Most Disappointing Travel Destinations for 2015

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Have you ever traveled to a destination after seeing it on one of those “Top destinations” list only to be totally disappointed and let down? I know Adam and I’ve had high hopes for several destinations on our around-the-world trip only to get there and be totally confused as to what all the fuss was all about. We’ve come to the realization that you have to go a destination with less expectations. We’ve been to cities that others rave about that we could wait to leave, and the reverse too. If you’ve ever felt this way, don’t worry. You are not alone.

We recently had our 500th travel day anniversary and we started thinking about our favorite cities and our least favorite. Several cities we visited we had seen on those lists “Top 15 destinations to visit in 2015” or  “Best beaches in the world”, but no one ever shows you “Most disappointing travel destinations” list. So we asked 43 of our travel blogger friends: “Which travel destination has let you down the most?  What inspired you to travel there, and why it didn’t live up to the hype?”Adam and I have been to 22 of the 36 listed cities below, and I will say we agree with 14 of them as being disappointing.


By far the most disappointing continent was Europe, and 5 out of the 40 bloggers we asked picked the same city as their biggest letdown.  The most disappointing travel destination is….PARIS! I decided to include 1 bloggers disappointment of Paris below and the other 4 bloggers for a special post – Paris: Love it OR Hate it?

Related Article: Paris Budget Tips


Eiffel Tower - Day Time long exposure | France
Eiffel Tower – Day Time long exposure | France

Meg Jerrad at Mapping Megan

Mine is a highly unpopular opinion, however, Paris was the most disappointing travel experience for me, and it’s all because of the hype. People rave about Paris. They talk deliriously about its beauty and put the city on a pedestal which I sadly felt was too far detached from reality.

In its own right, Paris is a great city – there is a fantastic range of historical attractions, the architecture is gorgeous, and it’s a very European experience. Though it certainly doesn’t live up to the hype of “the most romantic city in the world”, and as such, I traveled with expectations which were way too high. I expected magic. I expected to fall in love. I expected the city to woo me in a way I had never been woo-ed before. But what I found was a city not dissimilar to any other in Europe. I thought it was fairly dirty, that the locals were rude, and that there was too much tourism to make for an enjoyable experience – attractions were crowded, and you couldn’t escape street vendors selling tacky souvenirs. I felt a huge anti-climax in traveling to Paris, and after having given it a second and third shot to “woo” me and change my mind, it never did.

Related Post: Paris Budget Tips

Milan ItalyMilan - Most Disappointing Tourist destinations-2

Hanna Sobczuk at Hanna Travels 

For me, the most overrated destination was Milan in Italy! I started my Northern Italy and Cote d’Azure trip a few years ago and I thought it’ll be an amazing city, just one of many Italian gems! I found very disappointing that the only thing that really interested me was the Cathedral, also known as Duomo di Milano. I visited it, then climbed the roof and… I didn’t know what to do next! Brera district was quite nice but I didn’t feel the atmosphere of it… Maybe for some fashion lovers, it would be amazing, all those Dior, Dolce & Gabbana or Prada shops… But for me, a person, who just enjoys the beauty of art and architecture, this city was totally boring! So I came back to Duomo and read a book while listening to organ concert for about one hour, which delighted me. Always look for positives! 🙂

Milou at Explorista  

‘As a young girl with a massive crush on the fashion industry and the guilty pleasure of reading loads of gossip websites, Milan is just one of those must visit-places. I was convinced it would be like Paris: fancy white mansions, models on every street corner, high fashion boutiques, and the smell of freshly baked pizza drifting through the air. But aside from the spectacular Duomo, that is plagued with annoying street vendors trying to sell you overpriced scarfs, and the fancy shopping street Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, that truly is pretty, but waaayyy out of my budget, there was nothing to see or do in Milan. I wandered the streets in search of pretty sights but instead got lost and discovered that what I thought to be a grand park on the map, turned out to be a construction site. My secret dreams of being discovered by Italian designers and made into their muse were shattered.

Florence, ItalyFlorence - Most Disappointing Tourist destinations

Anna Lysakowska at Anna Everywhere

One of the places that disappointed me the most was Florence, where I lived in 2012 to study Italian and see historical sites. I expected to eat tasty Italian food, enjoy sightseeing, and learn the language, but instead I experienced the city over flooded with tourists. It was barely possible to practice Italian and to get into any museum you had to stand in line for a few hours and fight to see anything inside. As a result, I felt like I was in some sort of Disneyland instead of a beautiful Italian city.

Venice, Italy

Venice Canals-9

Roni Weiss at

I love Italy. The food, the people, the history… It’s my favorite country to visit. I went to Venice during a break from working at an English immersion camp. I didn’t go to Venice blindly. Everyone knows that a well-known city will have its touristy aspects. While I knew I wouldn’t be on a gondola ride or buying kitch, I thought I could commune with the ‘real’ Venice. The problem is that Venice is a dead city. It’s a relic. The main parts of town are simply tourist crossings.

Even the things I would have liked in a bubble, like the architecture and energy of being a water-adjacent city, were undermined by the imbalanced vibe of tourism. I felt like I was in Disneyland, minus the rides and costumed pals. American accents everywhere, and not the folks I would go out of my way to hang out with. If you can ignore all of the heathens that converge upon Venice and mentally transport yourself to a prior century, sure,

Related Article: We Didn’t End Up Hating Venice or Venice At Night

Brussels, Belgium

Manneken Pis

Brittany at The Trading Travelers

Our most disappointing travel destination would most definitely be Brussels, Belgium.  I’d like to chalk it up to high expectations, but we had actually already prepared ourselves that it wasn’t the city of choice for most when visiting Belgium. Even still, it made sense for us to stopover for the night before heading onto Bruges. However, even one day proved to be too much for us. After spending just a few hours exploring the more grungy than charming old town and taking a snapshot of the underwhelming Manneken Pis, we headed back to our room and used the rest of the day to catch up on blog posts. We just didn’t get that whimsical vibe like we imagined it would have and it wasn’t the most welcoming city. We actually felt unsafe walking around outside of the main square. We later had a short stopover in Antwerp and it was much more what we imagined Belgium to be. We immediately wished we had allotted more time to spend there.

Bruges, Belgium

Grand Market Bruge
Grand Market Bruges

Lindsey Hodder at Chasing The Wild

I went to Bruges, Belgium, for the Christmas Markets. A quaint little city, Christmas Markets that I was repeatedly assured were one of the best in Europe – what could go wrong? I’m not sure if it was an off-year, or whether my expectations were over-hyped, but the markets were… less… then what I expected. Smaller, not as vibrant as I’d hoped. This was further cemented when I happened to see the Edinburgh Christmas Markets. Bruges – and it’s Christmas Markets – were lovely, but not what I’d call some of the best in Europe.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

 Toccara Best at Forget Someday

By the time we visited Amsterdam this past summer, we had read enough blog posts and talked to other travelers who raved about Amsterdam and figured we just had to go there. It just didn’t do it for us. To begin with, we prefer smaller cities and towns and Amsterdam was rather large. We hoped to go on an open-air canal tour, but because there was a slight call for rain in the forecast, all open air boat tours were canceled for the entire day, even though there was not a single drop of rain all day. So, instead, we settled for a glass-top boat tour, which was terrible. There was hardly any legroom, so our knees were smashed up against the hard seat in front of us. The commentary was a recording, which was not timed correctly for the first quarter of the tour and because it was just a recording, as opposed to a lively tour guide, it was plain boring! Total waste of money.

From there we decided just to explore the city by foot. While Amsterdam had its charming neighborhoods, neat architecture, cool houseboats, and beautiful parks, its appeal was lost for us when we stumbled across the famed Red Light District, which we were really trying to avoid, but it wasn’t identified on the map we were using. While this is what attracts many visitors to Amsterdam, we simply found it tasteless. So, after walking by prostitutes in storefronts, countless “toy” shops, and advertisements for live porn shows, we were ready to go. We passed the marijuana museum and other countless weed cafes on our way back to the train station and had already made up our minds that we’d probably never need to return to Amsterdam. While we can respect that everyone has different experiences and different interests while traveling,

Amsterdam just wasn’t for us. And while we don’t disagree that there are indeed beautiful parts of the city, we can now say we’ve “been there, done that”… don’t need to go back. 

Hallstatt, Austria


Andrea from No Money, Will Travel

They said it would be charming. They said it would have character. They being the dozens of articles I had read before packing my bags and heading to Europe. I came to Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, looking to explore a village. I ended up going to Hallstatt to reflect on the nature of tourism. There were hundreds, no, thousands of tourists flashing their cameras and smiles; ignorant of the locals around them. In Hallstatt, I didn’t feel like I was visiting an actual place, I felt like I was visiting an open-air museum: the locals being the exhibit on display.

Krakow, PolandKrakow - Most Disappointing Tourist destinations-3

Shara Johnson from SKJtravel

My primary destination in Poland was the Wieliczka Salt Mine, just outside Krakow. So I would have stayed there in any case, and I’d met lots of people who raved and raved about it. I guess the main reason it didn’t live up to the hype for me was because we (husband and I) drove there after visiting Wroclaw … a Polish city I’d never even heard of until I saw it in a guidebook and it was located on our driving route from Prague to the salt mine.

Our days there were jam-packed with interesting and architecturally delightful activities, there were very few tourists, and the market square was beautiful and colorful. So we figured if we’d never even heard of Wroclaw, the well-raved-about Krakow was going to be incredible. The first turn-off was finding the market square so overcrowded and people continually accosting us to ride in their horse carriage. Though St. Mary’s Cathedral on the inside is fully jaw-dropping, in general the exterior architecture of the market square was not especially compelling, just kind of run-of-the-mill (for Europe), as was the rest of the city, including the castle.

