You can travel to Rome and skip the pizza place your friend told you about but you have to visit the Colosseum. Some travel destinations are simply must-see. But that doesn't mean you'll like them.
To learn more about these places, Reddit user u/superlemondaze made a post on the platform, asking: "What's a tourist attraction you've been to that was 100% not worth the hype?" And people responded.
As of today, the question has 23.6K upvotes and 17.2K comments, many of which describe why some of the most popular spots can feel overcrowded, overpriced, and simply overrated.
#1Machu Picchu. I respect the Incas for building it, the real issue I have with it is the current management. It’s flooded with people (they let in over 3x the cap sto make money) being annoying and it’s very expensive, they bus people up a huge hill all day and we are required to have a tour guide and only spend 3 mins at certain areas. It’s misrepresenting the history of the Incas to people with selfie sticks. Not my fave
You are WAY better off seeing the Inca capitol, Cusco because it’s where they actually lived and thrived. See Sasqsyhuaman and the Qoricancha sun temple. Go on a backpacking trip and you will find Inca and pre Inca stuff Everywhere. With no idiotic tourists families. I highly recommend it.
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#2Sydney Opera House. The tours are expensive and the inside is kind of underwhelming. The outside is free and is also the best part. ALTERNATIVE: Just walk around Sydney harbor. It's free and gorgeous.
Image credits: CaligulaAndHisHorse
#3The glass bridge over the grand canyon.
Total rip-off tourist trap.
It takes HOURS to get there from Vegas
They charge you $20 to park in an empty desert
They charge you $30 per person to take the bus from the parking to the attraction (it's like walking from parking into a mall - no distance at all!)
Then they charge you $30 per person if you actually want to walk on the bridge
You cannot take pictures or bring a camera onto the bridge, but they will sell them to you, of course.
There is one overpriced place to eat where they sell you canned food heated up in a microwave for big money... or you could drive 5 hours back to Vegas...
Go there to get scalped.
Image credits: TommyHolef**ker
#4Romeo and Juliet's balcony in Verona. Like, 10,000 people all crammed into this tiny alleyway just to see a balcony that I found out was built after the play was written.
I understand Romeo and Juliet is a work of fiction, but the story of the balcony is it inspired the play. I now know that isn't true but as someone knowing very little about Shakespeare, I thought it was true when I went to the wonderful city of Verona.
Image credits: Jay_1327
#5If you go to the Great Wall of China, I'd suggest not going to the section right there in Beijing. Very rebuilt and touristy.
Take a van ride a ways out of the city, to the Simitai section. Now there's some uncrowded, old-school Great Wall.
Image credits: DownUpOverAndBack
#6Oktoberfest. Way too crowded for my liking. I had a much better time at fests in the smaller villages.
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#7The Dead Sea. You're in Israel. In the desert. It's blazing hot, like 115°F. You think you'll go take a dip in the Dead Sea to cool off, right? Wrong. First, you have to pay to go through a spa to use their towels, pools, etc. Then you take the wagon/shuttle that drives you from the spa down to the shore. The wagon/shuttle goes about 5 miles per hour in the scortching sun. No breeze. Next, you get to the shore of the Dead Sea. You the proceed to run over the sand that's so hot you're sure your feet will burn off. You tentatively step into the water....and it's like the hottest bath you've ever taken in your life. The water is maybe 1° away from boiling. But you figure you've made it this far, might as well get the full experience. So you submerge. It's a mistake. Every pore on your body is burning from the salt. If you have shaved any part of your body within the last three years, you will feel the salt seep into the little micro cuts and burn you from the inside out. You find cuts on your body you didn't even know you had. Even your asshole is burning because you have pooped and wiped within the last week, so your skin is raw there. And the worst part is, when you decide you have had enough of this boiling body of water, you practically have to crawl out because you're too bouyant to stand. And in the process of crawling out, you scrape your knees on the bottom where the salt rocks have crystalized which sets off a whole new round of pain. So now you're hot, sticky from the salt, and every inch of your body burns.
Image credits: _Emerald_Eyes_
#8Takeshita Street in Harajuku (Tokyo). I couldn't move my elbows an inch without bumping into someone, and pretty much every shop had a 30-minute line. I went to see the Harajuku-style fashion associated Takeshita Street, but hardly saw any of that. So essentially I was packed like a sardine for hours while waiting in long lines to shop for overpriced clothes. I love Tokyo, but I definitely won't be going back to Harajuku anytime soon.
