14 Travel Clichés You Should Try Once in Your Life
Every time you visit a new place, there’s always a popular attraction, be an event, activity, or landmark.
Some of these attractions are so famous that people from all over the globe make a point to experience it. Due to their international popularity, many of these travel cliches tend to be crowded and overpriced. Despite some headaches they cause, it doesn’t mean they should be skipped.
1. Picture with the Leaning Tower of Pisa
This tower located in the Italian city of Pisa took nearly 200 years to be constructed. However, it started to tilt from the very beginning. In fact, the lean was due to the tower’s short three-meter foundation being built on weak soil.
In a surprising twist of fate, this unfortunate circumstance has made the Leaning Tower of Pisa one of the best attractions to take pictures with. By playing with perspective, you can make it seem like you’re holding the tower as it’s about to fall.
2. Bungee Jumping in New Zealand
New Zealand is considered by many to be the best destination for extreme sports. In particular, the city of Queenstown in the South Island. During the winter, it’s ideal for snow sports, while the summer is best for wakeboarding, paragliding, and white-water rafting.
By far, Queenstown’s most famous extreme sports attraction is Nevis Bungy. In fact, this 134-meter bungee jumping platform is the third highest in the world. Travelers jumping off the platform can reach up to 128 km/h in just eight seconds and take in the views of the Southern Alps.
3. Cherry Blossom in Japan
The Cherry Blossom Festivals are annual Japanese events for appreciating the flowering of the sakura tree. Thought to have started in the Nara period (710–794) as a picnic activity, it now represents transience, mortality, and acceptance of destiny.
The blossoming of the sakura tree takes place throughout April. The beauty and Buddhist spirituality of these events attract hordes of tourists, so make sure you plan in advance.
4. Carnaval in Brazil
Probably one of the most famous events in the world, Carnaval in Brazil should not be missed.
Occurring during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, Carnaval represents the beginning of Lent. Despite serving as the beginning of Lent, it’s not a religious event.
The parties last for nearly two weeks, where millions of people get together to dance to the sounds of samba, axé, maracatu, and many other rhythms depending on the state. Pick a costume, drink moderately, and dance like there’s no tomorrow!
5. Christmas Markets in Germany
Christmas is a wonderful time to travel, especially to places that take it seriously and make the most of it. Germany is one of these places. As part of the celebration, markets spring up, bringing joy to excited visitors.
Most of these Christmas markets are free and have a very cozy and welcoming atmosphere. There are gigantic and colorful Christmas trees, an abundance of stalls selling handmade crafts, and the ever-present currywurst. Make sure not to leave without trying some Glühwein, the iconic mulled wine sold at these markets.
6. Day of the Dead in Mexico
Celebrated annually from November 1 to 2, Day of the Dead (Día de Los Muertos) serves as a way to honor deceased family members. It dates back to the time of the Aztecs when mourning the dead was disrespectful as they were still considered members of the community.
The best places to attend the events are Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Michoacán. You’ll be able to see the adorned altars, which are meant to bring the spirits back, eat the special foods like sugar skulls and bread of the dead, and witness the several parades.
7. Gondola Ride in Venice
Often called the “Floating City”, Venice is so famous that it attracts roughly 60,000 tourists per day. With so many charming canals and bridges, it’s an ideal destination for those looking for a romantic getaway.
One of the popular attractions is going for a gondola ride, the classic Venetian boat that gently flows through the city’s waterways. Although a 40-minute ride costs around 80 euros, it’s a great way to see the city from a different angle or maybe propose to the love of your life.
8. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu was brought to international attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, it has taken the top spot on many people’s bucket lists.
While Machu Picchu can be accessed by train, many travelers choose the ancient Inca Trail. Depending on where you start off, the trek can take from one to five days, going through gorgeous cloud forests and alpine tundra. The government only allows 500 people on the trail per day, so it books out quickly in the high season.
9. Holi Festival in India
Annually held between the end of February and the middle of March, Holi is the Hindu festival of colors. It’s a celebration of the victory of good over evil and the beginning of spring. People celebrate Holi by having vibrant and multicolored parties all over India.
Any visitors attending the festival should wear old and disposable clothes as they’ll be a walking target for colored powder and water fights. There’s no avoiding the fun, just embrace the colors, laugh a lot, and become a human rainbow.
10. Northern Lights in Iceland
Northern Lights, or more technically aurora borealis, are the impressive natural light displays that occur in the Arctic skies. It happens when charged particles from the solar wind interact with the Earth’s atmosphere. The resulting ionization emits light.
The best time to see them is during the Icelandic winter, which runs from September until April. If you can brave the freezing temperatures, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking greenish colors dancing in the skies.
11. Safari in Africa
Africa is a top destination for those who want to see wildlife in their natural habitat. There are at least 13 countries where visitors can see the coveted big five, which includes rhinoceros, lion, elephant, leopard, and buffalo. However, there’s obviously plenty more to see.
Safaris are notoriously expensive, especially luxury options. In fact, they can cost well over $10,000. Don’t let that discourage you. If you travel during the low season and are willing to give up some comforts, it’s possible to find safaris for $300 per day, per person.
12. Diving at the Great Barrier Reef
Located in Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef covers 348,000 square kilometers. As the largest coral system in the world, the reef supports over 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 species of mollusk, and 240 species of birds.
As one of Australia’s most popular attractions, the Great Barrier Reef attracts around two million visitors per year. Diving and snorkeling are the main activities and travelers can see dugongs, sharks, stingrays, and several species of turtle.
13. Watching Tango in Argentina
Originating in brothels and port bars in the 1880s, tango is a sensual partner dance enjoyed all over the world. It’s a mix of several dance styles such as the waltz, polka, habanera, and candombe.
Tango plays an important role in the life of Argentinians, particularly in Buenos Aires. Travelers walking down La Boca, a pedestrian street, can see tango dancers practicing their mesmerizing moves.
14. Afternoon Tea in England
If you’d like to momentarily feel like royalty and experience a luxurious light meal, there’s no better way than going to an afternoon tea. While the tradition of afternoon tea originated in the mid 19th century among the wealthy classes in England, it’s accessible to everyone nowadays.
Afternoon tea usually takes place in fancy hotels. Visitors drink a selection of fine teas accompanied by savory snacks such as cucumber sandwiches and sweet snacks like pastries and scones with jam. If one is so inclined, it’s possible to add champagne or other alcoholic beverages for a small fee.