Lonely Planet has published its list of the world’s Greatest Wonders: this is my guide to ten of the world’s places not to bother with – a much more useful service in my opinion.
1. Empire State Building, New York (pictured): When it comes to tall buildings, my clearest advice is to stay away from them. They’re expensive, overcrowded and likely to bring on a nosebleed. The view from the ESB is OK but doesn’t justify the hassle and expense of seeing it. If you want a skyscraper view of Manhattan head up the Rockefeller Center.
2. Eiffel Tower, Paris: If you really want to go up the Eiffel Tower, then walk up. At least as far as you are allowed. Unless you enjoy standing in queues at a high altitude, don’t even contemplate the final stage to the summit which involves endless waiting and tiny lifts. And if the weather is bad all you will see is mist.
3. The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen: This is Denmark’s major tourist attraction? I’ve seen bigger (and much more interesting) poodles.
4. Hollywood sign, Los Angeles: It’s a sign. It’s in Hollywood. And..?
5. Lands End, Cornwall: The end of the land. You have to pay to see this?
6. Great Wall of China, China: I’ve got a great wall in my garden but I’m not making a big fuss about it.
7. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney (pictured): Sydney has two big must-sees: its Opera House and its Bridge. I don’t know whether people from Sydney have been anywhere else in the world but lots ofother cities have bridges. Newcastle upon Tyne has five of them.
8. Mona Lisa, Paris: Save three hours of your life and a wodge of cash: don’t bother fighting through the Louvre crowds to see what is effectively an average portrait of an unknown woman. Over-rated doesn’t begin to describe it.
9. Manneken Pis, Brussels: A statue of a small boy doing … what? Are you serious?
10. Bateau Mouche, Paris: Keep well away from tall buildings, caves … and boat excursions. Boat trips (like cave visits) have no clearly discernible time limit – they may take 20 minutes (doubtful) they may last five hours. And there’s nothing – absolutely nothing – you can do to escape…