Home Travel 35 of the Most Disappointing, Overrated Tourist Traps in the World

35 of the Most Disappointing, Overrated Tourist Traps in the World

by SharonKurheg

If you travel enough, you’re eventually going to find some places that’ve been hyped to the max but turn out to be real duds, as far as you’re concerned. We’ve written a whole list of places like that which we’ve encountered. And, of course, there was one place I disliked so much, I wrote an entire post about it.

Several years back, someone on Reddit asked, “What’s a tourist attraction you’ve been to that was 100% not worth the hype?” Some of the answers (there were over 17,000 of them) were just priceless (replies edited only for clarity and adult language):

  • 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. — goldikova14 (Note from Sharon: pro tip…go here instead)
  • Penis Museum in Iceland. Small, creepy, lots of d**ks. — anonymous (Note from Sharon – we went in 2021 and thought it was kind of fascinating)
  • South of the Border. It struck me as a place to get abducted, and that’s about it. Why they have to litter 95 in both directions with one stupid billboard after the next is anybody’s guess. — anonymous (Note from Sharon: OMG, I feel attacked. I LOVE that place LOL)
  • There are better pubs a block away, but all the tourists go to Temple Bar to pay twice the price for a Guinness. — mcampo84 (Note from Sharon: Yeah, but they have a fabulous lunch!)
  • Mozart’s childhood home. I expected it to be preserved and restored to what it once looked like. It’s just a super creepy shrine, barely recognizable as a home, with weird locks of his hair, fake birds hanging from the ceiling, and s**t… So strange. — Bucceller (Note from Sharon: Yep.)
  • Branson. The Simpsons weren’t really joking when they described it as Las Vegas ran by Ned Flanders. — earlymusicaficionado
  • The 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. F**king 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. — PBaz1337
  • I love Thailand, but I absolutely hated Khao San Road. It’s totally fabricated for tourists to make travelers feel like they’re doing something exotic and adventurous. There are signs that say things like, “Take a picture eating a scorpion for $5!” and, “Fake passports sold here!” It’s all souvenir shops and bars, and compared to the rest of the wonderful country, it’s gross and fake. — BeatModePwn
  • Atlantic City is a row of dingy casino hotels against a dirty beach with a strip of gross shops in between. At least Vegas is cleaner. — jatcatt7
  • The New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square. In order to be close to everything that’s happening, you have to be willing to spend an entire day standing in the street. No vendors, no bathroom access, you can’t leave your spot without leaving the entire area. What if you need to answer nature’s call? Better have gone to Duane Reade for a package of adult nappies, so you can wet yourself without losing your place. Plus it’s almost guaranteed to be cold, so you’re wrapped up in multiple layers and probably still freezing your a** off. Even the tour books warn you off of it.
    But I just had to do it, after an entire lifetime of seeing the ball drop and no less an authority than Dick Clark saying “this is amazing, you have to be here” every year. So I went. I spent four hours in a pen on 7th Avenue in front of Carnegie Hall. The ball was a speck, ¾ of a mile down the street. I stood there freezing my a** off, listening to Bruce Springsteen on my iPod and reading a newspaper. Then the ball drops off in the distance, cheer for a bit… great, f**k your happy new year, GTFO. — eromitlab
  • Amsterdam has banners all over advertising the Torture Museum. Spoiler alert: humans are really fixated on shoving things into other humans’ butts. There, I saved you fifteen euros. — gelfin (Note from Sharon: There are several torture museums around the world. It appears they all are fixated on butts)
  • The Alamo is kind of lame. It’s way smaller than I anticipated, and you just go in and glance at roped-off empty rooms with signs that basically say “x happened in this room at one point, probably” — _no_thanks
  • Romeo 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. — Jay_1327
  • Mount Rushmore. It looks exactly like any picture you’ve ever seen. No more, no less. — JBleezy1979
  • I hated Bourbon Street. It’s cool if all you want to do is get drunk, but there was no New Orleans culture to it. It was pretty much a college party. — NormanBorlaug69
