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Just because something's popular, doesn't mean it's good. Just ask Ed Sheeran. Mass appeal doesn't necessarily equate to high quality.
And so it goes with travel destinations – in particular the ones that most frequently appear on Instagram. A recent list of the most Instagrammed travel destinations on the planet featured plenty of tourist-heavy traps that wouldn't exactly have you clicking through Skyscanner in a fit of envy. I was mostly just glad I wasn't there.
No. 1 on the list – the most Instagrammed destination on the planet – was Disneyland in California, which I'm sure is a happy place for some people, but it's hell on Earth for plenty of others. No. 2 was Times Square in New York – surely one of the most overrated "attractions" in the world. The third most Instagrammed location was Central Park in New York City, then the Eiffel Tower in fourth, and then in fifth, Tokyo Disney.
That's a pretty sad state of affairs. If you're hoping to make your friends jealous with social media posts on your travels, I wouldn't recommend 'gramming anything with Disney in the title, nor would I tell anyone to go a busy, ugly square that's not even a square.
If you're really intent on driving your followers nuts, I would skip the touristy clichés and book flights to some of these places.
If it's not the vaguely recognisable Game of Thrones locations that draw you in, it will be the embarrassment of colour-soaked natural landscapes on this amazing little island. We're talking blue thermal pools, green hills, white-topped mountains, colourful buildings, clear air, waterfalls, gorges … You can't take a bad photo in Iceland.
Myanmar ticks all the Insta-worthy boxes, from temples floating in the heat haze of Bagan, to old boats lazily floating down the Mekong, to colonial architecture in Yangon, to the fishermen with their old conical nets at Inle Lake. Your desk-bound social media followers will be swooning.
Morocco is all about colour. It's the kind of place were you can forget the saturation settings on your phone and just go au naturel. It's a place where every doorway is a photo op, where towers of spices beg to be snapped, where old-school medinas operate the same way they have for centuries. People love that stuff.
Everyone wants to go to Croatia – and if they don't, they just haven't seen enough photos of Croatia (which, admittedly, sounds unlikely). Yes, everyone on your Insta feed has been to Dubrovnik by now, but have they snapped the crystal-clear waters of the Dalmatian coastline, or the islands, or Plitvice Lakes, or Split or Zadar? Insta fodder, one and all.
NZ's Insta appeal is all about the natural landscape. Want to make your friends jealous? Post a photo of Milford Sound. Or the jagged peak of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Or anything in Queenstown or Wanaka or Nelson or, let's face it, pretty much anywhere else in the country. New Zealand is a supermodel.
Check off the obvious snaps, the Machu Picchu photo from "that" spot, the llama with the pom-poms on its ears, the little kid with the colourful beanie in the Andes, and then move on to more of what Peru has to offer Insta obsessives: high-end #foodporn in Lima, Amazonian goodness in Puerto Maldonado, the Nazca Lines, the volcano near Arequipa, and so much more.
It doesn't matter what time of year you visit Canada, the country will always come up with the goods: snowy peaks in winter; wildflowers and green grass in spring; lakes and rivers and coastline and people enjoying them in summer; and a riot of colour as trees shed leaves in autumn. Beautiful.
You've seen the same photos a million times, but that doesn't stop them from inducing jealousy: the vintage cars and the crumbling Havana facades; the old man or woman smoking a cigar; the paved streets and bright buildings of Trinidad; the clear waters of the Caribbean; the images of Che Guevara everywhere. They work.
Nothing gets the Insta-verse salivating like a little tropical paradise, and the Maldives is about as paradise-y as it gets. This is the ultimate in white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees. It's also perfect for a few hotel shots, with overwater bungalows and infinity pools pretty much everywhere you look.
What's cuter than a penguin? Nothing, that's what. Actually there is something: lots of penguins. Lots and lots of penguins. And that's what you'll find in Antarctica. If the crystalline icebergs and snowy landscapes don't get people double-tapping, the penguins will do it for sure.
Australia has plenty of great, Insta-worthy locations – and most of them, in terms of popularity at least, are in Sydney. However, for something a little more impressive, head down south to Tasmania, where you can hit up wineries, farms, cheese-makers, restaurants and artisanal producers of all stripes, all residing in a photographer's paradise.
There's a lot to snap in this relatively small land, from witches' markets to smoking volcanoes, islands on Lake Titicaca to colourful chaos in La Paz and Cochabamba. Bolivia is a world apart from anywhere else, and that difference always comes across on screen.
Nepal is the perfect mix of exotic and recognisable, where the flutter of prayer flags and the majesty of snowy peaks will have friends unfollowing you out of jealousy alone. Everything you see in Nepal seems worthy of a photo, from the people to the landscapes, the buildings to the decorations – even the airports are spectacular, as anyone who's tackled Lukla would attest.
What do you think are the world's most photogenic locations? Which are likely to make your Instagram followers jealous?