Heading sightseeing next summer? You're going to want to read this.
Many of us travel hundreds of miles and spend most of our admittedly limited savings to have our photos taken with some of the world’s best known landmarks. But those impressive pictures usually come at a cost.
While you’re checking for the plane tickets and passports, be sure to remember to bring your patience along on holiday because it will be needed. The monumental iconic landmarks and tourist treasures of the world are very often accompanied by tired and impatient tourists with maps and bottled water standing in equally monumental queues.
The Colosseum, Rome.
Firstly, there are always ways to avoid these huge queues. Almost all tourist attractions I have visited have had some form of reservation or fast-track queue for people who bought tickets before they arrive. I highly recommend doing this as it saves so much time, stress and most importantly, money.
The tourist attraction I would say is most worth the wait would have to be the Colosseum in Rome. The Colosseum has a reservation queue, which was still very long when I visited in October, and a security queue.
The advantage of queuing for the Colosseum is that you can admire the beautiful amphitheatre from the outside. Historic statues and arches are also within sight from the queue so it is easy to be kept busy before you make it inside.
Once your patience pays off and you get inside, you will forget about the wait time. The building is steeped in so much history and when you remember it is almost 2,000 years old, it makes it even more impressive.
Once inside, there are two floors with exhibitions, a shop, and the arena itself to walk around. Thankfully, the Colosseum has not been commercialised too much inside. There are also balconies which offer stunning views of the Roman Forums and those famous queues below.
If you do not visit with a guided tour, you can take your time walking around and taking pictures and there is no time limit on your stay. I would advise visiting early as queues are long, even with reserved tickets, and the Colosseum closes at 4pm most days.
Eiffel Tower, Paris.
The Eiffel Tower is iconic but what you don’t see in most movies or photos are the dozens of people which occupy the base of the tower waiting to get to the top. Much like the Colosseum, tickets can be purchased in advance and they eliminate your wait time to almost nothing depending on the time of year you visit.
Almost all reserved tickets only get you to the second floor; an additional charge applies to gain access to the top of the tower but it is worth every cent. The view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower is as amazing as the tower itself.
There are two restaurants, a gift shop, an exhibition and a very scary glass floor on the tower so there is plenty to do when you finish taking in the views of Paris.
Kennedy Space Centre, Florida.
There is not too much queuing at the space centre because the campus is so huge. There is however a bit of a wait to gain access to the Saturn V shuttle and the other space memorabilia. The Saturn V rocket is impossible to describe. It spans the entire room and boasts 5 thrusters that are equally indescribable.
The space centre also houses moon rock, the moon buggy used by Neil Armstrong, space suits and more. The main visitor complex has the incredible Atlantic shuttle which was used to build and extend the International Space Station.
The wait time at the space centre is significantly lower than most tourist attractions and it is a once in a lifetime experience.