The world's most visited tourist attractions

The world’s most visited tourist attractions are:

1. Niagra Falls, USA/Canada

2. The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

3. The Great Wall of China, China

4. Eiffel Tower, France

5. Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Source: Skyscanner.

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May 8, 2022 11:57 am

One monument (it feels inappropriate to call it an ‘attraction’) that is very powerful in its symbolism is the Sarajevo Memorial for Children Killed during Siege in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the years following the Siege of 1992-1996, it seems Sarajevo has adopted an attitude of moving on but not forgetting. The memorial is a testament to how those who are without blame and without participation can get caught up in the horrors of war.

The base of the memorial has been created by shrapnel that was dropped on the city during the siege. Children’s footprints cover the base, the centre of which are two shards; the large one covers the small one, which symbolises a parent attempting to protect their child. To the side are seven cylinders that bear the names of the children that were killed during the siege.

These cylinders can be spun round, and when they are, various noises can be heard that mimic the sound of children playing. Ultimately the cylinders stop spinning and the sound can no longer be heard; symbolic of a mortar falling onto the playful innocence of children after which nothing but silence remains.

Sarajevo Children
Amin Rashad
May 10, 2022 8:01 am

I have written about travel shaming in another post but I think it is worth repeating here. My advice. If you want to visit Niagra Falls, the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China, DON’T ask other visitors what they thought of it. Go to these places with a blank slate, so to speak. I am so tired of people’s unrealistic depictions of tourist attractions ruining what would otherwise be a good part of my holiday. I still wonder why some people feel the need to exaggerate their experiences. All it does is lead to super high expectations that inevitably cannot be met. Here are some conversations that I’m sure have happened, leaving visitors to a tourist attraction bemused:

Niagra Falls
Review: Oh man, it’s amazing. You’ve never seen a view like it. It’s like you’re at heaven’s gate and the spray of water are pure ecstacy!
When visiting: Uh, I guess it’s kinda impressive. It’s a really big waterfall. The water sprays are annoying at worst, insignificant at best.

The Great Pyramid of Giza
Review: Your life will be transformed when you see this in person! Tears will be falling down your eyes and you’ll be transported to the time of the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
When visiting: Umm, it’s a big pile of rocks. Where’s this time travel experience that I was promised?

The Great Wall of China
Review: There is no point going to China if you don’t see the Great Wall. It’s an amazing, unforgettable experience! Your life won’t be the same after it.
When visiting: Damn it’s hot! Which direction am I meant to go and is my life meant to change yet? I guess I can take an Instagram-worthy pic.

Tourists, please STOP building up your travels like it was the best thing ever. It wasn’t! You know that so stop pretending like you had the time of your lives. A pile of bricks might have some sentimental significance but in the end, they are a pile of bricks! By pretending the attraction you saw was some life-changing, power-giving, unforgettable experience, you’re ruining these attractions for the rest of us.

Jenna T
May 13, 2022 4:47 am

Sometimes I’m amazed at the impact Instagram has had on the tourist and travel industry. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say it has revolutionized the reason people travel. Xuanzang, Marco Polo, Amelia Earhart and travelers of yesteryear didn’t travel for the likes, nor did they ‘put in on the gram’. The world is now a very different place.

It has a direct impact on me when traveling with a group of friends. In deciding on tourist attractions to visit, it isn’t about the one that has meaning and history behind it. The democratic decision that wins is the one that’s most Instagrammable. An interesting observation is how transfixed some of them are about their photos. Forget about appreciating the tourist attraction and embracing the emotions it brings out. Instead the utmost priority is to retake the photo if it isn’t picture-perfect. One friend complained that their Eiffel Tower selfie got fewer likes than someone who took a pic of their cat. It gets chaotic when some friends have taken their perfect photo and want to move on to the next attraction, while others still haven’t got their perfect pic.

This is the world we live in. The industry therefore has to adapt. Cafes and restaurants compete to have the most creative and unconventional décor so they can feature in listicles such as “Top 5 Instagrammable Cafes in Paris”. Tours have had to change their itineraries to satisfy the growing demand of the IG crowd. They will ensure you have plenty of time to take that cute photo of you sitting on a wooden swing and capturing the sunset at the beach. Some tourist attractions will win because of pure luck. Largely unvisited in the past, it will receive throngs of tourists after it is ‘discovered’ as a locations that gets lots of IG engagement.

Bali Instagram Tour.PNG
May 15, 2022 12:00 pm

I wasn’t going to post but I think what you wrote needs a rebuttal 😘

I appreciate the exaggeration some people place on their travels and how this can cause confusion among other visitors. Some of this I believe comes down to mistaking experiences with places. If you have a great time somewhere and someone asks what you think of the place, your association is evidently going to be positive. You had a great time. Your memory of the place is great. Ergo, you tell others how amazing the place is. Then some poor sap goes to the same place you did, expecting the amazing time you had, and is left deflated, confused and angry when it’s nothing like you described.

The bear bones of tourist attractions don’t have to be anything special. A pile of bricks, a statue, a fountain; I hear what you’re saying. However my recommendation would be the opposite of what you recommend. Don’t go to these tourist attractions with a blank slate. DO your research and learn why they are tourist attractions to begin with. Once you dig a bit deeper into the significance of these attractions, you learn to appreciate the value they offer. I watched an archaeologist recounting the first time he flew over the Great Pyramid of Giza and a tear actually did come to his eye. That’s because researching the pyramid was his life’s work. It was the first time seeing what he had dedicated years of research to. It was hugely significant to him.

Even if your life work isn’t dedicated to the pyramids, you appreciate it more when you take the time to learn about it. It is a marvellous feat of engineering, accurate to the centimeter, all the more intriguing because it was constructed 4,500 years ago! And then there’s the deference to the Pharaoh – people willing to work themselves to the bone to ensure his soul had safe passage to the afterlife. A tourist attraction is much more than the brick and stone it is constructed of. Learn about the attraction and you’ll appreciate why it means so much to other people. You will also open yourself up to being moved by it. There is a reason tourist attractions were visited in the millions long before Instagram came into our lives. Challenge yourself. Learn about these attractions and you too can be moved by them.

Pyramid of Giza.PNG