I’m not here to debate the off the beaten path versus the typical routes people travel as that’s a whole other story. What I’m getting at is would you go to Rome but avoid the Colosseum or Egypt and avoid the Pyramids just because a bunch of other tourists had the same idea?
Why am I asking this? Well a recent comment by a follower on The Aussie Nomad facebook page had me thinking about the way people travel. While it was a fair comment it left me wondering if other people avoid touristy places when they travel or do they just go with the flow?
On the one hand many places are touristy for a reason. These places could be tied to some form of historic significance such as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome or Petra in Jordan. Alternatively these may be iconic natural wonders of the world like Uluru in Australia, Niagara Falls in Canada/America or the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.
While these places can be guaranteed to be teeming with tourists there’s a reason for it and skipping it for that reason alone to me seems a little arrogant. You would be missing out on seeing something you may never get the chance to see again just to avoid a crowd or high entry fee.
Is there a point where you decide a certain place isn’t worth your time, money or hassle anymore?
However many countries/money grabbers/entrepreneurs tend to exploit these amazing places for financial gain which can detract from the experience. A ticket to enter the Colosseum for example costs 15.50 euros (approx $22 AUD) and involves standing in a line that can easily take one to two hours before you get inside. Is the view/experience inside really worth that much time and money?
It’s not just paid entry sites that can be a turn off either. Free sites like the Trevi Fountain or the 12 Apostles that I wrote about last week can also be difficult to enjoy due to large crowds of people.
For me I’m stuck in the first option with a little of the second. If I’ve saved my money to travel abroad and this is potentially my only chance to see these tourist hot spots with my own eyes then putting up with long queues, high prices and jostling for the best viewing spots is worth it. But if the price is exorbitant (London Eye is around 20 Pounds at present for a ride, more to get fast tracked) compared to the return on experience then I’m skipping it.
What do you say. Do you make time for popular attractions or do you avoid touristy places when travelling?