It's needless to say that sightseeing tops the list of things to do when you are abroad. Why? There can be many reasons starting with broading one's horizons and ending with psychological treatment. Sight seeing enables us to compare countries and see what other places are like. Sightseeing means getting away from your dirty crowded city, escaping from the boring routine and watching impressive, fascinating, spectacular, incredible, fantastic and simply amazing sceneries pieces of architecture, perhaps in another dirty and crowded city. Hiring a local guide is not obligatory but it can enable you to get a better view of the place and to get some additional information.
No matter how strange it may seen but I'm not fond of sightseeing. I find it boring to look at man-made buildings and monuments, no matter how beautiful they are. I'm much more interested in more natural things that have something to do with the everyday life of the people in the place. I take a slightly different view of the question of sightseeing. As I see it, sightseeing means feeling the atmosphere and even being involved in the atmosphere first of all. Pictures of well-known monuments, buildings and places are available worldwide - is it an easy way of "seeing the sight"?
That is the reason I would like to see rural parts of India such as Goa and Chinese monasteries, lakes of Canada and jungle of Brazil, deserts of Australia and everlasting brightness of the Hawaii islands - they all have the original wildness and there are no vendors around offering to buy souvenirs.
I can't understand the popularity of European capitals with tourists from all over the world. Do they really include many "sights to see"? I guess I'll never understand it.