The world is full of amazing places to travel to, but if 2018 taught us anything, it’s that there are some places that are more overrated than others and we don’t need to go to ever again. Once is enough, or sometimes not at all for these crowded tourist traps that will only eat up your money and not give you the experience you are wanting. There are many reasons why a place can be overrated, such as the tourists outnumber the locals or the prices for the tourist stops is more than it’s worth. And if you find yourself going to a place and saying once was enough, it probably is overrated.
In this list, we tick off some of those overcrowded, expensive and overrated stops that tourists made in 2018. If they are on your bucket list for 2019, then maybe you should be reconsidering and take a look at a different destination that has the same perks and feelings, without the people and strain on your budget. For now, here are the places to avoid in the new year. Don’t get caught planning a trip to a place that isn’t really worth it, when you could be spending your time and money on something so much better.
Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and its tourism number show it. According to Insider, around 8.4 million visitors pass through the island each year. If you are planning a vacation between November to March, well think again. It is considered their high season as many come for their beautiful beaches. In addition, according to a survey done by Prince Songkla University, during the months of September to October, trash and water quality is a problematic state for their beaches and it may not be the paradise that you were looking for.
There are many places to see in Japan that are full of history and culture of that country, but Tokyo Disney world isn’t one of them. It seems almost silly to go to a theme park that you can visit in the United States, but in fact, some visitors prefer Japan's version. According to Insider, the crowds can be an issue as you are obligated to wait close to two hours to get onto a ride. And it is nearly impossible to walk down Main Street to get a glimpse of Mickey Mouse or their daily parade.
If you are looking to spot a celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame then you may not have much luck. According to the Insider, Paramount Pictures is the only major studio that is located close by to the Walk of Fame. The famous sidewalk has been known as a tourist trap and many come for the unoriginal attractions like the wax museum and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. But at the end of the day, it’s just a sidewalk with some celebrity’s name on it.
London has plenty of worthwhile attractions, but good luck catching it on a nice day. In most cities, the expected rain is not nearly as much as what London gets, as it is close to 11 to 15 days of rain every month, according to the Insider. With all that rain London gets, don't forget the stifling heat waves in the summer. Tourists commonly see higher prices in everyday items like coffee, sandwiches and public transportation as their currency is higher than the Euro.
Unless you are planning a wild spring break trip or you just want to see an occasional NASCAR race, then you might want to skip Daytona Beach. These groups of people tend to get rowdy, so you can find it very difficult to find a quiet hotel room. According to the Insider, cars are allowed on the beach, which means the sand might not be all that peaceful either. So, if you are looking for a peaceful destination to tan, try places like the Keys, Clearwater Beach or Pensacola Beach instead.
Tourism in Egypt has been steadily declining thanks to safety concern. It turns out that there are a number of other reasons why tourists are not very keen on visiting well-known cities such as Cairo. According to the Insider, shop owners, taxi drivers and whoever relies on tourists have become very aggressive. Cairo is also known to be very congested with traffic and getting to places can be difficult. Every city has their own regulations on pedestrian walkways but in Cairo, you have to be very careful as it can become very dangerous for pedestrians to walk through the streets.
Stonehenge is believed to be one of the most overrated tourist attractions in the world. According to the Insider, for $23 you get to see the majestical scenery of Stonehenge in Salisbury and that’s about it. Stonehenge can get very overwhelming with tourists coming to see the famous rocks, but there is no better way than just stay in your car and drive by the attractions. Should you want to explore the area without being in your car then an overcrowded tour bus will take you there.
Cancun is known for beautiful weather, soft sandy beaches and of course, they know how to throw a good party. This spring break destination can get overcrowded and some resorts can charge you through the nose for staying there. Cancun, Mexico is also known for their large controversy and some tourists have become very wary of staying there. According to the Insider, despite all of this, travel insurance is a must have as Cancun is in the top two domestic and international spring break destinations in the world.
People who go to Pisa want to see one thing and one thing only and that is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. When tourists go to see the tower, they are left rather disappointed and it is smaller than what photos lead you to believe. Once you get that typical photo that everyone else gets, you'll find yourself wondering why you came all that way in the first place. With Italy being home to several historical sites and ancient ruins that are much more worth your time, such as the Vatican, the Colosseum and the Florence Cathedral, you’ll wonder why you went to Pisa for a misconstructed tower in the first place.
