7 Fake Tourist Attractions People Believe Are Real
Sherlock Holmes definitely has a place in history – so there’s a place where he’s from, right? Check out this list of whimsical spots that are only as real as you believe they are.
If you’re looking for a memorable, authentic traveling destination, you should avoid these places by all means! Some of them trade on cult movies while others reap the benefits of historic inaccuracies. Although all interesting, sadly their geographical locations end with their stories.
The Home Of Sherlock Holmes, London
Everyone knows of Sherlock Holmes, a brilliant fictional character created by Arthur Conan
Doyle and the greatest investigator of all time. Hordes of admirers flock to the museum
dedicated to the renowned detective. It is allegedly located in the same house described in the
It’s not true. Although the building bears the plaque of 221B, the museum’s real address is 239 Baker Street. Technically, the address of Holmes and Watson on 221B Baker Street was purely fictional!
River Kwai Bridge, Thailand
River Kwai Bridge is rated #1 among Thailand’s most visited attractions. No wonder! Any tourist can’t wait to see the notorious bridge which lent its name to a classic war movie based on a book by French author Pierre Boulle and starring Alec Guinness. The movie plot is centered around World War II British prisoners of a Japanese camp who were forced to build the Burma railway. The hugely successful film sparked an inflow of tourists. In fact, the bridge described in the book had actually never crossed the River Kwai. As the real bridge built by prisoners was
demolished in 1944, Pierre Boulle only assumed it was over the River Kwai. He knew that the ‘death railway’ ran parallel to the River Kwai for many miles and crossed it. However, that information was incorrect. The bridge actually crossed the Mae Klong river.
A part of the Mae Klong river was renamed Kwae Yai to fit the story and quench the sightseeing
thirst of tourists.
Piz Gloria, Switzerland
Schilthorn is one of the most picturesque peaks of the Swiss Alps. It’s famous not only for the
grandeur of the scenery, but also for the omnipresent James Bond. Fans of the legendary secret agent will never forget the astonishing views from Piz Gloria, a glamorous revolving restaurant, which appeared in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Although a cup of coffee costs a fortune here, the restaurant was yet to be complete when the
film production started. Therefore, the Piz Gloria scenes were actually filmed in Hollywood.
Nevertheless, it retained the name Piz Gloria and became a mecca for those desiring to
immerse themselves into James Bond’s universe.
Juliet’s balcony, Italy
Legions of fans flock to Verona to see the balcony where Juliet and Romeo supposedly
declared love to each other. They forget that the saddest love story ever told has never took
place in real life. Juliet and Romeo are fictional characters. Moreover, the balcony scene was
never a part of the original play. These facts don’t stop tourists from visiting the Italian city to
look for the sites mentioned in the play.
The mystical paradise of Shangri-La was featured in James Hilton’s 1939 novel Lost Horizon.
Only in 2001, the city of Zhongdian officially changed its name to Shangri-La to lure more
tourists. Whether the Zhongdian is the real Shangri-La or not, it’s still worthy of ranking high on any tourist’s must-visit list with its majestic mountains, fairy-tale forests, and Tibetan temples painted in all colors of the rainbow.
Dracula’s Castle, Romania
Bran Castle, situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, is advertised as the fortress of Count Dracula. There’s no evidence his real historical prototype Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler had ever lived here. However, the descriptions of Dracula’s castle in Bram Stoker’s novel, famous for introducing the notorious character, was indeed inspired by Bran Castle.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
The village of Sleepy Hollow in the state of New York was once known as North Tarrytown. After General Motors closed its Hudson River plant in 1996 and around 4,000 locals lost their jobs, the city officially changed its name to capitalize on the fame of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short Gothic story by American author Washington Irving. These days, everything
here is dedicated to The Headless Horseman. The 1999 film Sleepy Hollow featuring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Walken were few of the reasons why the village became the state’s most visited attraction.