Can you believe that there are still places on earth that we can’t visit? Yes, you read right. There are cities, little towns, as well as islands on earth that are simply not interested in this whole “tourism” thing.
The fact that you’re on this website right now, reading this article, implies that you’re into traveling and exploring the world. Why? Well, firstly, our planet is obviously beautiful with unbelievable cultures to explore and secondly, technology has made it so easy to just hop onto a plane for a few hours and arrive in a foreign land where there are all sorts of gems to discover.
But before you book your ticket, make sure that it doesn’t involve any of the below-listed places. You might think that we’re kidding – we’re in 2018. How could there still be places that are so secluded or restricted that tourists aren’t welcomed? Surely this must just be one big mistake. This is not possible! Well, trust us when we say, there are still plenty of places that no amount of your hard-earned money can get you in. As you’ll discover, some places only allow a certain portion of its population to have access to it, while others are so exclusive, that there are literally only a handful of people in the world allowed to have access to it. Talk about exclusivity!
As travel-enthusiast ourselves, this was a bit of a tough article to write but we’re here to share as much as we can with you so scroll down below and discover all these pretty cool and interesting places that, unfortunately, you will never be able to visit.
25 Diego Garcia Base, British Indian Ocean
We start this list off all the way in the British Indian Ocean Territory of Diego Garcia. One might think that this could be the perfect island to explore as it has colorful coral gardens and beautiful beaches but you’ll be sad to find out that you simply can’t. A large military base belonging to the British government was built on the island and therefore, only certain personnel belonging to that military base can visit. If you were considering making Diego Garcia your next tropical island getaway, think again because there’s no way you’re making it to this place.
24 Club 33, Disneyworld
Okay, this is a bit of an odd one. What on earth is Disneyworld doing on this list? Surely there must be some kind of a mistake? Nope. There isn’t. You can, of course, go to Disneyworld and have fun exploring all the places there except for one – Club 33. This is the ultra-exclusive club which welcomes only the most important people on that “VIP” list, while the rest of us can just look on from the sidewalk, dreaming about getting in.
23 Poveglia, Italy
Italy is one of the most visited countries in Europe. Looking at the culture, the art, the food, and of course, that beautiful language, there is no wonder why. Before you book that next flight out to this beautiful country though, make sure not to include exploring Poveglia island onto your itinerary. It is supposedly the most “haunted island in the world”. Many have reported seeing ghosts there and this resulted in it being forbidden to both tourists and locals.
22 Lascaux Caves, France
Okay, this is probably one of the saddest aspects of this entire list. The Lascaux Caves of France are home to over 600 cave paintings. The paintings are mostly of large animals that were said to be living in the area and they are also estimated to be around 17 000 years old and would be the perfect place to visit for all you history and art enthusiasts. The Lascaux Caves were opened to tourists, until 2008. Right now, only a selection of scientists can access them to study the paintings while the rest of us can only have access to the replica that was built.
21 Ile Saint-Paul, France
This is yet another island on our list that unfortunately, you cannot go to. The reason behind this one though is simply no one’s fault. Believe it or not, it seems that Mother Nature herself became the deciding factor here. This tiny French island will unfortunately not be included in your itinerary as you head out to this much-loved European country simply because of its shape – it has an internal basin. This basin makes it difficult for boats to dock the island.
20 Bohemian Grove, USA
You might be a little surprised to see a California place featured on this list but trust us when we say – this is one of the most exclusive places you’ll ever come across. Bohemian Grove is an exclusive club that some of the richest and most powerful men in the world belong to and apparently, they go there once a year for fun. The Washington Post wrote that “The people that gather at Bohemian Grove are told that ‘Weaving Spiders Come Not Here’, meaning business deals are to be left outside”.
19 China Spy Museum, China
Okay, so this one on the list is probably the one place we can’t visit that totally makes sense. Don’t get us wrong, we’re of course, not happy that there are places out there that don’t allow tourists to visit them but if we had to look at the reasoning behind it – we totally get it and can’t really be that mad about it. This National Security Museum in China only allows the Chinese entrance. Why, you ask? Well, the reason is that the museum holds sensitive national security information which they obviously don’t want to share with the rest of the world.
