Escape While You Can: 11 Cities People Swear Never to Return To

After spending countless hours researching and planning for the perfect vacation, it’s a huge disappointment when the destination turns out to be nothing like you expected. Whether it’s due to over-tourism, poor infrastructure, or high levels of crime, some cities are so unpleasant that travelers in an online forum give them the cold shoulder and vow never to return.

1. Manila, Philippines

Quezon Bridge, Manila Skyline
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Traffic, pollution, and poverty are three of the things that make Manila one of the worst cities to visit. The roads are poorly maintained and traffic is a nightmare, with congestion often causing delays of several hours. One traveler says, “Manila is easily one of the worst cities I’ve ever been to! The other parts of the Philippines I visited however were some of the most spectacular.” The traveler still recommends visiting the Philippines but adds that you should get out of Manila ASAP. Literally anywhere outside of it, and you’re golden.

2. Cairo, Egypt

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“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. 

3. Marakesh, Morocco 

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO - JUNE 3, 2013: The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh, Moroccomonument, religion, historic, culture, ancient, landmark, travel, building, architecture, africa, african culture, arabic,
Image Credit: Shutterstock/posztos.

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. 

4. Miami

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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. 

5. Atlantic City, New Jersey

Princeton New Jersey
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“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.

6. Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas, USA Drone Skyline Aerial.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Kevin Ruck.

Texans say that megachurches, strip malls, subdivisions, and little else populate Dallas. Another person claims the city combines every bad part of Texas and markets it as a city. 

7. Dubai

Dubai Marina symbol of Jumeirah beach and Dubai city, United Arab Emirates
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Dubai is on a lot of lists for overrated tourist destinations. Visitors comment that the shallow, superficial money grab harms the environment. Another globetrotter suggests Dubai resembles a fake movie set with staged attractions.

8. Hollywood, California

Famous landmark Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California.
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“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. 

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

New Year fireworks in Las Vegas’s New York New York Hotel. Las Vegas,Nevada,USA. Date:31st December,2017
Image Credit: Shutterstock/anirbandas08081986

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.

10. San Francisco, California

Golden Gate, San Francisco, California, USA.
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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. 

11. New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA street cars.
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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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