There’s something wonderful about scanning through endless pictures of people’s travels on Instagram. Of course, you get the multitude of selfies and the family vacation shots that didn’t really need to be shared with the public, but you also get some really incredible photos of amazing places. And because your phone camera enables you to be there, wherever there is, at just the right moment, you can get some really surprising shots. As the year draws to a close, Instagram looks back on the most popular spots of the year. The results? Not too surprising.
Here are the top six:
# Disney and Universal Studios
Disney and Universal Studios packed a one-two punch as the most Instagrammed spots in the world in 2016. And it’s not really a surprise, is it? Drawing millions visitors a year, this is the place to take those family vacation shots, the cute photos with your favorite characters, the classic pics of summertime fun, etc. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to not find something worth Instagramming during your trip there. So take in the magic…and be sure to take shots upon shots upon shots to make all your followers jealous.
# New York City
Following Disney and Universal Studios as numbers one and two on the list, we have the Big Apple landmarks of Central Park (#3) and Times Square (#4). In fact, NYC is one of the Instagrammed cities in the world, with six spots in the top 20—other spots include Brooklyn Bridge (#9), Madison Square Garden (#13), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (#18), and the Empire State Building (#19). And that’s not really a surprise either, is it? We all know that NYC is a great place both to live and to visit (if you don’t already know this, you need to visit pronto). To be honest, though, what I’d really like to see is someone do a hotdog tour of the city, with Instagrammed images at the best of the hotdog carts. But maybe that would kill a person.
Numbers five and six go to the City of Love, with the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre—and really, when romance is in the air, why not capture it with a selfie in some of the most beautiful spots in the world? Or showcase your wannabe cultural geek in your two hours at an art museum that could take you weeks to explore in full. But seriously, you know that your mom wants to see everything you do during your trip, from your breakfast to your glass of wine along the Seine. Personally, I’ll be over at Notre Dame Cathedral (#17), taking selfies with the gargoyles.
# Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ iconic Strip comes in at number seven. With all that beautiful neon and Instagram’s vintage-y filters, I’m not surprised by that either. Plus, you’ve got all those drunken shenanigans with friends, the surprise weddings, and the whole what-happens-in-Vegas mentality… If you’re not snapping dozens of photos during your time here, you’ve probably just forgotten to charge your phone or left it at home to make sure that you don’t drop it in the toilet over the course of the night. Otherwise, well, at least you have some sort of trail to work with the following morning when you wake up with no recollection of the previous night.
# Santa Monica Pier, California
Number eight goes to Santa Monica Pier. As with Vegas, Instagram’s vintage-y filters are really what makes this one. Who doesn’t see the magic and nostalgia in a fuzzy photo of a colorful ferris wheel and a historic wooden pier? Take a walk along the shoreline and you’ll be treated to some great views, and the sun tends to set just perfectly behind the main attractions at the end of the day. Nothing says summer quite like this!
# VDNKh, Moscow
Rounding out the top ten, we have VDNKh, the convention center and amusement park in Moscow, Russia. To me, this one is a bit of a surprise, but when you see some of the Instagrammed spots in VDNKh of 2016…well, I’m already planning a trip there! Moscow in general can be a lot of fun to photograph, from the iconic Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral to the Museum of Cosmonautics. Just don’t forget to stop off in the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games if you’re looking for something unique to Instagram!
What’s your favorite Instagram shot that you took in 2016? Tell us about it in the comments!