WORLD NEWS

The places you won’t be able to visit in 2024

Dec 29, 2023, 6:00 PM

phantom of the opera sign...

'Phantom of the Opera' lovers are known as 'phans.' (Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

(Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — This year was all about making up for lost time. Following the pandemic, visitors flooded Europe’s biggest cities and America’s national parks as a form of “revenge travel,” going to – or returning to – some of the destinations that had been inaccessible during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the world has changed a lot since the pandemic’s onset. Many businesses closed as people transitioned to working remotely and not every tourist attraction survived the period unscathed.

Whether closing permanently or temporarily, here’s a list of places you can’t visit in 2024.

Centre Pompidou, Paris

Although the inside-on-the-outside Paris museum still looks shockingly modern, the Centre Pompidou is actually in its sixth decade. Following the Summer Olympics in France’s capital this summer, the Pompidou will take a rest to undergo a 260 million euro ($282 million) modernization program.

“Our Lady of the Pipes” will be closed through 2030. Meanwhile Pompidou’s sister museum in Brussels is now in the works, with a projected opening date in 2025.

Plan B: The biggest problem art lovers have in Paris is narrowing down their options. Palais de Tokyo also has a tremendous modern art collection, while the Musee de Quai Branly opened in 2006 with a history-spanning assortment of art and artifacts from around the world.

Splash Mountain, Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California

One of Disney’s best-known attractions had its last rides in 2023: Splash Mountain. The log flume ride was originally inspired by the film “Song of the South,” which has long been criticized for what the NAACP once called a “dangerously glorified picture of slavery.”

Both the Splash Mountains at Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida will reopen in altered form as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by the movie “The Princess and the Frog.”

Plan B: Asia’s reopening makes it an ideal time for Disney superfans to visit the company’s parks in Japan and China. The smallest park, Disneyland Hong Kong, unveiled the first-ever World of Frozen in fall 2023.

Noma, Copenhagen

The world’s best restaurant is officially hanging up its crown.

Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that popularized New Nordic cuisine, will serve its final customers in 2024. However, it won’t disappear completely.

In 2025, Noma will reopen as “a pioneering test kitchen dedicated to the work of food innovation and the development of new flavors,” according to a statement on its website.

Plan B: The world’s current best restaurant is Central, in the foodie hot spot of Lima. Even if you can’t snag a table, there are plenty of great places in Peru’s capital that showcase quinoa, potatoes, herbs, fish, chilis and other local ingredients.

Phantom of the Opera, New York City

After 35 years and nearly 14,000 performances, the iconic musical “Phantom of the Opera: took its final bow on the New York City stage in 2023.

It retired with the honor of being Broadway’s longest-running show ever, beating out other popular musicals like “Cats,” “Les Miserables” and “A Chorus Line.”

Plan B: Although Phantom has disappeared into the night, Broadway is still as fun as ever for theatergoers. These days, though, it’s easier to snag tickets to “Spamalot” or “Kimberly Akimbo” on the TodayTix app rather than wait in the famous TKTS line. Once you’ve booked your seats, get to Times Square early to check out the surprisingly cool places that even the snobbiest NYC locals like to visit.

Pergamonmuseum, Berlin

Home to the world-famous Ishtar Gate, the Pergamonmuseum is part of Berlin’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Museum Island complex.

The museum be closed until 2027 as part of an ambitious upgrade project, which will create a new central pedestrian zone, expand exhibition halls and more.

Plan B: Travelers who want to get a taste of the Pergamonmuseum can visit the nearby Das Panorama, where some pieces from the museum will be on display during the renovation work. Other Museum Island attractions are open as well, including the Neues Museum (which has a rich collection of Egyptian art and artifacts).

Elephant Trunk Rock, Taiwan

This popular Taiwan photo spot – which did, in fact, resemble an elephant’s trunk – collapsed into the sea on December 15, 2023.

The site on the island’s northeast coast had long been at risk due to erosion and was blocked from public access since 2010.

Plan B: Travelers eager to experience the beauty of Taiwan have plenty of options. The Cuifeng Lake Circular Trail, the world’s first certified “quiet trail,” made its debut last year. And if you’d rather drive, the Southern Cross-Island Highway weaves through some of the prettiest countryside in Taiwan.

Park Hyatt, Tokyo

Widely considered the first Western-style luxury hotel in Japan’s capital when it opened in 1994, the Park Hyatt has had a glamorous life.

But for its 30th birthday, the hotel will close in May 2024 to go through what Hyatt calls a “property-wide renewal.”

The rooftop New York Bar, which film fans will recognize from the movie “Lost in Translation,” will close earlier, starting its renovations in January. Reopening will take place in 2025.

Plan B: Consider getting out of Tokyo and spending time exploring the rest of the country – as well as its other top-notch accommodations. Two rural getaways of note are Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a ryokan that happens to be the world’s oldest hotel, and Treeful, a series of handmade treehouses deep in the Okinawan forest.

Notre Dame, Paris

In 2019, the world watched in horror as Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire, and donations quickly poured in to restore the popular icon.

French President Emmanuel Macron originally supported a more modern rebuild of the famed church, but the traditionalists won out and the 850-year-old attraction will be restored to its original look.

Notre Dame is slated for a December 2024 reopening.

Plan B: When it comes to churches, France has an embarrassment of riches. Beyond the capital, highlights include the imposing Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille, pink-tinted Strasbourg Cathedral, or a more modern design like Le Corbusier’s Colline Notre Dame du Haut in the town of Ronchamp.

Smithsonian Castle, Washington, DC

The very first building that bore the name Smithsonian is taking some time off for a makeover.

The museum complex’s main building, often called the Smithsonian Castle, closed in February 2023 and will be shut for “about five years” to complete repairs and upgrades to the structure, which opened in 1855. Digital tours, talks and other events will be going on in the meantime.

Plan B: Although the Castle is off-limits for now, two major Washington, DC museums are open again following renovation work of their own: the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vineyard, Milan

It was a tourist destination for half a century, but a billionaire buyer has taken the remains of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Italian vineyard into private ownership.

French billionaire Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH, purchased the Milan property in December 2022 and has not made any statements about when – or if – travelers will ever be able to visit it again.

Plan B: Even if Da Vinci’s former property isn’t available for public view, many of his most famous artworks still are. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence has several paintings, including a self-portrait, on display, “The Last Supper” is at Santa Maria delle Grazie church in Milan, and “Vitruvian Man” is at Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice.

Star Wars: Galactic Cruiser, Disney World

Despite a splashy unveiling and a connection to one of the world’s best-known pieces of intellectual property, the Star Wars-themed Galactic Cruiser at Walt Disney World closed down in 2023.

The immersive experience was a full-service hotel but also offered lightsaber training, encounters with droids and characters from the movies, and drinks at Oga’s Cantina. Disney called the move to shut Galactic Cruiser “a business decision.”

Plan B: Some real-life Star Wars filming locations make great vacation destinations. Hotel Sidi Driss in Tunisia played the role of the Skywalker family home on Tatooine, and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, Iceland, was the planet of Eadu in “Rogue One.”

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The places you won’t be able to visit in 2024