Ever had a bucket list? Most of us haven’t written one down. It’s fair to assume that nearly all of us have thought a great deal about the things we'd like to do and experience in life, and places we'd like to visit. Some of these might be out of the ordinary. But there are probably quite a few classic travel spots on everyone's list. Some people make a real effort to visit these places. We hear about these beautiful destinations from around the world constantly.
Sometimes, when we actually visit such a destination, it doesn’t measure up. Sure, we’ve seen the pictures, and the rave reviews from people online. But they’ve got to sell that place as a travel destination. Sometimes, when we actually visit, it’s not what we were expecting.
The definition of a classic travel spot is an amazing destination of the highest quality. We go there expecting to see exactly that, but sometimes we leave disappointed. Some classic travel spots, though, do actually hold up and are everything travelers expect them to be. These are 15 that still hold up and 15 that just aren’t worth visiting.
30 STILL HOLDS UP: NIAGARA FALLS
Niagara Falls is the name given to three waterfalls found along the border of Ontario in Canada and New York. It’s a popular travel destination for tourists. There’s a reason for that. People visit Niagara Falls and very rarely leave disappointed. It’s the breathtaking views, the mist, and the fact that you’re marveling at nature in all of its glory. The only thing that could put a damper on things is the weather. But when the sun’s out, Niagara Falls is illuminated and you’ll be able to see the glorious waterfalls in all of their splendor.
29 NOT WORTH IT: GOA
Goa is a popular travel destination for Indians and people around the world. People flock to this western Indian state to soak in some sun and make use of the gorgeous coastlines. Goa’s renowned for its beaches. A lot of movie scenes are shot there. Hence, it’s a popular travel destination amongst Indians. It’s also a bit of a hippie heaven. But of course, what you see in the movies differs immensely from what the reality is. Goa tends to be overcrowded, beaches are unkempt, and it isn't a safe area.
28 STILL HOLDS UP: KO SAMUI
Ko Samui has done well to recover and build itself up after the tsunami. Certain beaches also remained relatively unscathed. So, why Ko Samui? The island has some of the most spectacular beaches you’ll ever see. You can find crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. There are also temples and a National Park. It’s the perfect destination for romance, or just for a relaxing getaway.
27 NOT WORTH IT: BANGKOK
Of course, I’m not suggesting you discount the whole city. Bangkok is a beautiful place. But even locals have been getting a bit ticked off over the past decade due to the way things have changed. This is because of the influx of tourists. Tourists like Bangkok because it’s affordable, the weather is great, the food is exotic and tasty, and it offers a ton of other experiences. Tourists tend to stick to these areas. But Bangkok has so much more. However, all of these sites are lost on tourists nowadays. It’s sad that that’s become the case.
26 STILL HOLDS UP: SANTORINI
Visit Santorini and you’ll think that you’ve traveled to another planet. It’s peaceful, blissful, just serene and beautiful. In actual fact, words don’t do the Greek island justice. You have to set eyes upon it yourself. Then you’ll see what all the fuss is about. Santorini has always been a popular travel destination. There were worries that people would find it tacky after the Kardashians spent their vacation there. But if anything, it’s had the opposite effect. Not that they needed to, but the Kardashians actually did a lot for Santorini tourism.
25 NOT WORTH IT: THE MONA LISA
You don’t have to be an artist to know of the Mona Lisa. Chances are you’ve set eyes on it. It was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s regarded to be one of the most well-known pieces of art in the world. It’s also one of the most photographed. So, yes, you’ve probably seen it. Do you really need to set eyes on it in person from a distance, clamoring to edge closer to the barrier to get a pic? If that sounds appealing, you’ve got to pay a visit to The Louvre museum in Paris.
24 STILL HOLDS UP: EIFFEL TOWER
Paris is actually a pretty small city. But this small city is unique for so many reasons. It also has plenty of attractions. Not all of them, like The Louvre museum, are worth visiting. But the main attraction of them all, the Eiffel Tower, is still mightily impressive. It’s one of the most famous attractions in the world for a reason. It represents Paris and is an iconic feature of France. You can see it by boat ride, or get up close to soak it in.
23 NOT WORTH IT: LAS RAMBLAS
Las Ramblas in Barcelona is a classic European tourist spot. But it’s essentially just a long tree-lined street in central Barcelona. Due to its popularity, it’s now become one of the most crowded places in Barcelona. It’s always filled with tourists, as a result of which, there are plenty of cafes and souvenir shops. It’s lost its originality and now just caters to tourists. It’s certainly been affected since turning into a tourist hotspot, and not in a good way.
