We often dream of traveling the world and seeing as much of it as we can. We book our flights, check-in to hotels, and join tours without much of a care.
Sometimes, it’s not that easy.
These places have actually banned people from visiting. Sometimes it’s for safety, other times it’s just political. Check out some of the places that have been hidden from the public for all these years. We’re not even sure they all exist – what do you think?
Snake Island – Brazil
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? Ilha da Queimada Grande is located 21 miles from the coast of Brazil and is called Snake Island for all the reasons you would expect.
The government made it illegal to visit this entire island due to the sheer amount of poisonous snakes that are located all across it. There are an estimated 4000 snakes on the island – one for every square foot – each of which can kill a human with just one bite.
Heard Island Volcano – Australia
This volcano is located on Antarctic Island – an Australian territory in between Australia and Madagascar. The 368-square-mile island is considered one of the most remote places in the world. In 2000, the University of Hawaii noticed that one of its volcanoes, Mawson Peak, was producing magma.
For almost 20 years, scientists have been on high alert for an eruption and visitations to the region are forbidden. Don’t tell the thousands of birds and seals that still live there!
Coca-Cola Vault – Atlanta, Georgia
The Coca-Cola formula is one of the best-kept secrets – aside from the herbs and spices found on KFC chicken. Urban legend has it that only two people know the Coca-Cola formula – with both of them knowing only half the ingredients.
The official recipe is kept in this large vault which is locked from visitors. We imagine this is a marketing trick to get people talking about it, but we can’t help but think what is behind the door.
Mezhgorye – Russia
What Area 51 is to the United States, Mezhgorye is to Russia. The town has hundreds of nuclear weapons and warheads from 1979, but ‘official’ statements say it’s now just a closed town. Its rumored population is 17,352 who are all dedicated military workers.
If you fancy a change in lifestyle, don’t hope for a move to Mezhgorye – it’s completely closed off to the public and isn’t accepting any new migrants. Which raises a few eyebrows, to say the least. We don’t recommend you try to visit.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault – Norway
This vault is something straight out of a James Bond film – and its truth isn’t that different! The Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Svalbard archipelago is halfway between Norway and the North Pole, holding varieties of crops and foods. The reason? In case of a natural disaster.
The vault holds more than one million seeds capable of planting for growth in the case of a disaster. Don’t expect to be able to walk in – they’ve got in on lockdown.
Niihau, United States
If you’re planning on island-hopping in Hawaii, you’ll have to skip Niihau. ‘The Forbidden Island’ is home to one set of descendants of a family who bought the island in 1860 – and forbids entry from everyday travelers.
Even its visibility is restricted; some people can catch it in silhouette
Jiangsu National Security Education Museum – Nanjing, China
China opened its first Spy Museum in 2009 and was hilariously closed from the public for fear of spilling government secrets. It has since been opened to some, but its artifacts still remain somewhat of a mystery.
Some have claimed that the museum is filled with Chinese Communist Party propaganda, warning citizens about the CIA. No one can be sure about what is inside since no photographs are allowed and you’re not allowed to speak about your experience. Seems a bit dodgy.
Bhangarh Fort, India
Bhangarh Fort is widely considered one of the most haunted places in the world. So much so, that the Indian Government has officially declared it so and banned people from entering after dark! The fort is located in Rajasthan and dates back to the 17th century.
Apparently, everyone who has ever broken in at night has gone missing – and never been found. Do you think that haunted places exist? We don’t think you should find out.
Vatican Secret Archives – Vatican City
Millions of people visit the Vatican City every year, but no one is allowed to visit its archives. This document is a letter from Voltaire, the famous French philosopher and is just one of the pieces that are found there.
Strangely, the Catholic Church is refusing to digitize the documents and will not publicize any more. To this day, only a few people who what is inside the Vatican City archives. If you try to visit, make sure you learn Latin first!
Mormon Church Secret Vault – Salt Lake City, US
In 1965, the Mormon Church build this secret vault inside of a granite mountain – literally looking like a James Bond lair. It’s located in Little Cottonwood Canyon and is rumored to be storing more than 3.5 billion images on microfilm and digital media.
The Mormon Church refuses entry to the public, keeping many of their artifacts secret and protected for preservation purposes.
