Embracing the Fun: Top 10 Tacky Tourist Ideas You Can’t Miss

Embracing the Fun Top 10 Tacky Tourist Ideas You Can't Miss

Ah, tourism! It’s that time when we pack our bags, leave our inhibitions at home, and set out to explore the world. But let’s face it, amidst the breathtaking sights and cultural experiences, there’s a guilty pleasure we all secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy – the wonderfully tacky side of tourism. Yes, we’re talking about those activities and souvenirs that might make the locals roll their eyes but give us an unexplainable sense of joy and amusement.

“Tacky tourist” activities are often labeled as cliché or overly touristy. Yet, they hold a charm that can turn any trip into a memorable adventure. Whether it’s collecting kitschy souvenirs, dressing up in outrageously touristy outfits, or visiting famous tourist traps, these experiences are about embracing the lighter side of travel. They remind us that sometimes, it’s perfectly okay to be a little goofy and enjoy the simple, whimsical aspects of being a tourist. So, let’s dive into the top 10 tacky tourist ideas that you absolutely can’t miss!

The Classic Souvenir Collection

There’s something irresistibly fun about hunting for that perfect, albeit slightly gaudy, souvenir to bring home. It’s like a treasure hunt where the treasures are wonderfully bizarre and joyously tacky. Here are some classic and outrageous souvenir ideas to look out for:

  • Snow Globes: These little glass orbs, with their miniature scenes and floating glitter, can transport you back to your holiday destination in an instant.
  • Fridge Magnets: Whether it’s a landmark, a flag, or a cartoon version of a local dish, fridge magnets are the quintessential tourist souvenir.
  • Oversized T-Shirts: Shirts with bold, often humorous statements about the place you visited are a wardrobe staple for the tacky tourist.
  • Keychains: From Eiffel Tower replicas to kangaroo-shaped trinkets, keychains are a small yet classic way to commemorate your travels.
  • Novelty Hats: Think sombreros in Mexico or Viking helmets in Scandinavia – these hats are as fun as they are impractical.
  • Postcards with Puns: Because who doesn’t love a cheesy pun about the place they’ve visited?
  • Local Delicacies (In Candy Form): From gummy Eiffel Towers to chocolate-covered kangaroos, these sweet treats are a deliciously tacky take-home.
  • Shot Glasses: Even if you don’t drink, these tiny glasses emblazoned with tourist destinations are a popular collectible.

Dressing the Part

What’s a holiday without dressing up in the most stereotypically touristy fashion? Embracing the tacky tourist look is not just about the clothes; it’s about immersing yourself in the fun, carefree spirit of vacation. Here are some classic tourist outfit ideas that are sure to make your travel photos memorable:

  • Hawaiian Shirts: Nothing screams ‘tourist’ louder than a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt. The more flamboyant, the better!
  • Oversized Sunglasses: Think large, colorful, and possibly with an unnecessary amount of bling.
  • Bucket Hats or Visors: Perfect for sunny destinations, these hats are not just practical but also a staple in the tourist wardrobe.
  • Fanny Packs: Yes, they might be the butt of many fashion jokes, but fanny packs are incredibly handy for keeping your essentials close.
  • Socks with Sandals: Controversial? Maybe. Comfortable and unmistakably touristy? Absolutely!
  • ‘I Love [Destination]’ T-Shirts: Whether it’s “I Love New York” or “I Heart Paris”, these shirts are a classic tourist trademark.
  • Camera Around the Neck: It doesn’t matter if you’re using your phone to take pictures; a camera around the neck completes the tourist look.

Wearing these outfits might make you stand out as a tourist, but that’s the point! It’s about having a good laugh, making unforgettable memories, and maybe even making new friends who are amused by your attire.

