Many iconic monuments are worth the trek to see them in your lifetime, but unfortunately a lot of them aren’t.
Some of the most famous monuments across the globe are nothing short of disappointing. Whether it’s the crowds, costs, or the monuments themselves, the reality of many popular tourist attractions don’t live up to the hype.
The dictionary defines monument as “something erected in memory of a person, event, etc.,” or “a building, megalith, etc., surviving from a past age, and regarded as of historical or archaeological importance.” INSIDER used these definitions to come up with a list of famous monuments better off skipped.
From the Statue of Liberty to the Taj Mahal, keep scrolling to see which monuments aren’t worth the time.
The Mannekin Pis, which means “peeing boy” in Dutch, is an iconic statue in Brussels, Belgium.
The statue was originally created in 1619 to commemorate Belgians’ ability to laugh at themselves.
In person, the statue is too small to be worth the visit.
The statue has garnered widespread dislike locally for attracting too many tourists, and pickpockets along with them. Due to it’s surprisingly small size (24 inches) it has been dubbed “Europe’s most disappointing tourist sight.”
The Eiffel Tower is the main attraction for many visitors to Paris, France.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution. At the time, it was the tallest structure in the world, standing over one thousand feet high.
But you’re better off seeing it from a distance.
Today, most believe it to be overpriced and overcrowded. And if you do pay the exorbitant cost to go all the way to the top, not to mention wait in all the excruciating lines, you lose the best part of the Paris skyline: the tower itself.
“The Little Mermaid” in Copenhagen is known as Denmark’s most famous statue.
“The Little Mermaid” is a bronze statue in Copenhagen that was made as a tribute to the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and his famous fairytale.
But besides being small, the area around the statue is usually also packed.
The statue itself isn’t much to look at. It’s small, the crowds around it are large, and a picture does it more justice than the real thing.
You would probably have more fun watching “The Little Mermaid” movie instead.
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, was built to celebrate the achievements of the French army.
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, and is one of the world’s most renowned commemorative monuments.
In reality, the Arc de Triomphe and its surrounding area has become too commercialized.
The area around the Arc is filled with cheap stores and chain restaurants, and crowded with tourists. While the Arc itself is beautiful, the experience overall makes it stressful and chaotic.
Plus, it’s just an arc.
The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world.
The idea for a Christian statue in Rio originally came about in the 1850s, when it was suggested that one be built to honour the princess regent and daughter of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, Isabel.
But a Christian statue wasn’t okayed until 1921, when President Epitácio Pessoa allowed for the construction of a large Christ statue to be visible to all of Rio. The foundation was laid on April 4th, 1922, to commemorate the centennial of Brazil’s independence from Portugal.
Seeing the statue up-close is not worth the journey or the hordes of tourists that come with visiting.
While the monument itself is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Rio, that doesn’t mean it’s worth visiting.
To reach the statue, visitors have to take two different buses. And once now-weary travellers finally arrive, they wait in yet another line to be packed around the giant statue that they’re now too close of to actually get a good picture.
Mount Rushmore in South Dakota is one of the great testaments to the US’ founding fathers.
Mount Rushmore was completed in 1941, and depicts the faces of US presidents George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson.
In person, it’s far away and small.
In person, the monument is picturesque for a few minutes, until you realise you’re in the middle of nowhere South Dakota and it’s really much smaller than you imagined it.
The Taj Mahal is one of the main reasons so many tourists visit Agra, India.
The giant mausoleum was built between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It’s known as the jewel of Muslim art in India.
It might be beautiful on the outside, but the inside is surprisingly small. Plus, it’s expensive to visit.
While the Taj Mahal itself is picturesque, visiting it brings an expensive entry fee, especially for foreigners. The inside, while beautifully intricate, is not much more than one surprisingly small room.
The Statue of Liberty is widely recognised as a symbol of freedom and democracy.
This national monument was a gift of friendship from France, dedicated on October 28th, 1886.
Too bad the best view of the statue is from a ferry.
TripAdvisor’s reviews on the Statue of Liberty are spot-on: the Statue of Liberty is a must-see, but avoiding the tour is probably the best way to enjoy it. The most clear view of the statue is from a ferry, and once you get onto Liberty Island you’re forcibly guided through massive crowds for an awkward photo-op from a harsher angle than you were able to find elsewhere.
The statue of Eros in London, England, was built to commemorate the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, Antony Ashley Cooper.
The statue was commissioned in 1886, and was the first statue in London to be cast in aluminium.
In reality, the statue is a glorified intersection swarming with pedestrians.
Because the fountain sits smack dab in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, its is usually packed to the brim with tourists, with a beautiful backdrop of loud, aggressive traffic.
The Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy, is one of the most recognisable monuments in the world.
Parts of Trevi Fountain date back to 19 B.C., when one of the terminals of an aqueduct that carried water into Rome was marked in the spot where the Trevi Fountain was later built.
But it’s packed with tourists year-round.
Unfortunately, because it is now located in a highly developed area of Rome, it’s overrun with tourists during all seasons, and visitors therefore have a hard time truly being able to relish in its beauty.
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