These holidays will get you the most Instagram likes

These holidays will get you the most Instagram likes

Travel inspiration


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Science says that people travel for social media likes. Let’s see which places will give you the most

You might not believe it but the more likes on Instagram a destination can get you, the more likely it’s going to be your next holiday destination. That’s according to the findings of researchers at the University of Georgia, who suggest that success on social media platforms affect travel-oriented decision making in many ways.

They say that the potential social-return – basically, how good you feel about yourself after receiving hundreds of likes – from a picture in Havana, is enough to persuade you to book a flight to Cuba.

To fulfil your social-return needs, we have looked into the data and dug out the best spots in the world that will make your Instagram account flourish with likes.

Even though there are notorious places that are to most grammed destinations worldwide, such as New York and Paris, these locations, surprisingly, are not the ones that would receive the largest amount of likes on Instagram. And the places that receive the best numbers in total, don’t necessarily have a fair average for posts.

We have picked the destinations that balance the amount of Instagram posts, likes they receive and the average amount per post to help you become the true influencers of the Instaworld.  

Istanbul, Turkey

With almost 270,000 photos scoring 115 likes in average Istanbul was the most liked placed on Instagram in 2016 — Shutterstock InstagramWith almost 270,000 photos scoring 115 likes in average Istanbul was the most liked placed on Instagram in 2016 — Shutterstock


With its long history of rapid changes and a reputation of a cultural melting pot, Turkey’s biggest city is nothing more than an Instagram paradise.

According to Smart Social Report, during the whole year of 2016 travellers published almost 270,000 entries featuring Istanbul hashtag in the description and gaining 115 likes in average which makes the city on the Bosphorus narrow the most appreciated Instagram destination of last year.

It is the spectacular architecture, combined with stunning sceneries, that make this city the most Instagrammable destination on the planet.

Take your camera to the Grand bazaar, the largest and oldest covered market in the world, snap the majesty of Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, explore the vivid streets or simply go up to the roof and share the view with your followers.

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Photos of Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg have 400,000 likes in total — Shutterstock InstagramPhotos of Church of the Savior on Blood in St. Petersburg have 400,000 likes in total — Shutterstock

Russians just love Instagram. In fact, this social media platform is so popular in the country that in the first quarter of 2016 the Russian Federation reached second place with its number of monthly active users. Out of 600 million users worldwide, Russia had 27.52 million of them. And with such photogenic country, it’s easy to explain.

Entries with Russian geotags received more than 8 million likes in total. While the most tagged city is Moscow, the third most Instagrammed destination in the world after New York and London, St. Petersburg is the one that gets the likes. And mainly because of the Church of the Savior on Blood.

Pictures of this orthodox masterpiece built by the last of Russian monarchs on a spot where tsar Alexander II got bombed by a political nihilist in 1881 gained almost 400,000 likes in total.

The largely preserved highlights of baroque and neoclassical architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries make the city on the Neva river not only an Instagram goldmine but also a marvellous location for a romantic holiday, especially in winter.

Los Angeles, USA

Santa Monica Pier is L.A.'s most liked landmark on Instagram — ShutterstockSanta Monica Pier is L.A.’s most liked landmark on Instagram — Shutterstock

This big name isn’t too surprising. According to a transportation agency Hoppa, in 2015, L.A. was the place that gained the highest total of Instagram likes while being the sixth most Instagrammed place globally.

Obviously, tourist interests reflected the movie industry of the city. The Walk of Fame with the embedded stars commemorating Hollywood personas, various movie studios, or the Hollywood sign itself get the important and most Instagrammed objects in the area.

But the most liked place in Los Angeles has nothing to do with films. It is the Santa Monica Pier, a boardwalk with a Ferris wheel, that is the world’s 7th most Instagrammed location in 2016, according to CNN.

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket overperformed Bangkok in one particular aspect - food —Romankonovalov / ShutterstockPhuket overperformed Bangkok in one particular aspect – food —Romankonovalov / Shutterstock

According to the World Tourism Organisation, Bangkok had more than 21 million visitors in 2016, who took almost half a million Instagram pictures. However, it is its smaller brother, Phuket province, that outperforms the touristy resort in one particular category which has always been essential for Instagram – food.

In 2015 dishes featuring pictures with a geotag of this tropical delight obtained the largest amount of likes in the whole world, followed by Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Food stalls, bistros, fruit street vendors – delicious Thai food is omnipresent in Phuket. Don’t be afraid to try a mixture of spicy prawn and a sour soup called tom yang goong, or snap the holy grail of foodies, satay. These meat chops on sticks are famous for the peanut sauce they are dipped in.

Dubai, UAE

The world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa is Dubai's Instagram star — Umar Shariff / ShutterstockThe world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa is Dubai’s Instagram star — Umar Shariff / Shutterstock

Despite a relatively low amount of posts in comparison to other well-known places, Dubai is one of the most appreciated destinations on Instagram. Around 96,000 entries had the Dubai hashtag in its description in 2016, and the average score of the likes was 106. This makes the city in the desert second most successful after Istanbul, according to Social Smart Report.  

The world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa, the artificial archipelago, Palm Jumeirah, or the sail like hotel, Burj Al Arab; with its megalomaniac approach to creating new Instagrammable landmarks of this Middle-eastern tiger pop up regularly.

For art and culture-seeking travellers among you, Alserkal Avenue should be your choice. A former warehouse compound that underwent a huge transformation, now brings art galleries, studios, indie restaurants and cafes into the area.

London, UK

London is the home of the selfie, with those take here receiving the most likes – Shutterstock instagramLondon is the home of the selfie, with those take here receiving the most likes – Shutterstock

In 2016 the British capital was second most Instagrammed city in the world, right after New York. While the average amount of likes was relatively low in comparison to the places mentioned above and outperformed even by Paris, Amsterdam or Milan, London has one particular trait in which it beats every other place on the planet – selfies.

After food, selfies are the second indisputable component of Instagram and those taken in London scored the largest amount of likes in 2015. The second place in this category was Buenos Aires followed by Mecca.

Time to prepare your selfie stick and snap yourself with Big Ben, Tower Bridge, expressionless Queen’s Guards, and, of course, the permanently lousy weather. This place will never get old.

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