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Credit: Flickr/Romain Spinetti

Despite the crowds, Monmartre, Paris is not to be missed

Many travellers go out of their way to avoid tourist traps whose charm and beauty are all but obliterated by camera-wielding tour groups. But you really can’t miss these top tourist destinations!

Not all tourist traps are created equal. Some must-sees on the well-trodden tour circuits should indeed be written off altogether, but others are truly authentic, worthwhile experiences.

5 Not-to-miss Tourist Destinations


1. New York City Harbour Tours: 
Since being mistaken for a tourist is an extreme affront to a New Yorker’s pride, sightseeing is something that’s just not done by the locals. 
Why it’s worth it: Seeing New York City from the water is a good way to get a handle on the history and geography of the city, and harbour tours provide what’s arguably the most impressive view you’ll ever get of the Statue of Liberty.


2. Tower of London: 
Almost as legendary as the Tower of London’s role in history are the hordes of tourists who flock here for photo-ops. 
Why it’s worth it: The Tower’s long, gruesome history is undeniably intriguing. The building itself, perched on the banks of the Thames, is a powerful, stunning sight, and this is, of course, your chance to see the Crown Jewels in person.


3. Montmartre, Paris: 
Unfortunately, Montmartre is also the Paris of street mimes, overpriced restaurants with surly waiters, and mobs of clueless tourists. 
Why it’s worth it: The reward for climbing the many steps — or if you’re not up to it, riding the funicular — to Sacré-Coeur, Paris’s highest point, is an unrivaled view of the city’s rooftops and landmarks.


4. Great Wall of China, Badaling: Badaling, the section of the Great Wall of China closest to Beijing, is the most-visited section blanketed with tour groups in matching colour-coded caps. 
Why it’s worth it: You can’t deny the majesty of the more than 5,500 miles of historic wall and Badaling is the quickest and easiest way to see it on an excursion from Beijing.


5. Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee: Graceland delivers, with kitsch and crowds of nearly 600,000 visitors annually — many in costume. 
Why it’s worth it: Graceland, which was designated a national historic landmark in 2006, is an integral part of Memphis’s illustrious musical heritage. The recording that accompanies the 90-minute mansion tour includes narration by Lisa Marie Presley and sound bites from Elvis himself. 

Other 
Must-Sees

  • The Eiffel Tower, Paris

  • Alcatraz, San Francisco

  • The Roman Colosseum, Rome

  • The Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum, 
Paris

  • Niagara Falls, Ontario

  • Rothenburg, Germany

  • Disneyland, California

  • Legoland, California

  • Taj Mahal, India

  • St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

Watch Claire Newell on Global BC News: Final (Mon.), Early (Wed.), Morning & Noon (Thur.), Noon (Sat.). Or catch her Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m. on Shore 104 FM.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.