Scrolling through Instagram, it is easy to believe that the girl you went to high school with lives the perfect life. One day she’s on a boat somewhere, which will take her to an island somewhere. Then she’s topping it off with a glass of champagne somewhere else.
We never stop to consider the actual act of taking a photograph: what do the cities and locations look like? Before you invest in your next vacation, we expose some photos which highlight some of the less-than-glamorous sides of tourism and visiting your favorite city.
The Pyramids of Giza
This photo perfectly encapsulates the merger between culture and history and gross globalization and capitalism. Behind the iconic and majestic Pizza Hut logo stands an Egyptian pyramid – reminding us that we can’t escape the franchises.
When visiting these 3D pizza slices, you might want to consider going to a particular spot that doesn’t also capture signs of the 21st century. The biggest crime in this whole photograph is the lack of Chick-Fil-A or Taco Bell for more representation.
The Great Wall Of China
China has 1.3 billion people – which is a lot of people. When you add a whole world of tourists there those numbers get pretty massive. As we can see here, many, many, people flock to the popular tourist spot to see the amazing views and snap a photo.
The next time you plan a visit to this historic site, keep in mind you will need to tackle various other tourists who seek the same thing: an Instagrammable photo to show their friends.
Buckingham Palace is a central attraction in London which sees thousands of people flock to its gate rain or shine. Between Royal Weddings, Monarch appearances, or the famous changing of the guards – there’s rarely a time the gates aren’t crowded.
Make sure to get to the front of its gates early to spot the ceremony celebrating British policy and tradition to catch a photo of the guards changing places. Either way, the fantastic golden arches and famous balcony are a must-see in London for any tourist.
The Mona Lisa
Visiting The Mona Lisa is both the most overwhelming and underwhelming event an art-lover can experience. You would imagine from its place within pop culture that the artwork would stand high and mighty, proudly above an adoring crowd.
The reality is that it sits modestly behind bullet-proof glass and armed security. At 2.5 x 1.7 feet, observers actually have to squint to see it clearly. But good luck getting to the front – the mass amount of people will make the visit busy and uncomfortable.
If you want to visit India to see the Taj Mahal, you might be disappointed with what else you find. The beautiful and majestic palace is surrounded by filth, dirt, questionable scents, and heavy smog.
Photos of the tourist spot carefully hide the true aspects of India, which are regrettably filled with poverty and corruption due to bad city investments. The Taj Mahal might be amazing, just don’t rotate your camera lens! Next time you go and see it, make sure you get the perfect photo.
This is a particularly rare photo of Stonehenge’s ‘Special Access Visits’ that the site allows. Usually, the monument is completely gated off and visitors have to enjoy the landmark from several feet away.
This is because of how delicate and valuable the rocks are – they still remain one of the world’s biggest mysteries. If you ever find yourself driving down the A303, make sure to book one of these trips months in advance – or you’ll be stuck getting your selfies from behind a fence.
The Trevi Fountain
Why wouldn’t you want to visit the cultural and historic landmark made famous by classic films like The Lizzie McGuire Movie? If you ever make your way to Rome, you will definitely want to check out this tourist site – but be prepared to fight the crowds.
Thousands of people make their way to The Trevi Fountain each day to wait and invest a penny into its waters. Next time you go, have your loose change ready to go and get prepared to push your way to the front.
Is there anything more romantic than taking a quiet trip on a gondola in Venice alongside dozens of other couples doing the same thing? The shared experience wasn’t intended by the city of Venice but was a happy accident after local businesses spotted how popular they became.
You might want to get your trip booked for the early morning or late at night to bank on getting some of that solitude that Instagram photos promise – or risk getting too close to strangers.
Christ The Redeemer
Christ sits atop a hill at the top of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, overlooking the city and its millions of inhabitants. Even from the land, you can capture some pretty stunning photos of the Redeemer, but visitors can always walk up the mountain – it’s a brisk walk – and get closer to the statue.
The problem is, you’ll be met with hundreds of tourists who are too busy throwing their hands around to notice you. Keep an eye out!
The Eiffel Tower
You’ll be right to want to visit the Eiffel Tower, but don’t assume you will be able to relax with some cheese and wine on the grounds surrounding the famous monument.
