Every single tourist destination around the world has some kind of appeal, which is why they're called tourist destinations in the first place. Some are obviously more popular than others but that doesn't always mean they're better, and in fact, some of the biggest and best spots (both in terms of actual cities and just specific locations) are pretty bad.
When we say pretty bad that can mean a lot of different things, from being underwhelming to being downright dirty - and, for the most part, we're going to focus on the latter of those two definitions. Again, this isn't some big agenda on our part and you can make your own mind up about visiting these places, but we'd certainly think twice before heading back.
There are redeeming features here and there but this list is about being negative, because darn it, the world doesn't have enough negativity in it already. Of course, we're messing around, and the main goal of this piece is to try and drive a bigger movement in which some of these destinations get their act together (for lack of a better phrase).
Regardless of whether you're a big traveller or not you're likely going to want to read this, because it gives you an idea of what the wider world out there is like. For most of us reading this we've got it pretty good by comparison, and sometimes, you need to take a step back and remind yourself of that fact because it's important to do so.
25 Taj Mahal, India - Yes, Seriously
The Taj Mahal is a remarkable structure to look at head on, but this image above tells the entire story in more detail than most Indians would care for you to see. It's an issue that runs rampant throughout the country of India, and it's something that needs to be rectified.
The Taj is great but you have to question how many people would visit if this was the view they were greeted with. It's alarming to realise just how 'close to home' this kind of thing to be, and if something isn't done about it soon, then we could be in for some more uncomfortable sights in the next few years and beyond.
24 Bourbon Street, United States - Never A Favourite
Bourbon Street serves as the hub for all Americans who want to go and get drunk throughout the year, but aren't willing to stump up the cash necessary to actually leave the country.
A lot of folks tend to wonder what actually happens the morning after a big night out on the street, and the answer is simple: a big clean up mission. It certainly isn't pretty and while some would argue that you know what you're getting with New Orleans, we'd like to think that the residents deserve a bit better than that in terms of the city's overall reputation.
23 Pasir Ris Beach, Singapore - A Real Shame
Singapore is a forward thinking, futuristic city-state that everyone should go to at some point during their lifetime. The following beach, along with a handful of others, isn't a great representation of that.
You can't even walk forward five steps without standing in something or cutting your foot on a loose item, and that's just downright wrong. There needs to be more urgency when it comes to cleaning these beaches up, especially if they want to continue their rise as a blossoming tourism community in Asia.
But hey, at least the buildings are really pretty to look at, right? Right?
22 Naples, Italy - Poor Form
The Italians are well aware of the fact that a good portion of their cities are dramatically overrated, with Naples being a shining example of that. The moody locals stand out to most upon arriving, but beyond that, it's the dirtiness of the city that gets you down the most.
We don't want to sound too snobby here because we understand that's how this kind of mentality can come across, but you really do need to visit it yourself in order to appreciate what we're talking about. Honestly, there are garbage piles on the streets that are taller than most men.
21 Gum Wall, Seattle United States - Uh, What?
We'd like to have a chat to whoever thought this was a good idea, because for some reason, it seems to have spread beyond Seattle, Washington to cities around the globe.
We can appreciate that some tourist destinations just won't be to our taste, but in the literal sense of this article, this entry fits the bill perfectly. I mean come on, gum quite literally belongs in the garbage, and to all of you out there who like sticking it underneath tables in class or just swallowing it, we sincerely hope that you see the error of your ways one day.
20 Athens, Greece - As Expected, and not in a good way
The country of Greece has been in a state of confusion and panic for the better part of a decade now, and Athens is at the forefront of that. A lot of tourists tend to go there because of the ruins when in reality, it only takes an hour or so after landing to realise that it's much more than just a gimmick to lure in tourists.
Athens is one of the most depressing cities we've ever visited, and we aren't saying that to try and take any 'shots' at people who may live there. Honestly, if you're in a position whereby you can't afford to move out of there then we can appreciate you making the best of a bad situation, but otherwise, it's not on our recommended list.
19 Sihanoukville, Cambodia - So disappointing
While the beaches in Sihanoukville may be quite scenic and fun to spend the day on, the bigger picture of the city is much more unpleasant than many could possibly fathom.
From dodgy men to dodgy areas, you wouldn't want to spend the night here - at least, in our humble opinion.
Perhaps some will view that as just being a part of the travelling experience, especially if you're on a gap year, but not us. Cambodia is a breathtaking country and we'd encourage anyone to visit throughout the year, but be cautious when you're selecting which of the routes to take.
18 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - The waters are turning green
What is there to be said about Rio that hasn't already been said? The people of the city deserve much better than what they're getting, and the new governmental regime that is going to be put in place certainly isn't going to help matters.
In short, it's just so dirty. Even the pools that were used for the 2016 Summer Olympics have gone bad, and we mean that in the most literal sense possible. They certainly aren't beyond 'redemption' if you want to use such a word, but it's going to take a lot of hard work to get to that point.
17 Jamaican Beaches, Jamaica - Don’t Believe The Hype
Jamaica tends to be known as a stereotypically great place to go on holiday, if only because movies and television shows have taught us so. Alas, when you've got beaches that people actively avoid because of how dirty they are, you know that you've got some problems.
When you look up the possibility of heading to Jamaica you'll almost certainly be met by some tricky statistics, especially when it comes to the level of violence. We're sure that there are areas in which you can have a good time, but they're probably few and far between in comparison to ten years ago or so.
