Out of seven continents and 195 countries, there are hundreds, even thousands of islands and beaches, cities and museums, statues and towers, man-made wonders and natural wonders on Earth. But tourists seem to be going to the same vacation destinations year in and year out. There were places that we loved so much we went back and had another visit, that’s true. Yet, there are some places we did not have a very nice experience and vowed never to step foot there again.
The following cities have been tagged as being too "touristy" and overrated. Some are just too expensive that tourists may not feel it's worth the money. Some places have become so popular that local governments have had their hands full maintaining the area, and even then these renowned vacation spots have lost their original appeal. Most of these places are just too crowded. We step out of town for a nice vacation, to get out of our own crowded, polluted, and chaotic cities to take a break. It’s not a vacation if we see the same thing, only in a different city or timezone. By the end of this year these vacation destinations will have been overrated for various reasons discussed already. Let's take a look at the list.
20 Bali, Indonesia
Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love is a tad outdated. Surely 12 or so years ago, Bali was a wondrous place. But we can’t blame her, a lot could happen to any place in 12 years. Then add the fact that Julia Roberts who starred in the movie of the same name) practically endorsed the island in her movie. Bali is a province and an island in Indonesia. It consists of several islands and in 2017 alone, it took in close to 6 million tourists.
The issue with Bali and most Indonesian islands are that its beaches have been contaminated with garbage, mostly plastic garbage, that washes ashore from all over the world.
19 Hong Kong, China
The offspring of China and the United Kingdom, Hong Kong is a combination of culture, tradition, and commerce. The best that the west and the east has to offer. It’s like a big shopping center and a big street party in the late hours of the night.
But lately, Hong Kong has been affected by China’s pollution, especially in the peak seasons (October to January). The bigger concern in Hong Kong for tourists is the population. Tourists can really crowd Hong Kong and one would feel they have no personal space when walking down famous Nathan Road. Advice, avoid the peak seasons and enjoy the streets with better elbow room.
18 Phuket Beach, Thailand
Phuket is like the small goatee on the long chin of Thailand. It’s a province and Thailand’s largest island. As similar to Bali as it sounds, Phuket has similar problems as well. Tourists crowd the beach area, especially in peak seasons, with pollution scattered all over the sand and in the water.
This is because it is the most popular tourist destination in Thailand, and has now started to not be worth your hard-earned money. To get your money’s worth in the same country, try these other beach destinations: Ao Kham, Haad Man Sai, Ao Sabai, and the Trang archipelago.
17 Tokyo, Japan
Just like Hong Kong, try avoiding Tokyo Disneyland for the same reasons. Unless this is a trip where one visits and crosses off a list of Disneyland theme parks all over the world, forget about it. There’s just so many people, one could wait more than 2 hours to finally take a ride or get inside an attraction.
Why not enjoy the more famous and more culture-rich sites in Japan. The Imperial Palace and numerous museums in Tokyo. And of course, the world-famous Mt. Fuji, although it’s 59 miles away from Tokyo, it will still be worth the ride, rather than the Japanese version of Mickey and the gang.
16 Moscow, Russia
Tourism can boom in any country anywhere in the world, just put the World Cup there. This is what’s happening to Russia right now, as the 21st FIFA World Cup is currently being held in cities all over the country. The finals will be held in Moscow. Thirty-two nations of hardcore football (soccer) fans will travel to Russia and stay there, watch the games, and see the sights.
Of course, the city of Moscow has prepared for this boom of tourists and is now at the end of its plans and budget. At the end part of 2018, expect a hibernation mode in the aftermath of the World Cup from Moscow’s tourism as they get back on their feet after a seriously overwhelming World Cup invasion.
15 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is sadly becoming one of those cities in Europe riddled with tourists every hour of the day, and every day of the week. Like Paris, Venice, and New York, tourists in Amsterdam seem to be a nuisance rather than a welcome guest for the locals.
