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    27 Vacation Destinations That Are Often Labeled As "Tourist Traps" That Are Actually SO Worth Visiting, According To People Who Made The Trek

    "You can’t even begin to comprehend its scale and beauty until you see it in person."

    If you love to travel, you're probably wary of overcrowded, overhyped tourist traps. But there are plenty of world-famous sites and attractions that have gained a must-visit reputation for a reason. Redditor u/angry_koala_26 asked, "Which places felt like tourist traps, but you would still absolutely recommend visiting?" Here are "touristy" sites that travelers still rave about:

    1. "Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Even if you get there at 4:30 a.m., it's extremely crowded, but it's 100% worth visiting nonetheless. And once you get away from the congestion of the main temple, the rest of the complex is much less crowded and more manageable."

    Tourists at Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

    2. "Visiting Nyhavn is a must. It's the iconic image of Copenhagen where most postcard photos are taken. The best way to see it is by boat tour. You'll explore the canals of Copenhagen, pass by the famous Little Mermaid statue, and get a bit of history."

    Tourist boat on Nyhavn Canal

    3. "My husband and I went to Italy for our honeymoon and stayed in Florence. The Duomo is incredible and well worth visiting. You can’t even comprehend its scale and beauty until you see it in person."

    View of the Duomo cathedral from Piazzale Michelangelo

    4. "This may be a bit specific to a certain type of person, but the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand is such a cool thing to see if you even remotely like the movies or J.R.R. Tolkien's work. Getting to actually stand in Hobbiton will make you very happy."

    Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, New Zealand

    5. "Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. It's admittedly very touristy, but there's no doubt it's impressive and iconic. If you skip the tour of the interior (which isn't particularly remarkable), you can see the outside entirely for free."

    View of Neuschwanstein castle as background

    6. "Notre Dame Cathedral. Sure, it's one of the most recognizable buildings in all of Europe, and it's very touristy indeed. But if you're visiting Paris, I strongly recommend seeing it for yourself. You can hardly see the details of the facade in photos, and they are absolutely incredible. Get up close and admire the amazing architecture. It's so detailed and breathtaking in person."

    The exterior of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

    7. "Pike Place Market in Seattle is amazing. It's anything but boring to see for yourself. From the main entrance, it looks like a small fish-and-vegetable market, but it is actually five stories of great restaurants and interesting shops built into a cliff overlooking the bay — a must-do if you're in Seattle."

    People walking by the outside of Pike's Place Market

    8. "I thought the Sistine Chapel, in Vatican City, was wonderful. I went in early July a few years ago, and yes, there were plenty of other people there, but it wasn’t overly crowded. It’s beautiful, and there is so much to see."

    The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

    9. "I hate when people say to avoid Times Square when visiting New York City. Just walk through it on your way to a Broadway show. Sit on the steps and people-watch. Do not go eat at one of the fast-food chains. But do go see the sights. You certainly don’t want to spend all day there, but it is so worth a stroll."

    A crowd at Times Square at night

    10. "The Blue Lagoon in Iceland was amazing. I'm very glad we didn’t listen to the people who told us it 'isn't real Iceland' and has gotten too touristy. Those things might be true, but it was still magical at the same time."

    People in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

    11. "The Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin is utterly fascinating if you have any interest in Cold War history. It’s huge and covered in information. It’s expensive because it’s a private museum. And it’s full-on information overload. That being said, if you don’t mind reading and really want to learn, it’s quite extraordinary."

    Metro station for Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

    12. "I visited Peru's Machu Picchu and felt that the pictures don't do this place justice. I also highly recommend doing the five-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu if you’re into hiking. It made the experience so much more incredible and didn’t feel touristy at all."

    Tourists at Machu Picchu

    13. "Cinque Terre. This string of Italian coastal towns can be packed, but it's easy to experience the setting more peacefully. Most tourists who visit these days are on a tight schedule. So stay overnight and watch the place come back to life after 4 p.m. once all the cruise ships and tour buses have already left."

