The world's tourist traps named and shamed

Tourists are warned against taking camel rides to the Giza pyramids. Photo / Getty Images
Tourists are warned against taking camel rides to the Giza pyramids. Photo / Getty Images

The people who run tourist attractions cannot win - they are popular because they are interesting, so people hate them because they are busy.

But there are some hotpots that really do deserve a swerve, according to those in the know.

Despite their reputations as a must-see, places like the Moulin Rouge, Stonehenge and the Empire State Building have all been criticised by tourists and locals for being either underwhelming or overcrowded.

MailOnline Travel has scoured some of the busiest travel sites on the internet to discover which famous food, monuments and areas of natural beauty to avoid when on holiday.

Camel rides at the Pyramids in Egypt

TripAdvisor warns tourists against taking camel rides to the Giza pyramids.

It says: "People have been trekked into the desert and extorted.

"Horseback riding at the Giza Pyramids is [also] a pretty dicey proposition as the horses are not cared for or trained for the most part.

"There are, however, some very good stables for riding listed on TripAdvisor."

The Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Online newspaper The Local has warned against paying a visit to the Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

It says: "Centuries of history - with everything from bullfights to public executions held between its beautifully decorated walls - and now what does it have?

"People hawking useless toys, mariachi bands and a man dressed as Spider-Man. Hellish and overpriced."

The Florida Mall
Tourists flock to the Florida Mall when in Orlando to try and grab a bargain in one of the 270 shops, but according to the online blog for the Marriott Hotel, it's a waste of time.

It says: "It's a really big mall that's really crowded with locals and out-of-towners, but there's nothing here that you can't find in a smaller, nicer, newer mall.

"Here, you can stand in line at a Starbucks while looking at another Starbucks, or travel from one Victoria's Secret to the other and stop by the Pink store on your way.

"Legend has it that if you walk in a circle, you will pass 32 Auntie Annie's Pretzel stands."

The Flower Market in Amsterdam
Holland is world famous for its tulips, but that doesn't mean you should pay the flower market in Amsterdam a visit, according to the local site What's Up With Amsterdam.

It says: "First of all, the Amsterdam flower market is supposed to be located on boats - it's true that some are located on barges that float, but you won't notice that.

"There is a only a small selection of flowers and most of the shops sell mostly flower bulbs to tourists.

"[Do] not buy bulbs. Due to restrictions, many tourist will find at the airport they are not allowed to bring the bulbs home with them."

Pizza in restaurant windows in Florence
Italians invented pizza and they still make the best in the world, but that doesn't mean you should buy any that is advertised in restaurant windows in Florence, according to the website Couples Coordinates.

It says: "You'll walk by a number of storefronts and restaurants that have pre-cooked sheets of pizza in the windows.

"Many tourists buy these while walking around, but avoid them.

"The convenience factor might be nice, but go to Gusta Pizza, as they'll cook your pizza from scratch in about two minutes."

Be careful of fake gelato in Rome. Photo / Getty Images
Be careful of fake gelato in Rome. Photo / Getty Images

Fake gelato in Rome
Much like pizza, Italians make the best gelato. But that doesn't mean that all of the shops selling it will be high quality, according to Lonely Planet.

It says: "To gauge the quality, check out the pistachio flavour.

"If it's a pale olive-green it's good, if it's bright green, go elsewhere."

The Empire State Building in New York
The Empire State Building is one of the most famous landmarks in New York, but according to the website The Richest, travelling to the top is a waste of time and money.

It says: "For a period of time, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world, however, it is also a major tourist trap.

"To get up to the top of the building, you have to buy a ticket, which is pretty pricey, but the Empire State building wasn't built to accommodate a large amount of people comfortably, so you're also dealing with long lines.

"Prospect Park in Brooklyn is a great alternative for amazing views."

The Moulin Rouge in Paris
The Moulin Rouge is so famous that it had an extravagant Hollywood movie based on it, but according to the blogger Girls Guide To Paris, there are better places to visit for dancing girls.

It says: 'Yes, the cancan was invented here, but that was a long time ago and the place now caters exclusively to tourists.

"If you want to go to a cabaret, Le Crazy Horse is known for having the best, most sophisticated shows, with stars like Arielle Dombasle or Dita von Teese."

The Rocky statue in Philadelphia
Fans of the first Rocky movie are well aware of the scene where Rocky runs up the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where there is now a statue immortalising it, but it is a tourist trap according to Philly Mag.

It says: "We could understand the fascination with this bronze statue a bit more if it had been made for and appeared in the original Rocky film, a modern American classic. But it wasn't.

"Sylvester Stallone commissioned the statue for the sequel Rocky III, which co-"starred" Mr T and Hulk Hogan.

"Still, each day, scads of tourists make the trek to the Philadelphia Art Museum, not to visit the world class museum, mind you, but to get their photo taken next to this movie prop that sits in front of it."

The Space Needle in Seattle
The Space Needle is probably the most iconic building in Seattle, but locals suggest heading elsewhere for views of the city.

On Reddit, Icannevertell said: "If you want a view of Seattle and don't want to spend a lot of cash, don't bother with the Space Needle.

"The Columbia Tower has a better view, is cheaper, and I think there's even a Starbucks on the 40th floor that's free with a good view. The observation deck on the 73rd floor has an admission price."

Harbour tours in Hamburg
Hamburg's beautiful harbour is a big draw for tourists, but according to 1ordc on Reddit, it is a better idea to buy a tram ticket than spend money on a harbour tour.

He said: "A lot of companies offer super expensive harbor tours by boat, [but] it's way easier and cheaper to just buy a tram ticket, which also lets you use all the ferries.

"Taking the ferry to Neumuhlen lets you see the beach, the harbor and a lot of cool stuff from the boat for a fraction of the price."

According to one visitor, Stonehenge is overpriced and underwhelming. Photo / Getty Images
According to one visitor, Stonehenge is overpriced and underwhelming. Photo / Getty Images

Stonehenge in Wiltshire
Stonehenge has been a famous landmark for centuries, but according to Cheese-n-Opinion on Reddit, it's not worth the visit.

He said: "Stonehenge is overpriced and underwhelming, and you can only get right up to it on solstices, at which times it is beset by druids.

"Better to drive past it, getting a good view of it from the road, and then carry on up to Avebury.

"At Avebury you'll find a much more accessible ancient stone circle, the stones are a little smaller and not capped like Stonehenge, but it is Europe's largest by diameter."

Restaurants on Las Ramblas in Barcelona
Las Ramblas is the most famous street in Barcelona and a hive of activity, but the blog for SH Barcelona warns against eating anywhere on the strip.

It says: "While you should definitely take a walk down Las Ramblas, do not be lured into any of the overpriced and inauthentic restaurants with waiters waving the menu in your face whilst shouting "paella and sangria, only €20!"

"Instead, walk a few streets back and find a more authentic place to eat for a fraction of the price."

- Daily Mail

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