The site sees literally thousands of people swarming to the famous landmark each week and you will struggle to find a calm spot to eat your fromage. It’s best to quickly take your holiday snap from a relative distance and then invest in the local business by visiting a nearby cafe.
Old Faithful Geyser
The Geyser in Wyoming is big enough to see from afar, which is something to consider if you ever make your way to visit the landmark. With so many people adding to large crowds, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a worthy spot to witness its amazing eruptions.
Promising shows every 44-125 minutes, the rotating crowds can become busy and congested – something to keep in mind if you plan on visiting. Thankfully, the Geyser will ‘faithfully’ (gettit?) discharge thousands of gallons a day.
The Leaning Tower Of Pisa
Oh, you’re taking a photo of yourself holding up the Leaning Tower? That’s so original – we bet no one has ever thought of it, let alone seen it posted. As this photo suggests, irony digs deep in this article as we see just how many people attempt to match up with the tower.
A picture of the sole Tower seldom feels enough – it’s almost a policy to get the matching photograph of you holding it up.
The Sistine Chapel
People will travel from all over the world to visit the restored paintings that mean so much to so many people. And we mean it: so… many… people. Vatican City hosts millions of tourists each year who swarm into one small place and capture the beautiful sights with their own eyes.
Cameras are against their policy in the chapel (don’t ask us how we got this one!) so people take a few more moments to experience it emotionally. What particular location in Brazil is a no-go for tourists?
Rio de Janeiro Beach
If you’re looking for a nice, quiet beach holiday, you might be better off at literally any other beach than the one running along Rio de Janeiro. The inspiration for your favorite elevator song, The Girl From Ipanema, is filled with thousands of holidaymakers each week and is often the setting for events and festivals across the year.
For those seeking a photo to send your friends back home, it’s best to go in the middle of the day or late at night – when the sun sets on the other side of the mountain.
The famous Greek island is a popular destination for travelers due to its iconic white and blue design. Since 1974, it has been the policy that houses adopt the strict color scheme that has famed the island for decades.
Unfortunately, July and August are the busiest times to be a tourist planning on going to the island. While good for the economy, your holiday snaps are likely to have a few selfie-sticks in the background if you’re not too careful. Make sure to stick to photos of food!
The East Side Gallery
The oldest remaining part of the Berlin wall is filled to the brim with history, culture, and art. Most of the artwork is added by artists who depict significant moments through satire and provocation.
Unfortunately, these famous murals have been known to stop traffic due to high demand and large crowds. You might be waiting a while before you sneak to the front to grab a photo of the iconic Fraternity Kiss. It’s definitely worth it to invest the time.
If you ever venture to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, you’ll be able to take a ferry ride under the massive site and even climb up on to some of its parts.
It’s a breathtaking view that is enjoyed by thousands of people, so you’re likely to get blinded by the intense fluorescent yellow you’ll see from each tourist who tries to avoid getting wet. The iconic tourist site is something to see – and many, many, people will agree with you.
The old Incan city in Peru sees hundreds of tourists visit the site each day – making for a lot of foot traffic. The ancient site has many stones that act as guides and support beams for travelers who visit.
This means that while it might get busy – particularly in season – you won’t have to look too far to catch a photo-worthy spot for your social media following. Definitely take the chance to explore some of its more hidden areas, even if you push through a few people now and then.
Rome’s most famous outdoor auditorium was used by the Roman empire to host combat wars and events thousands of years ago – and still stands strong today. Unfortunately, capturing your tourist photograph outside its entrance might be tricky due to the thousands of people there each day.
With long queues and crowded spots, you’ll be hard-pressed to get a secluded spot to take your photos. It’s worth just embracing the large crowds and enjoying the fact you’re standing in history from thousands of years ago.
The Cambodian temple has become a symbol for the entire nation, known throughout the world for its beauty. Seeing the site isn’t as easy as some of those photos you’ve seen online make it look: with more than one million people visiting it each year, it has created a large strain on the roads and sewer systems.
If you find yourself as a tourist in Angkor Wat to experience the magic, you will want to invest in going at a time of year, and time of day, which is a bit quieter than usual.