Geoguessr Famous Places: The Ultimate Game For Exploring Iconic Locations

Geoguessr is a popular geography game in which you are shown locations around the world and have to guess where they are, using clues such as road markings, street signs, and local attire.

There are multiple versions of the game, one of them being Geoguessr Famous Places. In the Geoguessr Famous Places game, you will be shown famous landmarks from all over the world and have to guess where they are on the map.

The purpose is to test your knowledge of famous places, not just from your country but from other countries and continents.

Today, I’ll be reviewing Geoguessr Famous Places. I’ll explain how to play the game, what you need to succeed, and more.

Let’s get into it.

Geoguessr Famous Places

Geoguessr Famous Places is a game map on Geoguessr in which you’re required to guess iconic landmarks and natural wonders of the world. The famous places may include palaces, statues, and well-known tourist attractions.

There are over 250 locations in the game right now. That means there are plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself and your geographical and cultural knowledge.

The difficulty level is moderate – it’s not super easy, but it’s not incredibly difficult either. That’s because you will likely be familiar with at least some of these landmarks and famous sites – though probably not all 250+ of them.

Right now, the current average score is around 11,500. There is a leaderboard, introducing a competitive aspect to the game.

You can play against yourself and try to get higher scores each time, but you can also compete with others on the leaderboard and try to outrank them. As you can see in the screenshot below, a player by the name of Noam Rozema currently holds the top rank on the leaderboard, having achieved 25,000 points in just 27 seconds.

The second-best place is held by a user called Ryan after achieving 25,000 points in 28 seconds – he’s pretty much tied for first place, losing by just one second. Meanwhile, user Emmepemme follows in third place, having achieved 25,000 points in 32 seconds.

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Don’t worry if you can’t seem to complete the game that fast or get that many points. As you continue playing the game and get better at recognizing different famous landmarks, you will be able to speed through the game and accumulate more points.

With that said, let’s go through the actual gameplay and take a look at the game experience.

To start playing, create a Geoguessr account and play your first test game.

Signing Up to Geoguessr and Your First Game

Fortunately, signing up is easy. You can sign in with your Google or Facebook account to skip some steps and speed up the signup process.

Once you sign up, you will be presented with an initial test game. The first place I was shown was the Eiffel Tower.

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Of course, almost everyone will recognize this landmark, as it is one of the most famous in the world. However, can you guess exactly where it is on the map?

The game doesn’t involve naming these landmarks – that would be way too easy. Instead, you’re required to point to where it is on the map.

The closer you are to the correct location, the better. Most people know that the Eiffel Tower is in Paris, France, but do you know where in Paris it is?

My guess was pretty close – just 2.1 kilometers from the correct location. I had remembered that I once walked from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower when I visited Paris some years back, so I guessed around there.

I got 4,995 out of 5,000 points for that question.

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The next question showed me a river, and the map indicated that it was in New York City. I instantly knew that it was the Hudson River, and moving the Street View map around, I was able to discover that I was standing on Liberty Island, the island where the Statue of Liberty is located.

Being from New York, this wasn’t too difficult to guess. I guessed the location in the Street View map accurate to just 56 meters, achieving all the possible 5,000 points allocated to this question.

The final question was a lot more difficult for me, though. I was presented with a path alongside a large river or bay in what seemed to be a developed city.

This was a particularly tough one, because unlike the other ones, the small map in the bottom right corner did not zoom in to a particular city.

However, by using the arrows on the Street View, I was able to move around the park until I found a landmark with an advertisement.

The sign advertised an “Aboriginal Heritage Tour.” It also had the words “Royal Botanical Garden Sydney,” so I assumed that I was in Sydney, Australia – in particular, in the Royal Botanical Garden in Sydney.

I had never been to Australia, but I headed to the map of Sydney and guessed a spot that seemed to be a park on the water. Unfortunately, I was 17 kilometers away, but I still got 4,958 out of 5,000 points.

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This initial game was quite fun, but it was meant to serve as an introductory game to Geoguessr to help me understand how it works. I got the title “Rookie Tourist,” and Geoguessr stated that I was now ready to explore the world.

It was pretty easy – but the Famous Places game is a lot more difficult.

Playing the Famous Places Game

The Famous Places game is similar to your initial test game, but it has five rounds instead of three. Each round still has an earning potential of 5,000 points – so the maximum score for each Famous Places game is 25,000 points, as you saw in the leaderboard.

