There are some amazing places in the world that are just not worth our time to go. They could be some of the greatest wonders in the world, the ones on everyone’s bucket list, but the truth is, even the brightest and best attractions and places can be overrated if there are way too many tourists to enjoy it, or if it is too expensive to go to. There are many different reasons to classify something as overrated when travelling and a lot is in the eye of the beholder, but even the best sometimes isn’t as great as it seems.
Meanwhile, there are many places in the world that don’t get the same respect, the same number of tourists and the same attention as the world wonders do and it is a shame they don’t because they are just as beautiful and stunning as the next. Sometimes places can be underrated because they don’t have that wow factor, or don’t have a famous culture behind it, but that doesn’t stop anyone from enjoying what they can offer, and that is as just a great of an experience as anything else. So check out this list and see which places are overrated and which one are underrated and keep it in mind when planning your next vacation.
Santorini is beautiful. It has some of the best views of the sunset in the entire Mediterranean Sea. And it is entirely overrated. Sunsets are amazing and all, and the white buildings of Santorini make it look amazing when taking photos, but you have to battle all the rest of the tourists there to try and enjoy the view. According to CNN, Santorini has a tourism problem, as over two million people visited in 2017, with over 850,000 coming in off cruise ships. That’s a lot of people to enjoy something you can pretty much see anywhere in the world.
New York City is apparently the city that never sleeps and is generally on most people’s bucket list for a vacation spot. The Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Time’s Square and just the lifestyle of New York makes people want to come, but also makes it overrated. New York is the largest city in the United States, and when you add in over 62.8 million tourists last year alone, according to the WYSE Travel Confederation, that makes for a lot of long lines, traffic jams and headaches as you try and visit some of the attractions. It’s also very expensive, so most of the time you must stay outside the city to afford to visit there.
No one thinks that Bolivia is one of those countries to explore or that they are neighbours with their famous friends, Peru and Brazil. Many people don't seem to know that it is home to a large diversity of culture and extraordinary landscapes. According to National Geographic, Bolivia is home to the Amazonian jungle and the famous salt flats and has a strong indigenous culture that you won't find anywhere else in the world. This exciting country is also home to one of the highest mountains in South America the Andean Mountain. Whether you are looking for a cultural experience or a nature experience then this is your place to be.
The Niagara Falls are one of the most well-known waterfalls in the world and bring millions a year to see them. It has made Niagara Falls into the honeymoon capital of the world. But once you have seen them once, you’ve kind of seen the entire thing. With all the restaurants and hotels facing the falls, they are constantly in your face, and the locals know they bring millions of people, so they actually charge, according to the CBC, a tourism tax, which is an extra fee on all your purchases to support the tourism industry. So, you’re paying more, on top of already paying a lot for this tourist trap.
The Taj Mahal is one of the greatest structures ever built, but in 2019, it can be considered an overrated place, considering that each day thousands of people visit it. According to Reader's Digest, over 40,000 people visit the Taj Mahal every day, so much so that India has actually had to put a cap on the number of people who can go in. But that is only on their own people, as outside tourists can go in for a fee. It’s overcrowded and while beautiful, is a waste of time if you could book other places to go instead.
The Rainbow Mountain in Peru will definitely get you a cool photo for your social media accounts, but that’s about it, making it an overrated place that thousands of people visit each year. According to Reader’s Digest, 1,000 people a day visit the mountains with all the colors of the rainbow and most of them don’t come prepared for the journey up the mountain, which is 5,200 feet above sea level. And you have to make sure to go on a sunny day because on overcast days, the colors are dull. You don’t really want to be counting on the weather when booking this trip months in advance.
Rome is another beautiful place that finds itself on everyone’s travel bucket list. But it earns its spot on the overrated list because of the number of people all thinking the same thing. The Colosseum, according to Reader’s Digest, is visited by 11,000 people a day, and the famous Trevi Fountain is so crowded that if you don’t get up early and go see it, you’ll be standing with thousands of people all trying to throw change in the fountain to make a wish. Do yourself a favor and pick a place you can enjoy the sights.
Many visitors who do plan to visit Europe mostly plan to visit Western Europe where all the tourist attractions are and the cost of food and extra expenses are through the roof. What people don't know is that Eastern Europe is filled with multicultural countries that many people don't think of heading to. According to the Traveller, countries like Armenia and Albania have a rich history, delicious foods and are not overly populated with tourists. So why not take a chance and visit this underrated part of Europe and just maybe you will see something that you weren't expecting before.
