In our last article on Tuscany, we mentioned Pisa, and how this city is actually quite a lot of fun even though it’s such a cliché to take your picture with the leaning tower. This had me thinking, what are the most cliché travel destinations from around the world?
Places that you picture already the images in your mind just at the mention of the city name or location… You’re probably doing it now already & we haven’t even gotten started yet.
Let me get this out of the way immediately. We like clichéd images because they allow you to have some fun and not take things too seriously, which can often be the case when people start critiquing photos and such.
These clichéd images are just awesome. A lot of the time, if you can find a way to enjoy the masses of people that will most likely be near you, it can be a whole lot of fun.
Besides the fun factor in taking these images, you’ve seen hundreds of thousands of times before lies in what you do with the photos. Are you trying to have fun in the composition, replicate one of those classic images you’ve seen in the travel magazine, or are you looking for a new angle?
And that’s just the photography. A lot of the time these places have great historical significance or are impressive natural wonders. There’s usually a reason for these destinations to actually have become attractions in the first place. This can open up new insights into the place that you cannot capture on an image, in a book, or through films.
The 13 Most Cliché Travel Destinations
Now that I’ve gotten that out the way, let’s get to all those places that you’ve already heard of.
As I already mentioned this one, I thought I’d get it out of the way first.
The leaning tower of Pisa is one of those places that you actually do want to secretly visit. 😉
Whether it’s to explore the architecture behind the tower & its foundations (& the rest of the impressive buildings found in the Piazza del Duomo), to take a selfie holding the tower up or just to do some people watching, Pisa is a lot of fun.
The historically, the leaning tower may be most notable for its part in Galileo Galilei’s gravity experiments, where he dropped two objects of different masses from the tower. I wouldn’t recommend trying them yourself though, you could get into quite a bit of trouble.
Now the Tower of Pisa is not the only skew tower in the world. There are a few purpose-built towers, like the Capital Gate Tower of Abu Dhabi & Puzzling World in New Zealand.
There are also a few towers that actually have a larger tilt than the Leaning Tower of Pisa (currently), two of the most notable ones are found in Germany.
The Leaning Tower of Suurhusen is the world’s most leaning tower that is unintentionally tilted. The second most tilted tower in Germany is Bad Frankenhausen Church Tower.
The former has a tilt a little over 5 degrees with the latter being just under 5 degrees… compare that to the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s 3.97 degrees, and Pisa’s tower is starting to look relatively straight. 😉
Related: Most Instagrammable places in Italy
India’s crown jewel, the Taj Mahal, which incidentally means Crown of the Palaces, is surely one of the first images that pop into your mind when you think of visiting India, Indian culture or simply impressive and beautiful architecture.
With 7-8 million visitors each year, I think we can safely call this one of the most visited cliché travel destinations. The impressive nature of this complex and the intricate details means it is definitely worth seeing though.
One of the key features of a Parisian skyline is the Eiffel tower.
You’ll be hard done to find a quality image of the Parisian skyline that doesn’t feature this prominent tower.
Constructed as the gateway to the 1889 worlds fair, the tower has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It’s also become one of the most visited, with around 7 million people paying to venture up to the viewing platforms.
Paris is a large city & with so many angles visible from afar, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding angles to photograph the tower that isn’t the classic shot.
P.s. One of my favorite tales of the Eiffel tower is that of the man that sold it twice, well, it’s more about the man than the tower, but it’s an interesting tale.
When it comes to England’s capital, there are many clichéd locations. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Red Telephone booths, Tower Bridge, etc.
There’s plenty of fun to be had in what some call the most diverse city in the world. Regardless of age, interests or budget, you’ll find there’s always something to catch your eye in London.
Related: How to take better Travel Photos
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, etc. are just some of the images that come to mind when picturing New York City. Like London, there is just so much to see you could practically always do something new.
Similar to Paris & the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol for the city and was even built by the same man, Gustave Eiffel.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco can be a magical place when the fog rolls. During a golden sunset, it becomes that incredible bright red bridge that often comes to mind when thinking about a trip across the USA.
If the Golden Gate Bridge is one of those great cliché travel destinations for you, then hike the battery E trail or head down to Torpedo wharf for the best views.
The Grand Canyon is over 400km’s long. This makes it quite difficult to classify as a travel destination cliché, as it is going on for so long. What we can do though, is take one or two of the classic images of the Grand Canyon you’re most likely picturing now and make them the cliché travel destination. 😉
You know the places, Horseshoe Bend, Bright Angel Trail, Lipan Point, etc. The Canyon is so vast there’s really so much more to see than just the clichés though.
The most famous of the Inca sites is Machu Picchu, and if we talk about the Inca’s then Machu Picchu immediately comes to mind… and then a Llama… and then this song… although that has nothing to do with one or the other… as far as I know. 😐
Make sure to book your tickets in advance. Due to corrosion and conservation attempts, the amount of people allowed onto the site per day has been reduced to 2500.
Related: How to save money whilst traveling
When in Rome… take some stereotypical photos.
Rome, much like New York, London & Paris has so much to offer I cannot include it all… There’s even a whole other country to explore within its city limits! Ok, it’s the Vatican, so you might not be able to explore as much as you want, but there is so much to do & see.
And so many things to take stereotypical Rome tourist photos of.
This Greek island is home to some of the most clichéd Mediterranean images you’ll find. You’ve surely seen an image of this place whether you’ve realized it or not. The white-walled buildings with colorful shutters have become the stereotypical look of Greek island life & even on some completely unrelated islands, images of Santorini are used to sell the Med feel.
Whilst Bali doesn’t have the longevity yet of the others mentioned here, it’s a modern cliché travel destination no doubt. With the rice fields, beautiful affordable accommodation & temple gates, Bali has pretty much become a staple destination for Instagrammers & has become one of the most cliché travel destinations in the last few years.
It’s still awesome though.
Great Wall of China
What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of a mighty Chinese structure? The Great Wall of China of course!
the Great Wall is definitely one of the greatest feats of construction, with this wall measuring in at over 20,000 km.
The great wall brings in many millions of visitors every year, but with such an incredible length, should we really be surprised? 😉
Some of the best places to visit on the Great Wall are Mutianyu & Jinshanling for well preserved & good hiking stretches or Huanghuacheng for an incredible connection between water, the mountains and the Wall.
Pyramids of Giza
Whether it’s the Pyramid’s or the Sphinx’s, a trip to Egypt without visiting the ancient pyramids seems like a waste.
Much like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids of Giza provide some of the most clichéd photos trying to balance or hold the pyramids in one or another way… Or kissing a Sphinx. 😉
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a whole lot of fun though.
It might be one of the most cliché travel destinations, but you can experience so much more in Egypt if you immerse yourself in the culture & history. Just make sure you’re staying in the safe areas as the country is still not quite stable just yet.
Summary – The 13 Most Cliché Travel Destinations
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Taj Mahal
- Eiffel Tower
- Statue of Liberty
- Golden Gate Bridge
- The Grand Canyon
- Machu Picchu
- The Great Wall of China
- Pyramids of Giza
Now you obviously don’t need us to tell you about these places. Hopefully, however, you’ll now be a little bit less shy to actually go and see for yourself why these places are so special and not take yourself too seriously.