The Top 20 Selfie Spots in the World

The Top 20 Selfie Spots in the World

In recent weeks, popular selfie spots have been our bathroom mirror, lying on the bed or somewhere near the fridge. Yet once upon a time, it was quite different! So today, we decided to recall how wonderful the world is so that you are ready and inspired once traveling returns to being part of our life. We have collected 20 popular selfie spots — mentally tick the boxes if you have already checked in there, or add them to your must-see list.

ZenHotels Blog
14 minutes read

Burj Khalifa, UAE

The tallest building in the world (828 meters), which so far nobody has managed to beat. The Burj Khalifa skyscraper remains number one in the world and is an ideal spot for a selfie that is guaranteed to reel in those likes.

The safest method is to take your picture from the viewing platform (be like Will Smith), which contains a breathtaking view of Dubai, countless tall buildings, and swimming pools with the desert in the background. Entry costs 134 dirhams (≈€34) if you book tickets online in advance.

If, however, the mere mention of skyscrapers makes you faint on the spot, then you should make do with a view from below, directing your camera upwards.

Burj Khalifa


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Disneyland, Paris

The first thing you should know is that selfie sticks are banned in Disneyland Paris! Hopefully, your arms are long enough to capture the Sleeping Beauty Castle in the park’s main alley (or if it comes down to it, you can always ask a kind passer-by).

The second is that any self-respecting selfie-taker in the magic kingdom must go-round with a Mickey Mouse or Mini Mouse headband (starting at €20). Yes, yes, that ain’t cheap, and you’ll probably never need it again. Alternatives are to borrow it from that same, lucky passer-by or buy one to share with your friend.

And the third, if you get lucky, your selfie will be far cooler if you manage to capture in it one of the life-sized dolls strolling around the park. You don’t have to pay the actors for the photo on your phone or camera, just give them a friendly “merci.”



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The Colosseum, Italy

The coolest selfies with the Colosseum of Rome include the building in the background, rather than being taken inside it. It’s worth stepping 50 meters away from it to the Parco del Colle Oppio and finding a comfortable corner of the park right in front of the building, where you can take a photo with the building in the background without a crowd of tourists around. The entry to the Colosseum is €12.

The Colosseum

Keep safety in mind

In the last six years, around 250 people have died while trying to take a good selfie with a tourist site in the background. The places on our list might be safe, but look all around and not just at the lens when you do it.

Big Ben, England

Before you head to the famous tower on the banks of the Thames, don’t forget that Big Ben is just the name of the bell, and not of the entire tower. In 2012 the building was renamed from the simple Clock Tower to the Elizabeth Tower in honor of the current monarch. Well, you might hear the bell, but the entire construction is closed for renovation until 2021, so no selfie for you. Come back next year: by the way, you can take the best photos on Westminster Bridge, which leads to the tower.

Big Ben

The viewing platform on Phi Phi Island, Thailand

Two emerald gulfs of the Andaman Sea, separated by a thin strip of land on Phi Phi Island in Thailand, create a natural beauty that looks great in a selfie. But it’s not that simple: to reach the main viewing platform, you need to ascend the mountains that are about 20-25 minutes from Ton Sai Beach. One of the main landmarks as you climb up is a fine establishment called The Grande PP Arcade: make sure you don’t turn off anywhere, just follow the crowd of tourists. Climbing Thai mountains is labor-intensive, so the best time to visit the viewing platform is early morning when it’s not so hot.

The viewing platform on Phi Phi Islands


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The view over Cinque Terre, Italy

Colorful fishing villages joined to each other along Italy’s Amalfi Coast have blown up the internet with their photogenic features. Ideally situated above the turquoise waters, they are just begging to be included in the photo reports of the Instagram-paparazzi. The most comfortable places for a photo are the seaside cliffs of the town of Manarola. There are a number of ideal selfie-spots in the neighborhood, so keep an eye on where the tourists are heading (and be prepared to bide your time in the queue), in order to find that cherished place where the photo works out best.

The view over Cinque Terre

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Russia

Selfies with St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background are a must for any self-respecting traveler. Tourists call it the “Tetris Building” (the cathedral was portrayed on the original Tetris background screen). The best place for a photo is to the left of the building towards the Kremlin, in which case you can include the monument to Minin and Pozharsky in the background.

St. Basil’s Cathedral


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View from a hot-air balloon over Cappadocia, Turkey

The region of Cappadocia in the central part of Turkey is famous thanks to Göreme national park. This mountainous park containing a former monastery complex is one of the world’s most amazing open-air museums. That’s probably why so many visitors descend on it to gain a bird’s-eye view of the beauty. You need to book a hot-air balloon trip in advance (it’s best to do so several days in advance).

A flight over Cappadocia isn’t a cheap thrill — be ready to pay at least €150 per person. Flights run early morning at daybreak, and 250 hot-air balloons may be seen at once in the skies above Göreme — surely an ideal place for a selfie! Or if you just want a pretty photo with the balloons as background, then head to the nearby panoramic viewing platform. Some people will say it’s less spectacular, but at least it’s free.


Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

120 km from Munich in the heart of Bavaria, you will find Neuschwanstein Castle, which looks like it was built for a Disney film. You will get the best view from Marienbrücke Bridge, which is right in front of the sight. The bridge connects two mountainsides divided by a narrow river. There are a large number of people every day wanting to take a selfie from the bridge, so it’s best to get here in the morning nice and early. After that, you can take a walk right to the castle (entry costs €13) and then take another photo near the entrance.

Neuschwanstein Castle


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The Great Wall of China

If you like taking photos of yourself then you will definitely find somewhere to walk along the Great Wall’s 9,000 km! So choose your section carefully, as sometimes you will need to walk 5-10 km. In terms of the weather, the best times to visit are autumn and spring. Young and sporty people should head for the Jiankou section. It’s physically demanding to walk along it, but the most spectacular selfies can be taken here. There are fewer tourists here, only experienced walkers.