We had no memorable meals. We felt a little bored after a few days. If we had visited Krakow before Wroclaw, I imagine we might have been more impressed. As it was, we did them in the wrong order. I have at least 5 times as many photos from Wroclaw as Krakow for staying the same number of days.

Lance at Travel Addicts

Perhaps the most disappointing place we’ve ever visited is the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp outside of Krakow, Poland.  We were inspired to travel here by the haunting black and white photos of the Birkenau train platforms and movies such as Schindler’s List.  We’re not strangers to the deeply disturbing and horrific events of the Holocaust.  And Auschwitz has a reputation for the terrible – the worst of the worst happened here.  We expected to encounter a solemn place where the horrific events of the past overwhelmed and humbled visitors.  Instead, Auschwitz is an assembly line – mandatory guided tours rushing visitors through the museum rooms before journeying out through the streets of the camp.  There was no time to pause or reflect on the atrocities of the past – even as our guide rushed us past an urn containing the ashes of Holocaust victims.  Having visited other concentration camps, we expected a highly emotional experience at Auschwitz.  That didn’t happen.

Athens, Greece

Athens - Most Disappointing Tourist destinations-4

Stephen from A Backpackers Tale  

I’m an ancient history buff, so Athens was always a city high on my list of places to visit. Countless times I daydreamed about standing beneath the massive stone columns of Zeus’s Temple, climbing the steps to The Acropolis, and exploring the famous relics of Athens’ Museum. The sites were impressive.

However, the city did not live up to my expectations. My first impression of the city was seeing squads of cops in riot gear patrolling the streets, local drunks stumbling out of bars, and homeless people sitting on every street corner. Many of the sights I was excited to see were undergoing repair leaving them covered in scaffolding and making it hard to get a decent picture. None of the people were rude, but no one was extremely nice either.

Overall, I found the city overcrowded and the streets full of trash. In certain areas, I was nervous to walk alone. Being such an ancient city I expected to fall in love with Athens, but in the end, it has become one of my least favorite cities. The sites were good, but the city did not impress me the way I thought it would.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

mont saint michel france travelpast50

Tom Bartel  from Travel Past 50 

The monastery at Mont Saint-Michel, France is a Unesco World Heritage site, and deserves to be so for its history. But today, it’s now pretty much been turned into a tourist trap, complete with grossly overpriced parking (€12.60) and bus after bus of Japanese and American tourists (at least on the day we were there.) The admission charge is €9, not including the museums, which are another €9. All in all, an expensive and unrewarding experience. There are a lot more interesting places to spend your money. Those would not necessarily include the overpriced gift shops in the abbey, or the bevy of restaurants and souvenir shops on the steep walk up to the abbey. I’d have like to have seen it a few centuries ago. Like maybe 12 centuries ago, when it was founded as a combination abbey and fortification.


Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Maya Bay, Thailand

Clelia Mattana from Keep Calm and Travel

I was obviously inspired to visit this destination after watching the movie “The Beach”. The place was indeed paradise on earth, so when I actually saw it I was quite disappointed. The place itself is stunning, but unfortunately, the mass tourism ruined it completely. In addition to that, for the fans of the movie who plan to visit “The Beach”, in the movie the rocks in front of the beach close it completely (they used some special effect), while in reality, the left part is open. A small detail that makes a big difference, at least for me!

Related Article: Hiking Koh Phi Phi

Christopher James Mitchell  from Traveling Mitch 

I love Thailand, but Koh Phi Phi managed to put forth all that I hate about it. At the time, my girlfriend Briana and I were backpacking across Southeast Asia, about two months or so into a four-month journey, and we’re loving it. We had already spent some time island hopping in Thailand on the other side of the country (Koh Phangan, Koh Lipe, Koh Tao etc.), and fell in love with the perpetual sunshine, cheap yet delicious food, the opportunity to rent a motorcycle without a second glance, postcard-worthy views, and the warmth of the people. I had all this to compare to Koh Phi Phi, which was apparently a “must see.

On Koh Phi Phi, I found more “bros” than a frat house. Every single person had on a neon tank top with Rayban-esque sunglasses, and I’m fairly sure the average IQ of a tourist there was so low it was incalculable. The smells of the island also led us to call it, appropriately, Koh Pee Pee. It was the most touristy island we visited in Southeast Asia – I mean, there is a damn Holiday Inn on the island. All there was to do was drink, which, honestly, I don’t mind doing sometimes, but I can also do that in my apartment for little to no money. Now, I’m really not much of a complainer when it comes to travel, but I wouldn’t go back to Koh Phi Phi for the life of me, even if I had a free room at the Holiday Inn.

Related Article: Ultimate Koh Lipe Thailand Guide

Sukhothai, Thailand


Christ at One Weird Globe

So my original mention was Sukhothai (central Thailand), which has one major attraction: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sukhothai Historical Park. Like most national parks and popular tourist sites in Thailand, farang are charged several times more than the locals, and ripoffs abound. Bear in mind we’ve lived in Bangkok – the birthplace of touts and ripoffs – and this tiny town almost had it matched! If you opt to go, the maps are dilapidated, the signs poorly translated or at least a decade old, and the locals all seemingly out to get you for everything they can.

Bangkok, Thailand

Temples - Wat Pho - Bangkok, Thailand-12

Nicole at I luv 2 Globetrot

I was disappointed with Bangkok for numerous reasons, some being the fact that it wasn’t as green and lush as I would have expected it to be. I was most looking forward to seeing temples, the Grand Palace and shopping on the floating market,  but once I got there I was just like oh wow, this is it huh? I didn’t even manage to find any goods I wanted to spend my money on at the floating market so came home empty handed from there.
Also, one of the things that attracted me there was the infamous party scene and this too did not live up to the hype for me either.  You have to be careful of the dangers of the party scene there and it was just dirty and icky to me.  You have to be prepared to get ripped off when it comes to transport as well. In the end, I just didn’t feel that it was all the hype that it gets.

Related Article: 3 Days In Bangkok

Langkawai, Malaysia

Langkawi Malaysia Square

Chris at We All Travel Together 

We were lured to Langkawi by photos of pristine sugar coated beaches and emerald green water but what we found were the beaches to be more of a dusty sand, the water had no clarity and the closest snorkeling is halfway to Penang or on Koh Lipe in Thailand.

Food is another important aspect to our travels but we found the food to be very bland which didn’t measure up to the food in Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Malacca. Try to eat at the market that changes venues each day for anything authentic. We knew that Langkawi was quieter than the islands of Thailand and even though just as commercialized we were surprised at how quiet it was at night.

Another thing there is no public transport on the island so to see more of the island than just Pantai Cenang then you need to either rent a motorbike, car or taxi to get around. Next time we are looking for an island break in Malaysia we will try the Perhentian islands on the west coast.

Related Article: One Week In Langkawi

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hayley Griffiths at Love Puffin 

Kuala Lumpur Towers-8

My most overrated destination has to be Kuala Lumpur. We decided to make a short stop there on our round the world trip as a jumping point for our trip to Borneo. I had heard mixed reviews about the city but arrived with an open mind, ready to explore. The first mission was to find some suitable lodgings and so armed with my Lonely Planet Guidebook I proceeded to explore the budget hostels in and around Chinatown. Well, it was as if we had been transported to Christmas Eve the night before Jesus himself was born… ‘No room at the Inn’, ‘sorry, we’re full’, ‘try somewhere else’.

Eventually, we found what can only be described as a brothel and after 5 hours of traipsing around, we settled into our new home (pic attached of our ‘high security’ door).

This wasn’t a great introduction to the city but I was still determined not to let it affect our trip. However, when we left our room and ventured outside, we struggled to find any real points of interest. Apart from the obvious Petronas Towers, the city seemed to be divided up into small villages with no real focal points. It was hot as hell, and suddenly we were caught in the most horrific downpour of rain which left as quickly as it came. This city was utter confusion itself. I had heard great things about the food here, so made a beeline for a local hawker market, only to be confronted with one option… Satay. Underwhelming.

Related Article: Getting Robbed In Kuala Lumpur

Beijing China

Stacy at One Travels Far

My travel destination is Beijing, China, where I lived for 8 months. I made an impulse decision to move to China, and while I don’t regret it, I was lured in by the chance to make a lot of money, while experiencing a completely different culture.

Travel shows often present Beijing as being “fun, vibrant, and safe”, but for me, the reality was quite different. Sure, I made a huge group of friends and enjoyed the nightlife, but there were days when we simply couldn’t go outside as the pollution was so bad, and while I usually love eating street food, this was a no-no in Beijing, as much of it is made with gutter oil-which is obviously not what you want in a breakfast. While I felt physically safe in Beijing, every single one of my friends has been robbed at least once while living there. I had my wallet stolen out of my bag and the thieves managed to break into my bank account from home and cleaned me out. The same thing happened to my English friend a few months later, and I have a friend from Texas who has had five bikes, her wallet, and three phones stolen while she’s been in Beijing.

I think this was the hardest part for me since I’ve traveled throughout Southeast Asia, where people have so little, and yet I’ve never had a problem. However in Beijing, where people have so much in comparison, we were targeted daily for being foreign. And it was exhausting. Maybe it would have been different if I had simply visited the city, and I would have seen what attracts so many people. But living there was a different story.

Bali Indonesia


Lina & David Stock at Divergent Travelers

For us, it has to be Bali, Indonesia. For as long as I can remember Bali has been one of those ‘must see’ destinations for us, so it only seemed natural that we incorporate it into our long-term travel plans. While I don’t regret our visit, I have to say it was nothing short of disappointing. It is a prime example of a place ruined by tourism. It is seedy, trashy, much of it is dirty, the beaches are only ok and it is hard to find places not overrun by tourists and money hungry locals. It is far from the tropical island paradise we pictured in our minds for so many years and despite visiting several areas, just couldn’t get over how disappointing it was.  

