It’s easy to be excited about a place you have never visited before. But it’s also very easy to be misled about how cool or worthy of your time and money it is. A quick Google search usually suggests the most popular sites. Unfortunately, they can actually be the ones you want to avoid. The reality is that many locations simply don’t live up to the hype.
Can you really be in two, three or four places at the same time? No. So what’s the point of going all the way out there, in the middle of a desert with nothing else to do, to play Twister and bend four ways so you can touch a tiny area of four states? Spend your time more wisely and take your family to an adventure in any of the four states.
The tours are not going to teach you anything you don’t already know about this famous area of Amsterdam, where you can still see, sometimes, women of the oldest profession on display (even though they will probably be on their phones). Don’t spend too much time there; it may become repetitive at every corner you turn in to.
The painting is small, first of all. It’s really about as big as an A4 printing paper. You already know what it looks like. Newsflash: You’re not going to see it from up close. Not just because there is a lot of people there, always, but because there is a guard preventing you from doing so. Choose the train-station-turned-museum Musée d’Orsay, especially if you are a Vincent van Gogh fan.
This popular beach surrounds Sydney. It was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2008. The beach is only about 0.62 miles long, but attracts more than two million people a year. Can you do the math? It’s too crowded and rubbish is everywhere, taking away from the beauty of the beach.
Why would you pay to stand in the middle of a field surrounded by fake buildings? Also, these are just film sets, not actual buildings. If you are a real fan of the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series though, then you are probably going to enjoy it.
Italy is a beautiful country but the Tower Pisa is overrated. If you don’t have anything to do all day and you’ve been to more interesting attractions, then by all means stand in line for a long time and spend money to walk up the slanted tower and then take photos pretending you’re fixing it. “A bit disappointed that there’s not much else in the vicinity to see/do,” a review on TripAdvisor says.
People go to see glaring lights. But every big city in the world has similar sites. There is nothing unique about Times Square. The area is so crowded all day long that it takes minutes to walk one block. If you like being pushed around and spending a lot of money on something you can buy anywhere else, then visit. Snap a few photos and never go there again. No doubt you will find a better place in a city of five huge boroughs and 8.4 million people.
You don’t always see the most famous celebrities. Another reason the waxworks would be a waste of time and money is because they simply look creepy. The photos of the figures you see online must have been photoshopped because, when seen in real life, they don’t look like anything but shiny dolls. It also depends on whom you want to see. The museum in Hong Kong focuses mostly on Chinese stars, while the one in London on British celebrities. The most famous figure there is, arguably, David Cameron, a former prime minister.
This is basically a tourist trap for foreigners who don’t know any better. If you expect to see a pub every few feet, this is where you go. But this area does not represent what Dublin, or the country, is about. You will not find any locals here; they avoid the place by all means.
There is no doubt that it will be very cool to be right on the Equator, even if just for a few seconds, but you won’t get that experience where Ecuador says you can. A modern GPS unit shows that the actual Equator lies about 780 feet north of the indicated line. The land near it is crossed by a ravine and it is not suitable to hold a monument, so the builders chose a different location for the line, according to Amusing Planet.
You are going to be much better off staying at a resort on a smaller island in the Bahamas. The Atlantis only looks good from the outside. It’s expensive and the service is not that great. “All very deceiving,” as some people have said on TripAdvisor. Many people complain about the rooms – they are old and need renovating.
If all you want to do is look at lights and lose your hard-earned money at the slots, then this is the place for you. But how long can you do this for? After an hour or two it becomes overwhelming. Believe it or not, there are many free things to do in Vegas, and visiting its (adventurous) surrounding areas is actually a much better idea.
It’s really small – much tinier than its seems – and it’s just a stone. There really is no reason to spend more than a few seconds looking at it. Also, this is only a replica. The original one is kept inside to protect it from vandals.
Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands. Tourists go to buy souvenirs or to go on a boat ride to “catch” the monster. Nessie’s existence has never been proven. Scientists have yet to find anything. So you’ll basically be spending a lot of money for nothing. Since you’re already in the Highlands, why don’t you explore the famous the mountain range, which is one of the most beautiful on Earth. See the spectacular unspoiled nature with rugged massifs, deep blue creeks and empty valleys where Red Deer rule the hills, and see what the fuss is all about.
Millions of people go every year to see the figures of former U.S. Presidents, who laid a foundation for the country, carved in stone on Mount Rushmore. But some people may not know that the monument is actually hated by Native Americans because it was built on sacred land the government took from them. Also, the monument is much smaller than it appears on photos. Most people end up being disappointed for having to travel in the middle of nowhere to see some rocks.
This is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. But the customer service is terrible, and the views can be obstructed if the weather is even a bit cloudy. As is the case with most observation points, the lines are long and the right to take picture of the skyline is pricey.