This is because of the volume. People flock to the Red Light District for the obvious reasons and having fun and to party. Prostitution has been legalized so it’s an all-nighter for the right tourist. Forget Amsterdam, especially when traveling with family, check out these nice cities instead: Eindhoven, Leeuwarden, and Rotterdam, to name a few. Amsterdam will be overrated for sure by the end of 2018.
14 Athens, Greece
Athens is the largest city in Greece, but it can’t accommodate the millions of tourists. Especially in places like Thissio and Exarchia, crowds can get rowdy in Athens, rowdy with pictures and poses with the Acropolis in the background. If you are the type of tourist who doesn’t like selfie sticks, avoid the common places in Athens.
There are other ways to enjoy the culture of this aged and historical city. Visit these places for the same, if not richer, cultural immersion: The National Archeological Museum, Filopappou Hill, and Metaxourgeio. A beautiful city and its amazing views should not be spoiled by the same people who are trying to enjoy it, be smart and take the other scenic route.
13 Blarney Stone, Ireland
Blarney is a town in Cork, Ireland. It’s a small, quiet town that would have been virtually non-existent if not for Blarney Castle. The castle would have been just a regular old stronghold if not for the Blarney Stone. Tourists travel to Blarney and visit the Blarney Castle to climb the highest part of the structure and give the Blarney Stone a kiss.
The stone was believed to give the kisser the gift of gab (eloquence, flattery, and persuasion). Apart from the town square and the mill, there really is nothing to do in the town after one gives a smooch to the world-famous Casanova of stones. A 385-mile travel from Dublin, the Blarney stone seems to be a long drive for an old castle and a rock.
12 Copenhagen, Denmark
When you travel to Copenhagen and check out the Little Mermaid statue in Langelinie Park in Denmark, you better have a whole other itinerary because once you look at the statue, that’s it. There is no magic to it. Most tourists say it’s better looking in the pictures, and if there was a fee to look at it, it would have been a sham.
The bronze statue is 4-feet tall and was based on Hans Christian Anderson’s novel The Little Mermaid. It is an iconic landmark that represents the city of Copenhagen and the country of Denmark. Once there, go ahead and visit the following sites: Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg, and the Nyhavn.
11 Loch Ness, Scotland
The Loch Ness monster is the stuff of folklore in Scottish culture. Whether it’s real or not, a legend or a scientific anomaly, it’s fame all around the world cannot be disputed. Believed to be living in the Scottish Highlands, in Lake Ness, or Loch Ness. The creature, from various sightings and pictures, appears to have a very long neck, something like a hump on its back and looks like a giant turtle without its shell.
Tourists who travel to Scotland always visit the Highlands to get a glimpse of the famous lake, and maybe Nessie, too. They will travel far to be disappointed, though. It’s a long drive to see a regular-looking lake and zero sightings of any creature that might resemble the Loch Ness monster.
10 London, England
England is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It has a lot of history and is as rich in culture as any other country in the world. As a tourist, there’s much to see in London. The Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge, and the famous red telephone booths and iconic London buses.
The many things you can see and go to in London are probably as much as the times it will rain while there. Coupled with the growing crowd of tourists who visit the city, getting wet and cold probably is not the ideal vacation people are looking for.
9 Mykonos, Greece
Neighbors to Santorini and all the other islands in the southeast part of Greece, Mykonos is kind of like the red light district of Greece’s southern isles. This is the island where people take a vacation to party and drink all night, contrary to what one would do in Santorini.
Mykonos has seen a significant rise in petty crimes like pickpocketing, bar fights, and issues with public transportation and crowded party streets. If this is not your thing, steer clear of the island and choose a different one. There are a number of islands in the area, some as beautiful, or even more beautiful, than Mykonos.
8 Paris, France
The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, and the Eiffel Tower. These are just 4 of the most famous tourist spots in Paris. The Louvre is the museum that has Da Vinci’s most popular work, the Mona Lisa.
The Champs-Élysées claims to be the most beautiful street in the world, it’s the most famous street in Paris. The most iconic structure of them all is the Eiffel Tower, you’ve had an incomplete trip to Paris if you didn’t have your picture taken with it. The main issue that tourists always find bad is the volume of people in these places. Walking the streets, one can no longer feel the vibe of the most romantic city in the world because of the crowds.
