What is the Most “Touristy” Thing That You’ve Done?

When traveling, we always try to have the most authentic experiences as possible. There are times, however, when a tour that we take includes something that is there just for tourists. They are often photo opportunities that locals believe that the people visiting want to take home with them, but often they aren’t realistic to the actual culture. More often than not, when we end up doing one of those types of things, we literally cringe when we see what we’re about to do. It doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy them, it is just that we realize that it is a staged activity done just for tourists.

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Led by a Rope in Egypt
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Pirate Ship Show
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Blurry Dungeon in Prague

We have actually ridden camels twice, once in Morocco and then again in Egypt. It wasn’t as if we were riding a camel to get from one place to another, it was just us on a camel while someone walked us around. It wasn’t as if we saw people riding camels, although we know that they do in the desert, so it is just something that people have come to expect to do when they visit those countries. Another thing that we did when in Morocco was to see a snake charmer. Interesting as it was, it was still just a planned stop along the tour for us to take photos and tip the snake charmer in order for him to make a living.

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Swimming with Dolphins
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Snake Charmer
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Torture Chamber

When we were in Prague, at the end of the tour, we went to what was supposed to be a medieval restaurant, complete with cobwebs on the ceiling and waiters dressed in garments from the period. Having a meal at a wooden table in a dungeon, while fun, is probably not the way it would have been hundreds of years ago. When we visited Warwick Castle in England, one of the towers was set up as a torture chamber. It was basically a haunted house experience with people jumping out at you. Again, fun, but not anything representative of turn of the century Europe.

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Riding Camels on the Beach in Morocco
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Tail Down the Back
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Guard at the Haunted Tower

When we were in Cabo, we swam with dolphins in a large aquarium. It would be quite fascinating to swim in the wild with dolphins, but that would be a completely different experience than swimming with a dolphin that has been trained to do tricks. We took a cruise on a pirate ship in Puerto Vallarta where they put on a show and entertained the guests throughout the tour. Clearly these activities are a little different, but still very touristy. Obviously it is hard to completely avoid all of these types of activities, so when they happen it is best to just role with it and have fun. The camel rides were probably the most touristy of all of the activities that we’ve done. What is the most touristy thing that you’ve done when traveling?

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Beer and Wine in the Dungeon
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Putting Hats on in Egypt During Lunch

7 Replies to “What is the Most “Touristy” Thing That You’ve Done?”

  • I tend to avoid the touristy things, but my dad has always said, “But Katie, tourists love it for a reason!!!” With that being said, ridding camels in Morocco is probably at the top of my list along with lanterns in Taiwan as well as a gondola ride in Venice!

  • I thought of one but now they keep coming!!!
    Venice gondola
    Egypt camel
    Central Park Carriage ride.
    Pirate ship Barbados
    Medieval ‘show’ Lake Garda….
    Not quite in the same vein but the MOST annoying thing was falling for the ‘ you’ll get a prize and it’ll only take 20 minutes’ line from a timeshare agent in Gran Canaria…. I really felt like a tourist after those 3 hours!!

    • Oh, we learned the timeshare lesson as well. We do own two of them, but never fall for the “participate in an owner’s meeting and you will get x y z”. We are there to visit and our time is too valuable to waste. If we feel we need to change something we can contact them.

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