Iconic Sites That Fail to Live Up to the Hype: Alternatives to Consider

Iconic Sites That Fail to Live Up to the Hype: Alternatives to Consider

Photo by Jonathan Ridley

Posted May 1, 2022

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According to Stuff.co.nz, some famous tourist spots are more disappointing than dazzling. Here are ten overrated attractions and better alternatives to explore.

Stonehenge, England

Though often described as mystical and magical, Stonehenge is situated between two busy roads, making the experience less serene than expected. Visitors can’t get close to the stones; the admission fee only grants distant views due to past vandalism where tourists chipped off pieces of the ancient rocks as souvenirs. Instead, visit Avebury, about 25 miles away, where you can freely explore a stone circle encompassing an entire town, offering a more immersive and less crowded experience.

Blarney Stone, Ireland

Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone bestows the gift of eloquence, but the reality is less enchanting. With countless people kissing the stone daily, it’s more likely to spread germs than charm. Additionally, persistent rumors suggest locals use the stone as a bathroom after hours. Visitors endure long lines and a dizzying climb, only to be tipped backward over a ledge to kiss the stone. Instead, explore the beautiful Blarney Castle grounds, where you can enjoy the scenery and gardens without the risk of infection.

Pyramids at the Giza Necropolis, Egypt

Expecting a tranquil desert experience at the Pyramids of Giza? Think again. Located near Cairo’s bustling suburbs, the pyramids are surrounded by fast-food chains, litter, and aggressive vendors who can make the visit stressful. Visitors can’t touch the Sphinx or climb the pyramids anymore. Instead, visit the less crowded pyramids at Dahshur, where you can enjoy a more peaceful and less commercialized experience.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

After taking the obligatory photos “pushing over” the tower, there’s little else to do at the site, and it’s often overcrowded with hawkers. The long journey from Rome can feel underwhelming for just a quick photo op. Instead, explore the nearby Duomo di Pisa, a stunning Romanesque cathedral filled with artwork and history, offering a richer cultural experience.

Leaning Tower of Pisa|pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa|pisa

Prague Astronomical Clock, Czech Republic

While it’s the oldest working astronomical clock in the world, the Prague Astronomical Clock can be underwhelming. The brief hourly show draws massive crowds, making it hard to enjoy. Instead, visit Paris’ Musée d’Orsay, home to multiple beautiful clocks within a converted beaux-arts railway station. The museum offers a diverse and enriching cultural experience without the crowds.

Times Square, New York City

Known for its flashing advertisements, pushy vendors, and chain restaurants, Times Square is often avoided by locals due to its chaos. The area is packed with lost tourists and commercial establishments that can be found elsewhere. Instead, explore Museum Mile along Fifth Avenue, where eight diverse museums offer unique exhibits and a more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, you can still enjoy New York’s famous street food from the nearby hot-dog carts.

Hollywood Walk of Fame, California

Traveling to see celebrity names on a sidewalk can be underwhelming, especially given the crowded and often dingy surroundings. Instead, visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hollywood, where you can take pictures with lifelike wax figures of celebrities, offering a more interactive and memorable experience.

Manneken Pis, Belgium

The small statue of a boy urinating in Brussels often leaves tourists puzzled about its appeal. Crowds gather to see this tiny statue, but it can be a letdown. Time your visit to coincide with one of the statue’s dress-up days or beer-dispensing events for a slightly more interesting experience. Instead, see the Zinneke Pis, a statue of a dog urinating, which is less crowded and somewhat more charming.

Equator, Ecuador

The Ciudad Mitad del Mundo park claims to mark the equator, but the actual line is hundreds of feet away, making it a misleading attraction. Some say it’s a house of lies. Instead, visit the Greenwich Meridian Line in England for an accurate zero-degree longitude experience. It may mark longitude instead of latitude, but it’s scientifically accurate and historically significant.

The Little Mermaid, Denmark

Copenhagen’s famous statue, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, is a replica due to frequent vandalism. The statue is small, and its remote location often leaves visitors underwhelmed. Instead, visit the Hans Christian Andersen statue in New York’s Central Park, where you can climb on the sculpture for fun photos and pay a fitting tribute to the beloved author.

water mermaid in Copenhagen

water mermaid in Copenhagen

Do you agree with this list of iconic sites that don’t live up to their hype?

Source: stuff.co.nz


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