NNN – No New News? – 12/21/21 – “A True Disappointment:” People Are Sharing Underwhelming Travel Destinations To Skip, And The Gems You Should Consider Instead

December 21, 2021·18 min read

It’s a great big world out there — and there are so many places to see. But it can be difficult to decipher between disappointing tourist traps and destinations that are actually so worth the hype. To help with this, I scoured advice from travelers on Reddit and within the BuzzFeed Community. Here are 33 overrated places that — according to them — are not worth your precious time. (Plus 26 others that actually are!)

1.Underrated: Albania

A beach with very blue water
“The northern part is filled with beautiful landscapes and mountain ranges, and the south has beaches with crystal blue water. You can find incredibly nice resorts and hotels to stay at for very affordable prices. The people are extremely welcoming, and the hospitality is great.”—u/HandsomeclooneyGetty Images

2.Overrated: Downtown Dubai

A cityscape of Dubai from an infinity pool
“It’s talked up as one of the best tourist destinations in the world, but when I was there it felt like an amusement park under construction. I felt like I was constantly being shuttled from one tourist trap to another.” —u/NamerNotLiteralGetty Images

3.Underrated: Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru coastline
“I hear so many people say to skip it or only spend a day there, but I would say it’s worth a trip. The historic downtown is gorgeous, and it’s on the coast with plenty of beaches. Plus the food and people are awesome. I spent four days there and still wish I had more time to explore.”—u/Ninjadwarf00Getty Images

4.Overrated: Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Crowded Bourbon Street in New Orleans for Mardi Gras
“It’s filthy, smells like pee, there’s gross beer everywhere, and broken glass all over the ground.” —u/HeadlessFlyKingGetty Images

5.Underrated: New Mexico

A rocky desert landscape
“The whole state is underrated, but specifically Albuquerque, Taos, and the New Mexican desert. The scenery is utterly breathtaking, the culture and history are unique, and the food is delicious. You’ll know why people call it ‘The Land of Enchantment’ as soon as you see the Sandia Mountains glowing pink at sunset.”—u/tinyowlinahatGetty Images

6.Overrated: Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

A sign for Hollywood Boulevard
“It’s crowded and smells like pee.” —u/ladies-pmme-nudesplsGetty Images

7.Underrated: Pienza, Italy

A couple sitting on the stairs enjoying the view
“Whereas some of the bigger Tuscan towns like Siena and Montepulciano felt a bit touristy, Pienza was truly a hidden gem. It’s right in the picturesque Val d’Orcia overlooking vineyards and rolling hills, home to cute, family-run restaurants, tiny shops selling local wine and Pecorino cheese, and stunning Medieval buildings. Everywhere you look seems like it came straight out of a postcard. It was one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever seen.”—Hannah LoewentheilGetty Images

8.Underrated: Tunisia

A whitewashed village with blue doors
“Tunisia is one of the best countries I’ve ever traveled to. It’s mind-boggling to me that most people who venture there see it as simply a beach destination. In fact, most things I loved about the country could be found deeper inland.”—u/JayPeteyGetty Images

9.Overrated: Pisa, Italy

A hand pretending to hold the Leaning Tower of Pisa
“Pisa in general I found to be very touristy. If you want to visit a great destination in central Italy, head to the walled city of San Gimignano instead. It’s a quick train trip from either Florence or Pisa, and it’s 100% worth it.”—u/nookienostradamus“Does anyone really need to take the famous holding up the tower picture? Or rather, a picture of all the other tourists taking the holding up the tower picture?”—u/Fluxxed0Getty Images

10.Underrated: Dakar, Senegal

Boats on the beach
“Senegal in general, but specifically the capital Dakar and its surroundings should be up there with Cape Town, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cairo as one of the must-visit destinations in Africa. It’s a lovely city with a lot of French influence, and it’s a great spot to start a trip in West Africa.”—u/Thrill_MonsterGetty Images

11.Overrated: The Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik

People in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
“I was very disappointed: It’s tepid water flowing down from a power plant. You’re better off finding the many natural hot springs scattered around Iceland.” —u/KingCharlesHeadGetty Images

