You know you’ve found a popular tourist attraction when you see a statue with a shiny spot. From Ireland‘s Blarney Stone to Istanbul‘s “weeping” column in Hagia Sophia, visitors love any place that has brought luck to others. Today’s Photo of the Day, by Flickr user Kumukulanui, is from Paris‘ Montmartre, and of Jean Marais’ sculpture “The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls.” Based on a short story, it’s believed that if you touch his left hand, you might be able to pass through some walls yourself, or at least take some zany pictures giving him a high five.
Laurel brought us the US’s top ten overrated travel destinations, and we thought it was time to go global. Here are ten international sites, in no particular order, that just aren’t worth a two-hour wait in line, fighting the crowds, or covering long distances to get there:
1. Eiffel Tower, Paris
Seriously, your photos of Paris are going to look much better with the Eiffel Tower in them. If you feel like getting high, Notre Dame is a much cooler spot.
2. Oktoberfest, Munich
If getting drunk with a bunch of American college student is your idea of a good time, then be sure to hit up the Hofbrauhaus tent.
3. The Blarney Stone, Ireland
Don’t do it. Stay away from the nasty, germ-infested piece of rock. Surely no luck can come of kissing that stone cold sore, right?
4. Cancun, Mexico
Crammed with spring-breakers and holiday makers, Cancun is party-central and really no different than, say, any other beach city in the States.5. Niagara Falls, Ontario
The volume of water thundering over Niagara’s limestone cliffs is arguably amazing, but the neon lights under the falls and Vegas-like cacophony built up around them are over-the-top.
6. Stonehenge, United Kingdom
Crowds jostle for space not to get close to the monoliths, but to capture them on film from a distance. That’s right; you can’t even get up close anymore. And a
major highway runs right by it, ruining any ambiance that might remain.
7. Hoi An, Vietnam
This little town popped up again and again among the Gadling crew as one that has shoved out any local culture in favor of coddling tourists – if “coddling” can also encompass aggressive selling.
8. The Atomium, Brussels
Another Gadling un-fave, the Atomium is, in the words of our esteemed editors, “boring.” There’s no real reason to visit it other than to take a couple of pics and say you’ve been there.
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
Here you’ll find a tower that
is cabled up so it won’t lean any further, and tourist posing for photos where they pretend to hold it up. It’s not worth the journey.
10. Universal City Walk, Los Angeles
Not much more than an attempt to dazzle with bright lights and big screens, Universal City Walk is three blocks of cheese. There’s shopping for “memorabilia” and whatnot, and lots of families vacationing. Skip it and spend the day at Disneyland.
Did we miss any? What places do you think are overrated?
[Photo Credit: Flickr user Al Ianni]
Grabbing the railing on the subway? For some of us, it’s a fact of life, but I’m told there are plenty of people out there who liken it to shoving your hand in a toilet. According to a recent TripAdvisor poll of more than 4,000 travelers, around one-third consider themselves to be “germaphobic” since the H1N1 swine flu outbreak.
So, where do germaphobes go? I imagine they hang out in hospitals and Reston, Virginia (you can do surgery off the streets there). More interesting is where these clean freaks won’t go: TripAdvisor’s five “germiest” world attractions.
Pucker up for the Blarney Stone: kiss the Blarney Stone, according to legend, and you’ll be rewarded with the gift of eloquent speech … yours and 400,000 other mouths.
Kiss the dead guy’s memorial: people just can’t keep their lips to themselves … if it’s not the Blarney Stone, then it’s Oscar Wilde‘s tomb in Paris.
Chew on the Wall of Gum: at Seattle‘s Market Theatre in Post Alley: there’s a giant wall of gum. And, travelers have begun to add to it. Try to stick yours on it without feeling anyone else’s contribution (blech).
Run with the pigeons in Venice: vendors in St. Mark’s Square have stopped selling food to tourists who feed the birds, because of the situation – I think Alfred Hitchcock made a movie about it.
Tactile Chinese theater in Hollywood: millions of people grind their fingers into the handprints at the Forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in the film capital of the world.