When we come across pictures of others’ travel adventures, it can be hard to gauge their appeal. For every gorgeous shot of a world wonder or worldly treasure is an image that reveals a massive tourist crowd, sweating in line or posing for photos. So how do we come to terms with the fact that we can’t marvel at the Colosseum without seeing swarms of people fumbling with their cameras to snap a selfie? Do we take the plunge and brave the seemingly never-ending lines, long waits and the tourism charges?
To help, we tapped Leslie Cohen, EVP of Laura Davidson Public Relations, one of the top travel and lifestyle PR firms in New York, to get a better idea of which places are actually worth the wait. “I travel for pleasure and for my career and I encourage everyone to update their passport and hit the road or bike or train or plane and go!” Cohen says. “Often there will be crowds, but don’t let that deter you from seeing something amazing.” Here, a list of popular tourist attractions worth a visit despite their crowds and fees.
1. GREAT WALL OF CHINA
“The pictures don’t do this wonder of the world justice,” Cohen says. “It’s fascinating how the wall has many twists and turns and how the steps are deliberately uneven, perhaps to slow down invaders.” This man-made structure, which stretches over 13,000 miles from east to west, was completed during the Ming dynasty and draws over 10 million visitors a year.
That fact alone might deter a seasoned traveller. But even with the long lines and extra effort of trying to snap a photograph without other people wandering in and out of the shot, it’s worthy of a visit. And don’t wait too long – 30 percent of it has disappeared due to erosion and human interaction. A portion of the wall was even underwater – a result of man-made flooding – and only recently reappeared due to a drought. In other words, to be in the presence of such a massive architectural feat is something that every traveller should deem necessary.