Related Article: Things To Do In Bali

Phnom Penh Cambodia

Elizabeth at Awesome Wave 

Phnom Penh was such a disappointment. I had met so many people who recommended I go. Plus numerous travel guides mentioned that it was a must-do on a Cambodian trip. But from start to finish it was an awful 3 days. Our first impressions weren’t great when dropped off in a random part of town and numerous taxi drivers trying to scam us. We found the city to be unwelcoming, ugly and the must-see tourist attractions simply harrowing. Yes, I do think it’s important that we don’t forget the horrendous actions of the Khmer Rouge, but the Killing Fields and S21 were the most depressing and soul-destroying places I’ve ever been too. Other than that, food was meh, the people were disinterested in helping us and it was just one miserable encounter after another. Phnom Penh just did not work out for us at all.

Agra, India

Visiting the Taj Mahal Agra

Cat Gaa at Sunshine and Siestas 

We rearranged our whole trip to India to be able to see the  Taj Mahal, despite the distance and the hassle of a long trip from Madrid. Everyone we spoke to told us that Agra merited a night’s stay, as there was more to see than the Taj. While the building itself was as stunning as I imagined, everything else we saw that day paled in comparison – including seeing it turn colors at sunset from the Methab Bagh. What’s more, the city was dirty and felt more crowded than Delhi, and we fell victim to a scam. Apparently, the city is known to Indians as the most rampant for scamming tourists, and we left feeling disappointed and that’s we’d lost a day elsewhere. Go for the Taj, but don’t stay for much more!

Related Article: Tour Of The Taj 


Sydney, Australia

Laura at An American Abroad

When I first moved to Sydney I had two things on my mind – the Opera House and Bondi Beach. They were the icons that featured prominently in my dreams of life in Australia. The Opera House lived up to every expectation and more and I was excited to head over to the Eastern Suburbs to check out the famous beach. When arrived I was expecting a bit of glamour, some swanky
beach chairs, beachside cafes and lots of tourists. Instead what I found was a run down village that badly needed a paint job. The main town of Bondi Beach is ramshackle at best. The cafes are average compared to those in other suburbs and yet still twice the price. There are definitely plenty
of tourists, but as a top off to a spectacularly average beach, there are people wandering around trying to sell you things, blocking out the sun you are laying down to roast yourself in. Pretty much every other beach in Sydney is better than Bondi


Joburg, South AfricaNamibia Cheetah farm RTW african safari-3

Johnny Ward at One Step 4ward

Johannesburg was everything I feared about South Africa. Edgy, dangerous and a distinct taste of racism in the air, from every side. I spent more than three weeks there – a mistake, and I didn’t love my time there at all. Stick to Cape Town or Durban, beautiful spots in a beautiful country.

North America

San Juan del Sur, Nicaraguasan juan del sur - Most Disappointing Tourist destinations-6

Anna Vawser at Crazy in the Rain

I went to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua at the suggestion of a Couchsurfing travel buddy. I didn’t think the beach was that gorgeous. I even did a day trip to another beach and didn’t really like that rocky beach either. To be fair, I don’t surf. The food was okay. What I really didn’t like was that I met countless people who had really terrible experiences going out at night. They got mugged, got their stuff stolen, got in fights, etc. It really seemed like a town with a lot of drugs and some locals preying on tourists. I saw myself a crazy man waving a machete outside my hostel window freaking out screaming at 4:00 am. Nothing there really stood out to me as really amazing. I’m sure some people have visited San Juan del Sur and loved it. I just didn’t.

Related Article: Volcano Boarding Leon Nicaragua

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Katie at Around the World in KT Days 

Arenal Volcano looms over the town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica beckoning adventurous travelers to climb, swim, and explore everything around it. I had heard talks of waterfalls that cascaded into the piercingly blue water, hikes that led to bubbling lava flows, and some of the best hot springs in all of Central America. I was so excited to arrive in this town and experience the beauty and adventure that makes La Fortuna such a hot spot.

What I found was a town drowning in tourists. Tourist shops. Tourist restaurants. Tourist prices. Nothing about La Fortuna lived up to the hype. The waterfall was not that blue. The hot springs were a crowded pool. And the prices of all the tours were far too hefty for my meager backpackers budget. I found La Fortuna to be overrated, over commercialized and expensive!

Rio Celeste, Costa Rica

Emily Shea at Travel Mother

Rio Celeste in Costa Rica is touted as one of the bluest waterfalls in the world, due to volcanic minerals in the water.  The photos online look simply unbelievable.  This shade of turquoise blue paints storybooks and dreams–it couldn’t actually be found in nature, could it?  We headed to the Tenorio Volcano National Park in the north of Costa Rica to see for ourselves. The area of Rio Celeste is very remote and reached via a long gravel road.  The actual path to the Rio Celeste waterfall was indeed enchanting, as it was shrouded with misty green jungle teaming with bird calls.  I paced up to the waterfall entrance with the expectation of awe that hit me when I first laid eyes on the Grand Canyon–however, unfortunately, it was not unlike the other waterfalls that I’d recently visited.  Beautiful as it was, it was not that intense hue that the magazines and websites promoted.  It was a lovely shade of blue, but an “aqua-marine-turquoise-down-right-celestial-blue?”–no.

In all fairness, it had poured all the previous night, and we have since been told that heavy rains can stir up the soot and therefore lessen the glorious color.  Oh well, or “Pura Vida,” as they say here in Costa Rica.  I suppose it’s worth another try, someday.

Related Article: A Guide To The Best Beaches Of Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Andrew and Brenda Tolentino at Dish Our Town

San Juan, Puerto Rico may not be considered a top tourist destination, but if you grew up in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the island is spoken about as nothing short of Heaven itself. I was a skeptic for years, but after a long stretch of stressful times at work, our family of three decided to take the short flight from New York to San Juan, in hopes that it lived up to the billing it received all my life. It did not. From the get-go, and I should have known, it was not nearly far enough from New York to get away from New York.

For people like us, who like to immerse themselves in a culture of a country, this was not the town to do it in. The sites, few, and poorly kept. Though not on a budget, drinks seemed to be expensive. The beaches were less to be desired. Lastly, the food offerings were terrible. The aforementioned notwithstanding, I will say, however, that the Puerto Rican people are authentic and beautiful. Maybe this would have been a better destination for a bachelor party and not a family getaway.

Las Vegas, USA

Gemma at Two Scots Abroad

Picture this – a minibus with ten girls and two guys, driving into Las Vegas, edging towards The Strip, excitement levels through the roof and then… ‘oh, is that it?’ I honestly expected the place to sparkle, even in daylight. Instead, I was faced with a seedy, long street of hotels; money slots and boring men. It’s Vegas, baby! I’d seen it in the films; heard of roller coasters and lions and boats in hotels; expected champagne popping parties but instead, the water was dry in Venice.

This was one stop on a month long camping/group travel tour of The States so the destination was prearranged as part of the package but it was one of the reasons I picked that tour. We spent two nights there and I was happy to leave, I parted thinking it was a sad place but I did enjoy some fine karaoke and purchased a glittery hip flask. New Orleans ended up being the ‘Vegas’ of the trip- I lost two nights of my life to that hot mess and would urge party travelers to head South for jazz and hurricanes over cards and girls!

Related Article: Top 10 Sober Things To Do In Las Vegas

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Billie Frank at Santa Fe Travelers 

Mount Rushmore is an iconic American destination. Ever since seeing the majestic mountains with its carved presidential heads in the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest, I’d wanted to see it. On an unexpected road trip to South Dakota, we were nearby and knew we had to go. We never got beyond the parking lot. It was filled with tour buses, not our kind of place. We looked at each other and decided to go see the nearby Needles highway. Maybe it would have spoken to us more at the crack of dawn or sunset before the buses and masses arrived or after we left. We really don’t know how we would have felt about Mount Rushmore if we’d gotten closer to it and never will — we won’t go back.

Yosemite National Park, California

Rachel at Hawaii Living Magazine

As Yosemite National Park is one of the most talked-about and thus most visited parks in the United States, my husband and I figured that if everyone else loved it, so would we! Luck would have it that our road trip was heading us straight for the park, so we decided to visit what we had come to think Yosemite was- tall powerful mountains, lush wildlife viewing, and tons of beautiful hiking trails.

We could not have been more wrong. Yes, the mountains were tall and beautiful in their own right, but they were overshadowed by the massive amount of loud, obnoxious visitors that blanketed the park. Forget about intense wildlife viewing, most of the wildlife, no matter how hard you searched, was hidden away, successfully escaping the human crowds. Hiking was a nightmare as we were constantly having to walk around people pausing in large groups on the trails and spent a good amount of time looking over our shoulder for an overeager biker. I’m sure without the crowds and noise, Yosemite would have been everything we hoped for and more, but that just wasn’t the case.

South America

Montanita, Ecuador

Hannah at GettingStamped

Montanita was supposed to be this cute little beach town with sand for me to lay on, and waves for Adam to ride as he had just learned to surf a month earlier. Other travel bloggers raved about it comparing it to Caye Caulker and Gili T (both places Adam and I love). It sounded like the perfect place to spend 5 nights before heading out to the Galapagos Islands. Little did we know it would be the most disappointing city we have ever been too…

So what happened? The cute little beach town was a loud, drunk, dirty, cloudy town that was full of drugs. We had already booked our 5 nights and were stuck there. We suffered through 5 nights in a hotel on Cocktail Avenue (never stay in a hotel that is on Cocktail Ave). Night after night the pounding bass from the 100’s of street carts serving up drinks & bars kept us wide awake until 4 a.m. Many nights we had to go out and get drunk just to be able to fall asleep. The town was full of hippies on who knows what drugs, a hand-full of Ecuadorians on holiday, some surfers, and a few confused travelers like ourselves. We couldn’t go more than a few steps without being offered some sort of drug, and no we didn’t, in case you were wondering. Montanita was a big let down, not the cute little beach town that we signed up for…

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu - Short Inca Trail - Day 2-5

Lainie at Raising Miro

Visitors from far and wide flock to Peru’s Sacred Valley to visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, promising intrigue, and mystery. The question is, does the site deliver or is it simply overrated?