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#9Disney 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.
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#10While 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.
Image credits: lenachristina
#11Top of the Empire State Building. You spend all that time in line for the elevators, in what is a very nice Art Deco piece of architecture, for the opportunity to struggle taking pictures through a caged roof and squint at what would otherwise be an excellent view of New York City.
Totally not worth it.
Image credits: dasoberirishman
#12Mount Rushmore. It looks exactly like any picture you've ever seen. It's not easy to get up close to it. If you're in that area, I recommend prioritizing Devil's Tower. It's well worth it.
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#13Any instagram gimmick where you need to spend money on tickets and wait in line for a photo op
Specifically thinking of Museum of Ice Cream
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#14The Leaning Tower of Pisa - five minutes, that photo, and you're done.
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#15Hitlers typewriter. It's a typewriter, I'm not sure what I expected.
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#17Stonehenge. It’s a 2hr drive from London, and after you get there and get your picture, there’s really to much else.
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Put bluntly, this attraction is massively lame, no one even knows if this is the right rock or even if there was a rock.
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#19The Liberty Bell. Wait in a long line to look at... a bell. That looks exactly like it does in all the Philly souvenirs. They don't even let you lick it.
Image credits: burgundyotter
#20The London Eye
What you expect
Whisked into your futuristic pod by smiling flight attendants, you gently rise above the ancient city of London. The crowds fall away as the panorama of the city is laid out before you - truly an experience for the ages
A snotty customer services assistant rips your d**k out through your wallet as you are shuffled into a stiflingly hot glass pod with dozens of other people. Sweaty tourists barge you out of the way to get to the windows before you have even left the ground. There are children, and they are screaming. The ride is 45 minutes long.
Image credits: JamJarre
#21M&M World in London. Every single tourist has a bag from there, they don't even sell the unusual flavours of M&M, just the usual UK packets of peanut and solid chocolate. I just don't understand it...
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#22Dubai. 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.
#23Times Square and Piccadilly Circus, same damn chain restaurants and tourist traps
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#24Roswell, New Mexico. You’d think it would be a hotspot for conventions and space geeks, but it was an incredibly tiny town with dozens of alien shops and barely any people. It was creepy as hell.
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#25Madame Tussauds in London. You're in a city filled to the brim with history and culture and free museums, but you'd rather wait in line for hours and pay a fortune to go see a mannequin of Justin Bieber?
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#26The corn palace and wall-drug. The Dakota's love to make s*** up to get people to stop.
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#27The Taj Mahal (Agra). It's surrounded by 10-meter-high walls, and the entrance fee is ludicrously expensive compared to any other attraction in India. If you're in Agra and want to see the Taj Mahal, go across the river. There are some gardens almost directly across from it, and there's a great spot by the river with a brilliant view of the Taj Mahal, particularly at sunset. This experience is totally free, and you won't have to deal with crowds.
#28Astronomical Clock in Prague. Everyone makes it seem like this crazy wild event when the clock hits the hour and throngs of people gather in the square to watch it every hour and are disappointed when it hardly does anything.
VERY cool considering the time period in which it was made, very very interesting, but not an extravagant display by any means.
I found it more fun to go and watch the the people get disappointed every hour after I had seen it the first time.
#29Branson. The Simpsons weren't really joking when they described it as Las Vegas ran by Ned Flanders.
#30Four Corners. For those not from America/don’t know, it’s a spot where the corners of four different state borders touch. None of them were states I had any real fondness for (Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico) and once you get over the “zany” fun of being in 4 states at once it’s just a bunch of s**tty food carts. It was the classic tourist trap on a family vacation you try to talk your parents out of and fail at.
#31Rockefeller Christmas Tree. There was so many people we couldn’t even get that close. And once we were somewhat near I realized the only real reason we were there was to take pictures/“make memories”. The only memories I have from that night was the stress of that damn city!
#32The Mall of America. It’s just like any mall in the US. All the same stores just more of them. Edit: struck a nerve with this one. If you like malls in general you will probably like this one. Yes, there is more to do then your standard mall but I still found it pretty underwhelming. The one thing I forgot about that many have pointed out is Legoland. That is legitimately cool.
Image credits: Mr_Saturn1
#33The infield at the Kentucky Derby. You won’t see a horse all day and will be surrounded by the drunkest rednecks north of the Daytona 500.
