Travel is a fantastic way to discover the world and yourself. Thanks to advances in technology, high quality cameras being attached to our phones, social media inspiration and filters even amateurs can create beautiful photos of their journeys. Even someone with the most basic point and click skills has a shot at capturing a great moment. Whether you are sharing your photos online for friends and family, on your personal travel blog, or finding that perfect picture to blow up and frame on your wall, we all want to come up with something a little bit unique.
No one wants the documentation of their travels to be like one of those boring old school slideshows we see in old movies. While it can be fun to get some standard run of the mill travel photos at popular tourist attractions, because who doesn’t want to pose with Mickey Mouse at Disney - am I right? - it is also fun to get an awe-inspiring photo that gets people talking. I’m talking about dynamic, interesting shots, that break the cliché mode at popular travel destinations.
Here are 25 photos from some of the world’s most visited tourist destinations that broke the mold and got people talking.
25 Pyramid Photo That Got This Teen Banned From Egypt
Some people will do anything for the perfect photo.
In 2016, a German tourist found himself permanently banned from Egypt for scaling a 4500-year-old pyramid to take photos on top of the tomb and share on social media.
After this stunt the teen was interviewed by police, since there are rules to prevent people from climbing Egyptian monuments and to prevent the destruction of these historical beauties. The teen told The Daily Mail, "It took me about eight minutes to get to the top of the pyramid and I listened to music on the way up."
24 Sink Or Swim At The Eiffel Tower
Most people don’t think of Paris as a scuba destination, but one company is working to change that, and the way people view the popular Eiffel Tower. A limited offer allowed tourists to experience their first dive in a 230-metre swimming pool that is located at the North pillar of the tower. This experiment ran as a limited offer allowing divers to receive a certificate as well as a one of a kind breathtaking view.
Check in with the Eiffel Tower to find out more about this and other unusual types of tourism focused on experiencing a different side of Paris.
23 The CN Tower Edge Walk Weddings
Toronto’s CN Tower knew that tourists wanted something a little more than a great view from inside the tower, so decided to offer them an edgy experience where tourists and locals can walk along the edge of the 181 story (from base to antenna) building.
Thrill seekers can now get photos of themselves literally living on the edge of the Toronto landmark.
Those who want to show their no-fear attitude to all can get married at the Tower for an unusual wedding photo.
22 The Leaning Tower of Parkour
How many pictures have we seen of people pretending to hold up the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa? I’m pretty sure you’re contractually obligated to pose like that before they let you leave Italy and move onto other European landmarks.
In recent years people have been trying out different visual perspective effects with the tower that range from pretending it’s an ice cream cone to performing various parkour moves, captured on camera.
This move shows off the tourist’s skill level as well as displaying the iconic tilted tower, win win.
21 The Other Side Of The Hollywood Sign
LA folks like hiking almost as much as they enjoy a good kombucha!
Instead of getting a boring photo of The Hollywood sign, why not show off your ability to hike the trails that some of Tinseltown’s most famous celebs have?
According to Hollywoodsign.org, “On the longest hike, you can ascend above and behind the Sign’s 45-foot-tall aluminum letters, where you look out over a windswept vista encompassing the DOOWYLLOH sign, the dreamy towers of downtown Los Angeles and, on a clear day, the ageless blue Pacific.” Trails are open 365 days a year, so what are you waiting for!
20 Head Over Heels For Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is almost as famous as the Kangaroo or Koala Bear are to Australia. The multi-venue performing arts centre in New South Wales, opened in 1973, and was designed and primarily built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opening in 1973, nearly two decades after his competition-winning design in 1957 was selected.
While photos in front of the Opera House, or from the distance of the harbour of the Opera House are a dime a dozen, this subject decided he was going to flip for the venue and capture it on film.
19 The Tip of the Taj Mahal
The picturesque Taj Mahal looks like something out of a story book. The ivory marble mausoleum is located in the Indian City of Agra. The tomb is the central piece of a massive 42-acre complex, and while many photographers seek to show the larger than life aspect of this historical attraction, the whimsy of making it appear small and almost magical is why people are drawn to these types of unique pictures.
Sometimes it’s fun to let your creative side out while enjoying the majestic beauty of these ancient landmarks.
