Special Report

Most Photographed Structures in the World

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With the advent of smartphones, people now carry cameras with them wherever they go. Every two minutes, the world’s population takes more photos than they did in the entire 19th century. In addition to pictures of meals and cats, people love to take photos of memorable landmarks while on vacation.

24/7 Tempo reviewed the most photographed structures in the world based on Instagram posts and data from the Google Maps tool Panoramio. 

Many of these structures are undoubtedly the most beautiful attractions in the world, and here are the most beautiful attractions in the United States. 

Click here to read about the most photographed structures in the world.

To identify the most photographed structures in the world, 24/7 Tempo reviewed top results from Instagram and Panoramio, eliminating a few landmarks in cities like London and Rome where multiple structures had top positions.

Source: WitR / Getty Images

1. The Great Pyramids
> Location: Giza, Egypt

Constructed between 2550 and 2490 BC, the ancient pyramids of Giza are tombs that were built to house pharaohs during the afterlife. The stone blocks used in construction weigh between 2.5 and 15 tons on average, and to this day scientists have yet to prove exactly how the pyramids were built.

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Source: ale72 / Getty Images

2.Trinità dei Monti
> Location: Rome, Italy

Though this Renaissance-era church is in Rome, it was commissioned by French King Louis XIII and is the property of France. The church is connected to the Piazza di Spagna by the famous Spanish Steps, and this trio of landmarks is one of the most photographed in the world.

Source: adamkaz / Getty Images

3. Taj Mahal
> Location: Agra, India

Beginning in 1631, nearly 20,000 workers were hired by Emperor Shah Jahan to build this massive white marble mausoleum in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal and surrounding Mughal gardens occupy over 40 acres of land in the otherwise densely populated city of Agra and are considered one of the greatest achievements in Indo-Islamic architecture.

Source: Nikada / Getty Images

4. Burj Al Arab
> Location: Dubai, UAE

The Burj Al Arab is one of the tallest hotels in the world, reaching 1,053 feet, and also one of the most expensive hotels to stay in. Built in the shape of a ship sail, the hotel sits on a manmade island only accessible to the mainland by a private bridge.

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Source: TomasSereda / Getty Images

5. Sagrada Familia
> Location: Barcelona, Spain

Designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudí, La Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882, and is expected to be completed in 2026. The former cathedral is one of seven Gaudí­ structures in Barcelona with UNESCO World Heritage status, and is the site of the architect’s own tomb.

Source: Eakkawatna / Getty Images

6. Tokyo Tower
> Location: Tokyo, Japan

The tallest structure in Japan from its construction until the Tokyo Skytree was built in 2012, Tokyo Tower resembles the Eiffel Tower, but is painted bright orange and white in compliance with international air safety regulations. Two observation decks allow visitors to look over Tokyo from 490 feet and 819 feet high.

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Source: rglinsky / Getty Images

7. Hotel de Paris
> Location: Monte Carlo, Monaco

This iconic French Riviera hotel in Casino Square — a high-end gambling district in Monte Carlo, Monaco — has appeared in two James Bond movies. In March 2019, a $280 million renovation was completed on the building, which opened in 1864.

Source: TommL / Getty Images

8. Times Square
> Location: New York, USA

Times Square, a Midtown Manhattan neighborhood based at the intersection of Broadway and 45th st, is the center of New York City’s theater and entertainment district, as well as the location of the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. As one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the world, Times Square sees about 50 million visitors a year.

Source: Nicola Forenza / Getty Images

9. Trevi Fountain
> Location: Rome, Italy

Trevi Fountain was built between 1732 and 1762 at the end of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, one of the oldest water sources in Rome. The central figure is a statue of the sea god Neptune riding a horse-drawn chariot.

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Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

10. Brooklyn Bridge
> Location: New York, USA

A granite and steel suspension bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan over the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 after 14 years and $320 million (in today’s dollars). At the time of its construction, it contained the newest suspension technology and had the longest span of any suspension bridge — 1,600 feet between towers.

Source: FedevPhoto / Getty Images

11. Petra
> Location: Jabal Al-Madbah, Jordan

Carved into the red sandstone mountains of Jordan is the ancient city of Petra. Formerly a crucial caravan stop along a desert trade route between Egypt, Syria, and Arabia, the city is now an archaeological goldmine of temples, tombs, Hellenistic architecture, and preserved passageways and water cisterns carved out of sandstone.

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Source: fotoVoyager / Getty Images

12. Buckingham Palace
> Location: London, UK

Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 for an Earl and only became a royal residence in 1761 when King George III purchased it for his wife, Queen Charlotte. The palace underwent multiple renovations and additions throughout the years, and has been the official residence of the Monarch of the U.K. since 1837. The palace currently contains 775 rooms.

Source: zhudifeng / Getty Images

13. Great Wall of China
> Location: Huairou, China

Beginning about 2,700 years ago, the Great Wall of China was constructed as a defensive fortress. Various sections of the wall were fortified, lengthened, and connected for the next 2,500 years, with a large share of the construction taking place during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The wall is now over 13,000 miles long.

