By The Secret Traveller
Sorry guys, you’re not going to love everything when you travel. Some destinations and attractions will be amazing, for sure. But some of them will be average, some will be boring, and some will be plain disappointing.
If you’re visiting any of these attractions, you can expect the latter…
This is one of those things you go to see because everyone tells you to see it, and then you arrive and wonder if you’re even in the right place. Brussels’ most famous monument is a small statue of a boy having a pee. That’s it. I’d recommend ditching it in favour of drinking another Belgian beer.
This is in a similar vein to the Manneken Pis – a very small statue of a reclining mermaid that has somehow become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Denmark. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because there aren’t many tourist attractions in Denmark…
This is Rome, so you expect something big. You expect it to be old, and grand, and breath-taking, and historic. But what you find is a plain old staircase that takes you from nowhere particularly interesting to a place that’s slightly higher up in nowhere particularly interesting. How is this a thing?
It’s not the painting itself that’s disappointing. What’s disappointing is that there are so many tourists in this one room of the Louvre trying to get a gawk at the world’s most famous portrait that you’ll never get anywhere near close enough to appreciate it.
Come on, admit it: you came here in the hopes of seeing the Loch Ness Monster. And you’re absolutely not going to do that. Instead all you’re going to see is a big, cold body of water in the middle of nowhere.
You know what the best thing to look at in Paris is? The Eiffel Tower. And you know what the one thing you can’t see from the top of the Eiffel Tower is? Yep, you guessed it.
This is a truly awe-inspiring attraction for those with a deep passion for bits of pavement and handprints that, let’s face it, could be anyone’s. The Walk of Fame is in a surprisingly tacky, dodgy part of LA, and offers nothing more to visitors than the names of famous people on the ground.
OK, here’s the deal: when the pilgrims aboard the Mayflower first arrived in what would later become the USA, they inscribed a rock at their landing place with the year, 1620. That rock is still in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and it’s become something of a tourist attraction. A very small, plain and extremely underwhelming tourist attraction.
This might be one of the most famous beaches in the world, but it’s really not that exciting. It’s just a beach. You know all those famous sunset photos you see of Rio, with people playing football on the sand with a huge mountain in the background? Yeah, that’s Ipanema beach. Not Copacabana.
It’s not even a square – like, it’s not a town square, with a big open area for pedestrians, and it’s not in the shape of a square. Times Square is a weird oblong space surrounded by busy streets with virtually no pedestrian areas at all.
Anyone who spends their holidays going to tacky museums to look at wax figurines of the Kardashians really gets what they deserve: a thoroughly disappointing experience and a few lame selfies with which to hopefully fool your gullible friends. Seriously, this is not culture.
The really fascinating thing about Stonehenge is the backstory – or rather the lack of backstory. How did the stones get there? What are they for? That stuff is pretty interesting. The actual site itself is just a bunch of big rocks that you can’t even get that close to.
Like the Mona Lisa, Bruges is a tiny, beautiful work of art that is completely ruined by the millions of tourists who come to see it. This little Belgian town would be an absolute charmer if it wasn’t for all the bum-bag-toting Americans running around shouting at each other all day.
Yes, there are boats out there loaded with produce and food for people to buy. But you’re not really buying anything, are you? And after gawking at the first couple of boats going past this all gets pretty samey – people buying food, in a more awkward manner than they usually would.
I would forbid tourists from going here as well – mostly because it’s just not that interesting. You walk through, shoulder to shoulder with a million other people, waiting to see something amazing, and then all of a sudden you’re out the other side and it’s all over. Wha?
Tolkien nerds might enjoy this odd little attraction, but for the casual fan of the movies, you’ll be more impressed by the gigantic film set that is New Zealand in its entirety than a few little houses with round doors. I wouldn’t bother.
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