If you’re looking for a party or spring break atmosphere, then Miami is the place for you, but if not, then avoid the overrated hype that is Miami. According to the Huffington Post, Miami is the 8th most overrated city in the world, as their pricey lifestyle and the weather, which can be very humid and no fun to be in all the time, make it a place to avoid. It’s America’s third most expensive city so if you’re looking for a party, try a place that has some culture with it as well.
An ancient civilization has many wonders and Greece is home to them, as the Acropolis is one of the most heavily visited places in the world. But after you have visited the Parthenon and the other structures there, you have to head into Athens, which according to the Huffington Post, is one of the most overcrowded and dirty cities in Europe. When you think of a vacation, you have to think of every day and you can see the Acropolis in one day, so what else are you going to do with your time?
Many Portuguese people know Alentejo as the next Lisbon. Filled with beach resorts and cultural pockets, this rural part of Portugal is worth visiting. According to National Geographic, this underrated city is best known for their food bowls and olive groves. This place is worth spending a couple of days to explore the vineyards and rolling hills that hug the mountains along the coastline. If you take it from me, this place is worth going to if you are ready to get lost in for weeks at a time.
If you are going to Hollywood with dreams of being a movie star, then you’re on the right track. But if you are going to Hollywood to see a movie star, well you are missing the mark and heading to one of the most overrated places in the United States. Hollywood is a symbol for actors and actresses, not a literal place you will see them on the street. And the two most popular attractions in Hollywood are the Walk of Fame, which is just a bunch of names on a sidewalk, and the Hollywood sign, which is just a sign in the mountains. Plenty of better places to visit.
Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries of the world, as no one knows how they got these massive rocks that weigh 25 tons each on top of each other. But that isn’t what makes them overrated, it’s more that they are, according to the Huffington Post, overcrowded and inaccessible. They report that tourists are kept back 10 yards by ropes, so you can’t even go up and take a look around. And when you do get in, it’s crowded with people and 90 miles away from London, so it’s a far journey to see some rocks.
Mount Rushmore is a mountain of four former United States leaders carved into the side of the mountain. It’s a symbol and it can look pretty amazing, except when you actually go see it and realize how far back you are and that you may need to use binoculars. According to USA Today, over three million people visit Mount Rushmore each year, but it’s in South Dakota and a large complaint is, after you have seen the sculpture, there isn’t much else to do in the area.
Jolly Old England makes the list of overrated places to visit, not because you can’t see amazing palaces, Big Ben or the bridges, but because it’s an island country and many people don’t realize that London gets a lot of rain every single year. According to Business Insider, London gets anywhere from 11 to 15 days a month of rain, and who wants to go on vacation and stand in the rain. But that is what you should expect from an island with water around it, so be mindful when booking those trips.
Venice has the world famous canals that bring couples there looking to have a romantic ride up the rivers that go between houses. But Venice has a tourism issue, so much so that the locals are leaving because of it. According to the Telegraph, over 70,000 people visit each day, which out numbers the locals, who are down to just 50,000. It’s no wonder they charge so much to get into a gondola, because they are always around people who don’t call the place home.
Are you ready to spend like a high roller? No? Well, then Las Vegas isn’t for you. The entire city is pretty much one big tourist attraction with one goal in mind, to get as much money from you as you can before you leave. Casinos are huge business, and they hire entertainment acts, such as the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga to perform in the hopes that you will come to check out their show, spend money at their casino and hotel and take your luck at the tables in hopes of winning it back. Chances are though, that won’t actually happen.
You don’t want to get the reputation of being the next Cancun, but that is exactly what is happening with Cabo San Lucas, as according to the Insider, Cabo is filled with college crowds, themed bars and restaurants and cheap drinks, all in the hope of luring in the college kids on break. And because of violence in the area, the US State Department actually had to issue a warning to people about visiting. It’s getting dangerous and overcrowded and there are much better beach areas in the world to visit.
This destination is known for its role in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Northern Ireland is known for its beauty and scenic views, and this destination is one of the top destinations that is underrated and becoming a must-see. According to the Traveller, Northern Ireland is known for its golf courses that used to host the British Open. Although the golf courses are amazing, many come to Northern Ireland to surf the waves along the Causeway Coast.
