We all have a bucket list, filled with things to do and places to visit. Whenever we see pictures of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the canals of Venice or the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Rome, Italy, we fantasize about visiting these world renowned attractions. However, a set of photos that circulates throughout the internet might not match up to reality. We have compiled a list of Travel Expectations vs Reality; which shows popular attractions as tourists might imagine them to be, followed by what they are like in real life. These pictures clearly show the reality of visiting the world’s most famous landmarks and why they might not always live up to your expectations.
#1 The Great Wall Of China
The Great Wall Of China is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of China. Built in the third century B.C. by Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the wall prevented invasions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire. However, the wall failed to prevent invaders from entering China. Today, the wall is one of the world’s most famous attractions with over 10 million visitors each year.
#2 The Leaning Tower Of Pisa In Italy
Located in the Italian town of Pisa, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. Standing at 60 metres, the tower was designed to be perfectly vertical, but it started to lean during construction. Over 1,000,000 tourists visit the tower each year, not only to witness the remarkable architecture, but also to take selfies.
#3 Mona Lisa In Louvre Museum, Paris, France
The portrait which is thought to be of Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine cloth merchant named Francesco del Giocondo, was painted by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. The original painting is painted as oil on wood and is owned by the Government of France. Today, the painting hangs at the wall of Musee du Louvre, which is the world’s largest museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. Over 6 million people visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre each year and the average tourist only spends 15 seconds looking at her.
#4 Picnic Near The Eiffel Tower In Paris, France
The Champ de Mars is the long park facing the Eiffel Tower and is considered to have the best view of Paris’ iconic monument. The beautiful glittering lights on the Eiffel Tower at sunset makes the view even more amazing. Sadly, the attraction is visited by 7 million tourists per year.
#5 The Famous Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is best known for its beaches. Ipanema, Copacabana and the Prainha are just a few of the most famous beaches in Brazil. The Copacabana has been dubbed one of the top 10 beaches in the world. An estimated 2.3 million people visit the Copacabana beach alone every year, while spending approximately $557 million; a 5.8 percent increase from 2012.
#6 A Peaceful Gondola Ride In Venice, Italy
Taking a gondola ride in Venice, Italy, is a must do for every tourist. Unfortunately, it is the one Venetian tourist trap everyone falls into willingly. The long, sleek, black, slightly crooked, looking like a cross between a canoe and a coffin, was the primary form of transportation in Venice from the 12th century until speedboats roared into the canals in the late 20th. An average gondolier earns as much as £95,000 a year, which still isn’t enough to rent a decent-sized apartment in Venice.
#7. The Gorgeous Beaches Of Maldives
Maldives is known as a tourists paradise. The beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters attract more than 1.2m tourists each year. It’s gorgeous, to say the least. According to the Tourism Ministry, Maldivian resorts operated 24,156 beds in the past seven months, while the tourists spent 7.2 days on average.
#8. Santorini Island, Greece
The Santorini is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, forming the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands. Most of the Cycladic islands were painted white to reflect the harsh summer sun. The blue color was painted for ecological reasons but today it is part of a tradition, as well as to make the island appear more colorful and vivid.
#9. Glory Of The Taj Mahal, India
The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal in 1632. Located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, the famed mausoleum complex took more than 20 years to be completed. The mausoleum was built in honor of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. The construction required more than 20,000 workers from India, Persia, Europe and the Ottoman Empire as well as 1,000 elephants.
#10. The Beaches Of Thailand
Thailand’s Phi Phi islands are flocked by millions of backpackers every year. The Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh are the largest of two islands in Thailand and are filled with sandy beaches, warm waters and towering limestone cliffs. Sadly, the millions of tourists that visit this place leave nothing to the imagination. From sunrise to sunset, the beaches are filled with wandering tourists.