Deep passion for history and archeology fueled my excitement as I made plans for my son and me to visit Machu Picchu for the first time. The promise of sneaking a glimpse into the worlds of the mysterious megalithic builders piqued my interest. However, my impression after visiting the site for the first time, and two subsequent times afterward, have left me feeling more than disappointed. Here’s why:

Machu Picchu has been restored, in some places totally rebuilt, polished, primed and accompanied by a well-rehearsed “official story” that discounts many of the earlier civilizations thought to have contributed to that site. As a history and archaeology buff who’s visited over a hundred archeological sites throughout my lifetime, these traits are easily recognizable.

Next, the entire experience is very EXPENSIVE. Transportation via train to Aguas Calientes (or Machu Pichu town) runs anywhere from $100 to $600 depending on the class of train service. Hotel rooms run 100% higher (double the price) than comparable rooms in Cusco. The 10 minute round trip bus ride to the site will set you back almost $20 (but you can always walk if you want to save a little $). It costs $60 per person to enter the site.

The archeological site attracts over 2 million visitors annually with entrance tickets for specific days selling out months in advance. All visitors pass through Aguas Calientes first, most staying in the little town for one night. The Pueblo is an authentic feeling as Main Street Disneyland catering exclusively to the tourism dollar. After spending three years in Peru, I can say with complete confidence that Aguas Calientes is my least favorite place in the country.

Last, the archeological site itself is generally very crowded. Visitors are herded through the site on a specific route guided by arrows and are discouraged from sitting in the shaded areas along the route. The guards armed with sharp whistles will alert you if you are “loitering” too long and encourage you to be on your way.

Is it all bad? No. The surrounding cloud forest and mountains are magical and the sheer scale of the archeological site will take your breath away. If you are sensitive to energy, one might feel as deep sense of history. In my opinion, the problem is the modern day human interference coupled with consumerism that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Related Article: Planning Your Trip To Machu Picchu 

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Kach of Two Monkeys Travel

We had little choice but to go to San Pedro as we were traveling South through Uyuni salt flats before crossing into Chile. We did a little research about it and it looked like a decent place to spend New Year before heading on to Santiago – we didn’t want to spend NYE on a sleeper bus!

We had heard it was just a nice, small traditional town in the desert, but when we arrived it was clear right away that it had been turned into a high priced tourist trap, where a dorm bed could easily cost you $20! The price of anything you may have wanted to do there had been inflated to at least three times the norm for other parts of Chile, including Santiago. We can’t write it off completely; the architecture in the plaza is stunning and people are really friendly, but it’s now essentially a big, desert-themed, outdoor food court with hotels attached, and we just weeny expecting that!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Carlo Cretaro at Next Stop Who Knows

We went to Rio for 6 weeks, the big appeal for us to go to Rio initially was the World Cup, as well as the Christ the Redeemer statue.  It was always a dream of ours to experience a World Cup in the country it was taking place and what better place to witness that than the spiritual home of football!

Honestly, if it wasn’t for the World Cup experience then we definitely wouldn’t have stayed there for 6 weeks straight. The city just didn’t live up to the expectations that we had expected. The people were amazing, but as a city in itself, we just didn’t click with it. There’s no one reason, it’s a relative thing I suppose.

The city just didn’t feel too safe overall while we were there. Even though the amount of police on the streets was crazy, it just had a pretty unstable vibe. Fair enough the World Cup was on, but we got the feeling that things would be a lot less secure once the event was over.  Looking back though, it was the people that really made our visit in Rio memorable, as they were so friendly and helpful. I’d like to point out that at no point during our 6 weeks there did we ever feel unsafe – but the city definitely had an unsafe vibe about it in general.

Middle East

Petra, Jordan

Amber at With Husband in Tow

We traveled to Jordan primarily to see Petra, or more specifically, the Treasury.  You know, the Indian Jones building.  It is a bucket list item, and probably why it is not worth it to have such a list.  We are not hikers or explorers of the outdoors, so behind the Treasury and a handful of other buildings, I was not sure what else there was to see.  I was going to see the Treasury, and for me, that was enough.  Until I saw the cost.  The entrance fee to Petra was $70 for a single day visit, per person.  We were in the park for 2 hours.  I read that the ticket cost includes a map (which we never received) and a horse ride.  Yes, the horse ride is “free” but then you need to negotiate a tip with the driver.  Even if you negotiate a rate, it is said they will hold you hostage on the top of the horse until you agree to pay more.  I don’t even want to get into the rumors and stories of the treatment of the animals either.  The touts were out of control, and I had read up on scams ahead of time.  I just felt entirely on the defensive the entire time.  Seeing the Treasury was fun, it was like the photos show.  We took the obligatory Treasury selfie and explored the lower areas a bit more to get our money’s worth out of the ticket cost, and then left.  Yeah, it was entirely disappointing.  If the ticket price was lowered, my expectations would be lower, and I think I would have enjoyed Petra a lot more.

Related Article: Petra By Night

Persepolis, Iran


Johny Blair at Don’t Stop Living 

I spent a month backpacking in Iran and loved it, however, the most advertised and recommended tourist sight in the country is Persepolis, ruins that date back to 550 BC. I kept this visit until the end of my time in Iran and was looking forward to being blown away by the sheer magic of Persepolis. We had heard fantastic reviews about it. We based ourselves in the city of Shiraz for this part of the trip and headed on a double bus journey out to Persepolis (via Marvdasht). It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere and having visited ancient archeological sites in China, Peru, and Armenia, I was excited as our bus strolled into the wilderness.

However on arrival at Shiraz, there’s a small hut with some information boards – this is the so-called “museum”, and the entire site is enclosed behind this ugly glass wall. You pay your entrance fee (100,000 Rials for tourists) and in you go. There won’t be many tourists around and soon you will realize why. There’s hardly anything of interest here at all. Apart from the pillars and ruins of a temple, the highlight is in fact tombs up on the hill in the distance. Persepolis itself, Iran’s most popular tourist sight, is also the least impressive sight we saw on our entire time in the country. After about an hour, we were finished and that was it. Talk of day trips out here, hours exploring the ruins etc. just don’t happen. If compared with a place like Machu Picchu or Teotihuacan, I’m afraid the previous two could keep you occupied for hours on end, walking around, reading up on the history and taking a load of photos. After a while at Persepolis, it was a case of “was that it?” And yes that was it – Iran is a great country with amazing scenery and friendly people but Persepolis is definitely a huge letdown.


Karisa Klee at Flirting with the Globe 

To be fair, I hadn’t really ever intended to visit Dubai (mostly because I figured that the city really wasn’t my type of tourist destination).  My visit to Dubai was funded by a TV network –  one of my girlfriends was chosen to be on a reality TV show, and I was lucky enough to be her “plus one” and tag along for the (free) ride.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should also mention that our visit to Dubai was during monsoon season and Ramadan.  So, not only was it over 100 degrees and humid outside, we couldn’t even drink water in public due to the religious holiday.  I’m a traveler who typically chooses my next destination based on a city’s unique culture, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and natural beauty.  For me, Dubai lacked in these areas, but the city certainly didn’t lack in over-the-top opulence and superlatives.  The world’s largest shopping mall, tallest building, and only “7-star” hotel aren’t attractions that I’m inclined to travel across the globe for.  Should I find myself in UAE once again, I think I’ll skip the man-made island shaped like a palm tree and head to Abu Dhabi instead!

What’s your most disappointing travel destination?

Share with us your most disappointing travel destination. What were you expecting and what was the reality?

This post goes to show that everyone has different tastes. What one person dislikes another loves. Adam and I were sad to see some of our favorite cities on this list, but realize everyone is different. Travel is an extremely personal experience, and it’s ok not to like a place that’s on the big travel magazine’s top 15 lists.

96 thoughts on “Most Disappointing Travel Destinations for 2015”

  1. I totally agree with your comments on San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. It’s so overblown and because people have sunk their savings into buying a place there to retire, I think they MUST tell everyone how great it is. I couldn’t find the soul of the place, and everyone has their hand out, you never know when you’re getting ripped off. It’s not cheap either. In all, nowhere really good to go at night, the food wasn’t great, and what was there was expensive.

  2. Rome – it was dirty, messy and unkempt. I could not understand how on earth they were allowed to build the giant bus terminal right next door to Colosseum? I was there for a week but wanted to go home after two days. Looked for amazing Italian ice cream but didn’t find it. It was on par with any ice cream and I had better bought from any grocery somewhere else in the world. There is a park right on top of Spanish steps but no one was there – it was run down, dried out and it seems no one there is interested in walking around greenery.
    Oregon – I drove through it and wanted to see Portland, Bend and little villages along the coast and yes, the nature there is amazing, but the whole state has a feeling of being very underdeveloped. I know that it is called granola state and I am very into nature but it was too granola for me. Every village or town as they call them along Oregon’s coast is truly awful. Even Gold Beach which suppose to be the very upmarket place. Those places were like north of England towns by the sea side 50 years ago. Portland felt very much like underdeveloped Irish towns 20-30 years ago. I really wanted to love Oregon and was planning to settle there but was very happy when crossed over the boarder to California. Oregon for holiday might appeal to some but it is not enough for me.

