Social media has changed plenty of things over the years, but the way it’s changed our travel habits in particular is pretty striking. It’s now possible to vicariously trek the globe without doing anything other than glancing down at your cell phone. Plus, given all the great pics everyone else is taking, you can’t help but want to up your own travel snapshot game when you do venture somewhere new.
It was only a matter of time before someone commissioned a study to figure out what the most Instagrammed places on the planet are. TravelBird did exactly that by sharing the most hashtagged destinations across the world, culminating in one pretty great, bucket list-worthy ranking of tourist attractions.
17. Colosseum, Rome (1,752,045 Instagram tags)
It isn’t surprising that this tourist-packed destination is on this list; people have long been fascinated by the ancient battlegrounds and jaw-dropping stonework featured here. Just be sure to hold onto any and all personal belongings while snapping your shots — thieves are everywhere in this Italian capital, and tourists are their No. 1 target.
Most flattering angle: The Colosseum is so majestic that you actually need to distance yourself from it in order to get it in full view. Try grabbing your shot from Colle Oppio (Oppian Hill), located just across the street on the northeast side.
16. Burj Khalifa, Dubai (1,808,173 Instagram tags)
The world’s tallest skyscraper is pretty majestic, and makes for an amazing shot — especially when the weather is just right. With the artificial lake below it, these photos give us some serious FOMO.
Most flattering angle: Ironically, you don’t even have to visit the tower to share an amazing photo of it. Because of its crazy height, it’s best to snap it from afar — preferably when the sun is setting.
15. Waikiki, Hawaii (1,939,768 Instagram tags)
The beautiful Hawaiian beach is known for attracting a ton of tourists to its beautiful, blue waters and sandy beaches, where people inevitably snap all kinds of photos.
Most flattering angle: Forget getting down low to grab the best shot. Some of the prettiest angles we’ve seen are the ones from high above that let you take in all of that pretty, blue water.
14. Grand Canyon, Arizona (1,989,316 Instagram tags)
This spot is so hot that people take pictures of it from their airplanes on the way to someplace else. You don’t have to be a hiker to appreciate the beautiful landscape per se, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to pack some hiking gear.
Most flattering angle: Climb up as high as you can and then take a picture of everything down below. Bonus points if you can capture some water.
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13. Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru (2,195,108 Instagram tags)
This Incan stop is usually jam-packed with tourists and locals alike. Whether you trek the Inca trail with porters to get there or take a bus up the winding road to soak in the views, this ancient city buried in a cloud forest is definitely worth several snapshots once you’re there.
Most flattering angle: Get there first thing in the morning before the place is crawling with people, then snap a quiet shot of the valley from Sun Gate‘s landing.
12. Niagara Falls, Ontario (2,198,459 Instagram tags)
Everyone knows the Canadian side of this natural beauty is the prettier side, so it’s no wonder that it made the list of top photo-worthy destinations. Once you’re down by the actual falls, the cheesy touristy attractions don’t seem so bad either.
Most flattering angle: The best spots for photos are by the railings, but they fill up quick. To grab the perfect photo with some good lighting, plan your trip at the break of dawn.
Before I ever traveled, this was the first destination I ever wanted to go to. It took me many years but I’m glad it finally happened. \\\\\\ P.s. If anyone knows an British couple who recently were engaged (March) at Niagara Falls, they asked me to take pictures of the thing and never got the name or look at a picture would love to see them!!
11. Mardi Gras, Louisiana (2,202,256 Instagram tags)
Who doesn’t love New Orleans? Check out the cobblestone streets, the history, the night life, the food and, of course, Mardi Gras. Naturally, this stop made the list.
Most flattering angle: Get unique! There are so many great colours and things to see in the French Quarter, so plan a shot that incorporates all of those terrific elements in one view.
10. Octoberfest, Bavaria, Germany (2,262,885 Instagram tags)
Beer, soft pretzels and lederhosen — sounds like the perfect recipe for tons of selfies that you won’t remember taking.