#34Bourbon Street, New Orleans
Now don’t get me wrong, the food is smash so I’d recommend hitting it anyways (Pat O’Brien’s and NOLA Poboys were my favorites). But the whole street itself is dirty, smells like sewage, and is overloaded with mostly ear rapingly loud rap music and maybe a couple jazz bands.
Image credits: ProfessorSucc
#35The Fountain of Youth down here in St. Augustine, Florida. The actual fountain is just a fake cave with a pipe that you fill a cup from. There were way cooler things there than that like a dude who fired a cannon, a bunch of crazy peacocks, and these guys who built replica ships using the techniques from the 16th/17th century.
#36Mackinac Island. I’m a Michigan native, and I can tell you right now that it’s a complete tourist trap. The fudge is okay... and the entire island smells like fudge and horse poop. If you want to get fudge, but with less horse poop, and less tourists, go to Frankenmuth, MI. The whole town is Bavarian in style, plus it’s home to Bronners, the largest Christmas store in the world! The fudge is honestly so much better there, there aren’t a ton of tourists, and it’s so much cleaner. Plus there’s an ice fest in the winter. My family goes every year!
Tl;dr: don’t go to Mackinac Island, you’ll regret it. Instead, go to Frankenmuth, you won’t regret it!
#37Kuta beach, Bali. It's nothing but a dirty beach and drunk bogans. If you're visiting Bali, head down south to Canggu or Uluwatu area and enjoy the view of the ocean from top of the hill.
#38Not ridiculously hyped up, but got to say the Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 thing at Kings Cross station, it's not even on a platform anymore it's been moved to some random part inside the station (I suppose for people to use it without having to buy a ticket/ go through a barrier) but there are sometimes the most ridiculous queues just to get a photo with it.
#39The Little Mermaid (Copenhagen). Most tourists know that it's just a small statue on a rock, yet still they come here and swarm around it like a flock of seagulls. I don't understand why.
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#40Temple Bar (Dublin). There are better pubs a block away, but all the tourists go to Temple Bar to pay twice the price for a Guinness.
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#41Pier 39 in San Francisco. I'm from the East Coast...I'd never been to SF before. Everyone said "skip Pier 39....it's a tourist trap". However...since I'd never been before...I figured I'd go and see for myself.
It's a tourist trap. Nothing of value save for the sea lions, and Musee Mechanique....other than that....chains & ripoffs.
Image credits: ElBomberoLoco
#42Daytona beach. It’s like a Permanent carnival plus some street preachers, people of Walmart, and homeless teens. It also smells like diesel fuel, feet, beer, and cigarettes.
#43The pawn shop from Pawn Stars. A guy who was with us in Vegas insisted on going, and the rest of us got dragged along. We got corralled through the store and there was literally nothing worth a second look there. Waste of time.
I was particularly annoyed at the prices of used musical instruments there. I’ve been selling drums for 10 years, and I’m not about to buy a kit for higher than the new price just for the honour of having bought it there.
#44Khao San Road. I love Thailand but I absolutely hated Khao San Road. It's entirely fabricated for tourists to make tour groups feel like they're doing something exotic and adventurous. Signs for "We don't check ID!" "Take a picture eating a scorpion for $5!" "Fake passports sold here!" and then it's just t-shirts and bars. Compared to the rest of the country it's gross, fake, and douchey.
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#45The Palace of Versailles. It’s become so crowded that you have to push your way around people to make it through the castle. It’s also developed a huge pickpocketing problem. A lot of people go just to take a photo in the hall of mirrors..
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#46Waikiki Beach. It's a horrible, crowded concrete beach surrounded by traffic and overpriced stores.
Go to literally any other beach in Oahu. But the coolest thing to do is drive up to north shore, and pick a spot on any one of the many relatively isolated beaches there and enjoy the scenery.
Image credits: rachelgraychel
#47Will probably get downvoted in to oblivion for this, but the Sistine chapel left me wanting. The art is absolutely incredible but it's let down by the room itself. I was expecting it to be held with a bit more prestige. Instead it's just a big chapel absolutely crammed with tourists aiming their cameras at the ceiling.
It's a shame because the rest of the Vatican is amazing. So many beautiful rooms and corridors to walk through before you get to the chapel.
#48Cadbury world. Offensively bad.
