don’t bother going to Liberty Island (statue of Liberty). all you’re going to end up doing is craning your neck upwards for a shi**y view of the statue.
Instead, take the Staten Island Ferry out to SI. It’s FREE. 100% Free. read that again because it’s not common in NYC. IT IS FREE.
It’s a 30 minute trip from Financial District down to Staten island. The ferry has concessions which serve alcohol, or you can actually bring your own on board and drink. It offers an awesome view of the statue of liberty, and Ellis Island. 30 minutes to Staten, then just jump on the next boat back to Manhattan. That’s an hour of your life and is totally worth it and fun.
Disney World. The lines are terrible. Expensive as hell. The rides are not even that impressive anymore. You’re surrounded by weird people and jerks. The service is crap. It is completely packed. It’s either raining or hot as hell.
It will be interesting to see how the travel industry will look in 2023. Day Out in England, a travel website on a mission to introduce people to the best days out in each county in England, recently surveyed 980 of their readers about their day trips for 2023, and found that 41% of them think they may have fewer days out in 2023 due to the rising cost of living, and 31% said they definitely will.
“When it comes to those long-awaited holidays, 39% of people said they plan to stay in England for their main holiday in 2023, while 50% will be going abroad. 11% won’t be holidaying at all,” Day Out in England told Bored Panda in an email.
Well, lots of people say the United Arab Emirates, and I’ll agree. It held my interest for a while with the craziness of its modern elements, and I saw quite a lot of it, enjoying the rural places like Liwa and Al Ain, but it really gets tired quickly. The facilities just don’t stack up to western cities and they always seem like a pastiche, with the repressive undercurrent throughout the place never fully hidden (did you know they had a spate of foreign maids falling out of apartment windows?).
Anyway, the reason I bring it up is because, for a better Arab experience, you can go next door to Oman. Old forts, dramatic mountains, dunes, beaches, souqs, old men drinking tea and playing chess on the corniche, it has it all and feels much more authentic and friendly than Dubai. It’s certainly not as advanced and easy to visit but the roads are good, crime is low, and English is widely spoken, so it’s actually not that difficult a place for tourists.
Lots of stuff to do, but it takes forever to get there. I feel like I spent my whole LA stay in the car, stuck in traffic.
The rest of California that I saw was great, I’d do any part of it again, but not LA.
Boise Idaho, I know what you’re thinking “It’s hot, brown, nothing really interesting about it, and it’s full of crazy mormons and republicans and spiders.” In real life it’s actually slightly worse
“As the cost of living crisis eats away at disposable income, the average person expects to spend £20-30 per person per day out, including transport, food, and attraction costs, so finding affordable activities could be big in 2023,” they continued.
However, people’s desire to travel hasn’t gone anywhere. 82% of respondents would rather have a day out than a big gift for their birthday or for Christmas.
Monaco. I was in southern France in 2012 and decided to take a quick bus ride over to Monaco one day just because I heard was almost like a paradise. But I was thoroughly disappointed with the place. Nothing but high end clothing stores, extremely overpriced, terrible food, and yacht docks. A complete absence of anything interesting. It seriously felt like a place for ultra-rich people to sit around jerk each other off.
Times Square is the most overrated tourist spot on the globe. New York is an incredible, wonderful city but Times Square is its nadir
“The capital continues to draw people for days out, with 37% of people saying they plan to visit London in 2023,” Day Out in England added.
“The South West is also a firm favorite, with 26% of people saying Cornwall was on their list for next year, and 25% saying Devon was their top choice.”
Pyramids 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 fuck 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 shite 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.
I used to live and work in Waikiki. A lot of people don’t know this but if you leave Waikiki there’s a whole bunch more island to explore with more beaches and more food and more authentic culture than what you get in just one tiny area.
The number of tourists I used to meet out there who would spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles to come to Hawaii only to never leave their resort, much less the area it’s in, never ceased to disgust me.
I present you the most overrated/underwhelming tourist attraction in the world…
Editor’s note: It’s Manneken Pis in Brussels.
If you find yourself in this situation, turn around, go into The Poechenellekelder across the street. Grab some nice Belgian beer and watch the people.
Even though the world is waking up to the environmental impact travel has on the planet, a surprising 67% of people say they still don’t look for eco-friendly activities when planning days out.
Most underwhelming/overrated one I can think of is the Mona Lisa. It is quite small, with a 10 foot barrier around it and about 1000 asian tourists snapping photos at any given time.
Don’t go the Empire State Building. Instead, go to 30 Rock – the view is better, it’s cheaper, it’s bigger, and the wait times are 5 minutes instead of 5 hours.
I’m not sure if it’s really globally critically acclaimed, but Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.