Source: sestovic / Getty Images

14. St. Stephen’s Basilica
> Location: Budapest, Hungary

Completed in 1905, St. Stephen’s Basilica took over 50 years to construct, and was named after the first king of Hungary, Stephen I. The iconic church features two clock towers and a cupola. Inside, visitors can view the mummified hand of St. Stephen himself.

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Source: MaxOzerov / Getty Images

15. Moulin Rouge
> Location: Paris, France

The most notorious cabaret in France, the Moulin Rouge opened in 1899, featuring burlesque, dance, magic, and musical acts. The venue is famous not only for its performances, but also for serving more champagne than any other venue in the world.

Source: Sherman / Getty Images

16. Guggenheim Museum
> Location: New York, USA

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is a cylindrical building whose interior is composed of a continuous sloping walkway that spirals to the top floor. Although the museum displays a renowned collection of modern art, the building itself carries its own appeal, and has been photographed more than any other landmark in New York City.

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Source: GCShutter / Getty Images

17. Statue of Liberty
> Location: New York, USA

Officially named Liberty Enlightening the World, this copper statue was a gift to the United States from France, commemorating the American Revolution and the abolition of slavery. The statue is a depiction of the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas, with unbound chains lying at her feet.

Source: simonbradfield / Getty Images

18. Sydney Opera House
> Location: Sydney, Australia

The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who won a juried competition among 233 submitted designs in 1956. Considered a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture and structural engineering, the Opera House sits on a promenade in Sydney Harbor.

Source: dblight / Getty Images

19. Burj Khalifa
> Location: Dubai, UAE

Built in 2010, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world. Its 2,717 feet house 30,000 residences, nine hotels, a shopping mall, and a man-made lake.

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Source: dislentev / Getty Images

20. Christ the Redeemer
> Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Towering 2,400 feet over the city of Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer is an Art-Deco statue situated on the summit of Mount Corcovado. The statue was erected in 1931 and in 2007 was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Source: gbarm / Getty Images

21. Notre Dame Cathedral
> Location: Paris, France

Beginning in 1163, the famous Gothic cathedral Notre Dame was built on the ruins of two older churches. Its two massive Gothic towers were completed in 1250, and its central spire was added in the 1800s. Although a fire in April of 2019 destroyed the central spire and much of the roof, the western facade including the two bell towers remains intact.

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Source: Vincent_St_Thomas / Getty Images

22. Kiz Kulesi
> Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Kiz Kulesi, which means Maiden’s Tower in Turkish, is a former lighthouse and lookout point at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. Though it remains unclear when the tower was built, its style suggests it was erected around 340 BC.

Source: Carol_Anne / Getty Images

23. Berlin Wall
> Location: Berlin, Germany

As relics of the Cold War, the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall — which separated Communist East Berlin from West Berlin between 1961 and 1989 — are still standing. Many of the areas on the old border are now parks and cemeteries. Some sections are popular graffiti canvases and others, including the Berlin Wall Memorial, remain barren.

Source: alxpin / Getty Images

24. Alhambra
> Location: Granada, Spain

A Moorish palace overlooking Granada, the Alhambra was built between 1238 and 1358. The grounds contain historic orange, myrtle, rose, and elm groves, as well as multiple majestic archways.

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Source: TomasSereda / Getty Images

25. Louvre
> Location: Paris, France

The Louvre is the largest museum in the world. Originally a 12th-century fortress, the Louvre Palace was redesigned many times and began serving as a museum in 1793 during the French Revolution. The iconic courtyard pyramid, designed by I.M. Pei and installed in 1989, has become a staple of the Parisian landscape.

Source: DestinoIkigai / Getty Images

26. Machu Picchu
> Location: Cusco Region, Peru

An ancient Incan city possibly dating back to the mid-1400s, Machu Picchu is one of the only large pre-Columbian ruins in South America that was not found or destroyed by the Spanish and remains largely intact. Why the city was abandoned remains a mystery, but evidence suggests it was used as a royal retreat.

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Source: BigGabig / Getty Images

27. Borobudur
> Location: Magelang, Indonesia

Borobudur is an ancient Buddhist temple built in the 8th and 9th centuries on the island of Java. The three-tiered main temple is surrounded by 72 stupas, each containing a Buddha statue, and the compound is arranged in the shape of a lotus, a sacred flower in Buddhist traditions.

Source: yulenochekk / Getty Images

28. St. Basil’s Cathedral
> Location: Moscow, Russia

Composed of nine separate chapels around a central nave, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square was built in the 1550s and was originally white with gold domes. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the striking colors St. Basil’s is known for were added to the facade.

Source: dennisvdw / Getty Images

29. Eiffel Tower
> Location: Paris, France

Built as the entryway for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be dismantled after 20 years, but the French began using it as an antenna post for telegraph transmissions. It is now an attraction that draws seven million visitors annually.

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Source: Handout / Getty Images

30. Cinderella’s Castle
> Location: Florida, USA

Cinderella’s Castle is the entryway to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. With 27 towers, a water-filled moat, and a massive drawbridge, the fantasy castle is one of the most instagrammed locations in the world.

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