18 Snowy Great Wall of China
Great hikes and adventures as well as travel tend to be summertime feats, when people are off work and school.
While there are high and low seasons for travel everywhere, most of the photos of The Great Wall of China you’ll see are from the warmer months.
It’s nice to see those who brave the cold Mongolian weather to explore some of the 5,500 miles of the great wall.
It is said it would take around 18 months for someone to walk the entire length of the wall, but most of the 10 million people who visit each year prefer summer.
17 Mona Lisa Performance Exhibition
Some tourists end up at the right place at the right time and are treated to a once in a lifetime photo opportunity. This was the case for visitors to the Louvre Gallery who were given a live performance by artist Deborah de Robertis, who took off her pants and shocked everyone when she shouted obscenities in front of the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece.
After her arrest, de Robertis noted that her intent was to copy and be photographed similarly to a photograph completed by Valie Export, who famously completed comparable disruptive feats in the 1970s.
16 Post-Tourist Travel Along The Berlin Wall
It’s been nearly 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, celebrating the beginning of a united Germany, and since tourists came to visit the site of the wall.
Only 2KM of the Wall still stands to remind people about the conflicting history of both freedom and oppression. In 1989 and then again in 2009, 1.3 km of the wall has been named The East Side Gallery, a fantastic spot to snap interesting photos of the murals created by artists from around the world.
15 Mount Fuji & The Cherry Blossoms
Now that we’re able to really make the colours pop on our photos it’s no wonder that we want photos that are going to show off the vibrancy that mother nature has to offer.
While views focusing on the mountain seemed to be more popular in the past, more and more tourists are making Japan their April tourist destination so they can see the best Sakura blossoms in the world.
Spots to catch the flowers in the region, which only are in bloom for a short time, are known, so expect high volumes of visitors in the Five Lakes Region in mid-April.
14 Resting Tender Tootsies At The Grand Canyon
We’ve all seen the pictures of people celebrating the end of their hikes and enjoying the splendor of their view at tourist hubs like the destination, but the photos like this sprinkle in a bit of reality from people who might want to relax their tired feet.
According to The Grand Canyon National Park website, “The South Kaibab Trail is 6.8 miles to Bright Angel Campground and the Bright Angel Trail is 9.3 miles,” so it’s no wonder that those celebrating their view also need a rest!
13 The Las Vegas Strip Heli-Wedding
Getting married in Vegas and the photos of all the kitschy cute wedding chapels and bright lights is the ultimate in cliched photography. Nowadays people want a Vegas wedding that offers something beyond Elvis officiants.
Some helicopter tours allow for happy couples to make their love official in the sky, while overlooking the bright lights of Vegas below.
To get married in the sky it will take about two hours and cost around $250 to $300 for the service, plus the cost of your trip to the city that never sleeps.
12 Fallen Soldier, Buckingham Palace
The soldiers at Buckingham Palace are known for their stern, serious faces, and precision. It’s no wonder the changing of the guard is one of the most famous things for visitors to London to watch.
While everyone loves watching what’s supposed to happen, there’s something a little more exciting about days when something goes wrong.
On this day onlookers were able to see something a little out of the ordinary when a soldier tumbled over during the 11:30 changing of the guards.
Ever the professional the guard quickly recovered and made it back to his proper formation.
11 Time Square NYC Flash Mob Fun
Time Square is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, with the Big Apple being one of the world's most renowned cities. In the heart of the theatre district it’s no wonder that so many want to capture the bright lights and bustle of the big city.
Aside from being a big target for pickpockets while you grin and smile among the lit-up billboards, the photos in Time Square have become a little tired. Thanks to the increasing popularity of flash mobs, lucky tourists who happen upon a flash mob at Time Square can get a truly unique New York minute captured for posterity.
10 Mountains Of Garbage At Everest
When people think of Everest, they envision a challenging and rewarding climb, adventure and rugged adventure at its best. Unfortunately, the popularity of the destination for thrill-seeking vacationers looking to push their limits has ravaged the land leaving behind unacceptable amounts of rubbish.
With 18 different climbing routes and 648 summits attempted in 2017 alone, it’s no wonder human presence is making an impact.
While the views are amazing, this vacationer photo shows that maybe it’s time to give Mother Nature a vacation from humans.
