by Female Abroad

Tourism is a massive, billions of dollars per year business worldwide and that is why if people can get their foot in the door somehow. Due to this some of the tourist sites out there actually are not what you think they are or they are blown out of proportion. There are lots out there so this list will keep growing and if we miss anything send us your thoughts so we can add them. On the other side of things, there are some places that are not even looked at twice because they feel like they "know" what something is.

Abbey Road, London
You'll be very lucky if there is a break in traffic that is long enough to take a photo so if you are wanting to see it, it won't be a problem but taking a photo will be near impossible.

Bran Castle / Poenari Castle / Corvin Castle, Romania
Not only has Bram Stoker (an Irishman) never been to Romania or Transylvania the castles that his book is based on don't exist. All three lay claim to being Vlad the Impaler's home and if you want to check out a castle, Bran's is really neat as you have full roam of the entire place.

Bridge on the River Kwai, Kanchanaburi
If you've seen the movie you will know that it is based on the Burma railway; a railway that never went through Thailand. While it was not a real place the book as well as the movie refer to this bridge in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. As the bridge was originally the Mae Klong the government just changed it to Kwai Yai so the bridge now runs over the River Kwai.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans
Expect lots of drunk crowds, blaring music, neon lights, pick pockets, and hawkers. On top of that the streets that head off of this street are not the safest either. There are lots of other places in New Orleans (ex. Frenchmen St.) to enjoy jazz if that is the reason you are going.

Business Only, Singapore
During the day there are lots of tourist sites and business activities but you can also check out the growing restaurant and the street food scene. Haji Lane is full of Hipster friendly areas and historic Chinatown teahouses.

Checkpoint Charlie, Germany
In the past this was an extremely important area (it is the real site) but now you can enjoy actors dressed as soldiers to pose for your photos. There are a few pieces that are not original like the sandbags and flags but they were added to make the whole thing feel more legit. It's a very busy area so most people who do go always say that they would rather go to one of the many real sights that are around the city.

Chinese Net Fishing, Kochi
In India, the village of Kochi has these massive crane like lift nets known for Chinese Net Fishing. While these are rarely used for fishing anymore, they make for an interesting city scape.

Conical Net Fishing. Myanmar
If you head to Inle Lake in Myanmar you will see fisherman using conical nets and swimming with their legs using ancient techniques. While this is an interesting cultural experience, it is done just for the tourists similar to the Stilt Fishermen in Sri Lanka.

Frauenkirche, Dresden
This "old" church was originally destroyed during WWII but was rebuilt in 2005 in the same style it was in 1743.

Great Pyramids, Giza
Tourists start arriving by the bus load at dawn to take photos in and around these pyramids while sellers try to try to get you to buy knock off relics or camel rides.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey
This mosque originally started as the "Patriarch of Constantinople", a Greek Orthodox Basilica in 537 AD for a 1000 years before it became a Roman Catholic church and then the Mosque we know it today in 1453 before it was turned into a museum in 1931.

Hutting in on Fuji, Japan
Hiking Fuji takes about full day so you will end up staying in an over priced hut to start at dawn with a group of other tourists.

Juliet's Balcony, Verona
Juliet Capulet is a fictions character from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and Shakespeare didn't even write the story with this balcony in mind so there is no connection. If you do decide to go to Verona's most popular attraction prepare to be crammed onto a small balcony with a group of other people.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa
Sure the tower leans but it's crowded and everyone is trying to sell you something. If this is a must see site for you and you can put up with everyone then this might be the place for you.

Moulin Rouge, Paris
Most people have this romanticized image of this theatre but now it is expensive and seedy with porn shops all around and leading up to it. If you do want to go to something similar, head to the Crazy Horse or if you can't make it to Paris then head to Vegas where they also have a show.

Only Clubbing, Ibiza
Head to the North of the island for a quieter, more relaxed vibe.

Parthenon, Athens
In 1687 the Parthenon was completely destroyed by the Venetians and has been slowly rebuilt since 1975. The only thing that has not changed in 2000 years are the basic bones that they have been restoring but the majority of the original sculptures that did survive the Venetian plunder are still in the British museum in London.

Shangri-La, Zhongdian
In 2001 Zhongdian, China renamed the city to Shangri-La so they can attract more tourists as Shangri-La. The city was a utopian settlement James Hilton wrote about in his 1933 book Lost Horizon. Unlike Checkpoint Charlie however, Shangri-La never existed. It is believed however that the description in the book was based off of Tibetan National Geographic stories that he had read.

Skyscrapers Only, Tokyo
If cityscapes are not your thing then pop over to Asakusa to see the Senso-Ji temple from 645 AD, Memory Lane (Omodie Yokocho) to eat, and Yoyogi Park for some greenery.

Stilt Fishermen, Sri Lanka
Originally fisherman in Sri Lanka fished from stilts but in 2004 most of them were swiped out by the hurricane. Now that the locals have determined that they can make more using these stilts to attract tourists than from actual fishing, they no longer use them for fishing.

Stonehenge, England
You can't go up to it so you pay to stare at it from the distance with a crowd of people while cars race by.

Taj Mahal, India
Lots of people, lots of sellers, yellow and green more than white, and the British stole all the jewels when they conquered India so there are a lot of indents around the building.

Times Square, New York
It's busy, it's expensive, and it smells like pee. It's worth walking through to say that you've seen it but don't make it a highlight of your trip. Another thing to skip is New Years Eve in Times Square. Imagine being part of a mosh pit starting at 6am in a fenced in area with no bathrooms and if you leave you'll lose your place.

Warsaw Old Town, Warsaw
Like most of Europe, Warsaw's Old Town was nothing more than a pile of rubble during WWII. After the war the city was rebuilt, recreating the exact town that stood there before by researchers who used some of the original materials that were in the rubble. Most cities in Europe would consider this a "New" Town due to the age it was built but either way the city is a UNESCO heritage site.