  • Hilter’s bunker. It was a strip of grass in a parking lot. — Claireuc
  • Hitlers typewriter. It’s a typewriter, I’m not sure what I expected. Heres the typewriter woooooow https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10067 — girlthatfelltoearth
  • Plymouth Rock. Put bluntly, this attraction is massively lame, no one even knows if this is the right rock or even if there was a rock. — Beobee1 (Note from Sharon: Can confirm. But I did get to photobomb it)
  • Daytona 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. — therealsunshinem81
  • The 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. — TommyHoleF**ker
  • Walt Disney World. Want to eat? Be ready to shell out $50 a person per day. Oh, you came for the rides? Enjoy the two or three you can actually enjoy on a busy day. — flipamadiggermadoo
  • A lot of tourists get very disappointed over The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen because it’s very small (about the size of a normal human being). I once overheard an American tourist saying to her husband that she was so tired from walking all day and didn’t know if she had the energy to walk all up to the top of The Little Mermaid – like it was the Statue of Liberty – with me thinking “oh boy are you gonna be disappointed” — Anonymous
  • 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. — Stinduh
  • (In reply to the above) I grew up in Waco. I’ve never been to Magnolia, and I never intend to. But that said, it’s a nice improvement that people now ask me about Fixer Upper instead of David Koresh. — twelfth_knight
  • The corn palace and wall-drug. The Dakota’s love to make s**t up to get people to stop. — Pickled_Ramaker
  • Hawaii resident here. Nothing is overrated. — primo808
  • You’re in the desert, it’s blazing hot, and you think you’ll go take a dip in the Dead Sea to cool off, right? Wrong. First, you have to pay to use the towels, pools, etc. Then you have to take a shuttle that drives you from the spa down to the shore. You tentatively step into the water, which feels like a hot bath. Then you submerge, which is a mistake. Every pore on your body is burning from the salt, especially if you recently shaved. You find cuts on your body you didn’t even know you had. When you’re ready to go, you’re now sticky from the salt, and every inch of your body burns. — Emerald_Eyes_
  • Old Faithful. Totally blows. — Bbddy555
  • Stonehenge. It’s a 2hr drive from London, and after you get there and get your picture, there’s really to much else. I took a tour from London that was to Windsor Castle, then Stonehenge, then Oxford. Liked Windsor and Oxford, but felt like four hours of the tour were driving to and from Stonehenge for one picture. — GenXer1977
  • (In reply to be above) I’m American. I’ve literally driven longer than that just to buy peaches. — Syntaximus
  • When I lived in Paris about 20 years ago it was a beautiful city.
    When I was there a few months ago I was struck by how gross it had become.
    The pee smell is still there. So that’s nice. — HeadMacho
  • The Hot Spring Monkeys in Nagano, Japan. Went there in the middle of winter, only to find none of the monkeys actually spend time in the hot springs. There is a caretaker that drops food around the area to keep the monkeys around. All the monkeys do is forage through the snow looking for food. Not an authentic or worthwhile experience whatsoever. The mountains were beautiful, however. — RingPopEnthusiast
  • Checkpoint Charlie. There’s literally people in costumes. Awful. — silverrabbit3
  • Graceland. I love Elvis music, my parents loved Elvis music, I knew several people growing up for whom Elvis was a religion. I’m from a small town in Alabama. I understand redneckiness in a nearly visceral way. And I was expecting awe-inspiring opulence, but I just ended up thinking……. “Yep, this is what happens when a redneck gets a little money.” — lainiezensane
  • (I saved the best for last) As a huge fan of Chinese tourist squadrons and flash photography I never find myself disappointed, no matter how average the attraction. — SammyTheCrab99

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Just for fun March 28, 2023 - 8:16 pm

Can we make a list of travel bloggers who don’t live up to the hype?

SharonKurheg March 28, 2023 - 8:53 pm

Knock your socks off. Happily, Joe and I have no hype. 😉


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