Tourist Trap Hotspots

tacy Tourist Trap Hotspots
Photo credit: Business Insider

Tourist traps often get a bad rap, but they are popular for a reason. They are fun, easily accessible, and an essential part of the tourist experience. Here’s a list of some famous tourist traps around the world that are worth a visit:

  1. Times Square, New York: The epitome of a tourist trap with its neon lights, bustling crowds, and endless entertainment options. For a detailed guide on what to do in Times Square, visit Times Square NYC for visitor tips and more.
  2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy: Perfect for those cliché yet irresistible ‘holding up the tower’ photos.
  3. Madame Tussauds Wax Museums: Located in various cities, these museums offer the chance to snap a picture with uncanny wax figures of celebrities.
  4. The London Eye, England: Offering stunning views of London, it’s a must-visit despite being a well-known tourist spot.
  5. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles: Walk alongside the stars, literally, on this famous sidewalk.
  6. The Eiffel Tower, Paris: It might be crowded, but skipping the Eiffel Tower when in Paris is almost unthinkable.
  7. Venice Gondola Rides, Italy: Overpriced? Maybe. A once-in-a-lifetime experience? Definitely.
  8. Las Vegas Strip, Nevada: Casinos, shows, and bright lights – the Las Vegas Strip is the ultimate tourist playground. For more insights into what to do in Times Square, including unique experiences, check out Free Tours by Foot.

Over-the-Top Tourist Photos

Over-the-Top Tourist Photos
Photo credit: Thomas Cook

One of the hallmarks of a true tourist experience is capturing those over-the-top, quintessentially touristy photos. These are the pictures that you’ll look back on with a mix of embarrassment and fondness. Here’s a list of some iconic photo ideas that are a must for any tacky tourist:

  • ‘Holding Up’ Famous Landmarks: Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa or pretending to touch the tip of the Pyramids.
  • Jumping in Front of Monuments: A mid-air jump shot in front of a famous site is a classic.
  • Funny Faces with Statues: Making faces or mimicking the poses of statues is always good for a laugh.
  • Wearing Themed Hats at Theme Parks: Donning Mickey Mouse ears at Disneyland or a wizard hat at Universal Studios.
  • Crossing Abbey Road, London: Recreate the iconic Beatles album cover.
  • Funny Signs: Posing with amusing or oddly translated signs.
  • Famous Movie Scene Reenactments: Like the Rocky Balboa pose on the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps.

Themed Restaurants and Cafes

One of the joys of traveling is experiencing the local cuisine, but sometimes, it’s the quirky, themed restaurants and cafes that make for the most memorable dining experiences. Here’s a list of some unique themed dining spots around the world:

Restaurant Name Location Unique Theme
The Lockup Tokyo, Japan Prison-Themed Dining
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant Maldives Underwater Dining
Modern Toilet Taipei, Taiwan Bathroom-Themed Restaurant
Ninja New York New York, USA Ninja-Themed Dining Experience
Robot Restaurant Tokyo, Japan Robot and Light Show
Café des Chats Paris, France Cat Cafe
The Bubble Room Florida, USA Kitschy, Multi-Themed Rooms
Heart Attack Grill Las Vegas, USA Hospital-Themed Diner

These themed restaurants offer more than just food; they offer an entire experience. From dining under the sea to eating in a room filled with nostalgic memorabilia, these spots are sure to provide entertainment along with your meal.


Embracing the tackiness of tourism isn’t about forgoing the cultural and historical aspects of travel; it’s about adding an extra layer of fun and spontaneity to your journey. These tacky tourist ideas, while sometimes cheesy, are a way to let loose and enjoy the lighter side of travel. They remind us that travel is not just about the destination, but also about the joyous, sometimes silly moments that make up the journey. So next time you travel, don’t shy away from the tacky tourist traps, the outrageous souvenirs, and the goofy photo ops. After all, these are the memories that often bring the biggest smiles when reminiscing about your adventures. Embrace the tacky, embrace the fun, and make every trip a story worth telling.

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Embracing the Fun: Top 10 Tacky Tourist Ideas You Can’t Miss
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