We've all seen them, and most of us have been helpless to their allure at one point or another -- the tourist trap. The idea of a tourist trap is to get hapless tourists to visit a well-known attraction, mainly for the purpose of taking their money. It's not a tourist trap unless there are multiple gift shops and you can purchase both a shot glass and a back scratcher with the destination printed on it. What constitutes a tourist trap is open to debate, though. Italians may consider the Leaning Tower of Pisa to be a tourist trap, and there are plenty of pictures of visitors pretending to hold the tower up to make their point. Others might argue that it's history worth seeing.
The same can be said for places like Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco or Times Square in New York. Both of these well-known attractions are mobbed with tourists eager to pay $10 for a bowl of "authentic" clam chowder or purchase an "I heart New York" T-shirt that will fall apart after three washings. But again, some might say that you can't visit New York or San Francisco without stopping by these places, even if you refuse to support the gift shops. Another telltale sign is if locals tend to avoid these spots like the plague.
What constitutes "tacky" is even more open for debate. One man's tacky is another man's must-see destination. We here at HowStuffWorks.com have scoured the world and attempted to narrow down what may be the top five tackiest tourist traps. Visit at your own risk and get ready to leave with a shot glass in hand.