Giant's Causeway named world's worst tourist attraction

Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

National Trust property Giant's Causeway has been named the world's most unpopular tourist attraction in a survey by the Irish Times.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland was branded underwhelming.

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One reader, Dean Healy, said it is "a very long walk for a small gathering of rocks," while Eimear Hurley said: "My expectations were huge. I was seriously disappointed."

Giant's Causeway wasn't the only famous attraction to receive brutal reviews.

Journalist Mary Kenny said of the Mona Lisa: "You can keep it! Tiny and there is much better stuff to see in Louvre.

James O'Brien described the Niagara Falls as "fairly underwhelming" and Brussels' Manneken Pis is "teeny and hidden away on a dark corner," according to Leonie Khan.

The Irish Times asked readers on Twitter: "What is the most overrated and underwhelming tourist attraction you have ever visited?"

New York's Empire State Building and Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa were other tourist attractions that left visitors underwhelmed.

The weird world of tourist attraction replicas
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The weird world of tourist attraction replicas

A trip to New York isn't complete without a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty yet take a closer look and you'll spot that this isn't the real Lady Liberty or views of the Big Apple at all but a fake of the world-famous attraction in Tokyo. In fact, there are hundreds of versions of the statue around the world.

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Replica sites come in all forms, from copycat UNESCO World Heritage monuments to whole towns modelled on picturesque places. We've rounded up a few of our favourite fakes, from Nevada's take on Stonehenge to Portugal's Christ the Redeemer. Would you visit any of these fake tourist attractions?

This fake English town in Songjiang district reflects China's love of England, featuring cobbled streets, Victorian terraces and corner shops. Named after the River Thames, Thames Town sits 19 miles from Shanghai and is a popular location for wedding photos. A James Bond statue, red telephone boxes, Tudor architecture and a church are some of the delights of this eerie town.

The world's only replica of the famous Parthenon in Athens, Greece stands proudly as the centerpiece of Centennial Park in Nashville. Originally built for Tennessee's 1897 Centennial Exposition, America's full-scale replica Parthenon serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. A re-creation of the 42-foot statue Athena is the focus, just as it was in ancient Greece.
An iconic attraction overlooking Lisbon, the statue of Cristo Rei, or Sanctuary of Christ the King, was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited the world-famous monument. Erected on an isolated clifftop, the statue consists of an 82-metre-high pedestal supporting the 28-metre image of Christ.
The replica of the Lascaux Cave opened in 2016 in the Dordogne region, more than seven decades after the prehistoric art was first discovered. The real Lascaux, home to the most celebrated examples of Palaeolithic cave paintings ever discovered, was closed to the public in 1963 when carbon dioxide, heat and other contaminants produced by visitors began to damage the art. The replica is a multi-sensory experience beside the original site, where the walls are an exact match.

There are a number of fake Venices found around the world, from Macao to South Korea, but the most famous is The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, where  you can ride in a gondola and shop in Saint Mark’s Square, just like in the real Italian beauty spot. The hotel has its own Lion of Venice Column, Rialto Bridge and Palazzo Ducale - all surrounded by palm trees.

Replicas of China's famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses can be found in Anhui Province, 700 miles from the real site. The size of the fake Terracotta Army matches the real Xi'an Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Visitors have flocked to the fake, which costs 120 yuan (£13.82) compared to admission to the real warriors, which is 150 yuan (£17.28).

This quirky tribute to Stonehenge built with 38 vintage cars was constructed by American sculptor Jim Reinders as a memorial to his father and dedicated at the June 1987 summer solstice. Located just north of Alliance, Nebraska, the vehicles that make up Carhenge were painted grey to replicate Stonehenge. The site draws in 60,000 visitors each year.
Bangladesh's copycat version of India's Taj Mahal was built in 2008 by wealthy Bangladeshi film-maker Ahsanullah Moni for the poor who could not travel to India to see the historical wonder. Made using bronze, marble and granite from Italy, as well as diamonds from Belgium, the replica covers an area of four acres and was built in just five years.
There are at least three replicas of the Statue of Liberty in Japan but the most impressive is the monument in Odaiba, which affords amazing views of Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge. Erected temporarily from 1998 to 1999 to commemorate Japan's ties with France, the smaller-sized fake was so popular that it was returned for good in 2000.
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