No matter how far apart and different major cities around the world are, they all have the same two things in common. They attract a lot of tourists and these tourists all flock to the same main tourist traps.
It’s true. In New York, everyone uses their first trip to see the Empire State Building. All the way over in France, the Eiffel Tower is Synonymous with the word Paris. Parents with eager kids in California think Disneyland Park is the only option. And in Venice, Italy, you won’t get far without seeing someone clambering aboard an overpriced gondola!
In doing the same activities and seeing the same sights, you’re doing two things to yourself. You’re making yourself compete with the elbows and selfie sticks of hundreds of others. Plus, you’re also losing out on the authentic part of the city, lurking quietly in the background. So, break away from the crowd, metaphorically and literally by taking the road less traveled by tourists.
Avoid: Disneyland Park
Instead do: Adventure City
Anaheim as a city has a lot more to offer than just Disneyland Park! Sure, it was the only Disney park that Walt actually had a hand in building himself. But it’s also a hotspot for manic children and exhausted parents all year round. Well, you might not believe it, but somebody actually had the bravery to set up a competing park in the same area. Adventure City opened back in 1994 and has managed to survive ever since. Yes, the park is smaller and offers fewer rides. But this doesn’t mean it is small or even limited. Set across two acres, you get the same thrills and rides for a far more affordable price. While the masses are over at Disneyland, you can join the savvier adults over at Adventure City.
Avoid: hiring a gondola
Instead do: a day trip to Treviso
Ask people what you should do on a trip to Venice and they will probably answer ‘hire a Gondola’. Well, while this is a very nice idea, it is also a very expensive one! The owners of the gondolas have caught on to just how popular their offering is, and their prices seem to rise every season! So, say no to this offer, and hop on a train instead. Bear with us on this one. While there is lots to see and do in Venice, it is very difficult to avoid the tourists. However, if what you are looking for is authentic Italy and all it has to offer, a 30-minute train ride away is the town of Treviso. Much smaller, it is also much quieter. However, this in turn means it is more affordable, more authentic and just as stunning. Plus, they have rivers and boats in Treviso too!
New York, USA
Avoid… the Empire State Building
Instead do… a wander around Greenwich Village
Let’s be honest. The best part of the Empire State Building is the view from the top. From the outside, and especially down below, it kind of looks like pretty much any other NYC building.
So, instead, head to where the locals and resident New Yorkers spend a lazy afternoon or early morning; Greenwich Village. Wander around the cobbled, tree-lined streets. Stop for a coffee in one of the many places that does it freshly brewed. Say no to the tourist shops and look in the little boutiques that are dotted around Greenwich Village. You could also spend the day exploring some chic neighborhood in Brooklyn such as Williamsburg or DUMBO. They’re just a short train ride from Manhattan and offer a way more personal New York experience than you’ll ever find in midtown Manhattan.
Avoid… The Eiffel Tower
Instead do… A traditional Parisian Park.
Tourists in Paris love The Eiffel Tower like tourists in Venice love the gondolas. I.E. – A LOT! However, there is simply so much more to the French capital. Locals boast of having lived in Paris their whole lives and having never visited the tower once. Instead, they busy themselves with the wealth of other authentic sites and activities Paris lays on. Take Paris’ parks. Parc Monceau and Parc Montsouris are just two stunners to enjoy on a stroll or a picnic – or both. Parc Buttes-Chaumont is another local favorite, and it offers wonderful views over the city too. It’s not just grass and trees you’ll find, either. Instead, there is a lake, waterfalls, hidden grottoes and more.