Hidden in Plain Sight


You see these attractions all the time, but you might not have seen their little secrets. From police stations in a light post to a ballroom in a busy train station, these concealed quarters are in the heart of the large crowds just barely escaping your view. Pull back the curtains and take a look at all the sneaky spots that you’re going to want to explore.

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Updated 3 years ago

Eiffel Tower

9 saves

Paris, France • Recommendation • 

The Eiffel Tower is probably the first item on your Paris itinerary, but there's something else hiding in the tower. Designer Gustave Eiffel added a secret apartment he furnished to be a cozy space of reflection after a day's work. Nowadays, you can also view the quaint little room through a window.

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial

1 save

Fort Collins, United States • Recommendation • 

Stowed away in Lincoln’s monument is the Hall of Records. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum planned to inscribe the walls with the nine most important events in American history. Now closed to the public, the archive holds 16 panels that detail the history of the mountain.

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Niagara Falls

1 save

Amherst, United States • Recommendation • 

After stepping off the Maid of Mist boat cruise at Niagara Falls, you can take a walk down the road and find a dark cave with sinister origins. The "Devil's Hole Cave" supposedly trapped an evil spirit that calls to the fearless adventurer in you.

  • Niagara Falls, NY, USA

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Basilica di San Marco (Saint Mark's Basilica)

5 saves

Venice, Italy • Recommendation • 

In the day, tourists flood the Western and Byzantine Church, but at night, Saint Mark's Basilica opens its gates to the crypt where you can find the remains of the Patriarchs of Venice including St. Mark's. Thread lightly in one of the most intimate visits you'll find in the world.

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Lincoln Memorial

4 saves

Washington, D.C., United States • Recommendation • 

Honest Abe doesn’t seem so honest when you discover the three-story basement right under your nose. The forgotten cave was filled with pillars to support the great emancipator’s throne. You can’t explore the caverns just yet, but there are plans by the National Park Service to open the undercroft to the public by the 2022 centennial.

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Leonardo da Vinci International Airport

1 save

Rome, Italy • Recommendation • 

The giant figure of Leonardo da Vinci in Fiumicino Airport might seem like your usual bronze statue, but artist Assen Peikov left a little easter egg in the great inventor’s likeness. Look closely and you will find a small hatch that contains two letters detailing the history of the land and people present at the unveiling of the statue.

  • +39 06 65951
  • Via dell' Aeroporto di Fiumicino, 00054 Fiumicino RM, Italy

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Flinders Street Railway Station

3 saves

Melbourne, Australia • Recommendation • 

Above the busiest station in Australia, you’ll find the withering remains of a ballroom on the third floor. In 1985, the space once held night classes, private gyms, and libraries for the betterment of the railway staff. The only ways you can dance here today are by invite or by the occasional Open House Melbourne lottery.

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The Greenbrier

1 save

Winston-Salem, United States • Recommendation • 

In the 1950s, the United States government made a deal with the Greenbrier Hotel to have a secret bunker where lawmakers could hide. (You’d be pretty scared in the middle of a revolution, too!) Project Greek Island now opens its doors to the public and you can view the shelter beneath the West Virginia Wing of the hotel.

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5 saves

Rome, Italy • Recommendation • 

If you’ve seen a gladiator movie, you’ve probably wondered where they keep the lions and all the weapons. Well, under the Colosseum is an immense area known as the hypogeum. You can roam these tunnels and explore the gladiators’ backstage.

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Trafalgar Square

1 save

London, United Kingdom • Recommendation • 

Back in World War I, the Metropolitan Police built a temporary police station right next to the square, but the public hated the idea of it. Instead, you can now report crimes to the hollowed out light fixture in the corner of Trafalgar Square.

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