  3. Rome. I hated Rome so much that it surprised even me… it was on my bucket list forever. I am completely obsessed with ancient sites, history, and architecture, cathedrals, as well as art and museums. That should have been Rome, right? I took the bullet train from Venice, which I thought was astonishingly beautiful, even with the hectic crowds, loving every single thing possible about Venice, where I stayed for five nights, discovering the back streets, seeing every tour, smiling at the kitsch, smiling at the overpriced window displays, and understanding why it was this fantastic place. Enter Rome. I was staying in a good location, Campo Del Fiori, very central, just a block from the square, walking distance to everything. Within twenty minutes of walking around this city, which was to soon be my home for nine days, I hated every single thing about it: the buildings were ugly and saggy, there were no actual Romans there (in Venice, I found actual Venetians pretty easily by walking a little off the main track), the city was angry, fiercely angry at tourists, and so was I, everyone seemed to be trying to intentionally run me over and scowl at me (I love hectic traffic though, so it was the vibe of it), there were no trees except near the river, it was terrible, everyone was just eating in public squares with other tourists, acting like “I’m in Rome! How cool am I.” When I walked up to buy a gelato, or a coffee, or a museum ticket, some indifferent Roman stood there for ten minutes with his or her back to me before turning around and staring at me, wordlessly. This kept up for DAYS. I tried everything: I”m from New York City. We aren’t like the friendliest people in the world either, but any sign of attitude back only worsened the situation. And it took two days to see the sights I wanted to see, all of which were basically disappointing to me except for the Trevi Fountain and the Forum. Because of the massive, heaving sea of human beings in the city center, I was unable to gain entry onto a single bus except if going at 7am, and I was too stubborn and bitter to be ripped off by a Roman taxi driver, so I walked in the 95-degree heat everywhere (thus missing Saint Peter’s, by the way). By the fourth day, I had no idea what to do. I had scoured online for literally anything to do and spent most of my time sitting by the trash-strewn banks of the Tiber River. I went on some go-carts around the park. I saw the monastery with the bones. I had a lot of horrible food, even in non-touristic areas, which is where I wound up spending all of my time. I double-paid for a hotel in a different location to see if maybe it would be better, and it was still boring and hot and angry and ugly. So, I gave up, packed everything into a bag, and went to Umbria, where I had probably some of the nicest travels in my entire life. Coming back, of course, I had to return through Rome again, and it was exactly as awful as before. Did I mention there was a trash strike, with alleyways filled with 6′ high trash, and no one seemed to care at all? But then I’ve seen trash like that in developing nations and not given a second thought. The Romans seemed to hate tourists, I hated the tourists too, and I also hated the Romans. Plus I really do think the city was one of the uglier I had seen, although it seems to photograph well? I’ve never had such a horribly disappointing experience anywhere, and I have managed to mystify all of my friends with my intense hatred of Rome, too; all of them seem to love it.

    If I won a free trip to Rome, I’d literally get on the first train somewhere else and spend my time there instead.

  4. I must say that i haven’t been to a lot of the places mentioned however the ones i have been to have not disappointed. Amsterdam was terrific. If you cannot accept the local ‘culture’ as in the red light district then maybe you shouldn’t go. The canal tours were very informative.
    Machu Picchu was also fantastic. I suppose that i am retired and am spending my kids inheritance so costs did not worry me. The more budget accommodation in the area is at Ollantaytambo where you can catch the trail to Aquas Calientes.. Its one of the most recognised tourist destinations in the world so expect tourists and for it to be dearer. At no time did we experience the fun police moving us on at Machu Picchu. It was a great experience.
    Paris. My advice is to walk the city, buy some bread, cheese and whatever you want from local shops and eat lunch down by the Seine near Port Nerf [new bridge] the oldest bridge in Paris and you will feel the romance.
    Attempt the language and you will be welcomed with open arms in Paris. They will laugh at your attempts but they will welcome you.
    You really need to be in the zone for visiting new places. Have low expectations and enjoy the reality.

  5. Woow! Your photos are stunning!

    Your blog helped me realise how many beautiful places to visit on earth we have.
    South Africa is amazing country but as you said it is dangerous and racism is really high!
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Costa Rica – is portrayed like a beach paradise but the beaches were not better than those in Europe (Mediterranean). Tamarindo Beach was dirty and overcrowded with vendors that bothered every tourist. Carribean beaches – you had to find a beach that was good… Overall destination too expensive for what it was

  6. I for sure have to agree with you all on Brussels & Milan. We went to Brussels in January last year. Don’t get me wrong the Grand Place is beautiful. But nothing was “alive” there. It was super boring too. Plus we never found the Manequin Pis either. Oh well. For Milan we were there in April right before our cruise. I was super excited about going to Milan for the fashion. But again it was a boring city. It’s hard to explore with a non fashionable husband and three young kids. I guess I will live. I have been to Paris 2x. We didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower. And we figured out a way to ignore the annoying scammers. Ignore them. Yes it is a dirty city… but seriously what big city isn’t? Well maybe Singapore. Seriously though… Paris is a massive city. We didn’t encounter rude people either. Maybe the person above was not keeping an open mind. When traveling to other countries you have to. My kids and I traveled to 12 countries last year! We didn’t encounter any rude people. Maybe they were rude and we just didn’t notice.

  7. I traveled to Montreal, Canada this summer and was underwhelmed. Everyone I spoke to hyped it up to be an exciting city, although I found it to be kind of boring. They were right about the food though – it was delicious!

  8. Can’t believe I did’t see Egypt on the list. Went to the Giza Pyriamids. What a dung hole! And dangerous. If your non-local, speak English, and have more than about $10, don’t go. You’ll be harassed endlessly for tips for abslolutely nothing.

  9. Wow, I’m pretty surprised by some of these! Paris in particular is one of my favourite cities – I found Parisians incredibly kind and helpful which is a contrasts to what I’d previously heard. Yes it’s touristy but I found the best parts of the city were away from the crowds on the outskirts.
    Speaking of Paris, I was most disappointed with Buenos Aires. I had heard that BA was considered the Paris of Latin America but what I got was a soulless copy of a European city. The food and nighife were great but that was it!

    Rio, Montanita and San Pedro de Atacama are on this list but I really enjoyed them. I guess I’d been told a fair amount about them and knew what to expect. That’s one of the joys of travel though – some people rave about a place only for you to hate it but when the opposite is true, it’s a lovely surprise!

  10. Great post! I appreciate the honesty of admitting that not all the famous destinations around the world are “the perfect place” for everyone….
    The places that disappointed us the most are:
    #1 Cuba -> this country is a HUGE tourist trap! ok, beaches are nice and you can relax but it was the most expensive holiday EVER and it’s definitely not worth the visit
    #2 Venice -> we are italians and we must admite Venice has completely lost its appeal: too many tourists, nothing authentic, dirty streets and crazy prices
    #3 Bangkok -> too big, too noisy, too polluted….after 2 weeks in small villages around Thailand, we couldn’t believe our eyes
    #4 Colombo -> there’s really NOTHING interesting to visit there
    #5 Amsterdam -> is it really so famous because of marijuana and sexy shops?

  11. Great topic. In travel, “What didn’t you like?” is a question that can be every bit as interesting/helpful as its opposite.

    It’s not only the timing of the crowds and the seasons that play a role, but also just where you’re at with your life. Did a place offer what you needed for yourself, at that moment you found yourself there? I’m typing this from my bed at Disney World. Despite the horrible crowds, lackluster food, and exhausting grind of park hopping for a week, I’m absolutely loving this family trip and being h

  12. Hey guys!
    I am so glad my favorite city ever – Rome- is not in your list!
    it is true, some places can get too touristy sometimes and you loose this atmosphere of mystery, but there are always way to travel smart – to avoid the queues, walk small non-touristic streets etc.
    Enjoy your travels! 🙂

  13. Reading these things is funny, I find myself getting defensive about places I love!

    I’m always sad when people don’t enjoy Paris because I love it. I think maybe it’s too much hype because it’s a wonderful city to stroll around and people watch – you can enjoy a lot of it for free!

    Bangkok taxi drivers are the worst thing about the city and we always avoid using them if we can. It’s a real shame the Skytrain network isn’t more extensive. But overall I love Bangkok:)

    • I had a good chuckle at your, “I find myself getting defensive about places I love!” statement. I too, love Paris, and had to rein myself in when I read a negative comment.

  14. I think maybe you have travelled too long. I have to say you can get to a point when you are ready to stop and be settled and don’t want to barter over this and that and want to unpack properly – even if just for a short while before you head off again. Of course you have good and bad experiences in a place depending on the weather, the people you meet, the decisions you make. Some places do get ruined by tourism over time too but that is created by us, the travellers.
    The first time I went to Paris I hated it as things didn’t go smoothly and I felt lost, but I went again recently and had perfect weather and good coincidences and I now only have positive memories. I have been to Macchu Picchu twice – once hiking the Inca Trail years ago and again recently with my kids – both times I felt priviledged to be there. We did things in the right order and ended up walking around the site in the afternoon this time when most of the buses had gone and it was magical. If you walk round in a crowd I can see how it could feel less special. If I have a negative experience I don’t especially blame the place but think it didn’t work out that time and I can learn from it. If every day of your travels were perfect it wouldn’t be ‘real’ – we got sick in the Amazon and of course it isn’t top of my list of destinations now!

  15. Most of these posts are tourists complaining about going somewhere with too many tourists. As if the presence of the people writing these criticisms somehow had less impact than anyone else’s. Granted some tourists are considerably more polite than others, but to think that we possess some special knowledge and appreciation that exempts us from the cultural erosion tourism instigates is deluded, sanctimonious and hypocritical. We live in an age where almost everyone travels, moving from one pocket of authenticity to another until all the local charm and beauty is gobbled up by tourists coming to consume the culture. Some have the audacity to demand these experiences for free, as if locals have nothing better to do with their lives than give us the authentic experience we desire. We complain that the locals just want our money, as if we have anything else to contribute. If you don’t speak the language and serve some sort of community function, what do you contribute? Locals don’t owe it to us to be our friends. Unless you have friends, family, a couch surfing invite or some other established personal connection with a place, who are you to come in and demand that people genuinely appreciate your presence and make you feel welcome? Honestly, how many of you are excited when tourists come into your community? How many of you enjoy having a stranger photograph you and your children? How many of you enjoy your every day actions being a spectacle for some stranger’s amusement?

