As any seasoned traveler will tell you, it’s always best to ask a local for guidance. Ask the locals if you want to know what to do and see on your next vacation. In response, we looked through the r/travel subreddit and the feedback from the BuzzFeed Community to produce this collection of the best places to visit in well-known tourist hotspots worldwide.
Stonehenge is grossly overvalued and often feels like too many people are there. Many American tourists plan their trips to the area around Stonehenge. For the record, we don’t think it’s a good idea, and the Google Images version is more appealing.
Instead, check out Avebury Henge.
Visit Avebury henge instead of Stonehenge. Around 45 minutes from Stonehenge is the settlement of Avebury, which was constructed inside a considerably larger stone circle. Hiking around the stone circle and getting near the stones is possible, and there are also two tiny museums to explore. There are still quite a few sightseers, but it’s nowhere near as bad as Stonehenge. Not to mention, there are several adorable boutiques and a cozy bar in town.
Times Square, New York
New York Times Square is a popular tourist destination. There’s nothing special about the restaurants or stores that draw visitors here; it’s all just a tourist trap. The food at chain restaurants like Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Times Square is just as expensive as at any other location in the United States.
Instead, check out Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Spending a beautiful day in New York City, crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, and arriving at Brooklyn Bridge Park are highly recommended activities. From the Brooklyn side of the East River, this enormous park offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. People-watching is superb, and you can also picnic on the grass, ride bikes, and see public artwork.
The Little Mermaid Statue, Copenhagen
The time and effort required to visit this tiny statue in one of the world’s most beautiful cities are unjustified.
Instead, check out Freetown Christiania.
Freetown Christiania, also called Copenhagen’s Green Light District, is a hippy enclave well off the main path. Yet, visitors are welcome so long as they don’t break the regulations (no photos and don’t act like complete tourists).
Takeshita Street, Tokyo
Walking through Harajuku’s Takeshita Street is impossible without colliding with someone. There is also a 30-minute wait at pretty much every store. So, you’ll be herded like sardines for hours while standing in lengthy lines to buy clothes that are way too expensive. Even though we frequently visit Tokyo, Harajuku is not on our list of must-see neighborhoods.
Instead, check out Tsukiji Fish Market.
To really see Tokyo, a trip to Tsukiji Market is a must. You may find vendors selling exotic and delicious foods across the market. A large percentage of regulars say they eat here more frequently than once per week. There’s a wide variety of Japanese dishes available, from ramen and sushi to gyudon and tamagoyaki.
Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
I lived just outside of downtown Los Angeles, so whenever my family visited, we made a point of going to Hollywood Boulevard. Going two blocks from the Chinese Theater will bring you face to face with several homeless encampments, the stars will no longer hold your attention, and the enormous mall will not wow you. In addition, driving and parking are a nightmare.
Instead, check out South Bay.
Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach are all considered part of South Bay. You’ll find these enjoyable and laid-back beach communities south of LAX. This kind of community comes to mind when most people think of settling down in the Golden State.
Plan to visit Phuket between November and March? It would be best if you were prepared to share the beach with many other vacationers. The off-season is better for this, although you may expect a lot of cloudy, wet days. In addition, year-round issues with garbage and water pollution persist.
Instead, check out Ko Lanta.
One of our favorite destinations in Thailand is the island of Ko Lanta, just off the Andaman coast. It is peaceful, not too touristic (compared to some islands), and has some of the most beautiful beaches we’ve seen yet.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tuscany
Do you absolutely need to snap the image of you “holding up the tower”? What about the group shot of everyone “holding up the tower”?
Instead, check out San Gimignano.
We thought Pisa and other sections of Tuscany to be overrun with tourists. Still, the tiny walled city of San Gimignano was our favorite stop in central Italy. It’s easily accessible by train from Florence and Pisa, and you shouldn’t miss it if you’re in the area.
Waikiki Beach, Oahu
Save your time in Hawaii by visiting Waikiki Beach or the surrounding area. There are better uses for your time on the island than this overdeveloped commercial district.
Instead, check out Maunawili Falls.