18 The Queen's Bedroom, England
This is another one on the list that totally makes sense. When you think about it – the bedroom is a pretty private place. As much as many of us do follow the rules, there are those, however, who just don’t think that rules apply to them. They’ve been quite a number of incidents of Buckingham Palace intruders, including a stalker who chatted with the Queen in her bedroom in 1982. All we can say is – Where on earth was security?
17 US Bullion Depository, USA
This is yet another place on the list that belongs on US soil. While we’re not crazy about having certain classified areas, we totally get it for this one on the list. The United States Bullion Depository is restricted and only allows certain personnel on the property because it stores gold reserves for the US. According to USMint, “The amount of present gold holdings is currently at 147.3 million ounces and the gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce”.
16 Surtsey, Iceland
This is a volcanic island off the coast of Iceland which was discovered not so long ago – only in 1963. When it was discovered, the island was having a volcanic eruption that lasted three-and-a-half years and it seems that this is the reason why it exists today. Earth Sky explains that “Surtsey is only the most famous, or one of the most famous, of the islands known to have emerged from below the sea surface”. The island has since seen many new plants sprouting and this has resulted in scientists declaring Surtsey a no go area as they wanted to monitor this new discovery without any human interference.
15 Bouvet Island, Norway
If you thought that we were done with islands that you simply cannot visit, think again. At number 15 on the list, we have the Bouvet Island of Norway. Atlas Obscura highlights that it is “an uninhabited frozen isle halfway between South Africa and Antarctica, Bouvet Island is the most remote island in the world”. Like the previously mentioned Ile Saint-PauI, Mother Nature is the main reason why it isn’t seeing any tourists. It is difficult to visit the island because of the high glacial cliffs that surround it.
14 Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
Norway has another place that tourists can’t visit and this time, it is not because of Mother Nature. The Svalbard Seed Vault is restricted to tourists and the reasoning behind it makes sense. In fact, we had no idea that such a place existed. The vault is home to multitudes of seeds in case of global catastrophes that might destroy the earth’s crops. As much as it’s important to have a backup plan, let’s just hope that the seeds of this place never have to be used.
13 Mezhgorye, Russia
Russia makes its first appearance on this list of restricted places around the world that we can’t visit. Mezhgorye is a closed town in Russia that was founded not so long ago in 1979. Planet EU explains that the restrictions to this town are from the cold-war times and it is believed that there is a facility that was used for food storage and military officials, amongst other things. “The whole story begins from the cold-war period. However, the special restricted area status is still unchanged. Because of that, Mezhgorye is one of the most mystical towns, even today”.
12 Bhangarh Fort, India
India is one of the countries that many turn to when they are in the mood of exploring exotic cultures and delicious foods. You can explore many places in India, except for Bhangardh. It is a 17th-century fort which, unfortunately, has many eerie stories, which is the reason why locals stay far away from it and tourists are advised not to go near it. Many of the locals have reported ghostly experiences which is why it has been nicknamed “the most haunted place in India”.
11 Albatross Island, Tasmania
Okay, so this is probably the first item on this list that we totally get and are absolutely in support of it. Don’t get us wrong. Of course, we love exploring different places around the world, but we also understand that some places simply need to be respected and be off limits. Albatross Island is home to the vulnerable and shy Albatross birds. It is a private nature reserve and the public are banned from visiting it so that the Albatross can live and mate in peace without any outside interference.
10 Niihau, Hawaii
Hawaii is a go-to place for tourists from all walks of life. We love the weather and the beaches there, which is why, year after year, tourists keep coming back. There is one place though, that is simply “forbidden” and that is – Niihau. There are approximately 250 native Hawaiians on the island. Only certain government officials and relatives of the natives are allowed to visit the island and we now totally understand why it has been nicknamed the forbidden island.