7 Pisa, Italy
Italy is a country known for its beautiful buildings and structures, and its food. And thanks to Mario Puzo, Italy is known for small, unforgettable villages like Sacova in Sicily. Pisa is a 71-square mile province located above the middle part of Italy.
Aside from the Leaning Tower, there’s really not much the place has to offer tourists in terms of sights to see and culture to experience. With the crowds flocked around the tower, and nothing else to do, this might not be a worthwhile trip for everyone. Some even say that the tower doesn’t lean so much anymore, now that’s hilarious.
6 Bondi Beach, Sydney
Australia is a wonderful country filled with amazing animals we cannot see anywhere else in the world. Get up close to a koala and Australia will have a place in our hearts forever. The majesty of the Sydney Opera House is a visual feast for anyone’s eyes.
But when it comes to popular beaches, try and avoid Bondi Beach. Bondi Beach is the most popular beach in Sydney. So popular that the place is swarmed by tourists every day. There is almost no room to lay down a blanket and people keep on coming. Try these other beach destinations in Australia: Shelly, Manly, and Tamarama.
5 Hobbiton, New Zealand
The epic Middle Earth trilogy penned by J.R.R. Tolkien was a fictional masterpiece mostly filmed in New Zealand. The story Lord of the Rings circled around the hobbit Frodo Baggins, who lived in Hobbiton. Hobbiton is a small village in the humble town of the Shire. They did not tear down the place, instead, New Zealand kept and maintained it for fans all over the world to visit and have a Hobbiton experience of their own.
While the place is beautiful and exactly like it was in the film, the Hobbiton experience stops at the circular door. For an admission of at least $60, one might expect something more beyond the door of any of those Hobbit houses. At least some Hobbit furniture, so guests can sit and pretend to have tea with Frodo, Bilbo, and Sam.
4 Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
If you are traveling to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore for the first time, you should have other spots and places you intend to see as well. This famous landmark is mostly a letdown for all first-timers. First, it’s the only thing worth seeing and doing in South Dakota, unless you’re into parks and are up to seeing another unfinished mountain monument.
Most tourists feel disappointed about how small the Mount Rushmore monument is in real life. Some say it does not look as beautiful as it does in the pictures. Most of the time, the real thing is better than its pictures, Mount Rushmore is one of the few that are not.
3 Seattle, Washington
If New York has the Statue of Liberty, Seattle’s famous iconic landmark is the Space Needle. It’s like a sleek lighthouse towering over the buildings in Seattle. Located in the famous Seattle Center, the Space Needle attracts tourists from all over the world.
The problem is that the Space Needle is not as big as one might think, and of course, there’s always a long queue to wait your turn to get to the observation deck. The $25 admission fee, more or less, is not worth the wait, and not worth the sights you will see once you’re up there. Yeah, that is because the most beautiful structure in the place is the one you are on. What an ironic disappointment.
2 Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
One of the most popular Caribbean countries is the Bahamas. But, if you are looking for the authentic Caribbean experience, the Atlantis Paradise Island is not the right place. Firstly, it’s an expensive resort. That’s because it has all these activities in one place that every guest can enjoy, but it does not give you that immersion, that Caribbean experience.
Secondly, the food is expensive, head out away from the resort and find some local restaurants to taste Caribbean cuisine. Lastly, enjoy the place and mingle with the locals, make friends with them, not with the staff of the resort.
1 Cancún, Mexico
Mexico has a lot of beautiful beaches, and Cancun is one of them. The place is most popular with spring breakers from up north. Everyone is sure to know, some painfully, that these places are off-limits to the regular vacationing family or couple during the months of March and April.
But as popular Cancun is among the college youth looking to blow off steam by partying and drinking, it has become a sort of Spring Break capital and is now avoided entirely by most tourists. There’s also been growing concern about the city’s increasing violence and crime rate every year.