Hike up to Maunawili Falls for some of Oahu’s most breathtaking vistas. You may reach the Pali Highway and its stunning scenery from Honolulu in about half an hour. The distance of the hike is around 1.8 miles, and it is an exciting adventure to make your way through the jungle. When you reach the waterfall, there will be a vast pool for you to swim in and explore. It’s one of the most stunning spots on Oahu, but you should get there early before the crowds and lack of shade.
The Original Starbucks, Seattle
One can still just call the original Starbucks, well, Starbucks. Suppose you wait 45 minutes in line for a Starbucks latte. In that case, every local you pass will form an instant and unfavorable opinion about you. Keep in mind that Seattle is home to some of the best coffee in the world.
Instead, check out Ferry to Bainbridge Island.
Enjoy the beautiful view of Seattle from the ferry as you go to Bainbridge Island for lunch. Taking the ferry is a great way to see the sights. You’ll fall in love with the city after taking in its many homes, skyline, and mountains in the distance.
London Dungeons, London
Please do not visit the London dungeons; they come with our lowest recommendation. It’s not worth the cost to get there. Many inexpensive walking tours will teach you more about the area than any museum ever could.
Instead, check out Shoreditch.
Shoreditch is one of London’s most exciting neighborhoods, and there are many excellent eateries and drinking establishments in the area. The nightlife is fantastic, but visiting during the day is still a good idea if you’re not a night person. Shoreditch is a great neighborhood to go day drinking in, as it’s an everyday activity in London.
Las Vegas Strip, Nevada
Vegas is a city full of theme hotels, which are fun to see. Still, otherwise, it’s basically an overpriced, lifeless city with no culture and entertainment worth speaking about.
Instead, check out Red Rock.
Get away from the Strip and experience Nevada like a local. Red Rock Canyon, located there, is stunning and has several hiking paths and wooded slopes to explore. Wakeboarding, a fantastic downtown, and hiking trails connecting to hot springs on the Colorado River can all be reached in under an hour from Las Vegas. If you want to see it, you need to leave the touristy parts of Las Vegas.
Don’t waste your time visiting Dubrovnik if you plan a vacation to Croatia. The view is breathtaking from a distance, but it’s a total eyesore up close. Tourist shops, tourist trap eateries, and tour organizations take up every square inch of the Old Town. Due to the high concentration of cruise ships, pedestrians were almost forced to form lines to make their route through the congested streets. It isn’t easy to take photos of the sights without people in the way.
Instead, check out Plitvice Lakes National Park.
While the park’s popularity means it can get crowded with visitors, it’s well worth the hassle. Some areas will be bustling with visitors, and others will be peaceful and quiet. The lakes are beautiful, and the color of the water is unbelievable. Your trip to Croatia need not include any other sights beyond Plitvice National Park.
Willis Tower, Chicago
The Willis Tower is an excellent addition to the Chicago skyline, but the building itself is not attractive. A good view isn’t worth that much money. Meanwhile, the tower is included in the city’s finest panoramas. We’ve been on the lookout once, and it could have been a better experience; we wouldn’t suggest it to anyone. We recommend taking I-90 south on a moonless night. It’s breathtaking to see the Willis Tower from this vantage point and a great way to appreciate its massive size.
Instead, check out Architecture Boat Tour.
The architecture boat tour is a must-do for locals and tourists alike in Chicago. It has the most excellent views, and locals and tourists will find it an incredible experience there.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Visiting this vacation town fifteen years ago would have been hip, but today it just feels tired and overused. It’s a moneymaking scheme that preys on unsuspecting vacationers, and Mexico has a lot more exciting and underappreciated beach towns.
Instead, check out Campeche.
Campeche, Mexico, is the only Mexican city with its original walls still standing. The locals are lovely, the food is out of this world, there is plenty of stunning natural scenery around, and there are even ancient Mayan ruins to explore that are considerably less visited by tourists than the more well-known Chichén Itzá.
Even better, Campeche is approximately a two-hour drive from the stunning Merida and hundreds of haciendas and colonial towns. Campeche, and the rest of the Yucatán Peninsula, is brimming with natural and cultural attractions.
Nexym's editorial team handpicks all of the products and services it recommends, regardless of external influences. Affiliate links appear in some of our stories. We may receive an affiliate commission if you purchase something through one of these links, which helps us stay independent and support our great team.