Amsterdam Bans Tours of Red-Light District

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/26/2019, 4:15 PM

As much as it's known for picturesque canals and paintings by Dutch masters on display at the Rijksmuseum and elsewhere, Amsterdam has also gained a reputation as a haven for legal marijuana and prostitution.  Neither of those is leaving the city anytime soon, but authorities are cracking down on tourist lookie-loos checking out the famous red-light district, where sex shops and sex workers do th...

Unruly Drinking on This Spanish Island Could Cost You Thousands

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/22/2019, 1:00 AM

Tourists who break public drinking laws on the Spanish island of Majorca—long known for its beaches and raucous party scene—will face fines of up to €3,000 (US$3,400) this summer, as part of a crackdown on boozy misbehavior. Under the new restrictions, law enforcement can fine alcohol-fueled revelers for fighting, breaking stuff, and otherwise “causing a public nuisance," according to The Indepen...

New Rules in Rome Target Rowdy, Boozy Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/19/2018, 5:30 PM

Italy has just about had it with your nonsense. Straining under the burden of accommodating endless hordes of tourists and their accompanying noise, litter, rowdiness, and traffic gridlock, the country's most popular cities are rolling out strict behavioral regulations—with hefty fines—aimed at keeping visitors under control. Florence recently banned eating in the streets. Venice has outlawed ev...

No-Tourist Zone Around Newly Restored Colosseum Proposed

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/24/2017, 5:00 AM

After almost three years, the Colosseum in Rome has finished undergoing a restoration financed by high-end leather-goods maker Tod's. Now some local officials want to make the historic site less accessible to visitors. The idea of a "no-go zone" around the Colosseum has been raised in response to recent incidents involving tourists behaving badly. The latest: On January 14, two Brazili...

Watching the Sunrise at Maui's Haleakala Volcano Will Soon Require a Reservation

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/01/2016, 5:00 AM

One of the most unforgettable—and most popular—sights in Maui is about to get a little more difficult to experience.  Starting February 1, you'll need a reservation to hike to the top of the Hawaiian island's Haleakala volcano to watch the sunrise. Citing large crowds and safety concerns, Haleakala National Park officials say that those who want to reach the top of the 10,000-foot peak...

Should the Spanish Steps in Rome Have a Barrier Against Tourists?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/13/2016, 4:00 AM

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in front of the Spanish Steps in Roman Holiday (photo: Wikimedia Commons) Later this month, the Spanish Steps in Rome will reopen after a 1.5-million euro cleanup and restoration project financed by jewelry maker Bulgari. But if Paolo Bulgari, the chairman of the company his great-grandfather founded, had his way, the steps wouldn't reopen entirely....

Stop Trying to Help Baby Seals in Cornwall

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/08/2016, 4:00 AM

(Photo: Tambako The Jaguar/Flickr) If you happen to be in Cornwall on the southwestern tip of England and you see an adorable newborn seal resting on the beach, do the world (and especially the seal) a favor and LEAVE IT ALONE.  Authorities in the area have had to issue a similar warning because baby seals kept getting herded into the water by well-meaning but wrong-headed tourist...

Countries Where Tourists Outnumber Locals

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/05/2016, 12:30 PM

According to numbers crunched by London's The Daily Telgraph, there are 51 countries where tourists outnumber locals.  Using 2014 figures from the World Bank, the newspaper divided each country's total number of visitors by its population to come up with the list. Topping the chart is the tiny, mountainous principality of Andorra, a skiing mecca sandwiched between France and Spain. Andorra...

Rome Cracking Down on Fountain Swimmers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/29/2016, 12:15 PM

Authorities in Rome have started cracking down on those who engage in a supposedly romantic yet entirely illegal activity: climbing into and splashing around in the city's fountains. A pair of tourists from California were fined 450 euros (equivalent to about $500) for trying to recreate the Trevi Fountain scene in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Other recent offenders include a 22-year-...

English Village Becomes Tourist Attraction, Doesn't Know Why

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/11/2016, 1:00 AM

People who live in the English village of Kidlington—population: 14,000; claim to fame: none to speak of—report that busloads of Asian tourists have been pouring into their town on Thursdays, strolling the streets and snapping photos. Here's the weird part: nobody in Kidlington knows why. When locals have asked the visitors for an explanation, the language barrier has kept them from getting mu...

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