  16. So you visited Langkawi? And didn’t; 1. Ask people where the action is, it’s not a big booming city it’s a slow , lazy island. But we sure know how to party until early morning! Talk to the locals they can tell you where..
    2. Bother to spell the name right. If you are gonna dissmiss a place at least learn how to spell it!!!

  17. “Yes, I do think it’s important that we don’t forget the horrendous actions of the Khmer Rouge, but the Killing Fields and S21 were the most depressing and soul-destroying places I’ve ever been too. ”

    What did you expect? Disneyland?

  18. Who moved Nicaragua? And Costa Rica? Last time I checked they were in Central America. Bloggers know better than us normal people.

  19. Seems like people were most disappointed by places that are well known to be the most visited by tourists. Paris, Koh Phi Phi, Yosemite, Machu Picchu and so on .. Of course you can experience these places with less tourists by visiting out of season or visiting out of peak hours or just getting a bit off the beaten track. For sure the main tourist attractions in Paris are going to be crowded, so why not go and explore the back streets, find some small cafes with “real” Parisians … Koh Phi Phi is near where I live (Phuket) – yes it’s crowded, but if you stay on Phi Phi and get up early, get a boat to Maya Bay before about 10am, then you avoid the crowds (and side note: Holiday Inn, Phi Phi is on the very uncrowded east side of the main island). I went to Machu Picchu in 1996 … was not overly impressed, but really did enjoy the 3 day Inca Trail hike to get there! Yosemite I have visited a couple of times – super crowded in the summer, but if you walk 10 minutes from the main valley road, you are all but alone.

    Happy Travels!

  20. I can´t say that I was ever seriously disappointed by the place. Sure, many of my experiences could have been better, but it´s mostly about planning and research. Nobody likes places that are overcrowded by tourists – however, if you are visiting top tourist destinations, it´s something you have to count with. And these tourists have come for the same purpose as you, so it´s not quite fair to be angry with them, even though I have to say that I don´t like disrespectful tourists either. That´s why I avoid such places in the first place, or try to find my “secret spots” or best times to explore the destination without the crowds.
    It´s sad, though, to see and read about the places that have been completely destroyed by mass tourism and thus lack the original charm and appeal. I´m afraid that this will gradually happen to all “newly discovered” destinations.

  21. Very interesting list by different people. I personally was not a huge fan of Milan or Prague, and felt that two days in Athens was more than enough.

  22. Well that just about covers it, doesn’t it? Guess I’ll just stay home and eat worms. But, seriously, we all have different tastes. We always find a way to visit Paris every time we are in Europe, We had a great visit to Mont St Michel, though I will admit, we had the place pretty much to ourselves. And, the thought of going to Vegas turns my stomach.

  23. Guys, seriously? With all these negative comments and endless rants, i don’t think that there would be any place left to visit. Florence? It’s one of the major Italian cities, what do you expect? I was just there last week and it wasn’t as touristy as I had expected it to be. I was able to practice my Italian probably because I visited the city not on a peak season when I could only hear every language but Italian. People just have to plan ahead, expect less and only then can they appreciate what the city has to offer

    • Honestly, “People just have to plan ahead, expect less and only then can they appreciate what the city has to offer”

      I would rather not have to expect less and instead travel to somewhere that my expectations are exceeded. The world is HUGE. Not every person is going to fall in love with every place.

  24. Some places are full of tourists for a reason, reason being that they are awesome! Europe for exemple has a crazy amount of history and architecture and I agree with the fact that when there are too many people around can be annoying, but that can’t really take away the beauty of certan places.

    Everybody have different preferences, but some of the reasons don’t even make sense! I personally didn’t really like Phnom Penh either, but saying that you didn’t like it because the killing fields were depressing…It has been one of the biggest genocide in the history, what did u expect?

  25. Wow, it’s amazing how different people experience places. I think this proves that anyone can have a bad or mediocre experience in even the best places. A lot of it depends on many variables I guess and on what levels you experience these places. But I only spent 11 days in Paris but I completely fell in love with the city. That said, I have an art background and was just drawn to the city aesthetically and historically. You can say it resonated with me I guess. Also, we did go during Christmas which was incredibly romantic at times. Very much so.

    As for Phnom Penh, I have to disagree with you there too!! I totally fell in love with this city. And as for Bruges during Christmas, it was pretty much what I expected. It wasn’t a fairytale, but it was also quite beautiful. We did however stay in a really nice hotel which made the overall experience a little more special in terms of comfort, etc..

    My biggest disappointment was probably Bali. It’s beautiful, but in my opinion completely overrated and at times, it felt dangerous. But I think there’s a tendency to romanticize a lot of travel destinations. But I’ve learned I have a better experience in places that I spent at least five days in and book quality lodging.

  26. I hated Paris (and Venice and Milan) but Paris was the final straw for me. I hated it so much. I live in NYC and travel to escape it. Why did I ever think it was a good idea to travel to a similarly sized / equally as touristy place?

    I decided right then and there that I needed to stop going to places you are supposed to go to, and only go to places I want to go to.

  27. This is a terrible article, why would you even write such a long article full of negativity? Seems to me like you are travellers who only go to touristic places, stay there only for a day and judge the whole city based on that one day experience. You´re expectations are way too high considering you´re not really taking effort to get to know a place. Travellers rushing through the world, claiming they understand the places they passed, really exhausts me. Please spare us such awfull articles in the future.

  28. I am sad that so many people found Venice and even Florence to be disappointing. And I can’t see how Machu Picchu can be a disappointment. I have been there twice and I would go again, actually.

    My biggest disappointment, on the other hand, has been Panama. Basically, the whole country (save for the Panama Canal and Casco Viejo) is a tourist trap. Overrated, dirty, crowded, and just unfriendly. San Blas is supposed to be a tropical paradise, and so Bocas del Toro. It may be that I have very high standards as I come from Sardinia, but I still can’t see what people find in them!

  29. A lot of these people complaining betray their own lack of cultural and historical understanding. Or even the self-realization that the fact if you wanted to see it, a bunch of other people would too. You, too, are tourists.

  30. There was only one time I was dissapointed about a place I traveled to. I’d just moved to England and at that time I was very fascinated about all the Stonehenge legends and I really wanted to go there. After a few weeks, I decided to finally do it, I packed my car and drove towards those amazing massive stones.

    And yeah, I was seriously “blown away”. I had to pay more than £10 to walk around a pile of stones which I wasn’t even able to touch nor did I manage to take a nice picture without another thousand of people in it.

    So now, everytime I hear someone talking about them and how they really want to go there, this tiny little smirk appears on my face but nah, I won’t say anything. If that’s their dream, they need to do it. I never listen to what people tell me either. “I’d rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.” Lucille Ball

  31. Each country can be experienced in its own way it always depends on the individual and things he seeks and wishes to his travels, as well as the reasons for traveling but my advice is to always move away from the traditional tour, ask the local population of their favorite spots and hidden places and every destination will seems like a paradise. Excellent article to warn people what to expect and how to behave at the listed locations 😀

  32. Fantastic post! I read the first set of European dislikes aloud to my husband, who’s the other half of Brink of the World- and we couldn’t agree more. Italy by far is unfortunately over-rated when it comes to it’s major cities. We actually went to Paris on our honeymoon and were disappointed at how dirty, generally rude and uninviting most locations were. We were also a bit disappointed in Munich because of it’s lack of nightlife. We like to go to bars, and discos- but Munich was surprisingly quiet if you didn’t feel like going to another beer hall! It’s great otherwise, however.

  33. Pretentious bloggers trying to make a name for themselves through shock tactics and negative language. Grow up! Many of these are juvenile responses from travellers that have expected their experience to be handy to them on a silver platter. Obviously, everyone’s journey will be different however, you can tell that if they had wanted to really see and experience the country/city then they would’ve gone about it in a different manner.

  34. My least favorite destinations in North America are NYC (dirty, noisy, rude, stressful, mostly ugly) , Atlanta and Cancun, which has been totally destroyed by the tourist and resort industry. In Europe, I was surprisingly unimpressed by Stonehenge – it’s much smaller in scale than photos would have you believe. Meh. Also, I was never able to warm up to Vienna; the city lacks soul. And as someone who is of Irish heritage, it pains me to say that Dublin is boring. The first time I went there in the 1980s it was possible to enjoy the incredible Book of Kells at relative leisure, and at no cost. Then the Irish built a hum-drum museum around it and started to charge a small fortune to view a couple of pages – to the point where it is now a shameless tourist rip off. Apart from the Book of Kells which may well set you back 20 euros, there’s not much else of interest in Dublin.

  35. Dude, I think you seriously need a local to bring you around when you are in these place.
    Although some of these place, I agree with your comments, but a lot of it, you actually need a local to bring you around to see interesting things.

  36. I can’t say that I’ve ever been disappointed by any place I’ve traveled. I find something to love about every city, country and region I see. Certainly there are some bad eggs but if you look past what you don’t like, you will find something to love and enjoy. Americans travel with expectations and when not met, they become greatly disappointed. Travel should be done with an openmindedness so to find any place enjoyable. Sure, there are exceptions and not every place is for everyone. But why spend all that money and vaulable vacation time to be disappointed. Set yourself up to have the time of your life. Go without reservations and expectations and see what comes. That’s the key to enjoyable travel.

