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$242,217 on Travel Photos? Shocking Costs Behind World’s Most Iconic Photos

Ever wonder how much it costs to take those iconic pictures?

So did we.

That’s why we put together this list of 65 of the world’s most photographed areas, and how much it costs to actually snap that shot yourself.

The list is in order from cheapest to the most expensive.

Let’s take a closer look…

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Much of the Sydney Opera House is open to the public, but to take a tour or watch a concert requires an admission fee.

Price: $0

Sydney Opera House, AustraliaPhoto by Rex Walters (Flickr)

Twelve Apostles, Australia

Accessing the Twelve Apostles is free. There’s even a visitor information center with tips, maps, and more.

Price: $0

Twelve Apostles, AustraliaPhoto by sukhchander (Flickr)

Havana, Cuba

Havana is the capital city of Cuba and has photo opportunities on almost every street corner.

Price: $0

Havana, CubaPhoto by timsnell (Flickr)

Frauenkirche Dresden, Germany

The Frauenkirche Dresden is a Lutheran Church built in the 18th century. It was re-built after being destroyed in WWII. Entrance is free, but donations are suggested.

Price: $0

Frauenkirche Dresden, GermanyPhoto by swusch (Flickr)

St. Peter’s Basilica, Holy See

There is no entrance fee to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, but donations are welcomed. Remember to dress appropriately with shoulders and legs covered.

Price: $0

St. Peter’s Basilica, Holy SeePhoto by kunalmehta (Flickr)

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

Giant’s Causeway is a natural rock formation located in Northern Ireland. Access to the site is free, but expect to pay a little for parking if you drive.

Price: $0

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland  Photo by falco500 (Flickr)

Venice, Italy

The “City of Water” has 117 islands accessed by an interconnecting maze of bridges or waterways. Photo ops are everywhere.

Price: $0

Venice, ItalyPhoto by mswern (Flickr)

Mt. Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji can be photographed from a number of places in Tokyo, but the best is on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Observatory in Shinjuku-ku. Entrance is free.

Price: $0

Mt. Fuji, JapanPhoto by skyseeker (Flickr)

Loch Ness , Scotland

The 23 mile (37km) long fresh water loch is allegedly home to “Nessie” the famous Loch Ness monster. Monster or not, the area is breathtaking and free to take pictures.

Price: $0

Loch Ness , Scotland  Photo by mendhak (Flickr)

Burj Al Arab, United Arab Emirates

Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is one of the tallest and most expensive hotels in the world. Pictures can be taken for free outside the hotel; however, you’ll need a room or dinner reservation to enter the hotel.

Price: $0

Burj Al Arab, United Arab EmiratesPhoto by Jon Rawlinson (Flickr)

Redwood National Park, California

Redwood National Park – unlike most National Parks – is free to enter. One of the best places to photograph is Fern Canyon, just a short hike from Gold Bluffs Beach.

Price: $0

Redwood National Park, CaliforniaPhoto by Jeremy Weate (Flickr)

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

The Golden Gate Bridge can be photographed from San Francisco, Marin, or on the bridge itself. There’s no fee to walk or bike across, but expect a lot of people and noise on the weekends.

Price: $0

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CaliforniaPhoto by Duncan Hull (Flickr)

Niagara Falls, USA/Canada

Entrance to the massive Niagara Falls is free. However, many visitors take a Maid of the Mist boat ride that get you soakingly close to the falls for $17 per adult.

Price: $0

Niagara Falls, USA/CanadaPhoto by Nicholas Schooley (Flickr)

Angel Falls, Venezuela

Entrance to Canaima National Park and Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, is $5.

Price: $5

Angel Falls, VenezuelaPhoto by David Kjelkerud (Flickr)

Victoria Falls , Zambia/Zimbabwe

Whether you visit Victoria Falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe, expect to pay $5 for the entrance fee.

Price: $5

Victoria Falls , Zambia/ZimbabwePhoto by Steve Jurvetson (Flickr)

Great Wall of China , China

The Badaling and Juyongguan sections of the great wall are closest to Beijing and are often very crowded. If you prefer fewer crowds, try the Mutianyu section which is still within reasonable distance from Bejing. Entrance fees vary, but expect to pay between $5-10.