It is literally just a rundown street with dingy storefronts and the Church of Scientology trying to rope you into joining their cult. But oh! There’s plaques set into the sidewalk for celebrities or celebrity-adjacent people you may or may not recognize that paid for them to be there. Seriously. There is nothing to see there.
I’m sure people more familiar with LA can give better suggestions (I’m partial to Venice Beach, but that is rough around the edges too), but I say, just go to San Diego.
CEO of Day Out in England, Victoria Philpott, better known online as Vicky FlipFlop said:
“As the cost of living crisis bites and we consider the cost of holidaying abroad, many of us will be changing the way we travel in 2023.”
“Days out in England haven’t been this popular since before budget airlines began, and I always love finding out which English counties are the most popular on our site, as it can be so different for everyone,” she explained.
“Whether you want to see the cities, have an adventure in the countryside, or find some photo-worthy towns and villages, England has it.”
Shocked no one has said this yet.
Plymouth F**king Rock
If you haven’t seen any pictures of it, you imagine it as this epic massive stone representing the pioneering spirit of the first European settlers.
What you get is a rock that’s the size of about 3 footballs with a date carved into it. It’s surrounded by this little gate thing and you look down into it. Since the pit the rock is in is surrounded by sand, people find it to be a convenient ash tray. There were cigarette butts everywhere when I went. Shit was depressing.
I found Pisa to be overrated. It’s small and was extremely crowded when I went.
There are definitely some things worth seeing but I wouldn’t go back again. A day trip was plenty.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is great, if you want to see 500 people posing like they’re mimes trapped in a box.
For many, traveling was crazy in 2022. Rental car shortages, packed capitals, and sky-high airfares were really testing some nerves. Hopefully, travel in 2023 won’t be as overwhelming.
If you want to see Redwoods or just Nature and you are in San Francisco, do not, I repeat, do not go to the Muir Woods. The traffic and congestion going over the Bridge to Marin County is horrible. The woods are packed with noisy people and there is no parking. Instead go hike amongst the trees at Henry Cowell State park instead. It’s in Santa Cruz and the drive is almost as lovely as the hike.
Niagara Falls on the American side was not so great. The falls you always see in the movies are Horseshoe falls, and you can barely see those from the US. And in reality, there are like 20 “Maid in the Mist’s,” and you pay like $30 for a 10 minute boat ride, and to get drenched in stinky water. And there is nothing else to do in the area unless you go into Buffalo.
The entirety of Orange County, CA. Rich and vapid; where creativity and personality goes to die. I drove all the way across the country to visit the OC and ended up having more fun in Des Moines.
Being from Miami I can truly say Miami is a bit overrated. True the beaches are nice, we have beautiful weather compared to other states, and especially S.Florida is a melting pot of exotic people. Other than that..there is a lot of crime and snobby people. The club scene is nice, and shops are nice (if you have the money to spend on ridiculous over priced items). Don’t get me wrong, I have lived in other states and even in Europe and I Love living in Miami, but for an average Joe, its not what people make it out to be.
Honestly I think NYC is overrated (and I’m an American from the East Coast). I’ve been probably 8-10 times in my life, and different stages of life (kid, teenager, adult, seeing friends who live there) and every time I go I feel thankful I don’t live there and I’m happy to be gone. I’ve visited a fair number of neighborhoods and off the tourist track sights, restaurants, etc. and I still feel the same way. It’s worth visiting and it’s certainly diverse but it’s just exhausting and kind of faceless in my opinion.
I can’t believe I’m saying this (Because.. it’s in WACO), but: Magnolia Silos.
We have people from all across the country DRIVING to Waco, TX, to see the magnolia silos thanks to fixer uppers.
It’s not that great, people. Please do not drive for 30 hours to see this place.
It has food trucks, a vastly overpriced store, and an “okay” bakery. You get about an hour out of it, max.
Austin, Texas, USA: Insanely overrated
Insanely terrible traffic for a city its size, whether along I-35 or along the myriad thoroughfares and neighborhood routes otherwise.
Stupidly long waits to get into “hip” BBQ or taco joints that might be the “best” in Austin, but would be par-for-the-course, holes-in-the-wall in many other places throughout Texas.
I’m sure the locals pre-tech-boom were generally friendly. However, today’s Austin reveals a general population that is snobby, pretentious, surly, and aloof. I realize that many of these twits are nasal-sounding, vapidly-conversing, fast-talking, self-absorbed asshats from major coastal cities, although many are also Texans who wanted to get out of their hometowns and now seem to feel the need to “act Austin.” The customer service in most stores and restaurants seems to reflect that accordingly.
