When passing along travel advice, seasoned travelers tend to recommend staying away from typical tourist traps in the big cities around the world. While it’s true that some iconic tourist traps are overcrowded, overpriced, and not worth it at all, others should still be on your bucket list. They may attract millions of tourists and they may be expensive to get into, but they’re still worth it.
Let’s not forget that tourist traps become popular in the first place for a reason. Often, just seeing monuments that are so iconic, spectacular, and historically significant first-hand is enough of a reason to put up with the crowds and the prices.
10 Times Square, USA
Packed to the brim with tourists, so much so that you probably won’t be able to walk through without being brushed by other people, Times Square definitely counts as a total tourist hotspot. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it off your bucket list when visiting New York City.
It’s a rite of passage to visit Times Square at least once. If huge crowds aren’t your thing, it won’t take you long to simply snap a few shots and move on to other New York landmarks. You don’t even have to spend any money!
9 The Grand Bazaar, Turkey
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the most well-known landmarks in the Turkish city. It was the first shopping mall ever built and was first commissioned by Mehmet the Conqueror all the way back in 1461.
Yes, it will be full of tourists (more than half a million people visit per day sometimes), but the 4,000 shops are worth visiting. You’ll be able to get your hands on authentic souvenirs and can even try your hand at haggling down the prices. This will be one experience you won’t forget.
8 The Great Wall of China, China
The longest wall in the world, the Great Wall of China is something that you can’t visit the country without seeing. Even if you’re in for long lines of people, you won’t forgive yourself for traveling to China and bypassing the iconic landmark. It’s a wonder of the world, so it’s a must!
Standing since the 14thcentury, the 2,150-mile wall attracts millions of visitors every year. If you don’t like crowds, stick to the Jinshanling section of the wall, rather than the more popular Badaling and Mutianyu sections.
7 The Pyramids Of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in the 26thcentury BC for Pharaoh Khufu and is the last remaining wonder of the ancient world in existence today. The Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest pyramid of Giza, but the others and the iconic Sphinx are also worth seeing.
Some travelers choose to steer clear of the area thanks to the scams that some locals set up for unsuspecting tourists. But that doesn’t change how historically significant and mind-blowing the site is. Prepare to be bothered by local scammers, and take in the beauty of the landmark anyway.
6 The Acropolis, Athens
It’s a bit of a hike to reach, but the Acropolis should definitely be on your bucket list when visiting Athens. In exchange for being one in a sea of tourists wielding selfie sticks, you’ll get to see first-hand the ruins of a monument that was among the most prominent of the ancient world.
In addition to getting to explore the citadel complex and learn about the history of the famous structures, including the Parthenon, you’ll also get a breathtaking view of the city of Athens. It’s worth battling the crowds to experience this historically significant site.
5 Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu isn’t easy to get to, but it’s the most famous site in Peru (and on the continent in general). Mysterious and stunning, Machu Picchu is thought to be a lost city once lived in by the Inca people. It was discovered in 1911 after being hidden in the surrounding jungle for more than 400 years.
Some believe that seeing the landmark is too expensive, but we think this is one attraction where it’s worth it to splurge. There are also visitor restrictions in place, so you probably won’t have to contend with too many other tourists.
4 The Colosseum, Italy
There are a few iconic highlights that you have to see when in Rome, and the Colosseum is one of them. Arguably the most impressive structure in the city, the enormous arena stands as a testament to a time where Rome ruled over a significant portion of the world.
Visitors to the Colosseum can take an audio tour during the day or a night tour which grants access to the underground area and the arena floor, where many gladiators would have met their fate. You can avoid long lines by booking your tickets a few days in advance.
3 The Taj Mahal, India
Around 70,000 people visit India’s Taj Mahal per day, and with good reason. The mausoleum of white marble is perhaps the most iconic landmark in India. The mere sight of it is enough to humble tourists from all over the world, so it simply must be part of any trip to India.
Some travelers are reluctant to visit the Taj Mahal because of the large crowds, as well as the scammers hanging around who sell photography and tour guide services, only to rip you off. But like other major landmarks, it’s worth putting up with all of that just to see it.
2 The Grand Canyon, USA
One of the most famous natural wonders in the United States, the Grand Canyon is a must-see for anybody traveling to the state of Arizona. The canyon, which spans 18 miles from side to side, is an incredibly impressive sight, so don’t let the throngs of tourists put you off.
There are several ways to go about seeing the Grand Canyon. You can stop by for an hour just to snap some photos, see the canyon by small plane, or even trek down into the canyon for a camping trip.
1 Angkor Wat, Cambodia
In the past, Angkor Wat has been labeled the world’s number one landmark by TripAdvisor, so naturally, it receives millions of tourists a year. Many of the crowds appear at the site at sunset so they can take in the most breathtaking views of the series of temples.
Considered the world’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat should definitely be on your bucket list. Forget about the tourists—this attraction, which was built as a Hindu temple in the 12thcentury and is now Buddhist, is a must for anybody traveling to Cambodia.