Locals share insider tips on visiting 18 popular tourist attractions around the world

From the best time to visit an attraction to those that might be worth skipping

Advice to tourists
Getting local tips on visiting popular tourist attractions can help you avoid unwanted stress and get the most out of your experience.

A Reddit thread asked users who live near tourist attractions to give advice to tourists, with answers that ranged from the best time to visit an attraction to those that might be worth skipping.

We combed through the thread to pull the best insider tips on visiting the world's top tourist attractions, from Italy's Learning Tower of Pisa to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Empire State Building, New York City, New York

If you're looking for spectacular views of New York City, user pmmeamuffin recommends heading to the Top of the Rock instead, where you'll get better views (including ones of the building itself), cheaper tickets, and a shorter wait time to get to the top.

"Pro tip: getting a cocktail at the Rainbow Room bar at 30 Rock is cheaper than paying the admission fee and you get the same view," wrote im_coolest.

The Louvre, Paris, France

The Louvre is a go-to museum for many because of "The Mona Lisa," but user blissed_and_gone notes that it's not the most interesting thing to see in the Louvre and that some of the lesser-known sections like the collection of Middle Eastern artifacts are a must-see.

Also check out the impressive "Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices" by Paolo Veronese, which sits beside "The Mona Lisa."

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

According to user Invader_Zirk, the best time to visit Walt Disney World is in October. Thanks to schools having a fall break previously, the parks are emptier than normal with most children back at school. There's also a Halloween party that takes place in the Magic Kingdom, a food and wine event at Epcot, and the weather is cooler.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is stunning but because the complex is so large, user harrythepineapple recommends getting a multi day pass. "Mix up the popular temples (which will be insanely crowded) with the further temples," harrythepineapple wrote. The user also recommends avoiding taking pictures of monks or locals without their permission as it can be offensive.

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

The Vatican and Colusseum are both stunning but their lines can get immensely long. To avoid having to deal with this hassle, book a ticket online before you go. "It costs less and allows you to skip the lines, which are absolutely huge during peak season," Ftumsh wrote. The user also recommends skipping sitting down for a meal near or in the famous piazzas and suggests walking about five to ten minutes in the side streets for eateries that are cheaper and have better quality.

Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California

When visiting Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, user dogstardied warns against putting your hands in the handprints molded in front of the Chinese Theater as many tourists do this, but it's extremely dirty. Plus, if you're heading to the area in hopes of spotting celebrities, the user recommends going to the Whole Foods or Trader Joes in Studio City instead as you'll have much better luck.

The Shard, London, England

At over 1,000 feet high, the skyscraper is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and offers panoramic views. Instead of going through the attraction's main entrance where it can cost almost $50 to go to the top, user VisceralBlade recommends going around the side to the restaurant entrance and grabbing a glass of beer. "You'll get a great view two-thirds of the way up and save $20 each," VisceralBlade wrote.

The monuments at Washington, DC

When going to see the memorials and monuments in Washington, DC, user bkimmel recommends going at night since they're lit up to offer stunning views and they're much less crowded. "The Korean War memorial is one people miss that is really an awesome experience when it's lit up at night," bkimmel wrote.

Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

When visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, user rattiger recommends walking about three quarters from the tower for plenty of restaurants that serve better food at cheaper prices. Since the city is full of students, there are many options to choose from once you venture a bit further from the attraction.

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

User BrainBurrito recommends that tourists bring warm clothing when visiting the Golden Gate Bridge as it can be one of the coldest places in the city with intense winds. Even though the weather can seem sunny, it can be deceiving. Shops in the area will overcharge for items they know you’ll want like sweaters.

Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan

Though Taipei 101 no longer holds the title of the tallest building in the world, at over 1,600 feet it’s still massive in size.

When visiting the attraction, user SerendipitouslySane 781 recommends skipping its souvenir shop and buying glass art or jade jewelry from the attached mall instead for cheaper prices. Also, instead of heading up to the restaurant at the top, the user recommends going to the food court or mall restaurants for better food at a better value.

Liberty Island, New York City, New York

Instead of going to Liberty Island, user cheeseburgerwaffles recommends taking the free Staten Island Ferry. You’ll get concessions that serve alcohol, views of the Statue of Liberty, and views of Ellis Island without having to crane your neck.

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

According to user arcticfunkymonkey, drinks at Temple Bar are often overpriced. Instead, take a day trip to Howth (which is easily accessible via public transport) and enjoy fresh authentic seafood right on the pier.

Times Square, New York City, New York

While most users agreed that Times Square can be overwhelming, most people recommend seeing Times Square at night instead of during the day. "It's much more impressive at night, and it is pretty cool for a few minutes," MrDannyOcean wrote. Also, while there aren't many authentic food choices in the area, users agree that the best food near Times Square will be further west — on 9th avenue.

Great Ocean Road, Australia

The Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. While most drivers take the road straight all the way, user Aerovaast recommends taking the inland route at least one way as there are a variety of state forests and farms that are ideal for photo opportunities and places like Laver's Hill and Apostle Whey Cheese to grab tasty snacks. "Seriously free cheese tasting, do it," Aerovaast wrote.

The Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

For user lilsmudge, the Space Needle is cool but overpriced and offers more impressive views when looked at from a distance. The user recommends heading to the Columbia Tower for great views instead.

The Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

User jimboelephant recommends heading here early or late in the day to avoid the crowds and to try and plan your trip on the first weekend of the month to catch free events around the area. If you have a craving for an authentic Philly cheesesteak, the user recommends skipping Pat's King of Steaks and Geno's Steaks and going to Jim's Steaks or Steve's Prince of Steaks instead.

CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

Toronto’s CN Tower is a popular tourist hub thanks to its architecture, the stunning views it offers of the city, and a variety of activities like the thrilling EdgeWalk. For those who want to visit, user whatsupdoc25 recommends going when the sun is setting for truly incredible views.


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