North Sentinel Island – India
This small island sits between India and Thailand and is inhabited only by a small tribe cut off from civilization. Their way of life has not been changed in literally thousands of years, rarely contacting people from off its shores. Almost nothing is known about this group of people – known as the Sentinelese – because they are so hostile to visitors.
In November 2018, an American missionary called John Chau tried to convert the tribe to Christianity. He was brutally murdered by the locales and Indian law prevents anyone else from going.
Lascaux Caves – France
These pre-historic caves were discovered in 1940 by four French teenagers and their dog. Their insides contain some of the oldest artwork ever recorded – going back thousands of years.
The Lascaux Caves were open to the public until 1963 when they closed due to fears of humidity and carbon monoxide poisoning. To this day, no one is allowed to visit and replicas were created for tourists to enjoy in a different location. At least, that’s what they’re telling us.
Tomb of the Qin Shi Huang – China
China’s first Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, died in 210 BC and is buried deep under a hill in Central China. His tomb is in a complex burial site all connected with a network of tunnels full of things the Emperor would need in the afterlife.
This includes clay replicas of armies, family, staff, horses, and servants. To date, more than 2000 artifacts have been found! Visitors can’t go anywhere near the tomb – and have to hear the updates from archeologists on state TV.
Moscow Metro-2 – Russia
Moscow has one of the most amazing metro lines in the world. However, tourists and residents don’t have access to all that the train line has to offer. The famously secretive Soviets apparently built a whole other line – called the Metro-2 – commissioned by Joseph Stalin.
They worked on it until his death in 1953, and no one knows if work on them was ever completed. The original intention was to transport weapons and heads-of-state, but who knows what they’re used for today?
Disney’s Club 33 – Worldwide
It might be the happiest place on Earth, but Disneyworld has a myriad of secrets kept from the public. One of them is the elusive Disney Club 33, which was designed by Walt himself. Unfortunately, he never enjoyed it personally since he passed before it was opened.
Membership is about $40,000 and demands further payments of $10,000 annually. As far as we know, it is the only place where park visitors can access alcohol. There is currently a 14-year waiting list!
Pine Gap – Australia
We only know about Pine Gap and America’s involvement with the Australian government base because of leaked NSA documents. The US runs this base, located near Alice Springs, alongside the Australians where they operate satellites to keep track of air strikes, nuclear weapons, and other global intelligence plans.
Even though you won’t be able to enter the premises, you can stand around it and protest its existence – something that is frequently done by Ozzie locals from time to time.
Area 51 – Nevada, USA
We’re not saying there are aliens there, but we’re also not saying there aren’t. Area 51 has been the center of countless conspiracies surrounding its activity for decades now.
If you try to walk up to the premises, you will be caught on security cameras and armed guards will quickly remove you. Technically, Area 51 is where the US Air Force tests experimental air crafts, stealth technology, and new weapons – although that may not be all!
North Brother Island – New York
This island is hidden in plain sight right in the middle of New York City. It sits between the Bronx and Queens and has been the setting for much of history’s more questionable events. It used to be a quarantine hospital from the 1880s, but in 1905 it was the setting to one of the city’s greatest tragedies.
A steamship caught fire near the island, killing over 1,000 people. The island was soon abandoned and is now totally off limits to the public – with nature claiming it as its home.
RAF Menwith Hill – United Kingdom
Even though Menwith Hill is located in North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, America works with the British Royal Air Force to monitor activity. In recent years, the base has grown in size and scope, and now monitors everything from phone calls to wifi traffic.
These giant golf ball-shaped buildings are called radomes and protect the radar equipment that is used to monitor satellites. Don’t expect to visit this place – they’ll know you’re coming from miles away.
Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone – Ukraine
Following the tragic explosion in a nuclear reactor in 1986, Ukraine has marked certain areas off limits to all of humankind. Some people can request special permission to enter the zone, but high levels of radiation still surround the region, making it near impossible.
The famous exclusion zone has an 18-mile radius which has practically turned it into a ghost town. Don’t go there!
Fort Knox – Kentucky, US
You might have heard the expression ‘harder to get into than Fort Knox’ – well, now you know why. This Kentucky military base serves many purposes
It has only been opened once, to the media in 1974, and the rest of the activity remains a secret. It is protected by a minefield, barbed wire, electric fences, and armed guards. Better keep walking!