#49The Blue Lagoon (Iceland). I was shocked by how pricey it was for the experience, especially considering most of the public hot baths are free and there are geothermic springs everywhere in Iceland. I felt like I had to check it out, but in the end it felt like a rip-off.
#50Atlantic City is a row of dingy casino hotels against a gross beach with a strip of disgusting shops in between. At least Vegas is clean.
#51Every Hard Rock Cafe. Seriously, the pricing is similar to a nice chain restaurant, but the food is right on par with Applebee’s.
#52Cinque Terre (Italy). This one may be controversial, but I found this handful of villages in coastal Liguria to be very boring and overly touristy. All the hiking trails were closed. Either way, it's a day trip at best, and I would recommend visiting the Amalfi Coast over Cinque Terre.
#53Cadillac Ranch and The Big Texan in Amarillo, TX. I Iove to travel and almost always have a great time experiencing new things, even if it's just to say I've been there. But I could have done without stopping in Amarillo and not missed much.
#54The Duomo (Florence). The outside of the Duomo is magnificent, but the interior is bland and underwhelming and not worth waiting in line for. If you've seen the outside, that's all you need to see. If you're thinking of going inside the view, you can get a much better view of Florence from across the river
Image credits: CaligulaAndHisHorse
#55Casa Bonita. Everything about it is horrible.
#56Manneken Pis in Brussels. Don't get me wrong, Brussels is BEAUTIFUL and I absolutely loved visiting. There's so much interesting folklore and a lot of souvenirs and what not around Manneken Pis, and you expect it to be this really amazing statue... Until you see it. It's down a tiny little street with hundreds of people stuffed into the corner where he sits. I know he's very respected and loved in Belgium, but he's just so tiny and the street was so crowded... I found it very hard to be excited once I actually saw him. Brussels is amazing though and I'll definitely be back one day!
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#57The Fyre Festival
#58If you ever come to a Chicago, stay away from Navy Pier. Everything is way overpriced (rides, games, food) and the tourists that visit are rude and annoying.
#59There’s plenty of incredible things to do and see in Amsterdam. However, the sex museum is not one of them.
#60This may not be known to everyone but Magnolia Silos in Waco, TX as made famous by the TV show "Fixer Upper". 100% waste of time and money. Everything in the store can be bought at Target or it's just show merchandise.
People come from across the country for this little store. Go somewhere else man.
#61Centralia, Pennsylvania. A town that has had a coal mine fire underneath it still burning since 1962. It sounds super cool to go see it but its just a few roads with graffiti on them and a bunch of ATV trails
#62Pyramids of Giza; might be being too harsh, but the swarm of aggressive market vendors surrounding them makes the place a bit of a nightmare. One woman from our group asked a guard to take her photo standing next to the pyramids, and the guard refused to give it back without recieving payment (I cant recall the amount but being extorted by a man with an AK-47 isn't an ideal situation). Inside the tombs themselves it reeked of piss and was a claustrophobes complete nightmare. A ~ 5 foot tall, very steep ramp with f**k all to prevent a fall wide enough to fit 1.5 men at best with a steady stream of people coming up from the opposite direction. Being literally yelled at to buy headscarves and assorted plastic s*** by the truly horrible merchants outside completely ruined my experience of the place, which I'm so, so sad about because I spent months looking forward to the trip.
#63That famous philly cheese steak place in philly. Awful service plus the food downright sucked.
#64The Sugar Factory (in Orlando and elsewhere).
My SO was hyped about it, and it seemed popular (there was a 3+ hour wait for tables). But it's only popular because it's owned by the Kardashians...and even if you didn't know that fact before going in (I didn't), you could figure it out from the restaurant itself. The ambiance was gaudy and loud, and the dining area felt dirty. The food was terrible and overpriced. The "hook" was big sugary alcoholic drinks and desserts (the "sugar" part), but even those sucked. Their headline drinks were big goblets with candy and dry ice vapor coming out, but they were $40+ each, so we passed. We got a couple of cheaper dessert-themed drinks, but even though we got different ones they all had the same taste of cheap vodka with lots of sugar. We got some actual desserts too, but you could tell they were pre-made over-processed garbage with no flavor. It probably came out of a package.
The worst part was their birthday cheer. If someone had a birthday, they would blare really loud and obnoxious club music, and all the wait staff would start dancing around on the tables while they brought out some dessert with road flares sticking out of it for candles. This wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't done it FOUR TIMES during our meal.
I pity those poor employees.