You can play single player or challenge mode. When you choose single player mode, you will be playing by yourself, with two minutes allocated to each round, but you can still compete to get on the leaderboard.

The game involves identifying landmarks such as this one:

Hurry up and guess before your time runs out! If your time runs out, the game will be paused and saved.

Finishing the game in the shortest amount of time possible will also help you get to the leaderboard. Getting 25,000 points – all questions correct – isn’t enough.

As you saw, the best players were able to complete all five rounds in less than 30 seconds.

The other game mode is Challenge, which allows you to challenge a friend and see who is better at guessing landmarks around the world. However, if you have a free Geoguessr account, you won’t be able to access the Challenge mode.

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Famous Places Categories

With over 250 famous places in the game, there are plenty of categories of places you will be shown. Here are some of the top categories you can expect to find in the Geoguessr Famous Places game:

  • Museums, such as the Nairobi National Museum (as shown in the screenshot above)
  • Parks and geographical wonders
  • Memorials, such as the Lincoln Memorial
  • Statues
  • Archeological sites
  • Viewpoints
  • Famous cities, such as the following image of East 42nd street in Manhattan

Strategies for Success

Sometimes, the landmarks in the Famous Places game are quite easy to guess. For example, the locations shown in the previous two screenshots – the Nairobi National Museum and Manhattan – were not difficult to guess at all.

The first one clearly gave away its location, as the building has the name “Nairobi National Museum” on it, so you can immediately guess it is in Nairobi, Kenya. Meanwhile, the second one clearly looks like Manhattan, New York.

However, a lot of landmarks, parks, archaeological sites, and other places don’t have those clues. It can be incredibly hard to guess where they are, so here are some strategies for success that will help you guess the correct location faster and get a higher score in the game.

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Look for Flags

Sometimes, you may be able to tell in which country a landmark is located by looking for flags. A lot of national landmarks, such as statues and memorials, will have the country’s flags somewhere around them – just use the arrows to move around a bit.

For example, I was shown a landmark with Mexican flags, so I immediately knew it was in Mexico. You can then move around on the map to get a feel for the surroundings – does it look like a major capital city or a smaller town?

Look at the People

Sometimes, the people in the Street View can give you an idea of where the place is.

For example, if most people in the city seem to be Asian, you can assume the place is somewhere in Asia. If most people look Latino, you can assume it is somewhere in Latin America.

Of course, historical landmarks normally get tourists from all over the world, so don’t let a few people sway your decision.

Look at Signs

Sometimes, you can see signs, such as street signs or street markings in the picture. Try to zoom in and see what language they are written in.

At other times, you won’t see any signs, but you might be able to find a garbage can with lettering on it or some graffiti. These clues can help you figure out in which country or countries the place might be in.

Look at the Roads

License plates are usually blurred out, but you can still get a lot of clues from the roads. Road markings are one thing you can look out for – for example, some countries have white lines separating lanes, while others have yellow.

Some countries drive on the right side of the road, while other countries drive on the left side. Countries that drive on the left side of the road tend to be former British colonies, like Uganda, but not all of them are.

For example, in Thailand, people drive on the left side of the road, even though it was never a British colony. Here is a full list of countries that drive on the left side of the road.

Vehicles also look different in different countries. The types of cars you’ll see in the US are not the same as you’d see in South American or European countries.

It takes a while to get a feel for the types of cars you will see in different countries, especially if you haven’t traveled much and are only traveling virtually through geographical games.

However, as time goes on, you will get better at it.

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Use the Compass

At the top of your screen, you should see a compass that shows you which direction you are facing: north, northwest, west, southwest, etc.

This compass can sometimes help you get clues as to where in the world you are located.

Move the map around until the compass is showing that you are facing north. Then, look at the sun (if there is a sun shining in the picture).

Is the sun north of you? Then you are probably in the Southern Hemisphere, so you should start thinking about countries in South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia that are south of the equator.

On the other hand, if you see that the sun is south of you, you are probably in the Northern Hemisphere. That means you should focus more on countries in North America, Europe, and Asia which are north of the equator.

Not all countries in Africa and South America are fully south of the equator or south of the equator at all, despite common misconceptions. Here are some resources that might help you:

This method isn’t always foolproof. It’s easier when the pictures on Street View were taken at midday, and for countries that lie on the equator, things get more challenging.

Still, it’s a helpful trick that can help you rule out certain regions of the world.

