Everyone who loves to travel has a bucket list - all the places they want to go, and the things that they want to see before they kick that bucket. However, most of these lists rely on the hope that while we are busy saving money and planning that big vacation, the places and things we want to see are still going to be there by the time we get to them! Unfortunately, though, many of the biggest tourist attractions in the world are closing down - some have been destroyed by storms or natural disasters, but some have even been destroyed by the tourists themselves. Especially when it comes to ancient ruins, having thousands of people tramping through on a daily basis probably isn’t the best idea for keeping things in great condition…
While there are still plenty of amazing things to see in the world, we’d suggest starting to keep track of the big things on your bucket list - and make sure you know which are still going to be around in a decade, and which you should probably book a ticket for, pronto! If any of these twenty-five famous attractions were on your list, though, you’re out of luck - because these simply don’t exist anymore. Sorry.
25 Azure Window (Malta)
Bad news for Game of Thrones fans - the Azure Arch, which was the backdrop for Drogo and Daenerys's wedding, finally collapsed into the sea. The natural rock formation was destroyed in 2017 after a heavy storm. This wasn’t too surprising, as the waters had been eroding the stone arch for a long time, but it was still a concern - especially for the local economy, who relied on some of that tourist money. However, the site has now been reborn as a popular dive site, so it looks like things worked out after all.
24 The Original Chewing Gum Wall (Seattle)
As far as tourist destinations go, this is something of an odd one - a small alley tucked away in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, absolutely covered in gum! The spot is a big hit with tourists who love to Instagram next to the wall, which was started by the audience of the Market Theater next door. There’s also pennies, spoons, and other bits and bobs stuck to the walls with gum, as well as gum used to spell out initials and draw hearts.
You can still go to this wall in 2019, but don’t expect to see any of the original gum - it’s been cleaned multiple times since the 90s, although it seems that city has now given up and accepted it as part of Pike Place.
23 Love Locks Bridge (Paris)
Another wildly popular Instagram spot is the Pont Des Arts in Paris, more commonly known as the ‘love locks bridge’. The bridge is one of many that span the Seine, and it is where couples have come for years to fasten a padlock to the railings and throw the key in the water as a symbol of their love.
However, the weight of all those locks started to damage the bridge itself, so in 2015 Paris officially started to remove them - you can still go and add your own, it just won’t last very long.
22 Vidampark (Budapest)
If you are a lover of roller coasters, Vidampark (aka the Amusement Park of Budapest) might have been on your bucket list - as an amusement park that stood for 175 years! This was definitely a historic place to go ride the roller coasters… but sadly, it closed down in 2013. Vidampark may have made it through wars, politics, and redesigns, but it seems that it just couldn’t keep pulling in the numbers to stay afloat. There’s still plenty to do nearby, though, and you can catch glimpses of the abandoned park from afar.
21 Wedding Cake Rock (Australia)
Some people will do just about anything for a perfect selfie… including damaging landmarks and risking their own safety. At Wedding Cake Rock in New South Wales, the Australian government is building a new fence to keep visitors from climbing out onto the white stone ledge to take pictures.
The ledge is extremely fragile, and may collapse at any time - and although there is already one fence around this, people still keep climbing over it to try and take photos, so it’s time to make it even harder to get on here for the ‘gram.
20 Maya Beach (Thailand)
Thailand is famous for its beaches - and those wild beach parties on the full moon. This popular destination for backpackers was made even more popular after the release of The Beach in 2000 - especially Maya Beach, where the film was shot. However, this ended up bringing so many tourists to Maya in the intervening years that the beach has now been closed to tourists in an attempt to help it recover.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other beaches for you to enjoy here, though. Maya is far from the only one to visit - and can serve as a reminder to be a little kinder to the places that you visit.
19 The Red Bicycle (Washington)
You can certainly go see a rusted bicycle that is enveloped by a tree on Vashon Island; a fascinating tourist attraction that features on plenty of Instagrams and blogs. However, what you are seeing may not be what you think you are - and it may not even be the original bike, at this point!
There’s some debate over how the bike got into the tree, and pieces of it have been stolen and replaced over the years. So if you just want to go and see something that looks cool, this is waiting for you. If you want to go see an original bike from 1914, left by a boy who went to war, you are out of luck.
18 The Original Penn Station (New York)
Penn Station still stands in New York, although it’s not necessarily somewhere you want to visit as a tourist - it’s really just a sprawling transit hub in the middle of the city. However, if you happened to know a little of the history of Penn Station and be hoping to head to the Big Apple and see an architectural marvel in the Beaux-Arts style, you’ll be disappointed… the original Penn Station was demolished in the ‘60s.
Stick to Grand Central Station for the architecture, and Penn Station to get from A to B.
17 Caves of Altamira (Spain)
These Spanish caves are famous for their incredible early cave paintings - especially the red bison that are world famous. However, the age of these paintings means that they are not going to be around forever - especially with thousands of people trooping in and out.
The caves were closed in 2002, but if they were on your bucket list, there’s still a chance you could see them: five visitors a week are chosen to don protective clothing and head into the caves.
16 Tutankhamun’s Tomb (Egypt)
Probably the most famous of all the Egyptian Pharaohs, the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamun has long been a major draw in Egypt… despite the legend that the tomb was cursed, and killed the people who first opened it! However, the tomb was becoming damaged thanks to too much moisture in the air (all those tourists breathing and sweating in the heat!).
