Recently, someone asked an online travel forum: “What was the most disappointing, tourist-infested place you’ve ever been?” Here are the top destinations people warn to avoid. Do you have any of these tourist-infested places on your travel bucket list?
1. The Salle des éTats in the Louvre Museum
Several travelers state that the painting is small, the Salle des États room is overly crowded, and everyone in front has cameras out, making it more difficult to see. One adds: “Not only that, but it’s probably one of the most underwhelming famous paintings ever. It’s small, and you’ve already seen it 10000000 times.”
2. Every Cruise Ship Port in the Caribbean
Are you thinking of going on a Caribbean cruise? Several vacationers warn against it. One explains: “I don’t even get off the ship anymore in Nassau. The port at Nassau is overrun with pushy vendors, scammers, and shady characters.”
A second voyager states: “Jamaica was the grossest and most depressing place I’ve ever been. It was terrible. Crowds of kids and people grabbing in your pockets constantly. Following you around like a zombie movie.” These tourists suggest you stay on the ship and enjoy all the amenities while the other passengers are off, and you have the ship to yourself.
3. Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood Boulevard in California is ranked by many as a tourist-infested nightmare. I’ve been there, and have to agree, it’s not much. I was approached by many people peddling things like rap CDs. A forum member shares their experience: “I remember the smell most of all — a heady mixture of weed smoke, urine, and tour bus exhaust.”
4. The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy, is mentioned multiple times as a tourist trap that isn’t worth your time. One describes it as: “A field of tourists trying to take a picture of the tower without other tourists in it and souvenir shops trying to sell those tourists stuff.”
5. The Sistine Chapel
The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City draws 25,000 tourists daily, or five million people annually. “It was incredible to see in person, but it was shoulder-to-shoulder with people, and they were trying to usher everyone through as fast as possible,” one writes.
“So I felt like I was in the way and couldn’t stay long. I would have loved to gaze quietly at the ceiling and take it all in for several minutes, but that wasn’t an option.” Others recall the guards repeatedly shouting, “NO PHOTO!” and “SILENZIO!
6. Oxford Street in Central London
A disgruntled traveler jokes that you will love Oxford Street in Central London if you enjoy: “Claustrophobic levels of crowding, overpriced, borderline fraudulent retail, traffic that barely moves, groups of roadmen, and ‘hood teens’ everywhere.”
7. The Little Mermaid Bronze Sculpture
The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, Denmark, is another underwhelming experience, according to these jetsetters. One recalls: “It was so tiny and swarmed by people with selfie sticks knocking each other in the head!”
8. Niagara Falls
Despite being toted as a great day trip in the ’70s and ’80s, Niagra Falls today is repeatedly detested in the thread, especially the American side. An adventurer explains: “The Canadian side is bright neon funzy tourist-trap.” A second voyager adds: “It was irritating. People spent more time with their backs to the waterfall taking selfies than looking at it.
9. Times Square
Times Square in New York City is arguably one of the most recognizable places in the world. A tourist states: “It’s just a bunch of screens. I’m not joking, that’s it.”
However, another jokes sarcastically: “Just screens?! No way! There are also those people in costumes who want you to pay them a lot of money to take a photo with them. There are the dudes selling their CDs. Incredibly overpriced food. Oh, and like 10,000 people.”
10. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Oh, my father would beg to disagree on this. Still, numerous individuals admit that seeing the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is overrated.
I’ll never forget how excited my dad was to show me the mountain of political faces during the daytime and AGAIN at nighttime because of the lighting ceremony. However, I agree with many forum members saying they don’t get the hype.
11. Plymouth Rock
Speaking of rocks, Plymouth Rock is regarded as one of the biggest traveling disappointments in history. “From that area, the locals called it ‘the biggest disappointment in history’ because everyone that goes there expects it to be a grand monument. When, in fact, it’s just a rock in a hole.”
12. Las Vegas
YES! I do not understand the hype of “Sin City.” A globetrotter explains: “Everything is a giant fake tourist trap that tries to imitate the real world locations, with slot machines stuffed everywhere up to the eyeballs, manned by old people wasting away their life savings.”
It is also scorching, depending on the time of year you go. I only drove through it and had to stop for a bathroom break when it was 111 degrees outside in September. You step out of your vehicle, and immediately, breathing becomes more difficult, and sweat drips down your back. Never again.
13. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Another New York tourist trap is The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. A traveler shares her experience: “It’s so packed I got just close enough to barely squeeze myself out. Didn’t even really see the tree. That area always looks so nice in movies.” Right? Home Alone 2: Lost in New York put that tree on my bucket list, but now I’m reconsidering.
14. Walt Disney World
While all Disney Parks are mentioned as overly-hyped tourist-infested destinations, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is especially called out as awful. Between the enormous crowds, long lines, overpriced foods, and gift shops on every corner, it’s not as glamorous as many believe.
I’ve heard this many times, “Egypt has so many scammers and thieves.” A traveler clarifies: “You can’t check into a hotel without getting some miscellaneous upcharge. You can’t take a taxi without having 50 miles tacked on to the fare, or the driver goes incredibly roundabout.
You can’t report to the cops without paying a bribe/fine for whatever fake penal code they make up. Then you go to the pyramids, and it’s just a line full of scammers. Fake tour guides, camel rides that will quote you a small charge but end up charging you a ridiculous tab, miles of trinket shops, orphan pickpockets, and the overpopulation of tourists.”
Another tourist destination I’ve read terrible things about unsurprisingly made this list — Paris, France. Countless vacationers admit that there are too many scammers and pickpockets. Additionally, it has a horrible smell, and the Parisians can be rude and unwelcoming.
Several people believe Cancun, Mexico, to be a tourist trap. “The main resort beach area was littered with trash when I went, and there were vendors who were pretty persistent when I rejected offers to buy stuff like necklaces and snacks.”
18. Waikiki Beach
Multiple travelers warn that Waikiki Beach in Hawaii is not worth your time. “My first and only trip to Hawaii was to Honolulu, and I stayed in Waikiki in early June. The entire place was overrun with tourists, homeless encampments, and over-priced shops.” Others suggest that Waikiki is basically a long strip mall.
19. Yellowstone National Park
It seems like every year, you read about a dumb tourist in Yellowstone getting too close to the wildlife. My sister says it is beautiful but a lot of walking and waiting.
A user sums up the waiting game best: “When I entered Yellowstone, there was a 30-minute traffic jam because literally every car in front of mine stopped to take a photo of a single elk. When we finally got to the visitor’s center, a herd of about 50 elk was standing around.”
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England that over a million people flock to annually. However, many people state that it is not worth it. Due to people vandalizing the stones, you can’t get close enough to really see and enjoy them.
“The worst part of Stonehenge is the awful roads around it. Don’t know who decided that one of the two main roads to the South West of England should be a single carriageway that goes close enough to these ancient stones so that everyone gets slowed down to a crawl as people rubberneck.”
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.