The tourist attractions you will not be able to visit in 2022


(CNN) — While many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations are set to reopen to travelers in 2022, some places will still be off limits.

Some of these iconic places are being built or upgraded that will make them even better when they reopen, while others are doing the tourist equivalent of sailing into the sunset for good.

Don’t worry, we have backup plans and alternative options for all of these locations.

United States

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (Washington, DC)

This popular museum in the US capital is in the midst of a massive seven-year renovation where “all 23 exhibits will be completely redesigned, with new display spaces and new attractions”.

Some of this work was done while tourists were visiting, but the museum will close for at least six months in 2022 to enter the next phase of the transformation. Upon completion, there will be space for some 1,400 new objects.

Plan B: The Smithsonian manages several museums across Washington, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Most of them are also within walking distance.

The Haiku Stairs (Oahu, Hawaii)

A beautiful hiking trail on Oahu sometimes referred to as “the stairway to heaven”, the Haiku Stairs have been plagued by overtourism.

Although the stairs were officially closed to the public in the 1980s, that didn’t stop many hikers from sneaking down the stairs and sometimes getting injured.

This fall, the Honolulu City Council voted unanimously in favor to remove the stairs for good. It should be dismantled in 2022.
Plan B: Hawaii is full of beautiful – and less risky – hikes on its islands. If you are already on Oahu, consider the Ehukai Pillbox Hike in place.

Haiku Stairs: There’s a $1,000 fine for people caught on this Hawaiian site.

Adobe Stock

The Roosevelt Hotel (New York)

One of Manhattan’s grand hotels – it’s where Mad Men’s Don Draper lived after his divorce from Betty – welcomed its last guests in 2020 after nearly hitting the century mark.

Plan B: As New York reopens, check out — or check in — another classic Midtown hotel, like the Plaza (just across from Central Park) or the Knickerbocker (in Times Square). The Roosevelt building is still there, so you can pass by and check out the architecture for now.
The Roosevelt had over 1,000 hotel rooms.

The Roosevelt had over 1,000 hotel rooms.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

One Liberty Observation Deck (Philadelphia)

The downtown 57th floor landmark has quietly closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing a lack of tourists in the City of Brotherly Love.


Stalheimskleiva Trail (Vestland, Norway)

One of the steepest routes in Scandinavia, the Stalheimskleiva Trail connects two scenic waterfalls in the UNESCO-listed Nærøydalen Valley.

The road, which is also known for its hairpin bends, is undergoing much-needed maintenance in 2022. There is no confirmed reopening date at this time.

Plan B: There is no shortage of beautiful outdoor spots in Norway. Try it “Nordic Beach Islands” Lofoten or the isolated northern island of Fleinvær to stay in wooden cabins surrounded by unspoiled nature.
Stalheimskleiva is in the Voss region of Norway.

Stalheimskleiva is in the Voss region of Norway.

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Marble Arch mound (London)

London has plenty to see and do, but locals were thrilled to welcome a new attraction in July 2021. Although the attraction was billed as a lush outdoor retreat with public art and views over Hyde Park, the end result was derided on social media. as “an unfinished pile of rubble”.

Despite a few bumps along the way, Marble Arch Mound reopened in August and will close permanently in January 2022.

Plan B: Greenwich in south London is home to the Royal Observatory. As well as seeing the Prime Meridian ship and Cutty Sark, the walk through Greenwich Park to the Observatory offers beautiful views of the city.

Marble Arch Mound tickets are free.

Marble Arch Mound tickets are free.

Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Asia and the Pacific

Fraser Island (Queensland, Australia)

Okay, that’s cheating – Fraser Island hasn’t gone anywhere, but it’s reverted to its aboriginal name of K’Gari. The name means “paradise” in the local Butchulla language.

Plan B: This picturesque island continues to live as usual. Queensland – and the rest of Australia – will slowly reopen to overseas tourism in 2022, so start planning your trip now. In other words, plan B is plan A.

The yellow pumpkin (Naoshima Island, Japan)

japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is famous for its huge polka dot pumpkin carvings. One of the most famous is the bright yellow one on Naoshima Wharf, “the island of art” perched in the Seto Inland Sea.

In August, a powerful typhoon swept the pumpkin into the sea. The Benesse Art Site, which manages museums on the island, managed to recover the pieces, but it is unclear if and when the pumpkin will be on display again.

Plan B: Many of Kusama’s beloved “overflow rooms” installations can be found in museums and galleries around the world, including the Tate Modern in London and the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. There is also a small museum dedicated to his work in Tokyo.

Yayoi Kusama is known for her polka dot pumpkin carvings, like this one on Naoshima.

Yayoi Kusama is known for her polka dot pumpkin carvings, like this one on Naoshima.

Kat Davis/Alamy

The Peak Tram (Hong Kong)

One of Hong Kong’s most easily recognizable attractions is the Peak Tram, which transports visitors to the highest point on the island. The red metal cars debuted in 1989, the 100th anniversary of the original funicular.

Now, however, it’s time for another iteration. The tram closed for renovation in June 2021 and there is still no specific date for its reopening.

Plan B: The good news, however, is that there are plenty of other ways to access the Peak while the tram is out of service – buses, taxis and private cars are all permitted, and there are several easily accessible hiking trails .

It takes seven minutes to ride the Peak Tram from bottom to top.

It takes seven minutes to ride the Peak Tram from bottom to top.

Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto/Getty Images


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