Setting out to explore new horizons often fills us with anticipation and excitement, but every so often, our paths cross with destinations that manage to leave an unexpected and lasting impression—albeit not always a favorable one. Amid the vast tapestry of global locales, certain cities have etched themselves into the memories of travelers, but for reasons that evoke reluctance rather than wanderlust.
1. Cairo, Egypt
“Cairo. I’ve seen everything I wanted to see there but would never return. Tourists are treated like cattle there, by those involved in the tourist trade, much to the embarrassment of the many good Egyptian people who live in the city,” a globetrotter says.
2. Marakesh, Morocco
Marakesh, Morrocco is a famous city most won’t return to. “This is the first (and only) place I thought of when I saw this post. I visited with one of my friends when I was in college (both women), and while the food there was incredible, the street harassment and overly aggressive salespeople were just too much.
I did not love someone yanking on my hand and having half a henna design on there before I even blinked,” a jet setter writes.
As a native Floridian, I see why this makes a list. If you visit tourist traps like South Beach, the crowded spaces and overrated food will disappoint. Parking and traffic are atrocious; so many people live and visit Miami that it becomes impossible to find solace away from other tourists. And, like any big city, it’s riddled with crime.
4. Atlantic City, New Jersey
“As a New Jersey resident, there’s something about the outskirts of Atlantic City that just looks and feels so greasy and grimy. Every person you pass by looks like they’re on their way to a Kid Rock show,” a native New Jersey resident adds.
5. Dallas, Texas
Dubai is on a lot of lists for overrated tourists destination. Visitors comment that the shallow, superficial money grab harms the environment. Another globetrotter suggests Dubai resembles a fake movie set with staged attractions.
7. Hollywood, California
“Hollywood, specifically Hollywood Boulevard. It’s really janky, the whole town kind of smells, and it’s just wholly disappointing,” one Californian writes. Hollywood Boulevard is run down and dirty, but the experience is worth it. Plus, Amoeba Records is the most fantastic record store in existence.
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas is for the partiers. Debauchery, endless alcohol, and casinos fill the strip, but it also offers fine dining, beautiful museums, and a fabulous music scene. Those who dislike Vegas say the people and the noise cause too much ruckus for an enjoyable vacation. The Bellagio Fountains are fantastic.
9. San Francisco, California
The home to the Golden Gate Bridge is not popular among some tourists. “[I] have visited many times from the 80s to 2010 and will never return voluntarily. So much agony and misery in one place set against so much technology and advantage is grotesque,” one nomad expresses.
10. New Orleans
Similar to Vegas, New Orleans is for partiers and history buffs. Despite the attractions, poverty affects the residents, the city is dirty, and crime sprawls through the Louisiana town. But the haunted city has a unique charm you can’t find anywhere else. Sometimes more is needed for everyone.
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