9 Chapel of The Ark Of The Covenant, Ethiopia
For our religious readers, this must be a pain to see on this list. The Chapel of the Ark Of The Covenant in Ethiopia is said to be the final resting place of the Ten Commandments spoken about in the Bible that God gave to Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sinai. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church claim that this occurred after Menelik brought it there, by Divine assistance and they claimed to have had the ark for centuries, protecting it.
8 Mogadishu Beaches, Somalia
We have another place in East Africa that you can’t visit and this time, it is in the Mogadishu Beaches of Somalia. This item on the list is unique because you can certainly go there but due to safety reasons, Western goverments have in recent years sent an alert to their citizens not to visit the beaches of Mogadishu. Considering that Africa is home to some of the most colorful cultures and beautiful wildlife, it is certainly sad to have a place on this list that we simply cannot go to and explore.
7 The Vault At Coca-Cola, USA
Surely, this is the one item on this list that people will unanimously say that “it sucks” for it to be restricted. You can certainly visit the Coca-Cola Vault, you just can’t get near that special recipe that has kept us wanting more and more of this special drink. You can visit the vault and engage in many activities, including creating your own formulas for drinks. We all know that, if there’s one thing we’d like to have, it is just one peak of the formula of the most loved drink in the world.
6 The Mormon Church Street Vault, USA
Okay, so this one on the list is sure to get conspiracy theorists working overtime to try to decipher the reason why there’s a secret vault belonging to the Mormon Church and admitedly, we were also curious. Mormon Hub claims that there are “2.4 million rolls of microfilm containing approximately 3.5 billion images of family history records – that’s what is really inside the Mormon Church’s Granite Mountain Record Vault. The main function of the vault is storage, preservation and reproduction of genealogical records”.
5 The Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City, Italy
We’re at number 5 of this long list of places that are restricted from tourists because they are exclusive and without a doubt, this one was bound to make an appearance on the list. Just like the previously mentioned Mormon Church Secret Vault, there are plenty of conspiracies as to what the Vatican Secret Archives contain. Ancient Origin sheds some light by highlighting that “the archives are in fact made up of the private letters and historic records of past popes over the past four centuries”. Since we can’t access them, we will never really know.
4 Google Data Center
Lenoir, North Carolina is home to perhaps one of the coolest places on this list. We classify the google data center as “cool” because, well…Where would we all be without Google? Data Center Knowledge explains the security at the center, “Physical access to Google’s data centers is severely limited, so only a tiny fraction of employees ever set foot on the premises. Layered protection includes biometric identification, metal detection, vehicle barriers and laser-based intrusion detection systems”. It’s safe to say – we’ll just have to admire google from our devices.
3 North Sentinel Island, Andaman Islands, India
We’ve purposefully decided to put this one on the list directly after the discussion on the Google Data Center. Google is the pioneer of the digital age and many of us simply cannot imagine our lives without it. In fact, it is possible for you to read this article right now, because of google. If you thought that the whole world was all for the digital age, think again. In the North Sentinel Island, there are humans who have totally rejected the modern ways.
2 White Gentlemen's Club, England
Number 2 on this list had to come. It is yet another place where you simply have to be rich and very powerful to get in (and a man, of course). The Whites Gentlemens’ Club in England is regarded as the number 1 gentlemen’s club in The UK. It is the oldest and most exclusive in London and in case you were wondering how much you’d have to pay to get in – membership costs $85 000 per year. Imagine that! Money alone is not enough though as you have to be invited to get in. Talk about exclusivity.
1 Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
Finally, number 1 on this long list of places that we’re sure you were shocked that tourists can’t visit is located all the way in Japan. The Ise Grand Shrine dates back to the 3rd century and many have regarded it as Japan’s most sacred Shinto shrine. There are over 100 shrines in this restricted area and they are dedicated to the goddess of Amaterasu-Omikami.
And there we have it, our list of places that you’ll, unfortunately, not be able to explore as a tourist.