We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What does "touristy" mean?

Ventry, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
Level Contributor
7,217 posts
118 reviews
Save Topic
What does "touristy" mean?

We often get posters looking to avoid "touristy" things, and get off the beaten track in search of the "authentic" experience. I'm never quite sure what either of these terms truly mean. Is it a case of ne'er the twain shall meet?

Aren't Newgrange and Clonmacnoise touristy in that the are set up for visitors? ( I'm old enough to remeber when you could just cycle up to the tumulus in Newgrange and just wander about free and easy)

I recently visted a relative in Spain who lives in an "authentic" Spanish town. It was grim, dusty, lifeless and had one dirty bar/restaurant serving processed food. Give me a nice tourist apartment in a tourist trap that has lots of nice restaurants. I won't complain

Open for discussion/debate/dust-up

Cavan
Destination Expert
for County Cavan
Level Contributor
4,449 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

The Irish 'tourist' industry like almost everything else these days comes at a price and the more it costs then the higher up the scale it goes. The Cliffs of Moher for instanse has become one of those 'must see' locations after millions of years where it was nothing more than the edge of a rocky escarpment. By making people pay to view the cliffs makes them 'touristy'. The same goes for the Book of Kells, I can remember visiting Trinity College library when there was very little fuss made about going to view the original book, now you get to see a copy. At Dublin airport it wasn't long ago that you could park a car near the main entrance to the terminal. In my opinion the word 'touristy is another word for money ~ 'you got it and we want it'.

Edited: 09 February 2012, 08:02
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
4,575 posts
184 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

I've often wondered the same thing Soonas, recently I thought it meant "not crowded" but I'm not sure!

I know loads of places which aren't touristy but I can't imagine tourists wanting to visit them... :-)

Ventry, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Dingle Peninsula
Level Contributor
7,217 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

@Cavan007 - You get to see a COPY of the Book of Kells????? Ah, surely not?

Cavan
Destination Expert
for County Cavan
Level Contributor
4,449 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

You are right Lollymod, the non-touristy places are not advertised and where you get to look for free. Two excellent examples in this part of the world would be the Loughcrew cairns and Fore abbey, both of which are absolute gems.

Remember also that the National Museums are free entry.

Edited: 09 February 2012, 08:18
Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
17,708 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

Touristy means you que up pay for something you used to wander around for free. Or a place where tourists go and pay more for everything than they would before someone decided that the place was an absolute must see.

Antarctica
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
25,271 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

I suppose tourists go to places for a reason. Good Old Queen Vic was on to a good thing (quote Dustin "go an ya good ting!!") when she visited Killarney.

Abbeyfeale, for example, isn't a touristy place. And nice and all as the people there are, I'm not sure Lonely Planet wouldn't find much there to trumpet about.

Buttevant, on the other hand, isn't a touristy place either but each time I go through I keep on thinking - next time when I'm not in a rush, I must stop and look. The town is beautiful and the old Abbey is definately very interesting looking.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
4,575 posts
184 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

When I see questions regarding non touristy things to do the synical part of me wants to suggest the dole office on North Cumberland St!!! You'll definitely get a sample of Irish culture here, right down to the 1950s architecture! Granted it probably isn't the best experience for someone touring the country!!!

After putting a lot of thought into it I've decided the least touristy things I like to do in Dublin are: my bike ride from the city centre to the wooden bridge at Dollymount and also sipping a tin of beer sitting at the Pavillions in Trinity College on a sunny day (while keeping an eye out for the college security guards!)

Interestingly both are almost free.... :-)

Dublin
Level Contributor
1,455 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

I think people wanting to see non touristy Ireland actually mean they want to see say, fantastic scenery but with no other tourists there so they can have it to themselves.

Bit like saying "I KNOW about the lakes of Killarney but I want you to tell me where are the places just as beautiful as the lakes of Killarney but without all those pesky crowds!"

Antarctica
Destination Expert
for Limerick, Killarney
Level Contributor
25,271 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

But the problem is, that if we divulge such places people like Rick Steves will latch on and soon these non-touristed places will become the new touristed places and then the old touristed places will become the new non-touristed places and then the tourists looking for the non-tourist places will be directed to the new non-touristed places which used to be the old touristed places.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Loughrea, Southport, Clifden, Connemara
Level Contributor
17,708 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What does "touristy" mean?

Only if HE actually likes the place. Otherwise it will be described as some place 2 steps short of the last place on the planet anyone should go,

I hear a solo Dolphin was seen playing with the Lough Ree Monster.

Edited: 09 February 2012, 10:11