We all love going on vacation – getting the chance to take a relaxing break away from normality, meeting tons of new people, and, of course, seeing the spectacular views the Earth has to offer. Each year, more than a billion tourists from around the world travel far and wide in order to take in these breathtaking vistas.
However, often these sights end up falling short of our sky-high expectations. And that’s because the aesthetics of such views are usually dependent on things like weather and the right angles.
In light of this, we have compiled a list of the most iconic yet disappointing views the world has to offer.
1. The London Eye
The London Eye is the UK’s most renowned Ferris wheel. It peaks at an impressive 443 feet and when it opened back in 2000, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. The best time of day take a ride on the London Eye is at sunset as you’ll see other landmarks such as Big Ben and Westminster illuminated stunningly.
Unfortunately, the views that this giant wheel boasts don’t always look as spectacular as in the picture above. Sometimes, it’ll look a little more like this…
During an ordinary, cloudy London day, the views are, well, nothing special. And Westminster just doesn’t look as striking without the lights.
2. The Empire State building in New York City
The Empire State building is not only one of the most iconic skyscrapers in New York City, but also in the entire world.
There are two observatories in the building – one on the 86th floor and one on the 102nd – and they attract over four million visitors a year.
However, what most people don’t know is that the buildings of Midtown Manhattan, that you’d be looking down on, really aren’t anything special.
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3. The Grand Canyon
Needless to say, the Grand Canyon boasts some of the most stunning, natural views in the world.
But the red rocks aren’t always such a striking color.
It really depends on weather conditions at the time of your visit. Sometimes the canyon doesn’t look anywhere near as red as you’ve seen in photos.
4. The Canadian National Tower in Toronto
The CN tower is the world’s highest freestanding structure and allows visitors to get an incredible birds-eye view of the city.
Anyone who takes advantage of this exhilarating hands-free walk can expect to walk around the tower more than a thousand feet above the ground, attached to cables and harnesses.
But unfortunately, the view doesn’t always look as impeccable as it does in photos…
On foggy and cloud-covered days, the walk may provide some less-than-stunning views.
5. Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ, standing at 98 feet on the top of Mount Corcovado. Plus the observation platform that the statue is built on offers gorgeous views of Rio. But alas, the view doesn’t always look as majestic in the photo above.
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Usually, the observation platform is so crowded that you won’t be able to see much of what the views have to offer.
During peak season, the statue attracts around 3,000-4,000 visitors a day, making it pretty much impossible to see anything.
6. The Space Needle in Seattle
If you’ve been to Seattle and haven’t seen the Space Needle, have you even been to Seattle?
The city is also known for its bikini-clad baristas – yep, you read that right:
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see Seattle’s skyline, as well as Mount Rainier. If you’re not so lucky, the view might look a little drearier.
And just in case you didn’t know – Seattle is known its heavy rainfall so be prepared to bring a sturdy umbrella.
7. The Cologne Cathedral
Most people who visit Cologne will spend a day climbing the cathedral’s 533 winding steps to see the city from above. It’s Cologne’s most popular attraction, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always live up to the hype.
The views are less majestic when seen through the wire fence that covers the top of the cathedral.
8. Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands
The best view in all of Singapore is found at the infinity pool on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands hotel.
It’s also reportedly the largest rooftop pool in the world.
But what you won’t see in the pictures is the part of your view that will be dominated by cranes and oil rigs.
9. The Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai
The tower has four different floors that allow visitors to take advantage of 360-degree views of the city and the Huangpu River. The 1,535-foot tower also has a glass-floor observation deck and, even better, a revolving restaurant.
But, of course, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its downsides.
If your trip to the tower falls on a particularly foggy day, then God help you because it won’t look anywhere near as pretty.
So there you have it: nothing’s what it seems until you’re actually there to see it with your own eyes.