Kissing Ireland’s Blarney Stone is a centuries-old tradition. It is supposed to give a person the gift of articulateness and persuasiveness. But in order to get there, you have to climb up over 100 steps and then back down. Not to mention, that kissing the stone is just asking to get sick; your lips are touching something thousands of others have kissed. Do you really want to spend hours of your life getting there, waiting and then going back to get everyone else’s bacteria, lipstick and saliva?
This is another famous tourist attraction the appeal of which has all but disappeared due to endless crowds and a designated walkway. You can’t see them from up close and you certainly can’t touch them. So what’s the point? All of this makes this ancient monument seem quite ordinary. You can actually get a lot closer to the Callanish Standing Stones in Scotland.
If you want to visit one of the hottest places on the planet, then you won’t be disappointed. Other than that, Dubai offers lots of dust, sand, skyscrapers, and glass—all of this kind of makes it look fake. The most thrilling adventure is catching spectacular views from the top of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. Also, Dubai is simply too expensive. You don’t have to go all the way there to break the bank.
If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to all of them. Unless you have hundreds of dollars to waste, plan a trip there a year in advance, and make reservations months before, you’ll leave with a massive headache after a full day of maneuvering among crowds, eating fast food and sweets, and waiting in a line for hours for just one ride. Consider a smaller but cheaper and less crowded theme park that also has roller coasters and waterslides.
This luxury department store is where you can spend millions in a few minutes. Why? You can go and just look, but, again, why would you do that? It’s always crowded. Many people complain of the bad service at bars and eateries – extremely overpriced, even for such a high-end store, and not being served for a while even though they are not busy.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame, also known as a sidewalk with some stars in a rough part of town, is not as exciting as it may seem. According to a review on reddit.com: “I’ve been all over but nothing is more overrated than Hollywood. It’s cool to see for a day or two, the walk of fame and the studios and all that. But it’s a dirty place with overpriced hotels and bars/restaurants surrounded by hundreds of super-aggressive homeless people.”
The lines are huge. You basically need to clear half of your day so that you can wait, and then wait some more, until you finally get to the top. The ticket is pricey, too - $37. Go to the Top of the Rock instead for the same views, including of the Empire State Building, and smaller lines. (Admission price is $28-$34)
If you could just arrive and get up without having to wait for hours, then the Eiffel Tower would probably not be on this list. The truth is that the tower is pretty when looked at, from a far, not when you’re looking from it. It’s also expensive. The views are pretty much the same, minus the crowds, from the top of Montmartre.
While this place is a Spring Break favorite, the crowds and the noise are off-putting. The fact that this is mostly a place for tourists, and most Americans, which means most people are not likely to return to the same restaurant, the food is not that good at all. Oaxaca might be a better option, especially if you like to experience the true Mexican culture.
The cable car system is a famous attraction in the city. This original unique cable car still operates in the city and it's very popular, but the line to get on is very long, especially on the weekends. You can easily wait about two hours – time you can spend exploring this gorgeous city without bumping into others.
This is one of the more typical, “touristy” Australian adventures. It’s a wide steel arch bridge, and that’s it. You can climb it, which will make this touristy experience much better. Don’t just go to see it; it’s a bridge.
The German parliament building is a strange attraction. It has a lot of history but the whole idea of visiting is to make it to the glass dome for a panoramic view of Berlin. If so, then you should go to Panoramapunkt, a 25-story tower in Potsdamer Platz. It’s higher that the Reichstag, which means better views, and it has fewer people.
Built nearly 2,500 years ago as a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena , the Parthenon used to be worth a trip but, unfortunately, not lately. Many of its best sculptures are at the British Museum in London. Also, it has been under construction to restore it, so you can’t even see it in its full glory.
With a history of the infamous Salem Witch Trial it’s no wonder that the city is a site of many hauntings. But that’s it. Unless you’re into that kind of thing, Salem is just going to be a disappointment. The buildings are not particularly pretty or impressive. People, or even staff at museums, are rarely even dressed as witches. There are plenty of shops to buy things, though.
Sarah Charlesworth/Wikimedia Commons
“The art on display was not only uninspiring and soulless, but extremely sparse,” a person wrote on TripAdvisor. Others say that the building is more interesting than the contents. Many people complain of the “terrible” staff and poor customer care.
ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com
Aside from the fact that Cairo has pollution levels that may kill you, the city ends up disappointing people because of its famous tourist attraction – the Pyramids of Giza. Too crowded and the Sphinx is much smaller than it appears on photos. Also, the vendors constantly harassing people to buy stuff will probably make you want to leave very soon.
Next time you are considering a tropical vacation destination, think twice about Jamaica. Yes, the scenery is beautiful, but, according to many, the beaches are filthy. The public beaches only have a few garbage pails, leading to an abundance of trash on the beaches.