Poveglia Island – Italy
This island, located just off Venice, has a tragic history of terror, insanity, and death. During the bubonic plague in the 18th century, Italians shipped their sick citizens to this island to prevent the disease from spreading on the mainland.
Later in the island’s history, it was used as a mental hospital from 1922 to 1968. During that time, it was reported that doctors tortured and killed many patients. History estimates that as many as 100,000 people have been killed on this island.
Dulce Base – New Mexico, USA
Located north of New Mexico and close to the Colorado border, Dulce is a little town with 2,600 inhabitants. It is understood to be the location of an underground facility home to some of the most unimaginable human experiments.
Rumor has it that the Dulce base is a subterranean compound housing human-animal hybrids, human-alien hybrids, and extremely advanced technologies. Do you believe such claims?
Woomera Test Range – Australia
Also known as the Woomera Prohibited Area, this is the largest testing range in the world. Its total size is a massive 122,000 sq km and is located in South Australia. In 1947, it was declared a prohibited area and is closed to the public while they conduct tests.
Near the site is a museum and other attractions for tourists – but don’t expect any secrets to be spilled! Austalia has a lot of space to play with – which might explain its close relationship with America.
Google Data Center – Lenoir, North Carolina
Google has so much of our data that it requires miles of physical space to store us all on hard drives. This Google center is just one of the many locations it has recording our behavior and interests for advertising purposes.
Unfortunately, no one is allowed inside to examine the biggest sample of humankind ever recorded, so we won’t find out just how Google has conquered the internet. We could always just Google it?
Bohemian Grove – Monte Rio, California
This mysterious resort is only available for the most elite men in the world. This photo was taken in 1967 and shows Harney Hancock hosting two future presidents next to him – Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon. The grove is the official meeting point for the Bohemian Club – a secretive club founded in 1872.
Every year, protesters gather outside its gates, but only members are allowed in. Who knows what happens in their ceremonies and how these men change the world.
White’s Gentleman Club – England
The British equivalent to Bohemian Grove is White’s – widely considered the oldest gentleman’s club in the world. Located on St. James’ Street in Central London, it first opened its doors in 1693 and has been going strong ever since.
In its 330 years, it has hosted prestigious and upper-class men going back generations. Don’t expect to walk into White’s if you visit London! Famous members include the Royal Family, such as Prince Charles and Prince William, and former Prime Minister David Cameron.
Bank of England Vaults – London, England
The Bank of England is used to regulate the British Pound and contains the largest gold reserves in the world. The gold vault itself was built in the 1930s and stores approximately 400,000 gold bars – each weighing 28 pounds!
Even though gold isn’t used as currency anymore, their relative value remains high and Queen Elizabeth was even awarded an opportunity to tour the premises. Unless you’re the Queen of England, don’t expect to be allowed in.
Room 39 – North Korea
It’s hard enough to get into North Korea, let alone into Room 39. It’s a secret slush fund organization that is run by Kim Jong-un to raise foreign currency. We know about its existence from a defector who spoke about it to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the spy, the money is raised by legal and illegal methods via a network of ever-changing companies running goods over the Chinese border. The US has accused it of selling guns and drugs illegally.
Surtsey Island – Iceland
Surtsey Island is one of the newest islands on the planet! It was formed in 1963 after a gigantic volcanic eruption off the Icelandic coast. It has a thriving eco-system – one that has been protected by UNESCO World Heritage meaning that no one can even visit it.
To this day, only a few scientists visit it each year to track its natural progress but don’t expect to book a flight here anytime soon. Would you want to go?
Ark of the Covenant – Ethiopia
Despite the ending to the Indiana Jones film, the Ark of the Covenant actually rests in Aksum, Ethiopia. It has been here for 3000 years, acting as the holy container for the 10 Commandments taken there from King Soloman’s temple. Or so the legend goes.
In 2007, a journalist tried to visit the site and was met by the Guardian of the Ark – the only person allowed in. To this day, no one knows what is inside.
Ise Grand Shrine – Japan
This shrine is located in Uji-Tachi, a town in the Mie Prefecture of Japan. It is dedicated to a goddess named Amaterasu-omikami and consists of two primary shrines and around 125 secondary shrines.
The location was established as far back as the third century, but the entire building is replaced every 20 years. This is in line with Shinto beliefs that match up with the idea of death and renewal. Visitors can stand at the bottom of the steps but never enter the gates.