12.Underrated: Sicily

A coastal town in Sicily
“Sicily is gorgeous, and the food is out of this world. You get to experience a culture that has been inspired by the Italians, Greeks, Normans, Romans, Ottomans, and Spanish. The climate itself is so diverse: There are beaches, skiing, and Mt. Etna is one of the best wine regions in Europe.”—u/RNae75Getty Images

13.Underrated: Ibiza, Spain

A quiet beach in Ibiza
“Ibiza has a bad reputation as a party city, but it’s so much more than that if you know where to look. It boasts beautiful nature, amazing historical sites, and lovely quiet small towns all over. Just avoid the capital at night.”Getty Images

14.Overrated: Phuket, Thailand

An aerial shot of a beach
“Planning a vacation there during high season means you’ll be sharing the beach with tons of other tourists. While this may improve if you go during low season, you’ll most likely get lots of rain. Plus, trash and water quality are a big problem.” —u/irishamericanGetty Images

15.Overrated: Clearwater Beach, Florida

People on the beach
“It’s been built up so much there’s hardly any beach left. The traffic is really awful, so devote two hours of precious beach time just sitting in it. It stinks big time for the locals.”—u/kurnadurnGetty Images

16.Overrated: The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Sightseers flock to view great pyramids at Giza
“This might be harsh, but the swarm of aggressive market vendors surrounding the pyramids makes visiting this site a bit of a nightmare. One woman in our tour group asked a guard to take her photo, and he refused to return her phone unless she paid him. The whole time, we were yelled at and haggled into buying headscarves and assorted souvenirs, which ruined my experience. I spent months looking forward to the trip and felt so disappointed.”u/TheTrustyCrumpetGetty Images

17.Overrated: Atlantic City

Atlantic City boardwalk and Ferris wheel
“Venture a few blocks away from the boardwalk and you’ll realize that Atlantic City is incredibly depressing. It’s very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty. But they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic.”—u/juanzy“Clearwater Beach is nowhere near the nicest beach in the area. You can drive 10 miles south and have Redington Beach, with nicer sand and almost no other people.”—uToeyGowdGetty Images

18.Underrated: Poland

Old Town Gdansk, Poland
“I spent two weeks in Poland, and I have to say it’s a gorgeous country that is much cheaper to visit than many of the more popular European vacation spots. Gdansk is amazing and has a terrific World War II museum. Almost every major city has an Old Town, which is so much fun to explore. Warsaw boasts lots of museums and acres of natural beauty. And if you’re nervous about the language barrier, most people in the major cities speak English. I can’t wait to go back to Poland and explore more.”nomigma“I was so pleasantly surprised by how beautiful this country is. I road-tripped, and every city was very beautiful and had a unique history. Poland has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for culture or to party. The mountains are also beautiful with great hiking. Prices are very affordable, especially if you come from a Western country.”—u/towapiGetty Images

19.Overrated: Cancún, Mexico

Aerial view of Cancun Coastline at sunrise
“Sure, it’s pretty, but doesn’t represent the beauty of Mexico. Go to Mérida — the food is better, and the nature is great.”—u/Lockshala“There are so many cooler, hipper, better places to visit around Cancún and the Yucatan. Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Valladolid, and Mérida are much better if you’re considering a trip.”—u/samuraibutterGetty Images

20.Overrated: Manila, Philippines

A high angle view of people at a busy market in a city
“I really loved the other places I visited in the Philippines, but Manila was awful. The air quality, the traffic, the garbage, I could go on. Most of all, the poverty, especially among children, was heart-wrenching. It was a good wake-up call for a privileged Westerner, but not one I want to experience again.”—u/westcoastlizGetty Images

21.Overrated: Kuta, Bali

A street with lots of restaurant and shop signs
“Kuta, a resort town in southern Bali, is the worst. It’s been completely and utterly ruined by tourists. I was there during Australian ‘spring break,’ and the whole place was just overrun with young, drunk ‘party bros.’ I fled from Kuta as fast as I could.”—u/franichanGetty Images

22.Underrated: San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian, Spain
“This stretch of Northern Spain within 70 miles of the French border has the best food in Europe. San Sebastian is a mecca for foodies, where you can drool over street food for lunch or dine at Michelin-starred restaurants for weeks straight before you run out of new options.”—u/Thrill_MonsterAyhan Altun / Getty Images

