Flights: $400, Hotel: $500. Getting there to find scaffolding: priceless.

You’ve fantasized about the day for years, and finally you’re here. The day when you come face to face with the iconic tourist attraction you’ve longed for since that school textbook, or photo from your favorite travel magazine should be one of the greatest and most redeeming moments of your life, not a massive disappointment. Imagine the surprise, shock and horror when years of planning culminate in one giant “that’s it?”, as scaffolding ruins the perfect picture. Here are five of the world’s most iconic tourist attractions which are under construction, or about to be – so you can plan accordingly.

a large building with cranes on the side with Sagrada Família in the backgroundSagrada Família, Barcelona

The spectacular basilica, designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudí, began its work in 1882, and incredibly has been worked on ever since. Most of the structure and towers and set to be completed by 2026, which represents the centennial of Gaudí’s death, but currently cranes are in full force. Barcelona is a city where this iconic structure is only one of the many reasons to go, and it’s still magnificent to behold, you’ll just have to curb your enthusiasm for the perfect exterior shot until 2026, or so.

a large building with a pool of water with Taj Mahal in the backgroundTaj Mahal, Agra

The Taj Mahal is something many people only get to see once in their lifetime, and unfortunately many people have recently turned up to find it not cloaked in all things opulence, but instead with scaffolding on. If you’re there at this very moment it is actually scaffold free, however the official cleaning is meant to be complete in 2018 and there’s still work left to do on the main dome. This means scaffolding may go up again soon; or they may decide to wait to finish it in the off season next year, around April 2019. If you’re traveling there soon it’s worth checking for updates.

a clock tower and a buildingBig Ben, London

Big Ben and Westminster make up an iconic section of London’s famously beautiful skyline, but unfortunately things won’t quite look the same for a while. Renovations to the tune of £3.5 billion broke ground in 2017 and are expected to be complete by 2021. In the meantime, there will be scaffolding galore. Renovations are said to have started from top to bottom, so with any luck, the beautiful towers will start to uncover in the next year. Fortunately, we’re talking about London here, and all you need is a phone booth for a quintessential picture.

a large tower with a fountain and Eiffel Tower in the backgroundEiffel Tower, Paris

Allez le red? The famous ‘Iron Lady’ will soon receive a new paint job, starting in the fall of 2018, which means just about any day now. No fewer than 60 tons of paint will be used, and le project is expected to take approximately 20 months to complete. The big news? It will once again be painted red – the original color of the Tower. The works will also help preserve the structure’s iron and steel structure ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games. Needless to say, they’ll want their most famous attraction in tip top shape, but in the meantime, your perfect Paris shot may be lacking.

a large stone building with a towerKumamoto Castle, Japan

A devastating 2016 earthquake severely mangled Kumamoto Castle, leaving much of the spectacular structure in rubble and ruin. The main building, which makes an incredibly backdrop for “Sakura Season” photos will likely have scaffolding on various parts through to Autumn 2019. With approximately 800 cherry trees in close proximity, it’s fair to say the scaffolding may get lost in the sea of pink, but if you’re going to Kumamoto just to see the castle, you may want to wait until Sakura 2020.

Tourist Attractions

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Yeah, these places already hold their names in the world of Tourism and having many fans following. By the way, informative post. Thanks for sharing.

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