Las Vegas is great for a casino trip and a short party, but if you are expecting this grand vacation for Las Vegas, then you are more than likely going to be disappointed and come home with a lot less money. According to the Insider, Vegas is just one big tourist trap, and everything is designed to take your money. It’s all flashing lights and loud sounds to grab your attention and when you pay for shows, a lot of them leave a lot to be desired. Don’t get trapped in this overrated adult theme park.
You will not find a bridge that is more expensive to walk across than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. According to the Insider, the bridge takes about 1.5 hours to climb and will set you back $124, whereas the full three to four-hour climbs will cost you $224. That is a pretty high price just to get a great view of the Sydney Harbour. You may want to take a ride on the ferry for the same view that will include the Harbour Bridge and it will not break the bank.
It’s no denying the fact that the apartments in Hong Kong are very tiny and the city is overcrowded. According to the Insider, Hong Kong has a population of 7.43 million people. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world but that doesn't stop the tourists from coming in and experiencing the cultural aspects of China. According to China Daily, they had over 285 million tourists in 2016 and that isn’t slowing down. It’s overcrowded everywhere and mixed with the locals, there are millions of people around all the time.
If you are looking for that true Caribbean paradise experience, you won't find it at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. What you will find is an overwhelming number of things to do such as waterparks, a large casino and an entire marine habitat. According to the Insider, the Caribbean beach does draw numerous tourist, but it takes a back seat to all of the other attractions going on around it. So if you are going for that beach adventure, go somewhere else as this resort is an overrated Caribbean adventure.
This legendary kissing slab is known to give you the gift of gab. If that is true then the stone is covered in other people’s germs and spit. According to the Insider, you will probably wait a long time to kiss this rock, but it will also set you back $19. The Blarney Stone is one of Ireland's top 10 tourist traps. It is said that the castle and garden views are as unimpressive as the stone itself. So why not hit the local pub or brewery instead.
New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. You can find almost every type of cuisine and you will be surprised at how authentic it actually is. According to the Insider, Little Italy is by far the exception, as most of the restaurants are not true Italian food, but rather United States' interpretations of it. The small neighborhood caters mostly to tourists and is full of souvenir shops. If you have any chance to talk with the locals, they will tell you that real Italian food is located elsewhere in New York and not in Little Italy.
Tourism is normally loved by local economies, but in Venice, it has really hurt the locals, as millions of tourists come each year to see the famous canals, which has led local governments to limit the number of tourists and where they can come in. According to the Telegraph, Venice’s population is down to 50,000, yet they see over 70,000 tourists each day. And those canals, that are often depicted as a place for couples to have a romantic ride up the streets, can be very expensive for a single couple to enjoy.
Santorini is known for one thing in particular, being the best place in the world to see a sunset. It has brought so many tourists to the small island that it has started to create a problem. Sunsets are supposed to be romantic, but there is nothing romantic about hundreds to thousands of other people standing with you experiencing the few moments of sunset. According to the Telegraph, over 5.5 million people visited Santorini last year, which has caused traffic jams and overcrowding, while water and energy use have skyrocketed.
The Louvre in Paris, France is one of the best museums in the world. It was featured heavily in the novel and movie The Da Vinci Code, mostly due to the famous painting, the Mona Lisa. According to the New York Post, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, with over 8.8 million people looking to see great works of art like the Mona Lisa, which can make it difficult to enjoy the painting or any of the art in the museum with that many people trying to get a good position. You normally think of a museum as a quiet place, but with so many tourists, pick another one and actually enjoy the experience.
Loch Ness, Scotland is famous for something that doesn’t even exist. Unless of course, you believe in the Loch Ness monster, which no one has ever seen before. According to the Huffington Post, it’s a three-hour drive from Edinburgh to get to the gray waters, and once you are there, there is literally nothing to see. No monster, nothing. And there is a little museum available, but it has been described as run-down and you’re not wasting three hours of driving in Scotland to see nothing. Best to pick something else.
When it is winter in the United States, it is summer in Australia, which is why many tourists go down-under to hit the beaches. Bondi Beach is one of the most popular in Sydney, and it is typically always overcrowded due to the large number of tourists and locals that live there. Remember, it’s their summer as well and they want to enjoy time at the beach. According to the Daily Mail, Sydney officials have even had to think of a ticket system to limit the people on the beach. If you are looking for a beach for a vacation, there are thousands of them in the world. Pick one that is less crowded.