  37. What an interesting post! I’m surprised your North American disappointments list is so short, and nobody mentioned Philadelphia, for instance. I’d also add Lisbon to the list. All in all, it’s fascinating to read what other people didn’t like about some places, especially places that I loved. I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

  38. Great post! I really enjoyed reading all the opinions. I’d say Milan has been my most disappointing travel destination so far. As a fellow Wisconsinite, I’m happy Milwaukee didn’t make this list 😉

  39. Thanks for this information. I have to say this post was a bit difficult to read because of the many misspellings and poor grammar. The submissions should have been edited before being posted.

    I must disagree that Paris is a disappointing city. I have been numerous times and am never at a loss of things to do and wonders to see. While France is a Western country, it has a distinct culture that many Americans fail to realize. One cannot expect to go there thinking it’s going to be like an American city, the only difference being the language. The culture itself is truly very different. Notably, I’ve rarely had a bad experience with the French.

  40. It’s curious to see how different people differently perceive some places. While reading your post I tried to think about a place that disappointed me the most, but seriously couldn’t think of a single place. I guess either my expectations are really low, or I am really easy to please. I am surprised you generally haven’t liked Europe that much as other continents. I’ve been living in Croatia for the last ten year, and use every chance I get to explore Europe, and still can’t get enough of it.

  41. Interesting read – but I agree with most of the comments that a destination is what you make it. If you let the entrance fees, and number of tourists spoil the whole destination for you maybe travelling just isn’t for you. If something sounded so interesting that you wanted to go and see it, why is it so wrong that others wanted to go see it too?
    As for the write up on Petra- yes it is an expensive ticket if you only see the entrance – which by the sounds of it is exactly what you did. I organise guided tours around the city and we recommend a full day to see just the highlights – sometimes several days is needed to see everything! You walked down the siq, looked at the treasury and left…..That’s like going to a museum, paying the entrance fee, only look at the front door then leave, saying ‘that is disappointing, I didn’t see anything’ what do you expect?

  42. I agree that with Milan, Venice and Brussels. I’ve been to all 3 in the last few years and always finished my holiday feeling like it was ok but not great. Milan was probably the most disappointing for me. I imagined it to be very chic and trendy (hello Milan fashion week!) but instead I felt harassed by homeless people and street sellers where ever I went. Venice was just a smelly, wet disappointment with far too many tourists! I went to Brussels in September and it didn’t particularly feel amazing- just like any other city. I didn’t find the locals particularly friendly there, and have bad memories of getting on wrong trains or the machine stealing my tram ticket and no one willing to help or translate or explain- I felt like I was intruding on their country! love the list you put together, there’s so many cool new travel blogs for me to check out 🙂

  43. Interesting list – we agreed with some, disagreed with others and haven’t been to some. Our worst experience was in Kuta, Bali – BIG disappointment. Not only did it not even come close to meeting our expectations, it was actually the worst place we’ve ever been! Ubud also wasn’t really what we had hope for either. We enjoyed the small village of Pemuteran in the north instead.

  44. Awful article. One common theme here – these places didn’t meet the traveller’s ‘high expectations.’ This whole posts screams of privileged travellers who didn’t do any real research on the places they were going to visit. People are going to these Top 15 destinations and then complain that they are crowded? I couldn’t keep going after I read an American complaining about hearing American accents in Venice.

  45. Interesting post, sorry I didn’t get mine to you!, which would have probably been Niagara Falls, Canada (not the Falls, but the town). Everyone is commenting on how we each see things from a different perspective and I do believe that is true. The thing that interested me the most though was how people mentioned that the cost of things changed their experience, typically it was “too expensive” like San Pedro de Atacama, Chile for instance. People are still looking for “value” and I get that as that is what I write about, but from a luxury perspective (“value luxury”). But in a way, it is sad that a $70 ticket to PETRA takes away from what you are actually experiencing if you think about it. I mean thousands of years of history and to think about how these structures were formed yet having a negative feeling about it because it cost you $70 (plus the trip expense). It does just go to show you that you do have to pick and choose your vacations or bucket lists carefully, as we can’t go everywhere (well, most of can’t or don’t want to anyway.)

  46. Interesting article.

    I feel the same way as a lot of other people. I simply cannot understand why tourists bitch about other tourists. There’s surely a reason why people visit these places.

    I like to remind myself of this quote:
    “Every perfect traveler always creates the country where he travels.” – Nikos Kazantzakis

  47. Great post. Sometimes I think I should only go to places no one has been to. There must be some left right? I hate when you get told amazing things about a place and you get there and it meh… I felt that way about Bali… Some bits were amazing but Kuta was awful and I thought Gili T was a bt over rated as was Langkawi and Phi Phi. I feel like I am being ungrateful as I have seen so many amazing places maybe I am just being to hard on these destinations. Maybe tourism and time just takes its toll on some of them. Life would be boring if we all liked the same thing!

  48. Nice idea for a post! It’s certainly an angle you don’t see much! I have to agree with Paris. In fact I have a blog post in the pipeline about why I didn’t enjoy it much. It rained the whole time, almost all of the interesting landmarks had traffic in front of them, I had major issues both times I went trying to use the metro, and I just generally wasn’t that impressed by anything – except Moulin Rouge – that was awesome! 😉

  49. Singapore! I will be honest, I hadn’t really any desire to go but it was a stopover point. It was so sterile and I felt like if I stepped on the wrong paving slab, I would be arrested!
    One good thing about the place: the airport is magnificent.

  50. Interesting post – thanks for including our write up on Paris – glad to know we werent the only ones lol!! Some of these I agree with, though many places like venice and Amsterdam we did love – just goes to show it’s all about personal perception and what you’re looking to get out of a place 🙂

  51. I’m surprised by a lot of these, especially Machu Picchu – which was my highlight of last year and which I thought was absolutely staggeringly beautiful. I had very high expectations for Machu Picchu and it still exceeded them. And most of the European choices, especially Brussels (I’m here right now and loving it) I would totally disagree with. That being said, I’m very rarely disappointed by anything – places are how they are, and even if that’s ugly or crowded or dirty, I love them for it because they’re new and different places. That’s what I travel for! One of my very few disappointments would have to be Copacabana beach in Rio – it has this insane reputation, but it’s just a perfectly ordinary – though very nice – beach. Especially when it’s compared to some of the other beaches I visited in Brazil, Copacabana just wasn’t that exciting!!

    Ps – I wouldn’t normally point out a spelling error but I couldn’t resist this one. In the first paragraph about Paris, Meg has said that Paris is often put on a pedal-stool. The expression is ‘put on a pedestal’!! Sorry for the eagle eyes, I just thought you might want to correct it 🙂

  52. Such an interesting list! While I like some of the destinations on it (Paris, for example), it’s also easy to understand why some people might be disappointed. For me the ultimate disappointment was Goa in India. It was packed with tourists, the menus were in Russian, and there was nothing left of that “hippie atmosphere” I had imagined.

  53. I am the type of traveler who sees something good in every place. I avoid crowds, I avoid high season, I stay long enough to explore the areas where locals live, I research cafes, restaurants and I do a lot before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. I buy my entrance tickets in advance on line.
    I mostly enjoy a very early morning walk anywhere. Paris is just fabulous at the quiet hours when the air is cool, the light is at its best and tourists are still in bed !

  54. These “disappointments” make no sense, as they are simply rants of tourists who visit touristy places and then complain about seeing other tourists. The writers were surprised to see tourists in places like Paris, Yosemite, and Bali? Really? Perhaps if they ventured off the beaten path (literally, in Yosemite’s case)….

  55. I have been to nearly every place on the list (missing the Central American places) and I am shocked. The complaints about the prices or the lack of things to see, the crowds, and nearly everything else, has more to do with the lack of planning and research on the part of the author than anything else. That and unrealistic expectations. All of those items are within the control of the visitor. DO YOUR RESEARCH! A beautiful beach has people on it? For shame! You went to somewhere to see one building and didn’t want to walk to see something else? Horrors! I cost money to see something? The world is coming to an end!

    I was just in Kuala Lumpur and didn’t care for it. But it had everything to do with ME than with the place. I had a blister that covered a bit more than half of the ball of each foot, I was jet lagged, and it was 110 degrees. I was cranky to say the least.

    The city was filthy, under construction, and full of con artists and cheats. Once I had some sleep and was off my feet in air conditioning, I realized that it was like every other third world country with the same culture. Once I got that through my head, then things were much more enjoyable.

    Just because a place did not meet your expectations does not mean it is over-rated. Maybe your expectations were unrealistic and ill-informed. And maybe, just maybe, it was due to CULTURAL differences. Not everything is like it is at home. If that is what you are looking for, then please, stay home and enjoy yourself.

    Do your research on what there is to see and do. Read other people’s opinions but don’t plan your trip around them as people can have bad days (or weeks), or must have McDonalds or Starbucks coffee in every country they visit and if they don’t have a McDonalds or a Starbucks on every other block, then the place is overrated. Someone who only wants to eat at fast food places will find the food in Paris disappointing. Someone who expects others to be always smiling, open, and friendly, like the people in (most) of the US and Oz, will be sorely disappointed in cultures that do not share those sentiments.

    What is disconcerting from these “travelers”, is that their disappointment was due to their lack of planning and unrealistic expectations.

    Of course there have been places I don’t care for, but not because they did not live up to the expectations of what I thought they should be. Get real people. Your lack of planning does not make it over-rated.

    • Round of applause for this comment! We try to travel in low season, but recognize that we are tourists travelling to an area selected because of popularity (by other tourists). Crowds are expected, we read up and research to minimize the annoyance. Don’t expect to be swept off your feet, walk around and allow the place to have its own effect on you. Also expect it to be different, if it was just like home, then what’s the point of going?