Price: $5-10

Great Wall of China , ChinaPhoto by Jack Zalium (Flickr)

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania

Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is a big site for Romanian and foreign tourists alike. The admission fee is $6.

Price: $6

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania  Photo by Kyle Taylor (Flickr)

Tower of Belém, Portugal

The best place to take a picture of The Tower of Belém is from the banks of the river Tejo. However, if you want to see inside, the entrance fee is $7 or free on Sundays.

Price: $7

Tower of Belém, PortugalPhoto by Cris (Flickr)

The Kremlin, Russia

Located in the heart of Moscow is the Kremlin complex which includes four palaces and four cathedrals enclosed by brick walls and towers along the Moskva River. Entrance to the square is $8.

Price: $8

The Kremlin, RussiaPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Hall of Supreme Harmony, China

Located within the Forbidden City, the Hall of Supreme Harmony is one of the largest wooden structures in all of China. The entrance fee is $10.

Price: $10

Hall of Supreme Harmony, ChinaPhoto by Jorge Lascar (Flickr)

Great Pyramids, Egypt

To enter the site of the Great Pyramids of Egypt it’s $10. Expect to pay more to enter the actual pyramids themselves. The Pyramid of Menkaure is $5 and the Great Pyramid of Khufu is $17. If you are a student, bring a student ID for up to 50% off.

Price: $10

Great Pyramids, EgyptPhoto by annemarieangelo (Flickr)

Dome of the Rock, Israel

The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located in old Jerusalem. The entrance fee is $10.

Price: $10

Dome of the Rock, IsraelPhoto by isawnyu (Flickr)

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

There are no entrance fees to Mount Rushmore, however parking is $11 per vehicle.

Price: $11

Mount Rushmore, South DakotaPhoto by Zach Den Adel (Flickr)

Mont St. Michel, France

Mont St. Michel is located on a tidal island, meaning it’s only is an island at high-tide. It’s $12 to enter the Abby. Be sure to check the tide schedule before visiting if you want to see Michel surrounded by water.

Price: $12

Mont St. Michel, FrancePhoto by neiljs (Flickr)

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Church, turned Mosque, turned museum… Hagia Sophia is one of the most famous sites in Istanbul. The entrance fee is $12.

Price: $12

Hagia Sophia, IstanbulPhoto by satanoid (Flickr)

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge is located roughly 90 miles (145km) west from central London. The entrance fee for Stonehenge is $13 for adults and includes a complementary audio tour.

Price: $13

Stonehenge, EnglandPhoto by Fire At Will [Photography] (Flickr)

Statue of Liberty, New York

A ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Libery is $13. However, if you’re happy shooting from a distance, take the free Staten Island ferry.

Price: $13

Statue of Liberty, New YorkPhoto by NOAA Photo Library (Flickr)

Ephesus , Turkey

Ephesus was once a Greek city, then a Roman one. Regardless of who owns it, it remains one of the largest cities on the Mediterranean. Admission is $13.

Price: $13

Ephesus , TurkeyPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Atomium, Belgium

The Atomium is a monument in Brussels built for the 1958 World’s Fair. Tickets cost $15.

Price: $15

Atomium, BelgiumPhoto by aditya karnad (Flickr)

Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child. While you can take free shots of the Taj Mahal from any local roof top, to access the site costs $15.

Price: $15

Taj Mahal, India  Photo by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Hermitage Museum, Russia

With over 3 million works of art, the Hermitage is worth the $15 entrance fee. It’s free on the first Thursday of every month. Pictures can be taken of the building outside for free.

Price: $15

Hermitage Museum, RussiaPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Temple of Athena, Greece

To visit the Acropolis of Athens it’s $16 which includes access to all major monuments around Athens.

Price: $16

Temple of Athena, GreecePhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Pictures can be taken of the Eiffel Tower from all over Paris for free. However, it’s $17 to take an elevator to the top (or $11 to the second floor.)

Price: $17

Eiffel Tower, ParisPhoto by jeroen_bennink (Flickr)

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The ancient ruins of Angkor Wat are arguably the most impressive in the world. A one-day entrance ticket costs $20 (3-day $40, 7-day $60).

