Budget Travel

25 Tourist Traps We Love

"The Great Wall, but off the beaten path." —Anita Ziegner

"There's still something magical about the Eiffel Tower." —@MSNLocalEdition

"Pisa. Go in knowing that you're there for the obligatory picture of you pushing or leaning on the tower. Where else is there one like it?" —@amy_veenstra

"Versailles. I've never been but am planning to go next spring. I'm a historian though, so it is of particular interest to me." —Caroline Dover Wilson

"The Acropolis in Athens." —Cindy Ackerman Hovland

"I think Café du Monde, though touristy, in New Orleans is still worth the visit." —@JLDumont6

"Chichen Itza. It is truly remarkable and worth the drive." —Addy Bailey

"Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro." —Shash Yázh

"Blarney Castle. The grounds around the castle are just gorgeous." —Sara O'Bryan Thompson

"The U.S. Capitol building. Take the tour. The new video is awesome." —Terrica M. Gibson

"Hit up the luaus on Oahu, Polynesian Cultural Center, Paradise Cove. You have a show and you eat traditional Hawaiian food. They're worth the price of admission." —Barbara Palaith-Newson

"Gondola rides in Venice. A "touristy" thing to do but so worth it!" —JaMeka Tyler Ramnath

"Angkor Wat, Cambodia. So spectacular!" —@mrsptravels

"I did a tour of the Colosseum and some of the ruins. My brother was against it, but we got to see and learn about things that we otherwise wouldn't have known! Totally worth it." —Krista Martin

"The Statue of Liberty." —Sara O'Bryan Thompson

"Uluru [Ayers Rock in the Australian Outback]." —Jennifer Filipowski

"The Trevi Fountain in Rome." —Carolyn Hopkins

"The Pyramids [of Egypt]." —Kelly Hoffman

"Graceland. Mainly because I haven't been yet (next summer!) and I'm obsessed." —Ami Kamara

"Stonehenge. Totally worth the photo op!" —Erin Roush

"The double-decker tour buses in Barcelona. Totally worth the long line to get on." —Kelly Schott

"The Tower of London. Been there three times with three different people and loved it every time." —Colleen Fitzwater DePietro

"The Sound of Music bus tour in Salzburg (it doesn't get much more tourist trappy than that!) and I loved it!" —

"The Space Needle in Seattle." —Crystal Wishart

"The Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin. Huge queues but worth it." —Fiona Thompson

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.

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