Biggest mistakes tourists make in the world’s major cities


Travel editors make careers helping tourists navigate unfamiliar places. Yet even the most discerning traveler is prone to occasional missteps while on vacation.

Here, CNBC’s travel contributors share the biggest mistakes they see visitors making in the cities they call home.

Walking around Singapore

“Trying to walk around Singapore is a big mistake. Walking a distance of only a few miles, you would happily walk in most cities, and you will end up soaked, either from the heat or tropical weather. doesn’t matter if Google Maps says your destination is not far away, take a taxi or the MRT [Mass Rapid Transit] form. They are both inexpensive and fortunately air-conditioned. “

—Christian Barker, Australia

See all in New York

“New York is a vast destination with a litany of choices, and that makes any tourist’s time in the city precious. Unfortunately, I have found many visitors – especially first-timers – trying to take too much of a trip. rush from their Midtown hotel to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, then scurry into upscale neighborhoods to see part of Central Park before catching a Broadway show that night.

The view of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

cmart7327 | E + | Getty Images

“Instead of planning an itinerary for 12 hours each day, I recommend that you pick a handful of sites to explore. And leave a few blocks of unscheduled time because those ‘New York only’ moments you’ve heard about are almost always unforeseen.

“For example, don’t try to see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in one day. You’ll be so exhausted you won’t appreciate anything. Take the trip to Lady instead. Liberty, then cruise to Ellis Island and its Immigration Museum. Or spend a day in Central Park and surrounding areas. The park is teeming with beauty in every nook and cranny of its 840 acres.

“Remember New York is not going anywhere. The city will be ready and waiting to welcome you again.”

—Tracy Kaler, USA

“Stick to the Script” in Jamaica

“I have nestled in Jamaica for the past six months and have vacationed here several times over the past 20 years. Now that I’ve spent some time here, I realize how much I missed – and how much tourists miss it.

Jamaica is the kind of place you should step out of the scenario.

Sheryl Nash-Nance

American travel writer

“So many people come to the island and hardly venture beyond their all-inclusive resort or stick to the tours offered by the hotel. Big sigh. Jamaica is the kind of place you should step out of the scenario. You haven’t experienced the real Jamaica, if you haven’t been to a beach that only locals know, or if your sample of Jamaican cuisine is limited to typical chicken or jerk pork. Try a restaurant outside the hotel and tourist area.

“Dunn’s Rivers Falls is good, but there are spectacular falls where there are no people. Negril and Montego Bay have all the press but go off the beaten track to Portland. Jamaica is full of secrets. a little digging before your trip, whether it’s your social media groups or friends of friends. Find an insider to give you skinny. “

—Sheryl Nash-Nance, USA

Being a morning person in Melbourne

“Take a walk through the city of Melbourne at 9 am on a Saturday morning, and you might wonder if aliens have abducted most of the population overnight. The temptation to travel is to pack your bags during the day, but getting up early is not something the Melburnians do, unless their job requires it.

Melbourne’s most popular cafes tend to be busiest after 9 a.m.

Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd | Digital vision | Getty Images

“The only people in museums and galleries at 10 am are families with young children. Instead, we tend to pile up the other end of the day, getting together later – brunch doesn’t should never start before 1 p.m. – towards the footy [football match], linger around a dinner, meet over a drink, then maybe go see a show. It is not uncommon for a title in a pub … to take the stage at midnight.

“If you get up at 7 am and spend the day doing activities you are not going to the encore. Relax, sleep and make sure you see the best of Melbourne – it shines after dark of the night.”

—Carrie Hutchinson, Australia

Lacks the quieter side of Hong Kong

“I have lived in Hong Kong since 2005 and many first-time international visitors still think that it is largely a concrete jungle, although it is actually made up of 261 islands. stunning secluded hikes, beaches rivaling the French Riviera, cascading waterfalls, jungle shrouded temples and stunning snorkeling spots… there is so much more here than skyscrapers. “

—Chris Dwyer, UK

The view along Dragon’s Back, a popular hiking trail at Sheck O Country Park on Hong Kong Island.

Nukorn Plainpan | instant | Getty Images

“Hong Kong has been my expat home for 20 years. I have always wondered why visitors – whether tourists or business travelers – reduce the city to a shopping and dining paradise. The ‘Pearl of the Orient’ has so much more to offer, it just requires tourists to hop on the MTR [Mass Transit Railway] or a minibus and get out into one of the many national parks.

“After living in the city for a long time, I started sea kayaking to get a new and different perspective on the place. There is much more for tourists to explore, discover and enjoy.”

—Petra Loho, Austria

Worrying about street food in Bangkok

“Bangkok’s reputation as one of the world’s most incredible culinary destinations rests in large part on its options for hawker food. curries and grilled meats.

A vendor prepares street food in Bangkok, Thailand.

Nigel Killeen | instant | Getty Images

“Despite the fame of the street food scene, some visitors are reluctant about the hygienic standards in these places. They don’t need to be. Cooked food.

“Watch out for the long lines of local diners, and you’ll know you’re on to a good thing.”

—Duncan Forgan, United Kingdom


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