So you've got a case of wanderlust and an urge to travel to an exotic destination after seeing a jaw-dropping image on Instagram or Facebook. Chances are you aren't the only person who wants to visit the Great Wall of China or the Palace of Versailles.

Before you get your hopes up too high that you'll be able to peacefully enjoy a vacation in near solitude and capture that "Insta-worthy" photo, you may want to take a look at just what these settings look like in real life. You may be in a for a big surprise.

Here are several popular destinations and what the experience is really like for most tourists.

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China expectation
Imagine meditating while taking a peaceful walk along the ancient Great Wall of China. (Photo: zhu difeng/Shutterstock)
Great Wall of China reality
More like you and thousands of other people packed in like sardines moving at a snail's pace. (Photo: Bankoo/Shutterstock)

Venice, Italy

Venice Italy
What could be more romantic than a gondola ride through the canals of Venice? (Photo: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock)
Venice Italy crowds
Being stuck in a gondola traffic jam doesn't exactly set the mood for a date night. (Photo: Stanislav Samoylik/Shutterstock)

The Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa at the Louvre
Thousands of people flock to The Louvre in Paris to see Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 'Mona Lisa.' (Photo: Takashi Images/Shutterstock)
Mona Lisa reality
Good luck even trying to get close enough to see the painting, which is only about 3 feet by 2 feet. (Photo: lapon pinta/Shutterstock)

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza

Great Sphinx Egypt
You probably imagine the towering Great Pyramids of Giza are in a desert far away from modern civilization. (Photo: Pius Lee/Shutterstock)
Cairo Egypt and Great Pyramids
In reality, the pyramids are right next to the bustling city of Cairo. (Photo: Prin Adulyatham/Shutterstock)

Santorini, Greece

Oia Santorini Greece
The blue-roofed white buildings of Oia make the perfect setting for Greece's sunsets. (Photo: Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock)
Santorini crowded buildings
Too bad you'll be fighting the crowds to get a good seat to watch that sunset. (Photo: PitK/Shutterstock)

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge expectation
Stonehenge is a sight to behold, making you wonder how it was formed and is still standing in modern times. (Photo: Brian C. Weed/Shutterstock)
Stonehenge reality
Then you get there and realize there really isn't that much to see. (Photo: Vivvi Smak/Shutterstock)

Palace of Versailles, France

Palace of Versailles
You can imagine what life would have been like if your were a king and had the entire palace to call your home. (Photo: Takashi Images/Shutterstock)
Hall of Mirrors Palace of Versailles crowds
But you're not the only one who wants to imagine a life of such decadence. (Photo: Fotos593/Shutterstock)


Maldives tropical resort
The Maldives is best known for the bungalows that sit above the water. (Photo: Stockforlife/Shutterstock)
Maldives trash on beach
When in reality, the island has a growing problem with garbage and plastic pollution. (Photo: Sappasit/Shutterstock)

Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Blue Lagoon Iceland expectation
Ahhh ... the peaceful, calm serenity of Blue Lagoon. You can wade in to absorb its healing properties. (Photo: Alla Laurent/Shutterstock)
Blue Lagoon Iceland reality
But if you look in a different direction, you'll see this seemingly industrial setting, the pools surrounded by buildings and bridges. (Photo: Palmi Gudmundsson/Shutterstock)