Speaking of service, the way that my partner and I have been treated at Austin’s airport on numerous occasions has been just flat-out rudely. Despite AUS being a fairly modern airport, I place it on par with LAX, Sea-Tac, Newark and Miami airports for being the worst of the worst for personnel attitudes.
Lastly, if I wanted to pay L.A., San Francisco, or NYC prices for dining out, I’d go to one of those cities.
I live down the road near Houston and am no fan of this place either, but at least we aren’t trying to pass ourselves off as the coolest, most tourist-friendly city in the state. I can tolerate Austin for less than a day, then I can’t wait to bail. By the way, San Antonio is fairly close to Austin and has had a far better developed tourist infrastructure for decades.
Jamaica. Terribly dirty, poor, violent, dangerous, and chock-full of rude and loud British and American tourists. You have to spend a fortune to get a nice holiday out of it, by heading to a decent resort.
Wall Drug Store
About 10,000 signs alert you to the fact that Wall Drug is ahead when you drive across South Dakota, probably on your way to or from Mount Rushmore. The signs are fun, giving you something to look for while you drive what seems like an endless highway.
But just keep on driving and don’t stop: Once a gimmicky but real drug store, Wall Drug is now a shopping mall that specializes in crap. Imagine fake cowboy hats, fake cowboy boots and tacky t-shirts, not to mention overpriced food, as far as the eye can see. The only thing worth stopping for is the jackalope (a made-up jack rabbit/antelope cross-breed) statue, and the still-free cup of water.
PSA: If you’re planning a trip to Greece, skip Mykonos. It’s totally overrated.
My wife and I are honeymooning and while planning it booked four nights in Mykonos, something we realized late was a big mistake. This was our fault for not doing the proper homework and including it just due to brand name recognition, really. Arriving in late August, the island was very crowded and expensive to stay, eat and drink at most places. On top of that, there are not really that many beaches compared to other Islands and Mykonos lacks aesthetics (it’s a dusty rock.) Mykonos locals and fans of Mykonos like to boast about the fact it’s a party/clubber’s destination, which seemed plausible enough except that if I wanted to go and pay for a Vegas experience, I’m more inclined to just go to Vegas. Granted, we’re in our 30s and aren’t the clubber types.
For our Mykonos leg we ended up calling an audible and double-booked a night to skip over to Naxos, which was absolutely wonderful by comparison. Beaches were plentiful and mostly deserted, food and lodging was very good and reasonable. We love Naxos and can’t wait to go back someday. Mykonos? Not so much.
Hard to get over the fact that for the price of a single night’s stay in Mykonos we were able to rent a luxury suite in Ikaria for three nights (By the way, if you’re coming to Greece, GO TO IKARIA!) It’s green, has amazing beaches, friendly locals,
The Bahamas. Beautiful place and all, but Nassau is full of tourist traps and the locals are kinda a**holes.
Resorts in the Bahamas. Especially when you compare them with just renting a house and a boat for a week in the Abacos. There is so much more to see beyond an overpriced and overhyped tourist trap.
Venice. I know that’s blasphemy for some, but I found it stinky, dirty, and unnecessarily expensive. I was bored within 5 or 6 hours… and I had 3 days to fill! Ended up traveling out of the city and exploring the lovely surrounding cities/countryside.
I had a really bad time in Venice. All I can remember are pigeons, filthy water, scaffolding, pictures of the virgin mary, spaghetti with sauce that tasted like ketchup.
Florence was quite a nice experience though.
The cool part is how old it is. That’s not something you can see with your eyes.
The first semester of my sophomore year of college, I studied in Moscow. Man, was it ever awful. The people were so rude to me, the city stank, everything was incredibly expensive, people would lie to me about speaking English, and the food was just disgusting. The city is basically an overpriced toilet.
Obviously can’t speak for everyone but personally I think Bali is pretty overrated. At least compared to the sky-high expectations everyone here seems to have and compared to all the pictures on instagram.
Can’t pick a country myself, so I’ll chip in with the most popular destination in Indonesia:
It’s full of tourists and so much more expensive than the rest of the country. It’s a veritable desert of culture in a land with nearly 1,000 spoken languages and hundreds of ethnic groups. Heck, it doesn’t even have the best beaches in Indonesia. Any traveler looking for a real experience should avoid Bali like the plague.
—The taxi hawkers at the airport are a mob unlike anything I’ve ever seen. They swarm you. They follow you. It is very unpleasant.
—The driving is insane. I never felt safe in any vehicle.
—Sewage is openly left everywhere, and the smell of burning trash fills the air each evening.
—If you go to any of the beaches, most are so dirty you won’t want to swim at them.
—If you go to any resort town, it’s overrun by tourists and dive bars.
—If you go inland, prepare to be eaten alive by mosquitos.
