see the sights

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see the sights

To visit or view noteworthy things or locations, especially those frequented by tourists. I think we'll just spend the day seeing the sights, and then we can meet up with you after you finish work. I don't care for guided tours around cities I'm visiting. I'd rather see the sights in my own time.
See also: see, sight
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

see the sights

to see the important things in a place; to see what tourists usually see. We plan to visit Paris and see the sights. Everyone left the hotel early in the morning to see the sights.
See also: see, sight
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

see the sights

View noteworthy features or objects, especially when visiting a place. For example, It's impossible to see all the sights of Paris in just a week. [Mid-1700s]
See also: see, sight
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

see the ˈsights

visit the famous places in a city, country, etc: We spent our first day in Rome seeing the sights. ▶ ˈsightseeing, ˈsightseer nouns: We spent the afternoon sightseeing.There are always sightseers outside Buckingham Palace.
See also: see, sight
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Now she saw the sight of death, for the dead lay before her like black water in a sunless pool.
I assure you, I saw the sight a month ago and it's dancing before my eyes to this moment.
Fam trip participants enjoyed a local tuk-tuk tour, discovered Thai cuisine, explored Bangkok's glittering Grand Palace, relaxed with a traditional Thai massage at Wat Pho, and saw the sights of the city on a serene river and canal boat tour.
Characters Jake and Fizz who were originally co-created by Merseyside TV producer and director Will Brenton, from Maghull took to the stage at the Cavern and saw the sights in Mathew Street as they celebrate 10 years in showbusiness.
As I got older, we went more to cities and saw the sights. We also visited more far afield family like my aunt in Canada.
Roy has been to Oman several times before, also for scrabble, but never saw the sights of the Sultanate like those shown under the guidance of Wimal Fernando, an official of the Oman League for Scrabble.
We've recently come back from Paris where we toured the museums and saw the sights.
Twenty-five students and 10 support staff from Hereward College, in Bramston Crescent, Tile Hill, a further education college for students with disabilities, saw the sights of Calais and went shopping.