A TRAVEL site has gone wild over the most visited places in the world and instead of encouraging us to visit it says we should stay away.
THEY are the must-see destinations on everyone’s travel list that attract millions of tourists every year.
But they’re also the places that many of us have traveled thousands of miles to see, and fought through massive crowds to get close, only to be like, “Huh. Is that right?”
Overcrowded, overcrowded and very disappointing, tourist traps somehow prevent tourists from wasting precious time and money when there are so many better things to see and do.
And according to a new list, some of the world’s most iconic attractions are also the worst offenders.
US-based travel website Far & Wide has taken on the most overrated tourist must-sees in a delightfully malicious way.
And the list begins with a very famous and very disappointing rock.
PLYMOUTH ROCK, UNITED STATES
If you’ve been to the United States, you may have been tempted to see where the (supposedly) modern nation began – with Plymouth Rock, a literal boulder set in a granite canopy near the shore in Plymouth, Massachusetts. . It is said to be the site where the first English Puritans descended from Mayflower and in America.
“Put bluntly, this attraction is massively lame,” Far & Wide said.
“It’s just a rock, in a fanciful canopy that’s far more impressive than the rock itself.”
Although it is preserved by the US government, there are serious doubts that the rock is even the right rock, or that the pilgrims landed on a rock.
BLARNEY STONE, IRELAND
You’ve probably lined up to lean back and kiss the Blarney Stone to receive the gift of eloquence when you visit Ireland. Yes, we all did.
“If standing in line for several hours to plant your mouth on a slimy rock with the wetness of a million other lips touching it is your thing, be our guest,” the site said.
“But we prefer to walk around the more interesting grounds, including a garden of poisonous plants.”
Around 1.3 billion people have visited the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge in the Wiltshire town.
“It’s not that this prehistoric monument is a total mess, but it’s never as big as you’d expect,” the site said.
“The stones are no more than 15 meters high and crowds carry away the feeling of strange wonder that must have thrilled those who stumbled upon the mysterious circle at the time.”
NIAGARA FALLS, CANADA/USA
It’s not that this series of waterfalls straddling the Canada-US border isn’t majestic, it’s that the tourist trappings took away the luster right away.
“The problem with the falls is the whole mini-economy of tourist shit that’s built up next to (and below) them,” Far & Wide said.
“The Canadian side is a little better than the American side, but it’s still just an endless array of gift shops, tacky restaurants and tourist attractions.”
TIMES SQUARE, UNITED STATES
Packed with tourists, cheesy souvenir shops, street performers and offering little historical value, flashy Times Square could be the capital of tourist traps.
“(It’s) loud, sticky, overcrowded and not much fun,” Far & Wide said.
“That won’t stop most tourists from venturing there anyway, only to break free, minutes or hours later, gasping at how awful it is. Yes, we said it.
TAJ MAHAL, INDIA
Far & Wide admits that the Taj Mahal, the marble mausoleum considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, is a controversial inclusion on its list. But he has his reasons.
“First of all, you’ll be driving forever to get there,” the site warned. “Then you will be queuing forever to get in.
“And then, once inside, you and about a million other people will walk through the palace, completely ruining its serenity by chatting, taking pictures and generally missing all the interest of the place, which has was built to mourn and honor a lost love.”
LEANING TOWER OF PISA, ITALY
Here’s another “must see” tourist attraction in the middle of not much else.
“Your enjoyment of this attraction will really depend on how much you’ve taken in the title of the place, because it says it all: there’s a tower in Pisa, and it’s leaning. That’s about it,” Far & Wide said.
“Oh, you can climb it too, if you like queuing to practice near complete strangers to catch a pretty decent view of the Italian countryside.” It costs 18 euros, or about $29.
WESTMINSTER ABBEY, ENGLAND
This royal church, where kings and queens had their coronations and were buried alongside luminaries like Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking, isn’t worth your time in London, Far & Wide reckons.
“It’s not that Westminster Abbey isn’t impressive – it is,” the site said.
“It’s just that the church is so crowded, with guides leading herds of tourists while providing information.”
And that’s not all. Here are a few other bucket list steps that Far & Wide feels aren’t worth our time.
VENICE, ITALY: “Bird poop. Sorry, but that’s what Venice is full of, because of all the pigeons that flock here. Flocking too? Tons and tons of tourists.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, USA: “With its steep entry fee, massive crowds and intensive security checks, it’s hard to find much to like here. And when you get to the top, you can’t even see iconic sights like Central Park!”
VERSAILLES, FRANCE: “Versailles might be the most depressing tourist trap on this list, as it could be a beautiful and intriguing destination if it weren’t so full of other tourists.”
FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS, USA: “The French Quarter is not charming. It’s full of visiting day drinkers and businesses using sleaze to sell more booze.
ROMAN COLOSSEUM, ITALY: “The queues to enter are long and disorganized. And once you get there, the walk is tough, there are tons of people there, and not many interpretive signs are provided.
MANNEKEN PIS, BELGIUM: “This inexplicably famous statue depicts a little boy urinating into a fountain. It’s a little boy. Pee. That’s it.”
TOWER OF LONDON, ENGLAND: “The crowds are endless…this is a place trying to get a bunch of loud crows past like ‘tower crows’. Take their heads off.”
LA LONA LISE, FRANCE: “It looks exactly as you would expect, except it’s smaller…the Louvre has thousands of other pieces, almost all of which are beautiful and easier to see.”
PYRAMIDS OF GIZA, EGYPT: “Deserts are generally hot and dry… Add to that the difficulties of negotiating your entrance fee and the fact that exploring the structures involves navigating through long, dark, narrow, low tunnels to see a pile of empty rooms and , well, we will pass. ”
STATUE OF THE LITTLE MERMAID FROM COPENHAGEN, DENMARK: “Fancy a long walk through Copenhagen for no other reason than to gaze at a four-foot-tall statue stuck to the water’s edge, while jostling for space alongside a group of other tourists who got screwed doing this?”
MOUNT RUSHMORE, USA: “The problem is that it’s located way up in the hills, so far from the national park viewing platform dedicated to it that you have to bring binoculars to really see much.”
TREVI FOUNTAIN, ITALY: “We mention this because you’ll probably struggle to do more than glimpse it unless you go at dawn.”
MADAME TUSSAUDS, EVERYWHERE: “It’s, at best, kind of a weird place, and at worst, extremely depressing work that will have you wondering why our society values fame so much.”
Far & Wide called many US sites you should ignore: South of the border (“not only shoddy, but offensive”), LA Chinese Theater (“inexplicably overhyped garish monstrosity”), Grand Canyon Gateway (“abusive prices”), The Alamo (“takes himself too seriously”) and even the Statue of Liberty “The Statue’s big secret is that the views from the crown aren’t very good.”
Australia was spared from the list, which is good, but we weren’t always spared.
Last year, some of our most iconic sights were lambasted on TripAdvisor by international tourists who didn’t understand what Down Under was.
The Sydney Opera House has been called a “dirty brown building that always seems to photograph in white”.
Sydney’s famous The Rocks neighborhood has been described as “a little disappointing”. “No rocks to be seen,” said one reviewer. “A little dead zone.”
Victoria was not off the hook, with TripAdvisor reviews targeting the Twelve Apostles (“weak. Don’t bother”), the Shrine of Remembrance (“boring”), the Yarra River (“take a photo and skip to something else”)), Federation Square (“What drugs were the designers of this monstrosity on?”) and the damn MCG (“Food prices are a disgrace and quality and range are poor”).
Which Australian tourist traps would you add to the list? Leave your comment below.