23.Overrated: Times Square, New York

A crowded intersection in Times Square, NYC
“It’s a tourist trap, and the restaurants and shopping aren’t unique to NYC. Why eat in Times Square when you can eat at the same chain restaurants in a Midwestern city for even cheaper?” —u/putmeinthegomiGetty Images

24.Overrated: Niagara Falls (New York Side)

American Niagara Falls with the Niagara falls city in background.
“You’re better off going to the Canadian side.” —u/jgoldblum88Getty Images

25.Overrated: Nashville, Tennessee

Neon signs of Broadway in Nashville
“Nashville is not a fascinating place. In fact, you could tour every interesting place in a single day. The city is made up of a ton of bars to get drunk at and construction everywhere. I heard something like 10,000 new people a day move there, and I can’t understand why. Rent is insanely high because of it. We’re at almost $2,000 a month for 1,400 square feet 30 minutes out of Nashville city limits. Honestly, not even locals like living here anymore.”—u/herculeesjrGetty Images

26.Underrated: Hilo, Hawaii

A waterfall surrounded by lush forest
“Many travelers overlook this whole island, but the lush and green Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii is especially incredible. The highway from Waipi’o Valley down to Hilo extends over valleys and cliffs. There are waterfalls and dramatic ocean views, and we were constantly pulling over wanting to take photos.”kpena134Getty

27.Underrated: Portland, Maine

Boats in a harbor
“Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were in Portland. The hardest part when visiting is trying to decide whether to go to your well-established favorite spots, or try the new ones that are currently popping up and being raved about.”—theshoegazerGetty Images

28.Overrated: Las Vegas

Welcome to Las Vegas sign
“I am by no means a prude person, but that place is horrific.”—u/nocliper101Getty Images

29.Underrated: Tallinn, Estonia

Snowfall in a European town
“I really wasn’t expecting much when I visited. I mostly just decided to stop in Talinn because I was traveling from Finland to London, and it was an off the beaten path location for a quick day trip. But holy crap, it was beautiful, and the people were so friendly. I’d go back there for a proper vacation in a heartbeat.”—fredzesty“Any of the Baltic states really, but Estonia is an absolutely delightful place. It’s super affordable, easy to navigate, the capital city Tallinn is so beautiful and clean, the coast is lovely, the people are friendly, and the food is delicious. I absolutely loved our trip there, and it would be a great base camp if you want to check out the nearby countries of Finland, Norway, and Denmark.”—u/missluluhGetty Images

30.Overrated: Athens, Greece

A view of Athens and the Acropolis
“Athens was dirty, and there was graffiti everywhere. I didn’t feel safe in the city at all. There were insane drivers, and none of the locals were nice. In stark contrast to my experience in Athens, the Greek Islands were some of the most beautiful and enjoyable places I’ve ever been, filled with the most friendly people.”—u/rythmik1Getty Images

31.Overrated: Geneva, Switzerland

An old town surrounded by mountains
“It was most definitely a pretty city, but the soul-crushing cost of everything totally weighed down my experience there. I never expected to pay 24 Swiss Francs for a hamburger in my life…and I never will again.”u/blake22222Getty Images

32.Underrated: Republic of Georgia

A town built into the mountains with a river running next to it
“Georgia is amazing! It’s home to beautiful mountains, chic beaches, friendly people, amazing wine, food unlike anything you’ve ever tried, and a very interesting mix of cultures and influences. I was there for two weeks, but I could have easily stayed for a year.”—MariaPorgirellaGetty Images

33.Overrated: Machu Picchu, Peru

Tourists climbing Machu Picchu
“The site itself is really incredible, but it’s overcrowded with so many loud tourists to the point where you feel like you’re walking through Disney World instead of a UNESCO heritage site.”—u/cfmcgGetty Images

34.Underrated: Taipei, Taiwan

Sunset over Taipei, Taiwan
It’s my favorite city in Asia: a great mix of traditional Chinese culture with Japanese and US influences. There’s fantastic food (especially great street food at the night markets). It’s modern enough to be convenient, but not expensive. It’s big enough to have lots to do, but small enough to be manageable and not overwhelming. And the people are friendly, open, and helpful.”—u/gotthelowdownGetty Images

