Avoid the Crowds at the World’s Top Tourist Attractions

in Travel Advice

Crowds are the enemy of any frugal traveler. They only slow you down, forcing you to spend time in queues and being jostled about rather than enjoying the sites you’ve paid good money to see. Many of us think they’re part of seeing any major tourist attraction, but we’ve got a few sneaky secrets for avoiding them.

The Grand Canyon, United States

Most tourists base themselves in Las Vegas and catch the bus to Nevada. That means the Grand Canyon doesn’t get really busy until the middle of the day. If you can arrive much earlier, you’ll get prime position at this natural wonder. The best way to do this is stay closer to the canyon, and leave your accommodation first thing in the morning. El Tovar Hotel, Yavapai Lodge, and Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins are all less than a mile away.

The Grand Canyon is also busiest during summer, when families from across America take their kids on road trips to this local treasure. You’ll enjoy relative peace and quiet if you visit during cooler weather.

The Great Wall, China

Once the temperature drops, Chinese attractions like the Great Wall become deserted. If you can brave the chilly December weather, make sure you grab your winter woollies to enjoy this great wonder without the crowds.

If you’d prefer not to shiver, then try to visit the part of the wall where few people venture. Most people visit the Great Wall from Beijing. You’ll see less crowds if you take the trip to Jinshanling and tackle the bridge from that end. This section is much more relaxed than the one near the capital.

The Louvre, France

The first secret to avoiding the crowds at this Parisian art institution is to snag a Paris Pass. While most travelers will wait an hour or more to enter, this tourist pass allows you to skip the queue. These passes are a little expensive, with adult passes starting at 105 euros, but they’re well worth it if you plan on hitting up a few of the city’s other museums during your stay.

Once you’re inside, if you really want to avoid the crowds make sure you give the Mona Lisa a wide berth. Let’s face it, you’ve seen it in so many books you can probably already picture it in your mind. So many people that see it say they were disappointed, so why risk it? You’ll find far fewer people around the other exhibitions, including the impressive Ancient Egypt collection.

The Louvre is also busiest during the day, especially on weekends. You’ll find it’s much quieter on Wednesday and Friday evenings, when the museum stays open until 9:45 pm.

Petra, Jordan

Don’t trail through the front gates like so many tourists to Petra. If you really want to appreciate the wonders of this ancient city, spend the night with the Ammareen tribe at their Bedouin-style camp about four miles away. The tribe will take you on an early-morning walk from their campsite through the hills around Petra to the famous Monastery. You’ll arrive well before the other tourists, so you can appreciate its beauty without needing to jostle for position.

Stonehenge, England

Just like the Grand Canyon, you’re best staying close by this ancient monument so you can visit at dawn or dusk. Mandalay Guest House, Travelodge Amesbury Stonehenge, and The Antrobus Arms Hotel are all a short drive away.

Stonehenge is also at its busiest during the summer solstice. It experiences a lull right after this pagan holiday, which is perfect for crowd-avoiders to take advantage of. Up-close tours are also available, but if you follow our tips you can happily save the money.

The Pyramids, Egypt

When most of us think of the Egyptian pyramids, we think of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Perhaps that’s why some three million travelers visit this pyramid each year. You could become one of them, or you could see two pyramids that are every bit as well preserved at the less popular complex of Dashur.

At any time you could be one of thousands at Giza, but it’s not uncommon to have the Red and Bent Pyramids all to yourself. They are the third and fourth tallest pyramids in Egypt respectively.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

So don’t just accept that seeing the world’s most popular attractions means fighting off the crowds. With a little planning it’s possible to avoid them entirely and make the most of your visit.

Previous post:

Next post: