17 places where selfie sticks are banned

Increasing numbers of people are using a selfie stick, but not everyone is a fan of the latest must-have photographic accessory.

Love it or hate it, the selfie is here to stay and with it a range of accessories designed to help the user take better selfies, such as the selfie hairbrush and more famously the selfie stick.

A selfie stick is a modified monopod, a pole with a grip at the end for a smartphone. By holding the stick out you can take a photograph from a further distance than your arm, enabling you to get a wider field of view and get more into the shot. Some sticks have Bluetooth, so the photographer can choose when to trigger the shutter.

[Beyond the selfie: Smartphone camera tips you need to know]

There’s nothing wrong with selfies – it’s another word for a self-portrait and a great method for capturing intimate moments. Even some journalists have used a selfie stick for their reporting. Read more about how to take the perfect selfie.

Girls using selfie stick in Paris


But when used incorrectly they are incredibly annoying to other people. Imagine you are at a gig or concert and the person in front of you holds out a stick blocking your view and waving it all over the place. Not only is it inconsiderate, it can be dangerous too.

So it's no surprise that all kinds of locations - be they sports music venues, tourist destinations or even entire regions - are banning the sticks. Here’s a look at some places that have said “no” to the stick.

1: White Hart Lane

The sticks have been banned from the home of Tottenham Hotspur football club, White Hart Lane. Spurs fan Liam emailed the club to ask and posted the response on Twitter.

2: The Emirates Stadium

Spurs’ north London football rivals Arsenal have also banned selfie sticks from home matches, telling the New Journal"We can confirm that 'selfie sticks' are banned on match days at Emirates Stadium. The club's ground regulations prohibit any object that could be used as a weapon or could compromise public safety."

Fans were delighted to see the ban being enforced.

3: Wembley Arena

Music venues are another place where a selfie stick could ruin the experience for visitors. At least, that's the opinion of the people in charge of SSE Wembley Arena, the 12,500 seater north London indoor music venue and home of the X Factor.

A spokesperson told the NME although selfies were part of the gig experience, turn up with a selfie stick and you might not get in. "Our advice is don't bring them and stick with the tried and tested use of an arm."

[Read more: How to take the perfect selfie]

4: The O2

The UK’s biggest indoor music venue has also banned the selfie stick.

“The O2 do not allow selfie sticks into the arena due to safety considerations and so as not to impact the view of other fans. We welcome selfies, but leave the stick at home please,” a spokesperson told Billboard.

Person next to selfie sticks

5: The Smithsonian Institute

The world’s largest museum and research complex (which is based in Washington, D.C.) has added selfie sticks to a list of prohibited items that includes tripods and monopods.

“This is a preventive measure to protect visitors and objects, especially during crowded conditions,” the museum said in a statement.

But the institute isn’t banning self-portraits altogether: “We encourage museum visitors to take selfies and share their experiences - and leave the selfie sticks in their bags.”

6: South Korea

The Asian country has clamped down on unregistered selfie stick use – anyone caught using one could face jail or a £17,000 fine.

The reasoning isn’t based on the annoyance factor. Instead it’s to do with the Bluetooth technology used in some sticks to remotely activate the shutter, technically making it a communication device that could interfere with other signals.

The chances of arrest are pretty slim, an unnamed official told AFP news agency: "It's not going to affect anything in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a telecommunication device subject to regulation, and that means we are obligated to crackdown on uncertified ones.”

7: The Colosseum


The Roman amphitheatre banned selfie sticks a few years ago. But it's not the only tourist hotspot in Italy to do so - the Vatican and Sistine Chapel have also instigated a ban.

8: The Tower of London

You're not allowed to use selfie sticks at the world famous tower, at least not without prior approval. As the Tower of London website notes: "Equipment such as tripods and selfie sticks may not be used inside the palace unless arrangements have been made in advance with our conservation team."

9: The National Gallery

Back in March 2015, London's premier art gallery put selfie sticks in the same category as tripods, banning them in order to "protect paintings, individual privacy and the overall visitor experience".

10: Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace selfie

Photography and filming are banned outright in the State Rooms, which means you'll have to leave your selfie stick at the door.

11: St. Paul's Cathedral

There's plenty to see in this 300-year-old, Christopher Wren-designed building, but sadly you won't be allowed to snap a picture using a selfie stick. 

12: Royal Opera House

You'll be out of luck if you fancy snapping yourself during a performance at Covent Garden's renowned opera house.

13: All Disney parks

Disneyland photo

They might be the happiest places on Earth, but Disney parks take a dim view to selfie sticks. In fact, the House of Mouse has banned them from all of its parks worldwide. Previously, they were only banned on certain rides on safety grounds. But Disney extended the ban to every inch of its parks back in 2015. So when it comes to taking a selfie with Mickey, you'll just have to use your hand.

14: The Palace Museum, Beijing

Also known as the Forbidden City, which is fitting, seeing as selfie sticks are now forbidden here. According to the authorities, selfie sticks pose a danger to not only the very delicate antiquities, but also other visitors.

15: The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Van Gogh Museum

Van Gogh was known for his self-portraits, but visitors are banned from taking selfies here. In fact, all forms of photography are banned within the museum. The museum's director claims this is because photography "caused tension between those wishing to photograph and those wishing to view the paintings".

16: Garoupe Beach, France

Not everyone wants to snap a beach selfie - some would rather just relax and enjoy the experience. Those in the latter camp would be advised to visit Garoupe Beach in the south of France. The authorities here have banned selfies, on the grounds that they ruin the beachgoing experience. Life truly is a beach.

17: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

You can still take photos inside this world-famous museum, just not with a selfie stick. Like lots of other tourist destinations, the reason is to protect both the exhibits and fellow visitors from accidentally being whacked by a stray photography aid.

[Read more: The gadget that will take your smartphone photography to a whole new level]

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