Price: $20

Angkor Wat, CambodiaPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Banff, Canada

Banff is located in Alberta and boasts some of the best skiing and most dramatic landscapes in Canada. It’s $20 for a one-day vehicle park entrance.

Price: $20

Banff, CanadaPhoto by Fikret Onal (Flickr)

Big Ben, England

While you can snap free shots from several locations in London, it costs $20 to access Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Price: $20

Big Ben, EnglandPhoto by kozumel (Flickr)

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

The Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) was once thought to be the most beautiful square in the world. Access to the square is free, but t’s $20 to climb the tower.

Price: $20

Leaning Tower of Pisa, ItalyPhoto by Pål Nordseth (Flickr)

Yosemite National Park, California

Ansel Adam’s famous black and white photographs of Yosemite are world-renowned. See the pictures – and the park itself – for $20.

Price: $20

Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaPhoto by Cea.(Flickr)

Uluru in Northern Territory, Australia

Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) is located in central Australia. The park entrance is $25, but  flights to Alice Springs can range from $100-500 and shuttles to the park are around $45.

Price: $25

Uluru in Northern Territory, AustraliaPhoto by Nitin Gajria (Flickr)

Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

Iguazu Falls is located between Brazil and Argentina. Most people enter from the Argentinian side as there are less issues with VISAs and entrance fees. From Argentina the park entrance is $25.

Price: $25

Iguazu Falls, Brazil/ArgentinaPhoto by Jeremy Engleman (Flickr)

Colosseum, Italy

Pictures outside the Colosseum can be taken for free, but to enter it’s $25.

Price: $25

Colosseum, ItalyPhoto by (Flickr)

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain can be photographed from Cape Town or visitors can take the cableway to the top for $25 roundtrip.

Price: $25

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South AfricaPhoto by Andi Gentsch (Flickr)

Empire State Building, New York

The best place to take a picture of the Empire States Building is from the “Top of the Rock” or Rockefeller Center. Tickets are $25 per adult. If you prefer to head to Observatory Deck of the Empire States Building it’s $22 per adult.

Price: $25

Empire State Building, New YorkPhoto by Antoine Gady (Flickr)

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

At 277 miles (446 km) long and about 5,000 feet (1524 m) high from the rim to the Colorado River, they call it “Grand” for a reason. There’s a $25 vehicle entrance fee into the Grand Canyon National Park.

Price: $25

Grand Canyon National Park, ArizonaPhoto by (Flickr)

Tikal, Guatemala

To see the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, there’s a park entrance fee of $25 per person. Keep in mind this doesn’t include transportation to the park.

Price: $25

Tikal, Guatemala  Photo by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Bullfight, Spain

Bullfighting is a long tradition in Spanish culture. To watch a fight in Madrid, expect to pay between $25 to $150 depending on the event and requested seats.

Price: $25-150

Bullfight, SpainPhoto by pasotraspaso (Flickr)

Ruins Comalcalco, Mexico

The ancient ruins of Comalcalco are located in the Yucatan and cost $45 for entry which also includes admission to the museum. All Mexican ancient ruins cost between $30-55 for entrance.

Price: $45

Ruins Comalcalco, MexicoPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Torres del Paine (Patagonia), Chile

The Patagonian mountains of Chile are perhaps the main attraction of the country (well, besides the wine region). Park entrance is $35 and round-trip transportation from Puerto Natales to the park is $35. Most visitors spend a few days hiking the region. Expect to pay about $50 for lodging (not including bedding) or $30 for camping (not including gear).

Price: $70

Torres del Paine (Patagonia), ChilePhoto by rrjakubowski (Flickr)

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Milford Sound is located on Southland’s southwestern coast. Many people chose to visit Milford Sound on a day cruise which ranges from $70 for one and a half hours, up to $600+ for a full day cruise.

Price: $70-600

Milford Sound, New ZealandPhoto by ranigraff (Flickr)

Polar Bears, Arctic

A polar bear tour from Alaska costs roughly $75-150. This does not include transportation getting to the northern most point for better viewing.

