The late poet Mary Oliver once asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Not to make light of the question, but there are some popular bucket list destinations that simply aren’t worth it.
Here are 7 places to avoid if you don’t want to waste your time, money, and once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel.
The Empire State Building
Sure, the view is fantastic once you reach the top. But is it worth the wait–not to mention the expense? Expect to spend about $50 to take the elevators all the way to the top. Along the way, you’ll wait in seemingly endless lines and be forced to take a cheesy picture that you are then strongly encouraged to buy.
Instead, try The Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center or the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, which allows visitors to climb to a rooftop observation deck.
The Blarney Stone
Ireland’s most famous rock is the Blarney Stone. Tourists wait in punishingly long lines and then get hauled upside-down to kiss the stone.
One, eww! That is not hygienic. And two, why on earth would you waste your time on something like this when the beauty of County Cork is all around you? Ireland has a lot to offer beyond a goofy tourist trap. Go explore.
The mystical, mysterious ring of standing stones draws countless tourists every year. Its remote location means that you’ll probably need to shell out for a tour on a chartered bus. To preserve the ancient historical site, the stones themselves are closed off by fences and boardwalks. Honestly, you’ll get a better view from a picture than seeing Stonehenge in person.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame
First of all, I have to tell you some bad news. The Walk of Fame is little more than a promotional opportunity for major studios, not an honor on par with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. The sidewalk is also dirty, crowded, and absolutely overwhelmed with street performers.
You will not see famous people there. You will spend all day hunting for your favorite stars just to take a photo of a fancy sidewalk.
We’re back in New York for what might be the most overrated tourist attraction in the world. Times Square is an absolute nightmare that real city dwellers avoid. It’s crowded, expensive, and constantly gridlocked. The lights are cool? But everything else is terrible in Times Square. Do yourself a favor and go literally anywhere else in the city.
The Mona Lisa
While the Louvre Museum is absolutely worth a visit if you’re in Paris, the Mona Lisa itself is overrated. The painting is small. And kept behind thick bulletproof glass. And usually so surrounded by tourists trying to snap pictures with their phones that you can barely see it.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
If you’ve seen a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, then you’ve gotten the whole experience already. Pisa doesn’t offer much else in the way of attractions. You’re better off spending an extra day in nearby Florence or simply exploring the small towns of Tuscany.