They say that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. It’s seeing a different culture, meeting people who have entirely different backgrounds than you, creating everlasting memories, and experiencing moments that will forever stay engraved in your heart.
Yet, so many places, so little time. With so many locations one could go to, deciding on your next travel destination can be pretty challenging. Thus, people seek recommendations from other travelers and the internet on where to go and what to visit next. And the internet is full of articles and blogs sharing “the best travel destinations” or “must-visit places.” Yet, sometimes these tourist spots don’t quite live up to the hype.
Disappointing, not what I expected, underwhelming, and would not recommend – how some people describe their experience visiting ‘must-see’ and ‘must-visit’ tourist attractions. Below, we have collected some of the most underwhelming travel experiences people shared on the Travel subreddit.
Do you have any horrible travel stories to share? Have you ever visited a tourist attraction that didn’t meet your expectations?
More info: Reddit
Naples. I did a big trip through Europe after college and spent about a month in Italy. Naples was easily the worst place I visited. It was seedy, rundown, trashy, and unsafe. I would never go back
Dubai. It’s the most soulless, cultureless, and artificial city I’ve been to. The shameless and obscene display of bling-bling only adds to this vibe, and the supertall skyscrapers and mega malls get old sooner or later.
To top it off, all of this is built overnight on what is essentially slave labor.
Egypt, all the beauty and awe of the ancient civilisation is completely outshone by how absolutely horrible the modern civilisation is. Think of all the worst parts of India and then add sand to it
The London eye. It’s so overly expensive, and you have to wait in a long line for your turn. If you want a good view of London, I’d recommend checking out St. Paul’s Cathedral (even if you’re not religious). It’s a lot cheaper, and if you’re able to climb the stairs you can go all the way to the top and take in an even better view
Calanque de Sormiou in Marseille, France. Called one of the best beaches in Marseille, I expected a wonderful, spacious, and quiet white-sand beach with crystal-clear blue water. But what I found was a packed, small, and polluted strip of sand. Turns out you can’t always trust the idyllic photos of a destination
While the Louvre is wonderful, the Mona Lisa was a huge disappointment.
The painting itself is tiny and there are always hordes of people around it.
There are a million better things to see at the Louvre.
Disney Parks. Want to eat? Be ready to Shell out $50 a person per day. Oh, you came for the rides? Enjoy the four or five you make it on unless it’s a busy day, those days enjoy the two or three
Plitvice National Park in Croatia was a disappointment. I expected a stunning natural wonder, and hoped it would be a little crowded on a random Monday in September (not peak season, not a weekend). The reality: a perfectly pleasant national park that was absolutely jam-packed with the world’s pushiest, screaming, selfish visitors. I was basically trapped on a boardwalk shuffling along desperately just trying to get a space to see the waterfalls
Hollywood. The most disappointing garbage and pee covered place on earth
Central Restaurant in Lima, Peru was a big disappointment. Ranked the fifth best restaurant in the world, I was expecting an amazing meal, especially for the hefty price. It was admittedly a very impressive meal in the sense that it was full of unusual ingredients prepared in interesting ways and plated beautifully, but taste-wise, everything was just OK. It was not nearly as good as many other, less acclaimed restaurants I’ve eaten at
The Guinness brewery tour in Dublin. It was an absolute tourist trap. They don’t even brew beer at the storefront any more.
I didn’t get anything out of Las Vegas. It was cool to see the themed hotels but besides that it was just an overpriced cultureless soulless city designed to entertain you
Casablanca, Morocco. I think it’s the least interesting place in a fascinating country. It felt like a dumpy business district on the coast. Other than one obscenely expensive mosque built by a previous king, there’s nothing to see. But the rest of Morocco? It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. Fez, Essaouira, the High Atlas Mountains, and Marrakesh were all gorgeous
Masaya Volcano National Park in Nicaragua. I had wanted to see it in person ever since seeing photos on Google and YouTube videos, but it really didn’t live up to the hype. I feel bad saying it, but I wasn’t impressed
I wasn’t a fan of Lake Bled, Slovenia. The photos make it look so majestic, surrounded by nature in solitude. In reality though, the whole shoreline is covered by hotels, businesses, overpriced restaurants, and touristy shops. You’ll spend a lot of money to take a little row boat out to the island, wander around for a few minutes, eat your hundredth cone of gelato, and then row back. I’d say to visit Lake Bohinj instead because it’s far more peaceful
Mount Rushmore was horrendously underwhelming. Years ago, my family drove across the US. For hundreds of miles as you drive you see huge signs counting down the distance to Mount Rushmore. For days the excitement builds…and then you get there. It is four faces on mountains. There is nothing else there. Just four faces you’ve seen time and time again in pictures and textbooks and movies
Ha Long Bay in Vietnam was a bit of a letdown. Based on the photos, I was so excited to visit, but there was so much garbage in the water it felt extremely polluted. Our junk ship operators were visibly annoyed with us because we didn’t want to buy any of the touristy trinkets they were pressuring us to purchase on board. I’m glad I went and experienced Ha Long Bay, but I wouldn’t go back
Niagara Falls. I didn’t expect the falls to be in a city. I expected something more like a national park, but the whole falls and its surroundings just felt like a giant shopping mall
The Skybridge at the Grand Canyon was definitely a bad experience and an overpriced one. I don’t understand why so many tourists do this. There’s the entire freakin’ Grand Canyon right there for you to access for free. The park offers thousands of breathtaking views all over. And exploring the trail with its ledges and views is thrilling enough. Walking the Skybridge is a far cry from the best experience you can have there
The Temple Bar area in Dublin. Sure, walking the streets is nice, and there are some neat shops and street art to see. But going in a pub in Temple Bar? Unless you like overpaying for drinks and listening to some guy sing a cover of ‘Wonderwall,’ I wouldn’t recommend it