22 STILL HOLDS UP: LONDON EYE
The London Eye is one of the world’s tallest observational wheels. People flock to London and ride what essentially is a giant Ferris wheel to do just that. It sits on the South Bank of the River Thames and allows you to see the capital in all of its glory. The views out across London stretch far and wide – all the major destinations across London are visible. It’s the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK. That tells you something about the London Eye – it’s still a major attraction for a reason.
21 NOT WORTH IT: DISNEYLAND PARIS
If you’ve got kids, a visit to Disneyland in Paris is possibly on the agenda. Everyone keeps hearing about Disneyland Paris. But many people are disappointed. Firstly, a lot of the attractions are in French, which is fine if you speak the language but problematic if not. Then it depends when you go; certain characters might not be around and the weather at certain times can get pretty bad. Disney World is a much better alternative.
20 STILL HOLDS UP: STATUE OF LIBERTY
This colossal neoclassical sculpture on New York’s Liberty Island is an iconic feature of America. Chances are you’ve seen it, whether on TV or in pictures. It looks even more impressive in real life. There are many things to see in New York. But when there, make sure you take a boat trip to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Here you’ll be able to cruise past the Statue of Liberty and soak in this iconic landmark in the best way possible. The statue certainly still holds up and probably will forever.
19 NOT WORTH IT: HOBBITON
Watched the Hobbit or The Lord of The Rings? Then you’ll know all about the land of hobbits. Fans of the books and movies are able to venture into the pastures of the Shire and experience the magic of Hobbiton in New Zealand. It’s a short ride around the set, around the Shire. And many people feel that it’s overpriced. At $75, would you be willing to take a trip to Middle Earth? Perhaps, if you’re a huge fan. But the price spoils it for a lot of people.
18 STILL HOLDS UP: THE FAMOUS BRAZILIAN STATUE
Think of Brazil, and you think of this statue. It’s the iconic landmark of Brazil. When you see images of it, it looks fabulous. It looks even more spectacular in real life. It stands 30 meters high and overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro. At times, it can get rather crowded. But it’s regarded to be one of the seven wonders of the world for a reason. Set eyes on the Christ the Redeemer statue, and it’ll remain in your memory forever more.
17 NOT WORTH IT: BERLIN WALL
The Berlin Wall is a symbol of the Cold War. It separated the east and west sides of Germany. On the West Berlin side, it’s covered with graffiti. Yes, the Berlin Wall is big in terms of history. It’s of huge historical significance. But it’s now a bit run-down. It’s not exactly a spectacular sight. The Berlin Wall is definitely worth seeing. But is it worth going to see? The wall varies in terms of quality and interest. See pictures of it and learn about its history. That’s good enough.
16 STILL HOLDS UP: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
This archipelago of volcanic islands are situated either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. They belong to the Republic of Ecuador. These islands are teeming with biodiversity, as Charles Darwin found out when he visited and coined his theory of evolution. Many visit to set eyes on some of the remarkable creatures that call the Galapagos Islands their home. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s the weather, the beaches, and the all-round gorgeous surroundings. You can also check out the marine reserve and the isolated set of volcanoes.
15 NOT WORTH IT: TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK
The Torres del Paine National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are stunning glaciers, lakes, rivers and forests, and it’s one of the most visited places in Chile. Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it worth the visit? No. It’s been commercialized and is frequently teeming with tourists. It’s seriously busy and expensive, which takes the gloss off the experience. You can hike, but there are plenty of things to trip you up. A better alternative would be to go to the Argentine territory instead.
14 STILL HOLDS UP: VENICE
Venice is a city unlike any other in the world. There are no roads – it relies on its canal system. Ever stayed on a hotel on the water and taken a gondola ride to the shops? That’s a way of life for Venetians. It boasts some remarkable architecture and spectacular scenery. It’s also the city of romance. Take a trip to Venice with a loved one and you’ll soon see why. Marble palaces on lagoons – that sentence alone should sell the prospect of visiting Venice for you.
13 NOT WORTH IT: THE BAHAMAS
The Bahamas is a country in the Caribbean. It is super popular among tourists. However, this archipelagic state has become far too commercialized and too touristy over the years. It’s lost a load of its charm. Sure, the scenery and the beaches are still stunning. But it is worth traveling to the Bahamas, solely to sun yourself on a beach? Many prefer to visit the nearby Miami as the better alternative.
12 STILL HOLDS UP: PAMUKKALE
This town in western Turkey has become a classic travel destination for so many reasons. It neighbors the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis. But Pamukkale is a classic travel spot in its own right. It’s renowned for its mineral-rich thermal waters. These flow down the hillside, down stunning white travertine terraces. There are thermal pools, rugged terrain and natural parks. It’s well worth a visit just to take in the spectacular views – views that are unlike any other on the planet.
