Tourist Traps You Must Experience

Tourist Traps You Must Experience

My family has an uncanny adoration for those junky shops that sell things like alligator heads for a dollar or sunglasses that come in a 5-pack.

They also have a special place in their heart for roadside attractions like The World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn or, I’m not kidding, a “circus” that was in the parking lot of a truck stop. Tourist Traps. They love ‘em.

However, there are some traps that pose as must-see experiences, but, in their own way – are. They often leave you wondering if you get a refund on your money and the 4 hours you wasted.

We’ve all been there, but here are (arguably) the top five Tourist Traps You Must Experience.

*Times Square*

Ah, the Big Apple. It is rich with culture and boroughs that cater to many desires and adventures. It is true, I love New York. BUT, Time Square is trap that everyone must endure. It’s like the city’s baptism. You are enveloped by advertising and dipped in chain retail and food options. Do you really want to endure the massive crowds that locals tend to avoid it whenever they can? Yes, give yourself the chance to strut down the street, but don’t give into the deluge of ads seducing you. Don’t plan to eat or buy anything there even if you suddenly feel you need a miniature New York license plate with your name scrawled on it.

*The Great Wall of China*

The idea of the Great Wall sounds, well, great! Then you arrive and it’s just a great…big…wall. It might seem like a waste as you step foot on the 5,000-mile creation built centuries ago, but remember it was built in time where the heavy lifting was done by manual labor and a bit of ingenuity. This testament to human ability can be seen from space!

Instead of hitting the crowded entry in Badaling, head to Mutianyu. It’s better preserved and less tourist-y. Also, if you have someone carry you up the stairs – be ready for a lifetime of deserved ridicule.

*Acropolis in Athens*

Don’t skip the Parthenon temple and Erectheion or the tomb of the mythical Athenian king, Erectheus. It’s hot and often crowded, but the feeling of history and beauty is astounding. Hit it as early in the morning as you can. The sunrise over the pillars is gorgeous beyond just about any modern architectural creation. The glass floor built over an excavation area dating back to 500 B.C. is another experience that you can enjoy if you just remind yourself of where you are standing.

*The Pyramids of Egypt*

If you are in the neighborhood, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit The Great Pyramid. Things are tense in the region right now and, we like to encourage safety first, so put this one on your to-do list for now. Just don’t cross off the adventure completely. If you do make plans to visit, aim for March to May or September to November when the crowds and heat subside a bit.

*Eiffel Tower*

It may be a travel-sin to call the Eiffel Tower a tourist trap, but well, it can be. It actually started out as a protested project, but became a monument. It’s an icon in the skyline and an experience that you won’t forget. To get the most out of your visit, skip the elevator on the ground level and hike up to the second floor. It will save time and money.

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Cara is the jack of all trades. She started in fashion, but found her true passion in writing. After mixing the two into a fabulous cocktail of freelance writing about all things style, she started a family. Her 3 kids keep her Prada pumps moving as they explore the world one adventure at a time.

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29 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Shiny March 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Best way to visit Eiffel Tower is take metro to Trocadero and climb the steps up from the station to see the best view of the tower in Paris. You can then walk down across the river to get close up.

  2. MK March 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    I’d love to see the pyramids in Egypt, but I don’t think I would go there until things settle down in that area, seems like a risky vacation these days!

  3. Allie March 6, 2014 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Things that make you go hmmmm. I was expecting the largest ball of twine.

  4. Janelle March 6, 2014 at 1:04 am - Reply

    I was just going to say, MK, go ahead and scratch off Egypt and China.

  5. Pamela March 6, 2014 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Would love to see these spots even though it’s where everyone goes!

  6. DD March 6, 2014 at 11:50 am - Reply

    I don’t have any desire to go outside of the US. Is that bad?

  7. Shiny March 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    I’m adding Sedona to the list in case anything explodes and falls off.

  8. Erin March 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Love Paris, I would love to see the Pyramids someday as well.

  9. Michelle F. March 6, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I would love to visit all of those places. Especially the wall of China.

  10. Kungphoo March 6, 2014 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Greece and Egypt are on my list of must see places.. I do not mind being trapped there for some time.

  11. Mama to 5 BLessings March 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    LOVE Times Square being their a few times I cannot see if enough! Other of these places are are on my bucket list.

  12. Nikki March 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I have been to most of them. The one I have not is the pyramids it is on my bucket list.

  13. Felicia March 6, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    These are all great places to travel to. Definitely adding them all to my bucket list!

  14. Heather March 6, 2014 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    I would love to just go to one of those places that way I can mark it off my bucket list! Just making it to New York would be great in my opinion.

  15. Cara March 7, 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I would love to see all of these! Especially the Eiffel Tower!

  16. Mistee Dawn March 7, 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

    These are all traps that I definitely want to see!

  17. DD March 7, 2014 at 10:53 am - Reply

    I went to Times Square. That is pretty amazing, a must see for sure!

  18. BusyBee March 7, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I have been to Times Square and The Eiffel Tower. You just gotta do it.

  19. Petro Neagu March 7, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    I know exactly what you mean, I’ve got so much of those little things I can’t really use but just loved how they look like. I’ve been to Acropolis and got hooked of course :)

  20. Kisa Johnson March 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I’ve never been to any of these places. First I want to be up inside the Space Needle in Seattle (closest thing to me really!) and then I will likely go to some tourist trap things in Japan… when I make it there!

  21. Rosey March 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I loved visiting the Eiffel Tower, but it was the single worst meal we EVER had on a trip. Just awful…and we got it as part of a touristy package deal.

  22. Farrah March 8, 2014 at 12:02 am - Reply

    I hope to be able to afford to travel to the Eiffel Tower someday. It’s been my dream for years. :)

  23. Debi@TheSpringMount6Pack March 8, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    I have only been to Time Square but the others are on my list of one day to see

  24. BusyBee March 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I am trying to think if there is anything near me other than the beach that is a tourist trap.

  25. MK March 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Besides seeing the pyramids, I do need to get myself to Paris, would love to see the Eiffel Tower!

  26. Mike March 11, 2014 at 12:27 am - Reply

    I don’t really want to naysay on anyone’s travel plans but… Times Square does not belong on this list. What about it is remotely interesting? You’ve got four of the most profound examples of human achievement and… an intersection with video billboards? It’s not even a matter of taste, it’s tacky by any measure.

    In NYC alone there are at least 5 tourist traps more worth visiting than Disney Plaza aka Times Square: the High Line, the Empire State Bldg., the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, the Met.

    I would sooner recommend the Hollywood Walk of Fame than Times Square. It’s that cheesy.

  27. Rina March 12, 2014 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Interesting!! need to plan my way to experience these traps :D

  28. DD March 12, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a must see as well.

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