Sure, these iconic destinations are mentioned in every travel guide. Sure, they're teeming with tourists. But we firmly believe that some spots are on the beaten path for a good reason. Here, the 25 travel classics that Budget Travelers can't (and shouldn't!) resist.
How do you define a "tourist trap"? For some of us, it means an overcrowded, overpriced attraction that, once you've escaped, you'd rather forget. But we have found that there are some super-crowded, often pricey sites that are worth the hassle and the money. Whether you prefer to think of them as "classics" or "traps," we asked our audience which "tourist traps" they absolutely couldn't live without. Check out the photo gallery (above) for a dose of trip inspiration and see if you agree with our picks:
Our audience agreed that some of the most popular attractions in America are totally worth the crowds, including New Orleans's Cafe du Monde, the U.S. Capitol building, an authentic Hawaiian luau, Seattle's Space Needle, Graceland (Elvis's home, in Memphis), and the Statue of Liberty.
No surprise that Europe racked up more favorites than any other region, including: the Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Versailles, the Acropolis, Blarney Castle, a gondola ride in Venice, the Checkpoint Charlie museum in Berlin, Salzburg's Sound of Music tour, the Tower of London, double-decker bus tours of Barcelona, Stonehenge, Rome's Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum,
Our audience agrees you must visit the Great Wall of China and the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza are totally worth the crowds.
You know the song, and you shouldn't skip Ipanema Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The pyramids at Giza, Egypt, of course.
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in the Outback, is far-flung and brag-worthy.