Most flattering angle: Before you and your crew down too many beers, snap your pictures while you all still look fresh.
9. Notre Dame, Paris (2,517,129 Instagram tags)
Between the towering cathedrals, the gorgeous architecture and the awe-inspiring gargoyles staring down at you, there are tons of photogenic angles to take in at this historical church.
Most flattering angle: Although your first instinct will be to back up and try to snap the entire church at once, there’s way too much greenery surrounding it to get a great angle. Instead, focus in on one corner of the impressive building for a much better shot.
8. Times Square, New York (2,560,272 Instagram tags)
Most New York tourists, especially if it’s their first time in the city, have to take in Times Square. That’s probably because we’ve seen it in so many movies and TV shows over the years that it would practically be a sin not to go and snap pictures there.
Most flattering angle: Position yourself off to the side, away from all of the people dressed up as cartoon characters, so that you can focus in on the money shot: that giant billboard.
7. Big Ben, London (2,561,617 Instagram tags)
This infamous clock may be the most photographed timepiece in the world. In fact, most people don’t even know that Big Ben is actually a part of the Parliament Building — that’s how popular it is on its own.
Most flattering angle: Forget the hubbub of London life and head down to the water instead, where you can grab a more unobstructed photograph of Ben… and maybe a couple of his buddies.
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6. Las Vegas Strip, Nevada (3,653,548 Instagram tags)
It seems like what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas… not when it comes to photographic evidence, anyhow. With all the flashing lights and things to see and do, it only makes sense that this destination made the top 10.
Most flattering angle: It’s hard to narrow down just one spot for a great photo in Vegas — there’s way too much to see and do. Therefore, we recommend taking at least a couple of shots from high up above so that you can try and capture at least a sliver of your crazy surroundings.
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5. Berlin Wall, Berlin (4,595,501 Instagram tags)
This historic wall that divided East and West Germany during the Cold War may have come down in the eighties, but roughly two kilometres of the structure still remains as a reminder today. Obviously, the spot also happens to be a top tourist attraction.
Most flattering angle: There’s tons of graffiti adorning the wall, so either pick a pretty portion to snap, or highlight a political saying that you think would add a little more depth to your Instagram game.
4. South Beach, Florida (4,689,396 Instagram tags)
When it comes to blue beaches and wild night life, South Beach is an affordable tourist destination that most take advantage of. It’s no wonder that so many selfies and landscape shots are taken here.
Most flattering angle: If it’s a nice beach shot you’re going for, go early before the crowd settles in. If you’re after the party crowd, take your selfies before the imbibing begins.
3. Walt Disney World, Florida (5,465,098 Instagram tags)
It’s the most magical place on earth, so of course people are going to take lots and lots of pictures here. Most of them with mouse ears, natch.
Most flattering angle: There are thousands of shots you’ll want to grab, but the most epic of all has got to be Magic Kingdom.
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2. Eiffel Tower, Paris (7,253,011 Instagram tags)
Who doesn’t love Paris? The wine, the cheese, the giant metal skyscraper cutting through the pristine skyline. Okay, so the locals may not be in love with the Eiffel Tower, but we certainly are. Not only is it the first thing we think of when we see the city, but it’s a worldwide icon to boot.
Most flattering angle: While you could certainly hang back and take a breathtaking picture from afar, we prefer heading to the grass surrounding the tower itself. You can lay down and take a picture looking up that will still capture the entire structure — it’s just as breathtaking, and a bit more unique.
1. Disneyland, California (14,615,952 Instagram tags)
Looks like Mickey’s west coast abode edged out his east coast palace. This park, dubbed the happiest place on earth, is smaller than the Florida offering, but it also attracts a larger international crowd (Los Angeles International Airport boasts many stopovers, after all.)
Most flattering angle: The castle is still your money shot, and we highly recommend posing in front of it. With the required Mickey Mouse ears, please and thank you.