35.Overrated: Bondi Beach, Sydney

A busy Bondi beach in Sydney, Australia
“It’s a mediocre beach, and during the summer it’s always very crowded, so you hardly have space to swim or enjoy yourself.” —u/crocodiledendiGetty Images

36.Overrated: Marrakesh

The main market square in Marrakesh
“It would have been amazing before about 2000, but now it just feels like a Disneyland version of their culture to cater to Western tourists. And you can’t walk 20 feet without being approached by scammers, like, literally every block. The entire city just feels like a facade to attract tourist money.”—u/legshampoo“Of all the places we visited in Morocco, Jemaa el-Fnaa was the biggest disappointment. It’s full of knock-off clothes and guys trying to get you to take pictures with cobras. Marrakesh in general is awesome, but the market is a letdown.” —u/deletedGetty Images

37.Overrated: Walt Disney World, Orlando

Characters at Disney World
“Disney World is the only place I’ve been that truly disappointed me. It had no redeeming qualities at all. You have to pay just to see characters or just about anything, all the rides lead right into overpriced gift shops, the lines were horrendous, and the rides were only mediocre. Disney is commercialism and exploitation of the consumer at its finest.”—Calliope“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.”—u/flipamadiggermadooGetty Images

38.Underrated: Oman

A boat on a bay
“For people who love the outdoors, Oman is a no-brainer. There’s hiking, camping, dune bashing, and miles of untouched coastline. There are even lush rain forests. It’s also extremely safe.”—u/KolipeGetty Images

39.Overrated: Stonehenge

Crowds arriving to visit Stonehenge
“It’s a set of rocks out in the middle of a field that smells like sheep poop. It was cool for a few minutes, but far too big of a hassle to be worth it.” —u/opvina4Getty Images

40.Underrated: Osaka

Tatoyaki cooking in a street food stall
“People tend to only visit Tokyo and Kyoto, but Osaka shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a big city like Tokyo, but with a much longer history. It’s located smack dab in the middle of the Kansai region, the historical cultural center of Japan. It’s known to be more fun and laid-back, and I think there’s some truth to that. It’s also the culinary capital of Japan, a must-visit for all foodies.”—u/CaptainNomihodaiGetty Images

41.Underrated: Romania

Medieval castles surrounded by greenery
“Romania is absolutely amazing. This Balkan country boasts beautiful sites, nature, warm sandy beaches, friendly people, and good food. And the icing on that cake is that it’s incredibly affordable. I never understand why more people don’t travel there.”—u/louise1969Getty Images

42.Overrated: Cinque Terre, Italy

Tiered colorful houses
“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.”—u/CaligulaAndHisHorseGetty Images

43.Underrated: Girona, Spain

A coastal Spanish town
“People usually just go to Barcelona, but they overlook Girona just 100 kilometers away. It’s a beautiful small city with an impressive old town. It’s so beautiful that you might recognize the cathedral and other parts of the city from some Game of Thrones scenes.”—ropra7645Getty Images

44.Overrated: The Waikiki Strip, Honolulu

Crowded Waikiki Beach in Oahu
“There are so many cooler places on the island to spend your time.” —u/Jubilies“Oahu is absolutely beautiful and worth visiting, but stay away from Waikiki. It’s overpriced, crowded, and the beach is tiny. Waimea Bay on the North Shore during the summer and Lanikai/Kailua beach during the winter are way better.” —u/deletedGetty Images

45.Overrated: Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Monks walking near Angkor Wat
“It’s so full of people that you can hardly move without stepping on someone’s feet. And it’s impossible to get photos without a million other tourists in them.”u/godless-lifeGetty Images

46.Underrated: Giethoorn, Netherlands

Boats in a canal
“It’s a small village where you can sail on a boat through the canals and just enjoy the view. In the summer it can get a bit crowded, but it’s a lovely city. There are restaurants along the canals where you relax and have a drink. Not many tourists know about it, but it’s a must-visit if you’re in the Netherlands.”—u/imjohnkGetty Images

