Want to take a selfie? If you’re visiting one of these places around the world, you won’t be able to, because cellphones are outright banned.
1. The Sistine Chapel, Italy
Michelangelo didn’t spend all that time on his back painting the most famous ceiling mural in the world for you to cheapen it with an Instagram post. The guards at the Chapel keep a close watch on visitors, and won’t hesitate to yell “No photo!” and “No video!” if they see you disobeying this strict rule.
2. The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
One of the most famous art museums in the world encourages visitors to sketch the artworks by putting out free paper and pencils, but cellphones are strictly forbidden.
3. North Korea
On the off chance you visit the hermit nation, you’ll only be allowed to use an approved mobile phone model and a North Korean SIM card. If you do go to the trouble of getting an approved phone, you might have trouble accessing the unreliable mobile network.
4. A few Caribbean beaches
If a digital detox is what you’re looking for, a number of Caribbean resorts owned by Elite Islands Resorts are the way to go. In the spirit of promoting relaxation for visitors, cellphones and laptops are not allowed within a half-a-mile radius of the main beaches.
5. Green Bank, West Virginia, USA
Located in the middle of the 33,670 square-kilometre stretch of land known as the NRQZ, or National Radio Quiet Zone, lays Green Bank. The town is informally known as the quietest town in America, because devices that emit any kind of sound interfere with the sensitive Green Bank Telescope. Tasked with exploring galaxies at the end of the universe, the telescope listens for any noise from them. The noise emitted by the galaxies clock in at only about a billionth of a billionth of a millionth of a watt. Considering that mobile phones that aren’t even in use emit about three watts of sound, it’s easy to see why scientists are adamant that cellphones are not allowed here.
Similarly, the area in South Africa’s Karoo that houses the Square Kilometre Array’s 176 telescopes also needs to be free from radio-frequency interference, so if you are planning to visit this part of the world’s largest radio telescope, be kind and switch off your phone.