Brussels is a gorgeous city, so why would you want to go see and stare at a tiny, not to mention out of the way, statue? Besides, you’re not going to see the original any way. It had been stolen too many times.
Why would you want to spend money to be on a train and have no control over what part of the charming streets of Montmartre you see? Walk for free instead. (Bonus: You’ll get some exercises in and won’t worry about ruining your body while on vacation) Explore the hidden gems and get close to the really interesting art in the picturesque village of Picasso and Van Gogh.
Many people love Istanbul for its diverse cultures and history. But the city is too big, too crowded and too dirty. The streets are littered with vendors at night, getting in your way. They are even too aggressive sometimes, stopping you and offering you cheap items, preventing you from enjoying your stroll marveling at beautiful old buildings.
This popular city district is famous for its winding alleys, taverns and bars. But drinks are too expensive and there is a cover on top of that. It gets too crowded in the evenings. The idea might have been preserving the way people lived before the economic boom but the feel is certainly not that.
People are not that impressed with Dracula’s castle. Your time will be better spent marveling at the beauty of the Transylvania region. The castle is described as a tourist trap, from the stalls you walk past to the rooms and stairs that were hard to negotiate due to the number of tourists. Also, the castle doesn’t have much to do with Dracula, a fiction character anyway. It is not what has been described in the book. The confusion is due to the fact that the Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle.
It looks magnificent on photos but the experience is not quite the same. By the time you navigate through security and the massive crowds, you’re too tired and annoyed to enjoy the magic of the place and the stunning architecture. Also, the foreigners’ admission fee is much higher that the locals. Some may consider this to be unfair.
The Buckingham Palace is a magnificent castle that is absolutely worth a 5-visit. Getting there is easy and it’s close to a lot of other popular places in London that are more worthy of your time. Don’t wait for hours among thousands of people just to see the changing of the guards ritual. You’ll be disappointed because it looks like a marching band playing a popular music theme.
Too many people are the problem with Laguna Beach. They ruin the experience. Looking for parking is insane (isn’t it anywhere?) but finding a spot on the beach is equally annoying (and impossible). As soon as the weather warms up a bit, people flock there. The restaurants are mediocre, which is often the case with food in touristy places (they don’t have to worry about returning customers). Avoid, by any means necessary, going there during Spring Break.
This landmark in Chicago is famous because it’s on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. If you’re into unnecessarily expensive food and parks that try to resemble carnivals, even though their most famous attraction is a Ferris wheel, then good luck avoiding the traffic getting there. “The thing is that you can just go to the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building for free and have a beer while looking over almost the entire city. It's really an awful place with bad restaurants, bad t-shirts,” a recent review on TripAdvisor said.
It’s understandable that couples would like to go to Romeo and Juliet's balcony in the Casa di Giulietta in Verona, two other fictional characters. But before you go, be prepared that all you’ll really see is a chaotic site that looks like it’s overrun with trash –gum and paper. People leave love notes (it’s not clear why) and stick them with gum.
The Canadian side is arguably better and more impressive, and the falls are beautiful. The problem with this tourist attraction is the “hideous tat that surrounded [the falls],” people on TripAdvisor said. “If you like Blackpool/Reno/Vegas you won’t mind, but if you don’t like that sort of thing, then that is what you get.”
The iconic Red Square in Moscow is not all that impressive if you don’t know the history. You don’t need much time to spend there so combine your visit with other attractions such as a tour of the Kremlin or St. Basils cathedral.
Many travel magazines have declared Boracay “the best place to…” but this has taken its toll. Tourists complain of poor customer services, overdevelopment, and huge crowds. Avoid visiting from November to May. This is usually the dry season, and this is also the peak season in Boracay.
Don’t make the mistake of spending too much time on Bourbon Street. You may be overwhlemd by the sight of too many drunk people being silly. Stop in the Marigny and the Bywater districts, which are not far from the Quarter, for a more serene alternative to the jumble of drinking establishments; take a literary tour; marvel at the Mississippi; and visit Uptown and the Garden District by strolling along Magazine Street to see some of the most beautiful houses in the state (and possibly the country). The architecture is usually in a Greek revival-theme.
The Mall of America is home to more stores than any other mall in the country – but let’s be honest, it’s still just a mall. For some visitors this is enticing, but for others it’s overwhelming and difficult to navigate.
The famed festival that originated in Munich draws millions of visitors each year who, in turn, drink more than six million liters of German beer. Unless you make a reservation for one of the beer gardens at least months in advance, you’re not likely to get in. And if you do, you’ll either be standing or looking for a place to sit for an hour or so.
Sherlock Holmes is not a real person. He is a famous fictional character. Why do you want to pay $20 to see something anyone can set up in any old house that can look like the home of the famed detective? Neither Benedict Cumberbatch or any other actor who has played Holmes lives nearby, so don’t expect to get an authentic experience.