Lonely Planet Writer

The best 15 April Fools' travel pranks worldwide

Lonely Planet’s Destination Editors did a global trawl to bring you the best and funniest April Fools’ Day pranks. From cheap flights from Australia in the cargo hold, to Germany reinstating the monarchy via a reality televison show, Paris ejecting loud tourists, a ban on the ‘full English’ breakfast in Benidorm and a pygmy hippo cafe in London, publications globally were at their most creative when it came to dreaming up ways to fool the public. Read on to see if you were taken in today?

The Spire in Dublin's O'Connell Street
The Spire in Dublin’s O’Connell Street Image by William Murphy / CC BY-SA 2.0

1. Spire of Dublin to be removed

RTE reported that Dublin’s iconic silver Spire would be removed from O’Connell St as part of the 1916 Easter Rising commemoration events. Read more: rte.ie 

Hershey's Chocolate World
Hershey’s Chocolate World Image by Prayitno / CC BY 2.0

2. Worldwide cocoa shortage

An Australian publication went to great lengths to convince us that there would be no more chocolate in the world by the end of this year. Read more: finder.com.au

The Shard, London
The Shard, London Image by smuconlaw / CC BY-SA 2.0

3. London’s Shard to become climbing wall

The UK Scouts tried to get us to believe that the entire length of the Shard, London’s tallest skyscraper, would soon become a giant climbing wall. Read more: scouts.org.uk

Heathrow is now taking measures to screen passengers travelling from the worst-affected countries for Ebola.
Could you get into the UK in a modified cargo crate? Image by eGuide Travel / CC BY 2.0

4. Cheap flights in the cargo hold

Flight Centre Australia tried to get budget-minded travellers to believe they could fly from Oz to London for just AUS$199 in a modified cargo crate. If only. Read more: flightcentre.com.au

Winnie the Pygmy hippo tucks into a special veggie birthday cake.
Winnie the Pygmy hippo tucks into a special veggie birthday cake. Image by Ben Birchall/PA Wire

5. Hippos in London

The Metro reported that an enterprising Londoner would be capitalising on the city’s recent affinity for animal cafes by opening a pygmy hippo cafe. Read more: metro.co.uk 

The Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Image by McPig / CC BY-SA 2.0

6. Leaning Tower of Pisa to become a hotel

The Telegraph tried to convince us that we would soon be able to book a room in the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as it was to be transformed into a hotel called the 3.99 Degrees. We especially loved their photoshopped image. Read more: telegraph.co.uk

Women's urinals could be introduced in Paris.
No loud tourists in Paris cafes? Image by Moyan Brenn / CC BY 2.0

7. Loud tourists to be rejected at Paris cafes

This one really had us going: a purported group called Manger en Paix (Eat in Peace) called for bistros and cafes in Paris to post signs and implement systems to deter tourists from eating noisily. Read more: thelocal.fr

Latest visa regulations in Japan should relax the requirements of Chinese visitors.
Would you abide by stand on the left laws in Oasaka? Image by Max Braun / CC BY-SA 2.0

8. Osaka implementing ‘stand on the left’ law

The Japan Times tried to tell us that the city government of Osaka had passed a law that would require people to stand on the left and allow passers to walk up on the right on escalators. Read more: japantimes.co.jp 

Actor Dean Norris poses with a fan at the Breaking Bad screening lab.
Actor Dean Norris poses with a fan at the Breaking Bad screening lab. Image by The Conmunity – Pop Cult / CC BY 2.0

9. Los Pollos Hermanos coming to south London

A south London blogger would have us believe that a branch of Los Pollos Hermanos, the famed-but-faux chain chicken restaurant that featured in Breaking Bad, would be opening an outlet in Greenwich. Read more: transpot.blogspot.co.uk

Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber duck in Pittsburgh.
Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber duck in Pittsburgh. Did Taiwan fall for the ruse? Image by Mark Dixon / CC BY 2.0

10. Giant Rubber Duck running for mayor of Taipei

This one didn’t have us going for long: a researcher was purportedly trying to get the Taiwanese public to vote for the giant rubber duck – an inflatable art installation – to run for Taipei mayor in this year’s elections. Read more: wantchinatimes.com 

The Top Gear studio.
The Top Gear studio. Image by Tony Harrison / CC BY-SA 2.0

11. Former Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson joins the Guardian

The Guardian had a very realistic video that appeared to depict former BBC presenter and star of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, as joining the Guardian’s fossil fuel divestment initiative. Read more: theguardian.com 

A full English breakfast - to be banned in Spain?
A full English breakfast – to be banned in Spain? Image by Ewan Munro / CC BY-SA 2.0

12. Spanish holiday resort banning English breakfasts

A town in Spain known for implementing extreme policies was reportedly set to ban the serving of ‘full English’ breakfasts. Benidorm on the Costa Blanca is a favourite among British holidaymakers. Read more: thelocal.es

Reichstag building, Berlin.
Reichstag building, Berlin. Image by Ralf Schulze / CC BY 2.0

13. Germany reinstating its monarchy

An announcement was made that the German government was bringing back its constitutional monarchy in an updated form: the new king would be chosen via a reality TV show. Read more: thelocal.de

Launch of a previous SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Was the force with you today?.Image by Steve Jurvetson / CC BY 2.0

14. The Force really is with you

The folks at European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) confirmed what we’ve all known for decades: the energy that Luke Skywalker harnessed is real and learn to use the Force we all can. Read more: home.web.cern.ch

BMW centre opens in Asia. Image by SorinNechita / CC BY-SA 2.0
Falling for an April Fool reaped a car as a reward for one NZ woman. Image by SorinNechita / CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by SorinNechita / CC BY-SA 2.0

15. Gullible lady gets free car

The April Fools joke of the day became a dream come true for one New Zealand woman when she was the only one to try to claim a joke promotion. The promo offered a free BMW to the first person to show up at the dealership with a coupon clipped from the local newspaper. Tianna Marsh was the only one to turn up actually believing the ad and was given a BMW 1 Series worth NZ$50,000 for being taken in. Read more: nzherald.co.nz