This small country just south of Brazil is one of the top destinations that is underrated. Uruguay is known for its charming attractions such as the beaches and horseback riding through the countryside. According to Traveller, this country is strongly known for their culture and the Gauchos, which are men (cowboys) that travel along the countryside in search of bulls to bring back to their farms. If you are into camping under the stars in search of bulls, then this is the place for you.
We all know Australia for its outback scenery and kangaroo meetings but what people don't know is that this country is considered to be underrated. According to the Traveller, Australia is not only home to the kangaroos but to a multicultural population. This country is best known for its artistic streets and bushwalks and will take you on an epic road trip along the Gibb River. Most people who do travel to Australia take in the epic landscape of the swirling silken waters of Whitsundays where the locals tend to come on weekends to relax.
Chile is one of those countries that is just hidden along the Pacific Ocean coastline. The beauty and scenery though makes up for the fact that most people forget it even exists on the map. According to the Traveller, Chile is known for its high plains, beaches and vineyards. Although Chile is deemed an underrated destination, its alien landscape and dessert make you feel like you are the only person left in the world but that doesn't take away from the star-filled sky that surrounds the country around you.
French Polynesia is one of those paradise places that is spread across a large area in Europe. The islands consist of four major islands: Tuamotu, Gambier, Austral and Marquesas Islands. What's so special about these islands is that they have some of the healthiest reefs in the world, according to the Traveller. Many divers and snorkelers come here to explore the marine life and study its habitat. Another interesting fact about French Polynesia is that it also is known for its culture and warm hospitality to visitors who come to these islands, making this an underrated destination.
If you were to ask anyone where the best place is to go for a wildlife safari adventure tour, many people would suggest South Africa and Kenya, but no one thinks that Zambia would be one of those places to go. According to Travellers, Zambia is considered to be an underrated destination that many people wouldn't consider going but they have been known for their unique wildlife safari tours and migration sanctuaries in Kasanka National Park.
Penang Hill is certainly a picture-perfect fishing village on the south coastline of Malaysia. This beautiful country is not really known to tourists but it’s one underrated places that you should take the time to go and see. Penang is not only listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site but it's known for its murals and multicultural streets. According to National Geographic, Penang is best known for their turtle sanctuary at their National Park in downtown Penang. This will make you fall in love for turtles all over again.
Many people think that Patagonia is located in Chile but it is actually located in the remarkable Torres Del Paine of Argentina. According to Travellers, the two neighbours share the majestic Andean Ice Field that is not only gorgeous to look at, but you can hike through towards the Atlantic Ocean. Although this place is not on many people’s bucket list, it is one that people should consider going to if they are looking for an interesting scenic adventure.
Bounded by three countries in Western Europe, Lake Constance is frequently visited by domestic tourists each year. According to Travellers, the best way to enjoy Europe is to travel beyond the tourist attractions and go to places such as Lake Constance to get a better understanding of its beauty. This lake is also known for its vineyards and historical heritage village that surrounds it. Trains and ships will make getting around this underrated destination even better, and give you a different look at Europe than seeing the cliché tourist traps.
Mekong Delta, Vietnam is not one of those cities that you stay for a week, but if you are planning to take a day trip then this underrated destination is for you. According to the Travellers, this sultry and laidback region is filled with riverside towns. The only way to get around is by boat or by ferries. Many tourists who do come to this region will say that their coffee is fantastic and if you are there to relax than why not do it in a hammock. The Delta is a place to experience great food and culture in Asia.
When we think of Spain, most of us think of their love for Madrid and their soccer team. Although Madrid is an overrated place to go and visit, the Galicia is one village in Spain that is underrated. According to the Travellers, Galicia is known for its ancient ruins in their Celtic Village in Santa Tecla. This part of Spain not only has stunning views but also has their own language and culture apart from Spain's official language, Spanish. What makes this destination so special is that it has the world's finest seafood that you wouldn't be able to get anywhere else.
Despite New Zealand being a small country, Taranaki is home to one day walks along the scenic prairies. According to the Travellers, Taranaki is home to the leading contemporary art center in the world. This place is also home to the best surfing spots where waves can reach over 100 feet high. This underrated spot in New Zealand is the perfect spot for those looking to try a new sport or see some unique art, and New Zealand is constantly on the top of lists as the most beautiful country in the world.
Sources: Reader's Digest; Travellers; CNN