    • I completely agree with you. A lot of this seems poor planning on the author. I have disappointed in places before, but it was mostly my fault. My biggest pet peeve is when people complain about the crowds but travel in the high season. I work in the tourism industry in New York, therefore, I am too busy to travel in the summer, so I often travel in the winter. It may be cold but there are very few tourists. I felt like one of the very few tourists in the entire city of Venice when I went in January. The only time I waited to enter anything was the Doge’s Palace and there was 5 people ahead of me. Visited Florence in December right after Christmas, same thing, no lines even for the Pitti Palace. Rome at Christmas, no lines at the Vatican and no line to visit the Colosseum. I messed up in Milan, but if you went on a non holiday, there are a ton of museums you could have went too. And the Duomo is worth it in itself.

      I hear the same things from tourists complaining that the Statue of Liberty was too small or Times Square was a madhouse. Take in the history of the place. Explore, get off your bum and walk. Visit things off the beaten path if touristy things disappoint you. Don’t get your expectations so high. Keep an open mind about where you are visiting. You will enjoy your trip a lot more.

  56. Reading the above statements makes me a little nervous, but also intrigued. Travel is completely subjective to the individual. You can have two similar people visit a place and get two completely reactions. Thanks for including me in this collaboration and for making me think about where I “really” want to go next!

  57. So interesting! This really goes to show that every single person’s travel tastes are different. I remember traveling to Niagara Falls with a friend; I was so turned off from the amount of commercialism and tourists that I couldn’t even enjoy the beauty of the falls, my friend on the other hand LOVED it and thought the falls were incredible! We argued about it for a good portion of our road trip, actually.

    I love reading blogs and getting advice on where/what to see and do in a place, but I will never make a decision based on other people’s experiences. Never know what it is going to be like for me. Thanks for including me in this post!

  58. I have to say, Chiang Mai has been the most disappointing place i’ve visited in the last few years. I think a lot of the hype online around the place stems from a few years ago. In the last 4 years, it’s seen a huge explosion in tourism (both Western and Eastern) and everything that comes along with that.

    Also, i’ve found living here pretty exhausting. After 3 months basic things that you might normally take for granted, but are missing in a economically transitional city like Chiang Mai being to grate. For instance, the lack of useable pavements means even walking down the road it a hassle. There’s also very little green space in the city itself whilst you can like here extremely cheaply if you don’t mind slumming it. Otherwise it’s quite comparably priced with the rest of Asia. The air quality is generally poor, and disastrous in the burning seasons.

    So if you’re reading this, come and visit, see for yourself. But there is another side to Chiang Mai that most travel blogs and forums either don’t talk about. It’s a cheap place to be, but there are a lot of sacrifices you make for that.

  59. Hey, I’m guilty too, but when you go to a tourist site, (because you’re a tourist, too,) you shouldn’t really bitch about other tourists being there. There are plenty of places above that aren’t totally given over to tourism, such as Paris and Florence. They exist as they are. It’s just that there is so much great stuff to see there that tourists are attracted. We just spent two weeks in both cities and went to plenty of places that were fascinating, yet totally devoid of tourists. Maybe you need sometimes to delve a little deeper and go to places that are great, but just not that accessible intellectually to tourists who don’t know the difference between a Giotto and a calzone or a Fra Angelico and a Courvoisier. As for Milan, where we also just visited, it’s not an outlet mall.

  60. I guess this is why we avoid tourist hot spots as a rule! Or of course, travel in the off season – which is exactly what we are about to do.

    Most disappointing place for me? Blue Mountains, NSW. I spent more time photographing the coach loads of tourists that were in turn photographing the Three Sisters than enjoying the scenery. In fairness, we found so many other places to see similar views throughout the region that had literally no one there, that we couldn’t see the attraction in getting “that iconic photo”.

    Great post by the way – always good to look from the other perspective!

  61. You’ll always find people that liked a place you didn’t and vice versa. What’s important is that you don’t let other people’s opinions control your plans. One of my favorite places so far is on this list and I disagree with almost everything the person said about it. It’s all about your personal experience and what your expectations were prior to arriving.

  62. Oops pressed submit too early on my last comment. Just wanted to add that I’m bummed to see Phnom Penh on here! It is so important to learn the history of places like this, and we gained so much respect and admiration for the people of Cambodia after our visit.

  63. Great post! I agree that you should always experience a place for yourself before making a judgement! Our biggest disappointment from our rtw was Barcelona. We arrived in the middle of a heat wave, in prime tourist season and had accommodations on a loud busy street that didn’t have AC. We are going to have to have to go back and give it a 2nd chance! I’m disappointed t

    • Hi Jessica, that´s exactly was I was full of doubts when travelling to Barcelona – however, I went there at the end of October so there are definitely less partiers and beach tourists there at that time. It was crowded anyway but the city itself is definitely worth a visit. Though sadly, I recently read a lot of articles about Barcelona being ruined by tourism. I was there in 2013.

  64. Museums in South Africa!! We’re working in Botswana for a year and traveling outward as much as possible. People suggest museums that they love, but we find that the complete story is always missing. We’re under the impression that the museums are designed for the people who lived through an event or are already a part of the culture. Often they aren’t cheap and to pay for a museum that is less than informative is frustrating! Two examples in South Africa are the Voortrekker Museum in Pretoria and the District Six Museum in Cape Town (the later of which people rave about–it’s nice that they are building a community for those displaced, but “the story” is missing–you only catch bits and pieces, so unless you already know a lot about apartheid in Cape Town, you may leave disappointed). Many people have recommended the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, but we struggle to believe that it’s any better than the others.

    Also, Pretoria itself was disappointing (not that we had high hopes). We went for the jacaranda blooms, and found a fairly segregated city without much to do. We saw the gardens outside of the union buildings, drove down jacaranda-lined streets, then camped at a restaurant in a strip mall for the rest of the day! It would make a fine drive-through to see the jacarandas in-season, perhaps on the drive from Jo-burg to Kruger, but that’s about it.

  65. This is an interesting post. It does get u thinking and u realize travel experiences really are subjective. everyone is different and brings different perspectives. I am annoyed by the people that go to tourist hot spots during peak season and then complain about the crowds. To maximize your trip, timing is key! If u don’t do your research, and are caught off guard by crowds or prices… Well that’s your own fault. Prior to the Internet that was a legitimate excuse, not anymore. Some of the above “bad” experiences were completely predictable and avoidable.

  66. For us, our biggest disappointment so far has been Chiang Mai. EVERYBODY raves about this place but we’re just not feeling it. I love exploring a new city by foot which is virtually impossible in CM. The traffic, fumes and general infrastructure of the city just can’t support the population and tourist boom. The travellers here are also a mixed bunch too – lots of old white dudes leering around, frat boys galore and Chinese tourists everywhere (especially around Nimman). It’s cheap, which is why many people are here, but I’ve been pretty disappointed after all the hype really. Coming to the end of our three month stay and we can’t wait to run back to Europe!

    I agree with most of the cities on here, with the exception of Paris. Tourist Paris is pants. Paris Paris is incredible!

  67. I love Paris and I’ve had moments when I think the city is quite lovely. So I can’t say what the city has been a disappointment in general. However, I must admit the Louvre was disappointing. Maybe because I’m not super into art museums in general. But the only thing memorable about the Louvre is the horde of tourists staring at the Mona Lisa.

    I’ve actually visited Brussels twice and that city disappointed at the time of my first visit (although the Christmas Market was quite nice and of course, the city is home to delicious waffles). However, my second visit to Brussels was much enjoyable – because I was in the city for a Michael Franti and Spearhead concert. And the concert was so amazing!

    So I would say Brussels overall is my most disappointing location – although MF and Spearhead made the city memorable.

    • We aren’t big museum people either, we didn’t go to the Louve after we saw the line! We loved just wondering around the city. Brussels would have been better for us if our favorite band would have been in town too. Brussels was disappointing to us, I totally agree with Brittany.

  68. Cool post, guys! I think we’ve been most disappointed by Bangkok. We really don’t get the appeal. The city is so, so dirty. Every evening when we’d walk around we’d see rats scurrying around. Plus, the taxi drivers are so rude and never want to take you anywhere (unless they’re getting a good fare from you), and despite what we always heard about the food there we didn’t have many good meals. Much prefer Saigon – more character, less commercialism and less rats!

    • Overall, I found the idea of Thailand as a “land of smiles” to be inaccurate. I know lots of people have had great experiences therein, but I just didn’t feel particularly welcomed.

      • Roni- The land of smiles I think 10-20 years ago. There are def more “smiley” place than others in Thailand. Tourism is changing everything. We love Thailand, and have had mostly good experiences every so often you find that sour person but you can find that anywhere in the world.

    • We love BANGKOK! We only take a taxi if we fly into Air Asia airport, we stick to the BTS, walking, buses, and river ferry. The food is amazing, next time you are in town I would suggest taking a food tour, that is the first thing we did when we visited Bangkok. We think all big cities are dirty, but we love them. It just shows everyone likes different things, it seems people even love or hate Bangkok.

      • Good call on the food tour! We usually do those, too. I don’t know, I usually can handle the dirtiness in big cities – I dealt with it in India, after all! I think it’s all the rats that were off putting. We couldn’t walk for longer than five minutes without seeing one….

    • I loved Bangkok, especially the food… and traveling by river ferry (one of our hotels was right on the river). But I do agree about the taxi drivers! I was trying to get to the hospital once and three taxis refused to take me, they didn’t even want to discuss a fare. I ended up having to take the metro, switch lines twice, and then walking the rest of the way… it’s a good thing I wasn’t going to the hospital for anything urgent. The hospital more or less forced a taxi driver to take me back to my hotel after my appointment, and I ended up being forced to get out and walk half way to my hotel (it was near the main train station, so really not in the middle of nowhere). But still… I enjoyed Bangkok so much in general that this didn’t really taint my memory of the city.


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