Price: $75-100

Polar Bears, ArcticPhoto by Jenny Varley (Flickr)

Carnival, Brazil

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the largest celebrations in the world. Tickets to most events cost around $75-150. This doesn’t include transportation to the event or accommodations.

Price: $75-150

Carnival, BrazilPhoto by Juliana Coutinho (Flickr)

Halong Bay, Vietnam

The best way to explore Halong Bay is on a traditional junk boat. Multi-day trips – including activities and meals – can be booked from $100+.

Price: $100

Halong Bay, VietnamPhoto by lianne504 (Flickr)

Petra, Jordan

The “Rose Red City” is one of Jordan’s main sites. Buses make day trips from Amman which cost around $35 roundtrip. Entrance to Petra is $125.

Price: $125

Petra, JordanPhoto by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

Sahara Desert, Africa

To visit the Sahara Desert from Morocco, a 3-day, 2-night tour costs around $250+.

Price: $250

Sahara Desert, Africa  Photo by bachmont (Flickr)

Easter Island, Pacific Ocean

Easter Island is located almost in the middle of the South Pacific and getting there can be costly. Once on the island, tour prices vary depending on the number of days. Expect to pay $400-450 for a 4-day group tour.

Price: $400-450

Easter Island, Pacific OceanPhoto by (Flickr)

Jungle Tour, Borneo Malaysia

Heading into the thick Borneo jungle of  Tanjung Puting National Park  is an experience not to miss.  Multi-day tours (4-day/3-night) include transportation, accommodations and meals run about $500.

Price: $500

Jungle Tour, Borneo MalaysiaPhoto by Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk (Flickr)

Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, Peru

There are several ways to get to Machu Picchu, including hiking the famous Inca Trail ($500-550, includes all costs) or simply taking a day train ($100, includes round trip train from Cusco to Machu Picchu). Entrance to Machu Picchu is $100.

Price: $500-550

Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, Peru  Photo by pablosnr (Flickr)

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

While day trips to the reef are possible, most people prefer to book a 3-day live-aboard which includes accommodations, meals and diving.

Price: $500-750

Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaPhoto by Jon Connell (Flickr)

Gobi Desert, Mongolia/China

The Gobi Desert – Asia’s largest desert -spans across China and Mongolia. For an 8-day tour, prices range from $1,000 to $2,000.

Price: $1,000-2,000

Gobi Desert, Mongolia/ChinaPhoto by c.hug (Flickr)

Galapagos, Ecuador

Because the Galapagos are located 845 miles (1,360km) off mainland Ecuador, it can be quite expensive just to get there. Once there, expect to pay $1,500 + for a 3-day cruise of the islands.

Price: $1,500

Galapagos, EcuadorPhoto by Bill Bouton (Flickr)

Safari, Africa

Many countries in Africa offer safaris including Kenya, Botswana, and Tanzania. Prices range, but on average a 7-day safari will cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

Price: $1,500-2,000

Safari, AfricaPhoto by Stuart Richards (Flickr)

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

The prices for hiking Kilimanjaro vary depending on the number of days and specific route. Most treks are five to seven-days and cost between $1,500-2,000 including park fees.

Price: $1,500-2,000

Kilimanjaro, TanzaniaPhoto by Mike McHolm (Flickr)

Glaciers, Antarctica

Most people who visit Antarctica take a cruise, which ranges from $3,500 – $10,000 for 10+ days.

Price: $3,500-10,000

Glaciers, AntarcticaPhoto by peterp (Flickr)

Everest, Nepal

Climbing Mount Everest is not cheap. Prices range from $30,000 to 65,000 depending on the tour operator you choose… and well, you get what you pay for. ‘Nuff said.

Price: $30,000-65,000

Everest, NepalPhoto by Tim Gage (Flickr)

Planet Earth

Sir Richard Branson is at it again, booking trips to space through Virgin Galactic for $200,000.

Price: $200,000

Planet EarthPhoto by NASA Goddard Photo and Video (Flickr)


Did we forget a great location?  If so, leave let us know in the comments below!


Featured Image Credit: Tax Credits


  1. Tim Gage says:

    It might cost $30 – $60k to climb Mt Everest. But it didn’t cost that much to take that picture. More like $3k (including air fare)

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