9 Bungee Jump At Victoria Falls
Tourists and locals both say that the bungee jump off the bridge at Victoria Falls Bridge, falling 111 metres is the best jump in the world. There is only one company, Zambezi Adrenaline, who offers this jump.
With the massive waterfall in the background, thrill seekers fall towards the mighty Zambezi River.
Newbie jumpers tend to fall head first whereas more experienced bungee aficionados try flips, backflips, or even head down with bikes or kayaks.
Either way it’s fantastic to capture this once in a lifetime moment.
8 Fireworks At The Statue of Liberty
Even though Lady Liberty was a gift to the United States from France, she’s still a symbol of everything that is the USA. With anywhere from four to five million people visiting the iconic statue each year there's bound to be a lot of repeated photos.
Just the same, some people manage to capture something a little different by looking to snap a picture during a particularly great sunset, amidst a thunderstorm, or even during a firework display to celebrate the fourth of July.
7 Not So 'Junk' Boats
Traditional Hong Kong boats, known as Junk Boats, are said to represent the old and traditional values of an old city, despite it being one of the world’s most robust metropolises. Sailings offered nowadays are limited with only a handful of vessels offering this view of the city, such as The Duk Ling or The Aqua Luna.
These are original ‘junk’ boats used by fisherman, repurposed in the 1980’s for tourism use.
The Duk Ling sunk in a 2014 typhoon but was recovered and restored at a high cost. Tours are limited so book early when visiting and get photos while you still can.
6 Reflective Moments At Matterhorn Switzerland
The Matterhorn has maintained its original beauty and draw partly due to those who have worked to keep it as a car-free vacation destination. While it has been the subject of vacation photos for years, increased use of better cameras has allowed tourists to snap photos providing the best use of light, shadows, and reflection to truly showcase the natural beauty of the region.
The glacial paradise is bound to provide unique photo moments, no matter how cliché your shot may seem at the time, so simply take it all in, snap, and enjoy.
5 Mount Kilimanjaro Early Climb Sky
Mount Kilimanjaro is the result of three dormant volcanic cones in Tanzania. With the first people recorded to reach the summit in 1889, travellers everywhere have worked to conquer it and enjoy its beauty ever since.
This photo truly shows the importance of the experience being about the journey as well as the destination, with shots like this pointing out that there is more beauty to Kilimanjaro than its peaks.
Thanks to digital photography travellers are better able to record their entire adventure and not just the typical highlight reel.
4 Red Square Moscow Christmas Market
The juxtaposition of Red Square Moscow set in a place known for communism, and the commercialism of a modern Christmas celebration, is something truly interesting captured on film. The Red Square is widely seen as the hub of Moscow since its city’s streets connecting the city to the area’s main highways intersect here. Many mistakenly think the name of the Red Square relates to communism, it does not, but is affiliated with the name 'krasivaya', meaning beautiful. While The Red Square is a sight any time of year, there is something truly unique about the white snowy backdrop and complimentary Christmas Market colours.
3 Niagara Falls Zipline
While honeymooners and adventurers used to flock to both the US and Canadian side of Niagara Falls, who can forget all those foolish daredevils who tried to survive drops down the massive three waterfall collective in nothing more than a barrel?
While no one is plummeting down the falls in wooden contraptions any longer, those seeking to get a better shot than the standard smile beside the falls can get one as they zip along over white waters.
Enjoy the beauty of the most powerful falls in North America as you feel the mist on your face. Don’t forget to scream and smile for the camera.
2 Taking In The Grand Palace Bangkok
Built in 1782, the home of The Thai King for 150 years remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bangkok. Instead of a standard family shot of the palace it is nice to get a more candid picture of someone taking in the grand beauty of it all.
Bangkok.com tells tourists to make sure to note, “A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops). If you're wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Women must be similarly modestly dressed.”
1 Drew Barrymore Documents Disney Drama
We’ve all seen the happy pictures of children at Disney, but parents who have survived Disney with little ones know it can involve long lines, tired tots, and sometimes tears and tantrums.
Drew told talk show host Seth Meyers, “If you’ve ever taken your kid to Disneyland or Disney World, it all ends at some point in mayhem.”
Instead of snapping a picture of the typical rose-coloured glasses view of Disney, actor Drew Barrymore decided that she was going to share the reality of her trip with daughter Olive.