    Riomaggiore village, Cinque Terre

    14. "The Taj Mahal in India is incredible. If you want to avoid crowds, then queue up to enter at dawn. Yes, there are big walls all around, but that makes walking through the archway and seeing it for the first time all the more amazing. Visiting was an unbelievable experience."

    Tourists at the Taj Mahal

    15. "Stonehenge is definitely worth a trip, IMO. Sure, it's a bit far from London, but there are plenty of things to see and do within a decent distance of the historical site to make your trip worthwhile. Just sticking to the prehistoric theme, you also have Avebury and Silbury Hill in the vicinity."

    Tourists at Stonehenge, UK

    16. "Las Vegas and the Strip. As someone who is from Vegas, I promise it can definitely be 'classy' if you know where to look. In particular, one of the best parts of the city is the food scene. Downtown Vegas is super hipster and lively, Chinatown boasts exceptional and cheap food — you could walk into any restaurant and have one of the best meals of your life — and certain restaurants on the Strip are well worth the cost if you have the means."

    The Las Vegas Strip at night

    17. "The Grand Canyon. The crowds are wild (especially on weekends and holidays), but you’d be surprised at how quickly they drop off once you get a little ways down the trail. I’ve also heard that the North Rim is beautiful and much less crowded, but it’s much more difficult to access."

    Visitors enjoying a viewpoint at the Grand Canyon in Arizona

    18. "The Great Wall of China. There are ways to escape the crowds. The majority of people who choose to visit the Great Wall travel an hour from Beijing to see the most overcrowded and renovated section. I recently visited Beijing and rode for about three hours to visit a nearly empty, authentic, and beautiful part of the wall, which made the experience."

    People walking along the Great Wall of China

    19. "I went to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia expecting a tourist-filled nightmare, but it was so worth it. Sure, there were other travelers, and it was busy in some places, but there were also areas where you couldn't spot a single other person. The color of the water was unreal, and the views over the lakes were stunning. Definitely make the trip here if you're in Croatia."

    People walking on a bridge in Plitvice Lakes National Park

    20. "Visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris is so worth it. Go up the tower at night — seeing the city all lit up below your feet is magical."

    Eiffel Tower and carousel in Paris at dusk

    21. "In Jordan, Petra and Wadi Rum are incredible. These were two of the most spectacular places I've ever seen. The thrill when you emerge from the canyon and see the gave me chills. And you will never feel such a sense of awe (and a sense of your own insignificance) as you will when you sit under the night sky in the Wadi Rum. It was an extremely moving experience."

    A view of Petra, Jordan

    22. "La Sagrada Família in Barcelona is really amazing. It's such a disorienting experience. Logically you know you’re in a church, but it sort of feels as if you’re on a forest floor staring up at huge trees, but also under the sea and looking up at the water’s surface."

    Stained glass and light inside La Sagrada Família in Barcelona

    23. "The highlight of my trip to Europe was visiting the Palace of Versailles in France. I really enjoyed the beautiful gardens and the history of it. I have always enjoyed learning about that era of history, so Versailles was very cool to see."

    Visitors at the entrance of Versailles

    24. "The Chicago Architectural Boat Tour is 100% worth it. I have taken so many visitors — friends from other places in the US and Europe — on it when they visit me. I have even taken my jaded lifelong Chicagoan friends, and all of them have loved it."

    A boat in the Chicago River

    25. "The Cliffs of Moher are completely stunning, and photos do not do them justice. The entire country of Ireland is beautiful, but spending a few hours soaking in the views and the sunset from the cliffs was a highlight of my trip."

    A woman walking along the Cliffs of Moher

    26. "The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. It was touristy, no question, but it was also some of the most awe-inspiring sights I've ever seen, no question."

    A crowd of tourists outside one of the Pyramids of Giza

    27. "The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is so worth it. It took me a while to get through the line, but when I finally got inside, the bright morning rays of sunlight were shining through the windows and it was absolutely breathtaking. It's one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever visited."

    Sunlight coming through the windows of Hagia Sophia

    What's a touristy attraction, site, or city that you would still recommend to other travelers? Tell us in the comments.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.