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Understand Which Countries Do Not Have Google Street View

Nandp, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Remember that Geoguessr uses Google Street View to show you different places around the world.

Most countries in the world have at least partial Google Street View coverage. However, there are many countries that still do not have Google Street View.

Knowing which countries don’t have Google Street View can help you immediately rule out a lot of countries, and you’ll avoid wasting your time on dead ends.

The map above shows which countries have no current and future planned Google Street View coverage. All countries in white fall into that category.

As you can see, much of Africa and the Middle East is automatically excluded.

There are additional countries that have Google Street View coverage of select private businesses only. These countries may or may not appear on Geoguessr in general; I don’t have any information about that.

However, while they may appear in other games, they are very unlikely to appear in the Famous Places game, which focuses on famous landmarks. Meanwhile, countries that have coverage for select public businesses or tourist attractions may appear in the game.

Here is a link to the map and legend.

Use Your Existing Knowledge

Sometimes, there are no hints to go by. For example, a park overlooking the water might not have any flags, vehicles, signs, or even many people in the picture.

At times like that, you may have to rely on your existing knowledge of geography.

You can also use your existing travel knowledge to accurately guess statues, monuments, etc. For example, I was shown the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.

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Now, I have been to the Arc de Triomphe a few years ago, but even before that, I knew what it was. It is a famous landmark that is featured on postcards, and you’ve probably learned about it in history class.

Another famous landmark that I was shown were the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I have never been to Malaysia, and I have never seen these towers in person. However, they are well known, and I have seen many travel bloggers and influencers post pictures of themselves standing in front of these towers on Instagram.

Check Your Wrong Answers

When you get an answer wrong, click on the little flag icon that indicates where the correct spot is on the map, and you will be taken to Google Maps, where you can see the name and location of the place.

Then, input that information into Google to learn more information about the place. Take notes!

There are over 250 places in the game, but there are 5 rounds per game. As you continue playing, you will inevitably be shown the same place twice.

After playing 50 or so games, you will probably start seeing the same places repeated. That will help you recognize them and get better at guessing them quickly.

Use Google

Of course, you can always use Google for tips and hints. You can type a description of what you see into Google and see what comes up, or you can even take a picture and search Google Images to find a corresponding picture.

Another option is using ChatGPT.

ChatGPT isn’t a search engine — it’s an AI chatbot. However, you can give it clues and hints and ask it to find the correct place.

However, that kind of takes the fun out of the game. The point is to use your own knowledge and intelligence to guess the correct place, not to rely on Google for information.

Also, you only have two minutes per round, so spending too much time searching on Google isn’t ideal.

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Educational Value of Geoguessr Famous Places

Famous Places have a lot of educational value. Unlike the standard Geoguessr game, it allows you to learn more about important landmarks that often hold an integral place in the country’s culture.

These landmarks are often rich with history as well.

In addition, you will come across various natural wonders that people of the country where it is located are proud of.

Regardless of your age, you can get a lot of value out of playing this game.

Potential Drawbacks and Criticism of Geoguessr Famous Places

Geoguessr Famous Places is an amazing game, but it does have certain limitations. First of all, it only has around 250 places, which means that after playing the game enough times, it will start to become repetitive and lose its value.

Another drawback is that it only focuses on famous places. It doesn’t help enrich your geographical knowledge of other topics, for example.

Fortunately, Geoguessr has plenty of other remarkable games that you can play. Here is a small selection of some of them:

  • Where’s That McDonald’s?
  • World Cities
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Flags of the World
  • Abandoned Places
  • 21 Major Cities
  • European Football Stadiums

As you can see, the games on Geoguessr range from simple ones like identifying US cities to quirky ones like figuring out where a McDonald’s is.

Another thing I didn’t like about the game is that when playing it for free, you are limited to 5 minutes of playtime every 15 minutes. After you play for five minutes, you will have to wait a full 15 minutes until the timer resets and you can play again.

Finally, I would like the ability to add more rounds per game. Five rounds is decent, but the game is often over too quickly!

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Geoguessr Famous Places is an excellent game if you want to enrich your knowledge of landmarks and historical sites around the world.

With over 250 places, you can play it for some time before getting bored. It has a medium difficulty level – some places, like the Arc de Triomphe, are pretty easy to guess, but others are extremely challenging, even for advanced Geoguessr players.

If you like a challenge, try to get to the leaderboard. You will have to get all questions correct and finish the game in around half a minute or less to get to the top spots, so get on it!

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.