I know this is very disparaging, but Bali is in a tough situation. They are trying to build a tourism industry and make it accessible, but their local issues are too great to overcome at the moment.
I think the worst tourist attraction I’ve seen was in Myanmar when I signed up for a local tour in Mandalay. They took us to a monastery where a S**T TON of people had all gathered to watch the monks walk from their dorms to go have lunch. Dozens and dozens of old (almost all of them over 65) tourists were lined up to take pictures of these poor guys as they were trying to go have a meal, and apparently this happens every day. For those of us under 30 this was incredibly strange and really embarrassing. I couldn’t figure out why so many old tourists were all gathering to aggressively photograph these guys just going to have a meal.
The monastery was home to a ton of cats so I wound up hanging with them until our cab driver told us it was time to move to the next attraction.
Panama City Beach, Florida. It’s loud, it’s not fun, and you’re likely to get your car towed no matter where you park it.
Ohio is a f**king wasteland. I had to go the cleveland once, first time, and i am always excited to see a new state especially driving because i go by everything and i can stop and look around, take pics and what not. I went to my destination turned around and left nothing at all to see.
Antalya, Turkey. A formerly beautiful ancient city ruined by the massive amounts of tourist traps. During my stay in the city I had the constant feeling I was going to be ripped off. In shops, in cafés or restaurants, you name it. Not to mention the fact that the city is filled with eyesores of buildings designed to lure in tourists.
At least it’s not as much of a Resort Central as the surrounding areas.
Lake Louise in Alberta. Don’t get me wrong, the view is breathtaking. But there are so many tourists that even at the crack of dawn, its packed. It’s more hectic than enjoyable.
Bow Lake which is between Jasper and Banff is just as (if not more) beautiful and far less people.
Unpopular opinion: Hawaii is overrated.
I’ve experienced Oahu and Maui. I loved the astonishing coastal views, swimming holes, pineapple ice cream, poke bowls, and hiking, don’t get me wrong.
But it’s quite pricey compared to other similar destinations around the world, and that’s just if you’re doing it fairly economically (no fancy resorts or eating out 3x/day). The people of Hawaii – natives and “mainlander” transplants alike – honestly seemed pretty aloof, pissed off, and even hostile (this was especially pronounced around Honolulu); oddly similar to cities like Miami and Houston where I’d expect that sort of behavior. Customer service doesn’t seem to exist in the state. HNL is one of the worst airports I’ve seen in the wealthy, developed world. Hawaiian Airlines is also an okay airline at best, it seems, and I’ve encountered some pretty unpleasant staff while flying with them. (As a side note, Southwest is now providing much more service to the state, but I don’t like SWA at all. Alaska is a much better airline to fly if the opportunity is there.)
Update: I went in 2017 and 2018. Pre-pandemic.
Anyway, which tropical or otherwise warm-locale holiday destinations have I enjoyed more? Key West, Gulf Shores area (Alabama), Fiji, Northeast Queensland (Australia), Okinawa, and even Bali. I also quite enjoy New Zealand, definitely not tropical but a country whose Maori traditions/culture have a lot of similarities with native Hawaiian traditions/culture. Yet Maori people have been much kinder in my experience.
Maybe I’ve just done Hawaii wrong during two visits…
Don’t know why Istanbul is often called the most beautiful city in the world. If the major attractions are of religious nature than something doesn’t feel right. I cannot recall it correctly but I didn’t see many women there, mostly angry looking men. The city centre was full of stray cats, more than I’ve ever seen.
Agra. The Taj is gorgeous, but Agra is not a nice place to visit. I honestly think that city can be completely missed. There are other spectacular Mughal monuments in Delhi. I’m not saying the Taj isn’t beat taking, but I don’t think it’s worth allocating time away From Jaipur or Delhi if you’re doing the Golden Triangle.
Also, Portland, Oregon
The Great Barrier Reef. It wasn’t more exciting than any other place I have snorkeled. Also it is all dying so it was more sad than anything.
Kuala Lumpur. I don’t even know why this was hyped to me so much since ever since then I’ve heard no one think of it as a remarkable tourist destination. It’s for a reason that all the photos of KL are either of the Petronas towers or the Batu caves entrance….
Im from Vancouver, and cant really tell why its one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. I only speak of the city itself, not the surrounding nature; our nature is up there with the rest of em. The city itself is overpriced and overrated.
Langkawi Island. I see a lot of South-East Asian people go there on holiday but the place is incredibly tacky and looks like it hasn’t been looked after for 20 years.
Las Vegas is probably on my “skipping list”, just because of the idea of it just doesn’t interest me whatsoever.
I haven’t really been anywhere that I would put on a skip list though. Places I wasn’t too fond it (like Malta) is probably part to do with my age.
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