It’s still possible to visit the site, though, and an exact replica of the tomb that was opened next to it in 2014. It’s not quite the same, but thankfully, there are also still plenty of other incredible sites to see up and down the Nile.
15 Chacaltaya Glacier (Bolivia)
For skiers who wanted to go somewhere truly unique, Chacaltaya Glacier, and its title of the World’s Highest Ski Resort, was definitely a bucket list destination. The resort was only accessible by a dirt road, with a small hotel at the top, and a ski run that was more about proving a point than having the kind of charming alpine experience most casual skiers are after.
However, rising temperatures slowly started to melt the glacier, and now, it’s completely gone. The resort shut down for good in 2009.
14 Dubrovnik (Croatia)
This charming city in Croatia is probably better known at this point as the set for Game Of Thrones’ Kings Landing - and given the massive popularity of the show, it’s not too surprising that the number of tourists coming to the city has risen to incredible levels over the past few years.
In fact, it’s become so over-saturated with tourists that the major is now taking active measures to limit the number of people who can visit; this includes limiting outdoor seating, Game of Thrones tours, and how many cruise ships can dock. So you may still be able to come here, but it’s going to get a lot harder in 2019.
13 Cinque Terre (Italy)
Another spot that is struggling to cope with a massive influx of visitors is Cinque Terre, in Italy - rainbow colored cliffside towns that look like something out of a fairy tale. These bright and beautiful towns are connected by cliffside paths, too - but since these have started to collapse from overuse, some of them have had to be permanently closed.
In an attempt to save the rest, the government has created an app that shows visitors how many people are on the cliffs - and keeps them away from paths that are too crowded.
12 The Globe Theater (London)
Fans of the Bard might want to head to London to visit the Globe Theater, that famous stage where Shakespeare’s performances would thrill the masses… but you can’t. At least, you can’t see the original Globe Theater, because that building burned down in the 1600s.
You can, however, see ‘Shakespeare’s Globe’, often referred to as the Globe Theater. It’s not the real deal, but a reconstruction built for tourists in 1997. You can take tours and see performances of Shakespeare’s plays, though, so the fact that it is a replica shouldn’t put you off. Close enough, right?
11 Machu Picchu (Peru)
This ancient site on a mountain is one of the most famous bucket-list spots in the world… and while you can still go for most of 2019, it’s getting harder and harder to actually visit.
In an attempt to limit visitors, only a certain number are able to hike the trail itself (so plan far in advance if you want to be one of them), and now tourists have to purchase morning or afternoon tickets for the ruins if arriving by road.
And if you are planning on a trip in February of 2019, you are entirely out of luck, as the whole site is closed to tourists for maintenance and cleaning.
10 Legzira Beach (Morocco)
Like the Azure Window, Legzira beach was famous for a magnificent natural stone arch. The huge arch jutted out over the ocean, and unlike the Azure Window, one half was standing in the sand, allowing people to stroll easily under the arch and take stunning photos with it in the background, and rising above them. Sadly, however, this landmark collapsed in 2016, worn away from underneath and unable to support the weight of the cliff above it.
The beach itself is still beautiful, and there are plenty of other natural arches you can find elsewhere in the world, but this particular one is no more.
9 Dead Sea Beaches (Isreal)
The Dead Sea is famous for its beaches, for water that it is impossible to sink into (due to the mineral content), and for its black mud… and of course, for the supposed health benefits of both the mud and the water. People would flock to Ein Gedi Mineral Beach to bathe in the waters and enjoy the mud spas there - but now, more and more of the beaches of the Dead Sea are closed.
Sinkholes and low water levels mean that this popular tourist attraction is on its way out - which would be devastating to the area.
8 Kaimu Black Sand Beach (Hawaii)
Another beach that has been wiped off the bucket lists of travelers everywhere is the famous Kaimu black sand beach in Hawaii. Tourists loved to visit to take photos with the incredibly dark sand - but the volcanic activity that made the sand so photogenic also destroyed it.
In the early ‘90s, a lava flow destroyed the beach and 150 homes on it - however, there are several other black sand beaches in the area, so if you just want to see that stunning view, you’re still in luck this year.
7 Bogle Seeds Sunflower Fields (Canada)
You may have heard of the closure of this popular sunflower farm, as it made headlines when selfie-happy 'grammers overran the sweet spot in Hamilton, Ontario. Originally, the farm allowed visitors for a modest fee, and it wasn’t long before people started coming to take amazing photos against the backdrop of the sunny flowers. Which was fine, until huge swarms of people started coming, and trespassing, trampling flowers, and generally behaving terribly to get that perfect spot.
The result? Closed to the public, seemingly for good. This is why we can’t have nice things.
6 Disney’s River Country And Discovery Islands (Florida)
If you are looking for Disney parks, there is certainly no shortage - Disney parks exist around the world, promising to be the happiest place on Earth. However, that doesn’t mean that every Disney park remains open today.
One of their early water parks, Disney’s River Country and an early animal park Discovery Islands (both in Florida) were shut down in 1999 and 2001 respectively. However, a big part of the reason for the shut down was that newer water parks and zoo parks were more popular within the Disney brand, so you can head to one of those instead.