Survey Ranks Must-See Europe Attractions

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Survey says: Skip the London Eye, but make time for The Parthenon in Greece. A Lonely Planet reader poll of 13,000-plus respondents gives the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to 10 of Europe's most iconic attractions.

The new survey by travel experts Lonely Planet might surprise some tourists making travel plans, reports USA Today.

The top vote went to The Parthenon, with 93% in favor. Lonely Planet's U.S. editor, Robert Reid, who commented on the results, said, "You cannot go to Athens and skip the Parthenon. Built in 438 BC for a big festival, it's dedicated to Athena, and its name means 'virgin's apartment.' It's one amazing apartment."

Hot on its heels is the The Colosseum in Rome, with 92% of people saying to go. About 86% of people polled advised seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but Reid says it's not really necessary to pay to visit. "It's essentially impossible to go to Paris and not get a glimpse of the structure that Paris once dismissed as the 'metal asparagus.' But do you really need to pay to go up it?" asks Reid.

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona round out the top five must-see attractions. On the bottom of the list, Ireland's Blarney Stone came in dead last with 27% saying to skip it.

Reid said, "Sorry, but kissing the Blarney Stone may be the most inexplicable cliché in all of Europe. Still, visitors pile into the 15th-century Blarney Castle and kiss that famous rock. Views are lovely at least. If you go, perhaps just take photos of those lined up to do it. Or just have another pint back at the pub."

The London Eye, gondola rides in Venice and Stonehenge in England were ranked closer to the bottom, but for some people, those experiences are on their bucket lists.

"If it's your dream to ride one [a gondola], go for it – just know you're likely to shell out €100 for the 40-minute experience," said Reid, but he offered an alternative. "A more local and far cheaper alternative is riding traghetto (a commuter gondola) across the Grand Canal for 1 euro. There are several crossings, but sadly, no, the drivers don't wear striped shirts and funny hats."

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