Overlooked. Underappreciated. Simply forgotten. If there’s a smaller tourist attraction in a city, it is overshadowed by infamous landmarks. So show the smaller sites some love! Here are five lesser-known attractions that are worth a look.
1.) Ben Franklin’s House—Philadelphia, USA
Rather than joining the hordes of tourists breaking down the doors of Independence Hall, check out another landmark frequented by our founding fathers; Ben Franklin’s House. Although the house was torn down in the early 1800s, the foundation is still visible in what is known as today as Franklin Court. Where Franklin’s house once stood is outlined by an impressive framework surrounded by many of his contributions to this nation including America’s first post office. It is also next door to a museum full of Franklin artifacts.
2.) J.K. Rowling’s Seat at the Elephant House Café—Edinburgh, Scotland
As a writer, I must admit that I am most struck by J.K. Rowling’s point of view when sitting in the seat she started writing the Harry Potter series. Enter the lofty café, adorned with kitschy clutter and you’ll find a table by the windows with a whimsical view of two of Edinburgh’s legendary attractions; Edinburgh Castle and Grey Friars Kirk. A small ‘Reserved’ sign marks her seat, but don’t let that intimidate you. Take a moment to sit in her place and watch elements of the Harry Potter universe come to life – especially the moment when the sun sets behind Edinburgh Castle, casting an ominous shadow on Grey Friars Kirk below. With a view like that, whose creative juices wouldn’t start flowing?
3.) Soviet War Memorial—Berlin, Germany
After checking out the many monuments located in Berlin Mitte, take a trip behind the Wall to where the old Soviet controlled East Germany used to be. Located in Treptower Park is a gigantic monument dedicated to the Soviet soldiers who lost their lives rescuing Germany from the grips of Fascism.
Having grown up in the free world, it feels strange to walk around a memorial riddled with symbols of the old USSR. Large hammers and sickles adorn the sides of statues and walls display fantasized scenes from moments in battle. The most impressive structure, and the centerpiece of the park, is a statue of a soldier standing over a broken swastika holding a German child. Overall, the memorial is an elaborate and stunning monument to a failed regime.
4.) International Swimming Hall of Fame—Ft. Lauderdale, USA
With its 23 miles of beaches and the Everglades, Ft. Lauderdale’s International Swimming Hall is often forgotten. Not only is not only an excellent facility for swimmers to train, but also serves as a museum dedicated to all swimming sports. Divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers – the International Swimming Hall of Fame serves as a shrine to the history, memory and recognition of famous strangers.
5.) Bar Marsella—Barcelona, Spain
This place puts the ‘bar’ in Barcelona! Though Barcelona does not lack late-night places to drink, Bar Marsella is a drinking establishment with a history as potent as the absinthe they serve. At nearly 200-years old, this bar is reputedly the oldest bar in Barcelona and is known for being the meeting place of generations of prolific artists including Hemingway, who frequented the bar during his time in Spain. Though the drink is less harsh than during Hemingway’s time, when absinthe had hallucinatory properties, it’s reputation as being a seedy bar in Barcelona’s red light district adds to its allure.
If you like what you see here, don’t forget to join @OneTravel and @aTravelBroad TODAY for a special Twitter party on famous attractions (August 7th, 2014 at 2pm EST). It’ll be chock full of tips, tricks, and deals. Follow #OneTravelChat to participate. Three cheers for summer!
Photo: Aaron van Dorn
Wonderful, Kae Lani. I imagine there are hundreds of such sights around the world. Keep on exploring!
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