What Are The Some Of The Worst Tourist Traps You Have Encountered?


Do not ride the donkeys or horses at Petra. They are terribly mistreated by their handlers and are often forced to carry more weight than they can handle. They are also kept in terrible conditions and starved. If you are too fat and lazy to do the hike yourself, don’t force some poor donkey to carry your fat a** up the side of a f***ing mountain. Also, don’t buy the sand bottles at Petra, as they take the sand/rocks from the archaeological sites which contribute to its degradation.

Another thing: if you take guided tours, there is almost always a part where they stop at some place like a factory or an artisan studio where they show you how people make things. I always just pass on these as they are usually overpriced tourist traps that the tour company has an agreement with. It’s why I usually don’t take tours at all.



tourist trapssoulfister

I was in Paris walking with a female friend and some guy in front of us picked up a ring off the floor and motioned to ask if it was her’s. She said no but he insisted she take it. I said “don’t, he’s trying to get money off of you” and she said “no, he just picked it up off the floor!” Sure enough, he asked her for money, she gave him a little, I guess it wasn’t enough so he asked for the ring back. When we walked away I said “you know that guy just took you for a ride, right?” We’re from NYC so she felt very ashamed.

Edit: Speaking of being from New York, I work(ed. F**kin covid) in Times Square at a broadway theater. If you take a picture with one of those characters on the street, a bunch of them will come over out of nowhere and get in the shot and all expect money. I see it all the time. I’m not one of those dbags who’s like “don’t bother going to Times Square, that’s not the real New York!”, it’s definitely something to be seen, especially at night, but I suggest staying away from the costume characters.



This is for Paris. Great city. Couple of tips.

The Louvre. There’s excellent art in L’Orangerie and the Musée D’Orsay, just a short walk away, without having two hundred tourists as part of the same tour group walking 40 abreast like a wall of humanity up the corridors. My recommendation is to make sure you have the Museum Pass (you can buy them online and have them shipped to you before you even head out) so you can enter museums when you like. Preferably later in the day when they’re all doing something else like trying to fit 200 people into a small café. If it’s too crowded, hit the next point of interest and come back another time. People pick the Louvre because it’s popular, which makes it more popular, which makes people pick it more…

Travel. There’s a travel pass that’s never pushed to tourists because it was never designed for tourism, it’s a Monday-to-Sunday-only weekly pass (there’s a monthly one too that goes from the 1st of the month for longer stays) called the Navigo Découverte. You need a photo for the photo card, that part costs €5 on top, but even with that it’s cheaper to buy that weekly Navigo that the Paris Visite card that’s aimed at tourists …and you look less like a tourist too so you’re less likely to be accosted by sneaky people. This video explains everything about it.


tourist trapsZayaMacD

Had some ladies pretend to be deaf in the plaza at the Louvre. They were deaf until I told them I had no money to give. They definitely heard that because they walked away pretty quick lol


faungg’s photos

If there is a host or hostess trying to lure you into a restaurant, walk away as quick as you can. Instead, ask the locals where they love to eat.


tourist trapsA-Few-Good-Taters

Scammers at Sacre Coeur in Paris. They block a chokepoint on the stairs up to the top of the hill and will pester you about signing some bollocks petition. I got “deaf refugee children charity”. It’s a tatty piece of paper with some black and white UN logos and crooked deaf symbols that they obviously made into a collage type thing and photocopied.

This scam is normally run by women and they are not afraid to use their children. If you are lucky they will just demand some money after you sign. If you are unlucky you’ll get pickpocketd while distracted and signing. This happened to someone at my hostel. I was having none of it and told them in English I wasn’t interested and tried to walk around. This pissed them off so they made a big scene about me being an “evil american who wants our deaf children to be murdered with bombs”. Wailing and everything. It was quite something. I’ve come across alot of beggars and scammers but this was by far the most memorable.

My advice would be just pretend not to understand French or English, don’t engage and keep your hands over your pockets. That pretty much goes for anyone that approaches you at any European tourist trap tbh



If you want a guided tour, arrange it ahead of time. A lot of popular sites are surrounded by unofficial tour guides. They may have a badge or an official-looking uniform, but if they approach you and ask if you want to hire a guide, it’s best to politely decline.

A lot of them have no idea what they’re talking about.

I had a guide at Machu Pichu who claimed that the Inca were “an ideal Communist society,” then he took a break half-way through the tour to try and sell us essential oils.

Real tour guides won’t approach you and give you a sales pitch. If you want a guided tour, arrange it ahead of time.


There’s a Harry Potter gift shop in Kings Cross Station that’s very popular with tourists. Outside the shop there’s a free photo op where you look like you’re pushing a trolley through the Platform 9 3/4 which leads you directly into the shop. It is just a small gift shop in a train station but it’s always packed to bursting with tourists (covid notwithstanding) buying grossly overpriced merch.

The shop isn’t even a film location and the station has been renovated since they shot the films anyway.

Likewise, any Harry Potter film tour of London. Be prepared to sit in a mini van and get shown various walls and doorways around London which have no obvious connection to the films.

If you’re that interested in Harry Potter, honestly I’d advise you stuck up the price of the Studio Tour and go to that instead. Literally anything else you’ll see surrounding the franchise is a tourist trap.

Source: I’ve either been to or worked at these places, and am still employed by one. Hence the throwaway.



I’m not a super well-travelled person yet, but I did get trapped pretty good in New Orleans.

If someone comes up to you in New Orleans and asks you where you got your shoes, the proper answer is “on my feet”. If they ask where you from, “from my mama”.

Keep walking and don’t let them polish or clean your shoes, because they’ll charge you for that and for their “talk”



tourist traps-eDgAR-

Navy Pier and the Sears Tower in Chicago.

If you’re a tourist in the city take an architecture boat tour instead and have a drink at the Signature Room in the Hancock and enjoy the view from there.