6 Intriguing Places You’re Not Allowed to Visit

Humans love the opportunity to explore new places. Unfortunately, unless you’ve got some very special connections, you won’t be allowed in these six spots.

Surtsey, Iceland

Conde Nast Traveler

This island is less than a century old. It formed in the mid-twentieth century following volcanic eruptions. Now, only a handful of scientists have been allowed to visit the island.

And when they do, they take extreme precautions not to contaminate the new terrain with any foreign products—especially seeds and bacteria. This island is the ultimate science experiment for understanding how life begins on desert islands, so we’re not invited.

Chauvet Cave, Southern France


The artwork in this cave is somewhere around 32,000 years old—perhaps the oldest pieces of art on the planet. The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave was discovered in 1994, and visitors are generally not allowed to visit, so that the integrity of the prehistoric artwork can be preserved.

If you’d like to get a look inside, watch Werner Herzog’s 2010 3D documentary film Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Secret Vault, Salt Lake City, Utah

Mormon Newsroom

Although tours pass through portions of this vault, which is securely located in the side of a mountain, much of the area is off-limits to visitors. 

What we do know about the LDS (aka Mormon) church’s caves is that they contain billions of pages of genealogical data, but it’s thought that this vault also stores some of the secrets of the guarded religious institution. To try to get into this vault would be an impossible mission—get it?

Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, Brazil

Momento Curious

If you hate snakes half as much as Indiana Jones does, you wouldn’t want to go to this island anyway. Scientists occasionally visit to study the serpentine residents, but they have to jump through a number of bureaucratic loopholes in order to be granted authorization to visit.

Sssssssstay away from this island.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway

Earth Sky

If you’re the last person on the face of the Earth and all plant life has died away, make your way to Norway where the so-called Doomsday Vault is located. Inside of this sophisticated storage space is the greatest collection of seeds on the entire planet.

One of the bonuses of being located in Scandinavia is that if the location ever loses electricity, there’s a chance that part of the planet will still be cool enough to preserve the contents of this massive seed bank. Until you become a seed archivist or one of the last people on the planet, though, stay away from this invaluable facility, which may help humans stay on this planet even if we accidentally blow the place up.

The Queen’s Bedroom, London, England


It’s rude to romp around stranger’s bedroom anyway; why would you violate a perfectly nice old woman’s privacy?

Besides, her Buckingham Palace bedroom is heavily guarded.

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