16 Famous Landmarks That Have Been Ruined by Tourists 

All over this world of ours, there are beautiful landmarks that remind us of times gone by. These can be old buildings, scenic views, or a host of other structures. These beautiful places and postcard destinations are visited by millions each year.

Too Many Tourists 

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The problem with being such amazing places to visit is tourism. With so many people visiting them, sometimes this can hurt the whole experience. So what are the most famous landmarks that have been ruined by tourists?

Big Ben

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The huge clock attached to London’s Houses of Parliament is among the most photographed buildings in the world. So you can imagine that trying to see it properly can be difficult. There are now so many people attempting to get that perfect shot that jostling for position is a tough task, to say the least.

Eiffel Tower 

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Another monument that is up there in the list of most Instagrammed sites is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. There are now so many people trying to get that shot of them kissing under it, or standing by it, that the romance of seeing it has been lost. Gone are the days of enjoying this masterpiece.

Niagara Falls

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Niagara Falls is much more than just a waterfall. There are hours of hiking routes through this national wonder. But in recent years there has been an influx of tourists making it a far less pleasant experience. Expect to be surrounded by people at all times.

The Louvre

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One of the best art museums in the world is the Louvre Museum in Paris. Spend 30 seconds in front of each piece and you will spend three months inside. But artworks like the Mona Lisa now have so many people viewing it that you might not even get a chance to enjoy it even if you get there.

Machu Picchu

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This ancient monument is a city in the sky set on a plateau in Peru. Unfortunately, backpacker culture has seen it become much more crowded in recent times. This has led to much more rubbish, as well as people taking selfies all around you as you try to enjoy the epic scenery.


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Another ancient city to be ruined by tourism is Teotihuacán in Mexico. With so many people visiting this amazing place every year, you can expect to be swarmed by vendors each trying to sell you something. This can have a huge impact on your viewing experience.

Mount Everest 

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This amazing mountain in Nepal is the highest peak in the world. You would think that visiting this massive landmark would be a lonely and special experience, but you’d be wrong. There is now a massive culture of traveling to Mount Everest to get those Instagram shots. This has completely ruined the experience.

Great Wall

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As far as old structures go, this is among the most famous in the world. Visible from space, the Great Wall of China is an amazing spectacle. Due to the amount of people visiting it, there is now much more trash than before. It is also hard to move at times because of your visitor groups and other tourists.


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In the middle of the English countryside, there is a stone structure like no other. Up until the late seventies, this amazing relic was open to the public. You could wander around and through it at your leisure. Tourism has meant that now only organized tour groups can enjoy it.


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Another ancient city that people flock to see is Petra, a city in the Jordanian desert that thrived for 1,000 years. While the rise of conflicts in the region has seen tourist numbers tumble, the city is still seeing the negative effects of the large numbers that still visit.

Galapágos Islands

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A land that time forgot, but tourism has found. Once a place of solitude that houses collections of untouched environments and animals, it is now on most people’s bucket list for places to visit and take pictures.

Angkor Wat

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In Cambodia, there is a complex of temples that will inspire awe in anyone visiting it. Because this is also the most visited site in the country, you will struggle to enjoy it. There are so many student backpackers that every picture you take will have a background filled with strangers.

The Acropolis

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This throwback to a time of Greek political and philosophical revolution is another of the world’s landmarks that is ruined by tourists. Although it is still a place of beauty and wonder, there are now so many other people there that you will have a hard time taking it all in.

The Sistine Chapel

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In Italy’s Vatican City, there is a place of wonder like no other. The chapel roof was painted by Michelangelo himself and is one of the world’s most famous paintings. But good luck enjoying it in peace. There are so many people visiting it that it’s impossible to fully experience it.


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These French cave paintings are among the oldest in the world. But so many people are now visiting them that there is little room for the casual explorer. Another of the old world sites that has been ruined by tourism.

The Great Pyramids 

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Travel to Giza in Egypt and you will find one of the world’s oldest and most breathtaking sights. The great pyramids are incredible structures from a long-forgotten world. These days though, there are so many visitors that the place has become dirty and polluted. It is no longer the place it once was.

Tourism Has Changed the World

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There once was a time when you could see these beautiful places in peace. A time when there was no rubbish and few people around them. Tourism has changed everything. 

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Thomas James

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