When Peter Jackson finished filming his Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand, he left behind the hobbit homes for fans of the movies and novels to enjoy. New Zealand has plenty of beautiful things to see, but this overrated movie set is not one of them. According to the Telegraph, all that remains is the door fronts and fake buildings, and all the furniture has been removed so you can’t even go in and enjoy some tea. It’s really underwhelming for the cost and better to just enjoy the movies and visit somewhere else.
Mount Rushmore is another iconic monument in the United States that is best left to photos online. It’s an overrated monument because it’s actually a lot smaller than you realize, and once you have seen it, there isn’t much left to see or do in South Dakota. You need binoculars to see it properly, and according to USA Today, over three million people a year try to see the mountain that the monument is built into. All just to see some former leaders faces carved into a mountain. With little else to do, it’s not a place to plan a trip around.
The most famous office building in the world, the Empire State Building, is a signature of the New York skyline and a place where tourists can go up to the 86th floor observation deck and get an amazing view of New York. If of course, you can see it through the bars. All the pictures from the Empire State Building don’t feature the bars that are blocking the view to keep people safe. According to the New York Times, the observation deck saw four million people visit in a year and generated over $60 million in profits in 2010. That’s a lot of money to fork out for a view that is used on plenty of posters and art prints you can buy from any retail store.
The United States got its start at Plymouth Rock, except it didn’t, but for arguments sake, this rock is special to US history. This issue is, it’s literally just that – a rock. According to Far and Wide, it was in 1620 when pilgrims first landed at this rock and it has been a special place in US history for some time. It’s where the Plymouth Colony started and where the United States began. But as far as a travel destination, it’s still just a rock, and without 100 percent proof that this is where the United States was first founded, it can very well be just an ordinary rock with a date on it that people travel to see. It’s not a place to book a trip around.
Niagara Falls is a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong, but once you have seen them, you have seen them. It’s rushing water falling into a gorge, there isn’t really a need to see it twice. And with every hotel and restaurant offering views of the falls from their windows, there is no chance you will not get a great view. But your wallet on the other hand, will easily get a workout. According to Far and Wide, Niagara Falls is one of the most expensive tourist traps in Canada. While you can walk up to the falls for free, everything around it, from entertainment to restaurants to hotels, comes with increased costs, and extra hospitality taxes.
Four Corners is exactly what you think it is, four corners of four states. This monument, which is nothing more than a gold disc on the ground, represents where the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet. It makes the overrated tourism stop because it simply doesn’t offer any wow factor, as borders between states are wide open. According to the Denver Post, the plaque on the ground may not actually be where the States meet, as geological surveys have been updated and the plaque misses the mark in more ways than one.
The Taj Mahal is another example of a beautiful monument that generally makes all the best lists and is one of the greatest wonders in the world but is also overrated when you have to battle thousands of people each day to see it. According to the Smithsonian, the Taj Mahal is visited by over 40,000 people a day, and that number had to be capped in order to limit the number of tourists that come through. As many as 70,000 tourists can come in each day, which starts to take away a little of the wonder when a group of people the size of a city is joining you.
The Trevi Fountain in Rome is one of the most beautiful and often photographed fountains in the world, but good luck getting a good view of it or trying to toss your own coin in to make a wish. According to Business Insider, workers have to scrub the floor each day to remove the coins which amounts to thousands of dollars each day, or $1.5 million a year. The money does go to charity, but with so many people around, you have to get up pretty early to make a wish in a fountain that probably won’t come true.
The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is based on the fairy tale of the same name and has turned into a huge tourist attraction in Copenhagen, despite the statue being only four feet tall. In fact, some people have said it symbolizes the city of Copenhagen just as the Statue of Liberty does New York and Christ the Redeemer does Rio de Janeiro. Except the statue is so small that when tourists try to get a picture with it, they can block the entire statue with their body. According to the BBC, the statue is also so close to the water that vandalism is common, as you can walk up to the statue without any security.
The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest wonders in the United States, and the skywalk built and opened in 2007 allowed for a different kind of view, as tourists can walk out and look below and see to the floor. But according to Far and Wide, the lowest cost for the skywalk is $50, which is pretty pricey to see a rock formation through glass. With plenty of places to see the Canyon from, it’s best to just avoid this overrated tourist trap and think of something else to use the money on.