If you want something simpler, then the Mutianyu section is a good choice. It’s one of the most popular, but there will be a lot of tourists there. Despite that, the selfies will be just as you want them to be. Make sure to climb the hill a bit higher and encapsulate the breadth of the ancient monument, whose magnificence will take your breath away.

The Great Wall of China

La Sagrada Familia, Spain

Barcelona’s cathedral, designed by Guidi, has been photographed by everybody whose phone batteries didn’t run out at the critical moment. Selfies against the background of La Sagrada Familia are classical travel photos. To avoid taking a photo of your chin from below (and with dozens of other tourists captured in the shot as well), we recommend strolling for a couple of minutes to Placa de Gaudi. The photo from there will be just as cool, and you will manage to include both yourself and the whole of the landmark in the picture.

La Sagrada Familia


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Parthenon, Greece

The hill of Acropolis and the ancient temple Parthenon located on it are the most frequently visited parts of Athens. The temple was built back in 432 BC and has been well preserved. There are no special selfie secrets here, but of course, it’s better to turn up early in the morning when there are fewer people around, and you can choose the most appropriate angle. But if you want to capture the whole of Acropolis, we advise you to ascend Mount Lycabettus. It’s located 4.5 km from Parthenon, and you can either walk up to it or take a cable car for €4.


Machu Piсchu, Peru

Sometimes you get the impression that tourists only visit Peru for that one photo against the background of one of the new seven wonders of the world — Machu Piсchu. This small 15th-century citadel with hundreds of constructions is beyond doubt the greatest tourist attraction not only of the country but of the whole of Latin America.

How to reach Machu Piсchu

You can travel from the country’s capital Lima to the city of Cusco either by airplane or a 21-hour bus ride ($40). From Cusco, you can take a taxi for $25 to Ollantaytambo railway station, from where direct trains will take you to the nearest town to Machu Piсchu — Aguas Calientes — with tickets costing from $56. Then take a bus from Aguas Calientes directly to the landmark itself for another $12. Entry will cost you $45.

If you’re spending so much energy and cash on the road, then try to make the journey early in the morning to avoid long queues. The place where all tourists take photos is the hill on the approach to the lost city of the Incas; it’s easy to recognize from the crowd of people with cameras and phones.

Machu Piсchu


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Sydney Opera House, Australia

The mere fact that you have survived a 30-hour flight to Australia means you deserve a victory selfie. The best place for this is in Sydney — at its opera house, the country’s most famous building. The best location for the selfie is a small park called Hickson Road Reserve, 15 minutes’ walk from the main port, Circular Quay. It’s not difficult to find a nice view — the opera house is enclosed by water from three sides, so a great photo is guaranteed.

Sydney Opera House

Kjeragbolten, Norway

If there’s anywhere to make your palms sweat and your mouth dry up, it’s this frightening boulder on the mountain of Kjerag in Norway, wedged between two crevasses at the height of 984 meters. If you decide to step on the boulder, then you will get a breathtaking selfie (be sure to read the safety rules first) by capturing the image of your legs with the precipice in the background. But if you can’t pluck up the courage, then just take a selfie with the boulder in the background, without risking your life.



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Taj Mahal, India

To visit this country without taking a selfie in front of the Taj Mahal would be like returning home from Thailand without bringing a pair of mangos and a pineapple in your suitcase.

The main difficulty is, of course, negotiating the mass of other tourists. But if you stand on the distant end of the fountain, the chances of a pretty picture increase substantially. The rule that you should visit the landmark early morning is valid here, too (otherwise, you will have to take your selfie in the searing heat).

Taj Mahal

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

The most popular way to photograph the tower is when you pretend to prop it up with your hands as a simple optical illusion. But as it turns out, selfies with the tower in the background are just as popular. There is lots of room around the tower to walk about and choose the best angle. Or if you’re short on original ideas, then here are some funny variations on the same theme.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa


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Eiffel Tower, France

Another tower on our list where millions of travelers have taken a selfie. Paris’s calling card attracts countless tourists every year. The right approach is to make it to Trocadéro square before the buses with groups of tourists arrive (i.e., before around 9:00). You can also take great selfies from the Quai Branly Museum, especially from the museum cafe. That said, you will have to pay around €10 for entry. A cruise on the River Seine is a little more expensive (prices start at €15): that way, you can take a number of less usual selfies with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Eiffel Tower

Hollywood sign, USA

The plain Hollywood sign has long been a symbol of Los Angeles, and every visitor to California heads to it for a selfie. There are several excellent places where the selfie will turn out particularly nicely. The most popular is the free viewing platform in Canyon Road Drive. You can get closer to the sign at The Hollywood and Highland Center shopping mall and entertainment complex, climbing up to the building’s top floor for free and then taking the route to the special platform from where the sign is almost within your touch.

Hollywood sign


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Empire State Building, USA

New York’s fourth-tallest building attracts crowds of tourists every year. The viewing platforms of this cult building are located on the 86th and 102nd floors. The cost is $20 and a long wait in the queue. Travelers say that due to the safety railings all around the perimeter, selfies aren’t that great here. However, if you climb up the nearby Rockefeller Plaza skyscraper and get to its viewing platform called Top of the Rock ($36), you can take a great photo without the railings with a view over that very same Empire State Building.

Empire State Building

So, how many points out of 20 have you scored? If more than half then congrats: you have truly visited some of the world’s greatest landmarks. If it’s below half, then these beauty spots are all waiting for you. Arm yourself with our list, and at the critical moment, don’t forget to say cheeeese!

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