blossom trees by the mayor of Tokyo. Over the course of about a month (from mid-March to mid-April) there are a whole host of events across town include a parade, fireworks and daily performances from local and international artists. Above all, the obvious highlight is the blooming of the cherry blossom trees around the tidal basin. If you feel like getting up at the crack of dawn (and, on the weekends in particular, battling other sleep-deprived tourists all jockeying to stake out the best spots) then sunrise on the basin makes for a great photo at this time of year. Just make sure you keep up to date on the ‘Bloom Watch’ Website or you’ll run the risk of missing the stars of the show!
How many of the top Instagram photo spots have you visited and where does your favourite photo feature? Be sure to leave us your thoughts in the comments section…..and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!