11 NOT WORTH IT: LAS VEGAS STRIP
If you’ve got money to burn, want to let loose and have some fun, and engage in all sorts of activities, then Las Vegas is the place for you. It’s another city that never sleeps, a place where people can get and experience anything and everything. But for many, Vegas can be a bit too much. It’s also pretty pricy – depending on what you want to do, of course. There are better alternatives that are beginning to rise up and make names for themselves, such as Manila and Macau.
10 STILL HOLDS UP: VICTORIA FALLS
The sight of a massive waterfall and vast amounts of water cascading down a steep gorge is one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. There are many waterfalls around the globe. There aren’t many that compete with the nature of Victoria Falls. It lies in the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The sheer scale of the vertical drop and its surroundings makes Victoria Falls one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. There are also national parks in the surrounding area.
9 NOT WORTH IT: DUBAI, UAE
People often rant and rave about Dubai being a super-amazing place to visit. It’s wealthy, culturally diverse, hot, has the world’s tallest building, and is renowned for its shopping scene. It’s one of the most extravagant cities in the world. You’re going to have to have to come with a fair few dollars in your pocket. Even a cup of tea will break the bank in certain places. It’s a fast city that’s undergone rapid modernization. But it’s not quite there yet in that it doesn’t cater to everybody.
8 STILL HOLDS UP: GIZA
Think of Egypt and you think of pyramids. The pyramids in Giza are the ones you want to see. All three of the pyramids in Giza’s pyramid complex are impressive. But there’s one that stands out. It’s the only one that’s remained intact and is the oldest and largest of the three. It’s a remarkable sight, and you can go and check out the different chambers of the pyramids too. The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the seven wonders of the world for a reason.
7 NOT WORTH IT: STONEHENGE
Is there really any attraction to Stonehenge? If you want to travel outside of London and see a load of stones arranged in the form of a prehistoric monument, Stonehenge is the place for you. But this classic British cultural icon really is just a bunch of stones. If the prospect of seeing this Neolithic and Bronze Age monument tickles your fancy, crack on. But there are better sights to see in the UK.
6 STILL HOLDS UP: TAJ MAHAL
The Taj Mahal in India will truly take your breath away. The ivory-white marble mausoleum was constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as the place of rest for his favorite wife. It was essentially commissioned out of love. Visitors can feel that when they set eyes on it for the first time. The surroundings in Agra are equally special. It lies on the south bank of the Yamuna river. It attracts around eight million visitors a year and is one of the seven wonders of the world for a reason.
5 NOT WORTH IT: BLARNEY STONE
Blarney Stone is a block of limestone in Cork, Ireland. Yes, it really is as exciting as it reads. People go there to check out the sight, but also to see if the legend is true. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you’ll gain skills in flattery and will suddenly be more eloquent. If you believe in that sort of stuff and feel that a kiss of the limestone could help you gain some newfound confidence, Blarney Stone is the place for you.
4 STILL HOLDS UP: SALAR DE UYUNI
Situated in Bolivia at the crest of the Andes, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. It’s highly rich in lithium and was formed due to transformations between prehistoric lakes. But people don’t really go there for a history lesson. Just setting eyes on the salt flats is a truly amazing sight. The views that stretch out over the flats are just extraordinary. You won’t be able to experience anything like it anywhere else in the world. It’ll stick in your memory for a long time.
3 NOT WORTH IT: EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
This Art Deco skyscraper towers over Midtown Manhattan. It’s one of New York’s most iconic sights. If you’re visiting New York, it’s well worth checking it out and snapping a few pics. But don’t visit New York solely to see the Empire State Building. It was once the tallest building in the world. That’s essentially all it is – a tall building. Crane your neck, set eyes on it for a few seconds and you’ll be done. Alternatively, check out a pic – that way you may actually be able to see the top.
2 STILL HOLDS UP: LENCOIS MARANHENSES
The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a protected area in Brazil, near the Atlantic coast. The park is renowned for its desert and white sand dunes. It’s a barren area that supports no vegetation. That’s despite the rain – the area occasionally gets flooded. This water gets collected in the valleys between the sand dunes. It doesn’t sound that great. But it truly is beautiful. Setting eyes on the natural beauty of this national park will render you speechless. It’s a truly beautiful, unique place.
1 NOT WORTH IT: THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a cultural icon of Italy. It’s one of the nation’s most well-known landmarks and is a highly popular tourist attraction. That means that pretty much throughout the year, it can get incredibly busy. The crowds are often overwhelming. Secondly, there’s a lack of history about the place. It’s become very touristy. Pisa has catered to this. Then there’s the fact that there isn’t really anything else to do in the Tuscan city. It’s a long way to travel but there’s not a lot to see.