16 Pyramids of Giza, Egypt - The Harsh Truth
The Pyramids of Giza are exceptionally popular and there are a multitude of reasons for that, with the main one being that the idea of these pyramids existing at all is nothing short of incredible. They deserve to be honoured, but not in the manner that's currently happening.
From diapers flying through the sky to other severe littering taking place just nearby, the pyramids are the last thing that you're able to focus on. That sounds overdramatic, but we'd highly suggest that you go and visit for yourself to see what we're talking about. Trust us, we're not exaggerating here.
15 Pisa, Italy - One Tourist Spot, That’s It
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is here. Did you know that?
Of course you did. The thing is, that's pretty much all there is to Pisa in a 'bigger picture' kind of sense, and we can't find all too many more reasons for you to visit. The food is quite good, but come on, it's Italy - you can find amazing pizzas around every street corner.
Italy is a confusing place in many regards because for all of the good things there are equally as many bad, and we aren't saying that to try and be 'different'. If you want a proper Italian experience head to Lake Como.
14 Karni Mata Temple, India - The Rat Temple
This is a temple in India which is famous for being visited by rats. We wish we were joking around here but we really aren't, and that's the most depressing entry that we're probably ever going to write.
It's no coincidence that so many of the dirtiest cities in the world are found in India, whether it be due to overpopulation or just the severe poverty that they've been forced to deal with over the years.
Something needs to change and while we understand that us sitting here and blabbing on about it probably isn't going to do anyone any good, we need to rant about it.
13 Ibiza, Spain - Who Cares About The Party?
This, right here, is a picture of Ibiza Airport. You know, the place that is supposed to serve as your proper introduction into the destination that you happen to be visiting.
So the question is: if this is the airport, then just how bad can Ibiza itself be? The answer is very.
The place is like a walking, talking pharmacy and while there may be nice sections, you're never really able to escape the ugly side of the coin. Maybe if you go here then you know what you're getting yourself into so it isn't much of a problem, but still.
12 Temple Bar, Ireland - Horribly Overrated
From the ridiculous prices to the 'corporate' nature of the bar itself, Temple Bar just doesn't feel like the 'must visit' attraction that it once was. The worst part of it all is that you'll regularly see folks throwing up or having a smoke just outside the door, which doesn't make for the nicest of atmospheres.
It might be one to 'tick off the bucket list' but we've never bought into the idea that you should focus an entire trip on something that you may not be entirely convinced you even want to do. Otherwise, you run the risk of being let down in a big way.
11 Baku, Azerbaijan - Misleading
This utterly fantastic picture really does encapsulate what's happening in Baku right now. While they may be hosting plenty of notable events and building great pieces of architecture, there are still sections of the city that leave a lot to be desired.
The gap between the rich and the poor is so notable and we aren't overestimating that, because the locals themselves will tell you all about it. This false narrative that they seem to be thrust upon people isn't doing them any good, and they could do with re-thinking their strategy if they want to be a globally recognised tourist destination.
10 Saigon, Vietnam - Not Ideal
You may notice that we used the term Saigon in terms of Ho Chi Minh City for this one, because Saigon is how we'd prefer for it to be known - as opposed to this modern day incarnation of the city that seems to have left its poor in the dust.
There are plenty of great places around here to visit and experience, but for the most part, it just isn't particularly nice to see some of the poverty lurking around every street corner. Everyone knows it to be unbelievably cheap, and you can probably understand why upon doing a bit of research about the local area.
9 Sunny Beach, Bulgaria - Stay Vigilant
We've arrived at another 'lad's holiday' destination, and it's probably one of the more popular selections for those who are working on a budget: Sunny Beach.
Located in Bulgaria, which is a country that continues to try its best to improve their tourism standings to no avail, Sunny Beach is about as 'low budget' as you can possibly get, and it doesn't often make for a great holiday.
Sure, you'll get plenty of cheap deals, but you won't exactly be living in much comfort for the week (or however long) that you're there for. Trust us, better options are out there.
8 Pyongyang, NK - No Explanation Needed
Everything about NK as a country makes our skin crawl and we wish that we had a more elegant way of putting it. The propaganda on display over there makes it impossible to really get a feel for what it's like to grow up there, or even live there generally in the present day.
It feels like they just need to push the reset button and start again, especially in Pyongyang which is one of the eeriest locations you could possibly visit on the face of the planet. Everything about it just feels wrong to us.
7 Birmingham, England - An Explanation Required
The Second City has some great spots dotted around, with the area around the Bullring being quite pleasant to visit if you're nearby. Unfortunately, the surrounding boroughs of Birmingham leave much to be desired, and there's a lot of work to be done before it can be considered a worthy location for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The main venue, Alexander Stadium, is pretty small and needs a lot of work doing to it, but the streets next to it really are quite awful. Honestly, we're struggling to picture a place where you could logically hold the Athlete's Village without lots of fights breaking out.
6 Mexico City, Mexico - No, Thank You
As much as we love the spirit of Mexico as a country, it's not worth pretending like Mexico City is a place that everyone wants to be. In fact, some would probably argue it's the opposite, courtesy of the high crime rates as well as the poverty all around.
The majority of locals don't deserve to be attacked for their character in any way, shape or form, but there still seems to be this aura of danger when you visit Mexico City - and that's something that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later, especially given the current political climate.