47.Overrated: The Great Wall of China, Beijing

A crowd on the Great Wall of China
“If you go to the Great Wall of China, I’d suggest not going to the section right there in Beijing. It’s newly rebuilt and touristy. For a much better experience, drive a ways out of the city to the Simatai section (120 kilometers northeast of Beijing). There, you’ll find an original portion of the Great Wall that is uncrowded and more authentic.”—u/DownUpOverAndBackGetty Images

48.Overrated: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

People on a wide beach
“If you’re on the Carolina coast, go somewhere else like Charleston. It’s so much nicer.” —u/brokendowndryerGetty Images

49.Underrated: Alentejo, Portugal

A beach town surrounded by hills
“If you’re looking for a quiet vacation, Alentejo is for you. You can visit Roman ruins, old churches, and see Moorish architecture in southern Portugal. There’s also a ton of natural beauty from lakes to rolling hills and big, open farms. The region makes great local wine, and the food is delicious too. You can easily combine a trip to Alentejo with a visit to Spain, a beachy getaway in the Algarve, or a city escape to Lisbon.” —sarapmGetty Images

50.Underrated: Mainland Greece

The sun setting over a beautiful, steep landscape
“Everyone travels to the Greek islands and doesn’t really spend time in the north on the mainland, but regions in Northern Greece like Halkidiki are very nice too! And the mainland has a fairly overlooked repertoire of wildlife preserves.”—u/Pontios93Getty Images

51.Overrated: Monaco

Yachts in a harbor with a hilly city in the background
“I was in southern France and decided to take a quick trip to Monaco because I has heard great things about it. Once I got there though, I was thoroughly disappointed with the place. There was nothing but high-end clothing stores, extremely overpriced (and terrible) food, and docks filled with yachts. There was a complete absence of culture of anything interesting. It just felt like a place where ultra-rich people go to flaunt off their wealth.”—u/crwrdGetty Images

52.Overrated: Goa, India

A beach with boats and people in Goa, India
“Goa is talked up to be a legendary beach destination, but it really isn’t that great. It’s crazy busy, the water can be polluted, and it’s not relaxing. If you’re looking for a beach getaway, there are many better options.”—u/Thrill_MonsterGetty Images

53.Underrated: Adelaide, Australia

Steps leading to a beach
“Think: stunning wineries, a beautiful coast, and a vibrant food scene. The city itself is absolutely stunning, and the locals are so friendly. There’s just as much to do in Adelaide as there is in Melbourne or Sydney.”—u/GretchenmeowsGetty Images

54.Overrated: Venice, Italy

Gondolas in a Venetian canal
“Taking a gondola ride through the canals was cool, and the city itself is pretty, but Venice gets old quickly.”—u/GMen2613Getty Images

55.Overrated: Caminito, Buenos Aires

Colorful buildings of Caminito in Buenos Aires
“Everything is massively overpriced, and if you venture out of the small triangle, it’s not very safe. Stick to San Telmo and nicer neighborhoods like Recoleta, Palermo, and Belgrano.”—u/rivkasaurusrexGetty Images

56.Underrated: Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

A fortress surrounded by blue water
“Lots of people visit the Florida Keys for vacation, but many don’t know about Dry Tortugas National Park. To get there, you take a ferry from Key West, and it’s so beautiful. You can explore the fort and snorkel in the crystal clear water.”—leahd472a94326Getty Images

57.Underrated: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A golden bridge leading to a city
“It’s usually overshadowed by Philadelphia, but Pittsburgh is severely underrated, in my opinion. The food scene is really good, and the arts and cultural districts are also very interesting. The Warhol Museum in particular is well worth a visit.”—TDiabeetusGetty Images

58.Overrated: Montego Bay, Jamaica

A hillside town with colorful houses
“I recently went to Jamaica as part of a Caribbean cruise. Montego Bay, in particular, was very beautiful, but I felt like everything was a scam to take your money. I didn’t feel safe anywhere I went, and every place we were taken on a tour required that we spend money on something. Despite the natural beauty, the whole country is treated like a trash can, and there was garbage everywhere. It was very sad to see.”—u/deletedGetty Images

59.Underrated: Asheville, North Carolina

A cityscape at sunset
“If you like mountain towns, Asheville is a great little spot with lots to do, local bars, and a fun, relaxed atmosphere. In addition to the urban comforts, just outside of the city you can go skiing, snowboarding, and hiking.”

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