Top 10 Places Ruined By Tourism

Nothing is more satisfying than being in the presence of a true wonder of the world. So many destinations are on travelers ‘ bucket lists, from expansive natural rock formations to works of art – and everything in between. Unfortunately, in recent years, these spots have been plagued by overly large crowds that ruin the experience for everyone. Recently, travelers met in an online forum to talk about the top 10 places ruined by tourism.

1. Walt Disney World – United States

Orlando, Florida. January 11, 2019 Entrance Arch of Walt Disney Theme Parks at Lake Buena Vista area .
Image Credit: Shutterstock/VIAVAL TOURS

Although billed as the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” Disney World is notorious for overbooking its resorts and theme parks – especially during summer. As a result, vacations have been ruined simply because of the sheer amount of guests. “Disney World in the summer is the most miserable place on earth,” laments one traveler. “Just straight avoid anything to do with Disney.”

2. Banff National Park – Canada

Moraine lake sunrise in Banff National Park
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Zhukova Valentyna

Larger-than-normal crowds have descended upon Banff National Park in recent years, and as a result, visiting this majestic park has lost a lot of its initial luster. In addition, tourists seem to need more respect for the park, as its frequently littered with trash that ruins the experience for everyone else. What a shame.

3. Palace of Versailles – France

Aerial view of Palace of Versailles in France
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of the crown jewels of France’s tourism sector, this palace is a must-visit for countless travelers. Yet, despite its jaw-dropping beauty and extensive history, the historically jam-packed crowds who visit it daily cause concern.

I knew it would be busy, but it was a massive bucket list visit for me,” admits one traveler. “There were so many people inside the palace that I could see way more people than the actual rooms and treasures! We felt like cattle being herded.”

4. Santa Monica Pier – California

Aerial view of Santa Monica Pier, California - USA
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

All southern California tourist destinations have a reputation for being very popular, but the Santa Monica Pier takes the cake! Sure, it’s constantly crowded, but when you combine the traffic you have to fight through to get there and the obscene prices at local shops and restaurants, you realize that every visitor there is in a bad mood once they arrive.

5. St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City

View from the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The Sistine Chapel is one of the most-admired works of art in the world, but its location in Vatican City ensures that any traveler will have to contend with heavy crowds. “I wanted to stay inside the Sistine Chapel to admire the ceiling paintings, but I was being pushed along, and it was so noisy,” reports one art lover.

6. Mount Rushmore National Park – United States

Mount Rushmore
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Here are a few things to look forward to if you plan on visiting Mount Rushmore: Plenty of pushing and shoving, plenty of selfies with the mountain in the background, and plenty of tourists complaining, “It’s smaller than I thought!” I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a trip not worth making. 

7. Yosemite National Park – United States

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park
Image Credit: Shutterstock/Andrew Opila

Not all national parks are created equal, and some are so popular that their natural beauty gets lost in translation. For example, Yosemite National Park has become increasingly popular with people looking for a perfect Instagrammable photo opportunity.

“I went there for peace and calm of a national park only to be greeted with filled parking lots, illegally parked cars blocking others, TikTok’ers going way off marked trails ruining the nature, and generally bad human behavior everywhere,” expresses one disappointed park visitor. 

8. Grand Canyon – United States

Sunset moment at Horseshoe bend Grand Canyon National Park. Colorado River. famous view point.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wisanu Boonrawd

The image of the Grand Canyon that we all have in our heads – of ourselves and a close friend or significant other staring out into the incredible vastness of the natural canyon – doesn’t exist in real life. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Grand Canyon, all visitors jockey for a position close to the edge for a four-second chance to scope out the incredible views before being pushed aside. It’s sad!

9. The Colosseum – Italy

Colosseum in Rome with morning sun, Italy, Europe.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Unsurprisingly, the ancient Roman Colosseum is one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of Italy, let alone Europe! The fact that it is still (more or less) in one functioning piece makes it all the more awe-inspiring to visit. Like so many destinations on this list, tourists flock to the Colosseum daily – so if a traveler wants to get close, a few hours trapped in a line along with thousands of other people is in order.

10. Christ the Redeemer Statue – Brazil

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro with Christ Redeemer and Corcovado Mountain. Brazil.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You’re bound to draw crowds whenever you combine a historical statue and religious significance. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue is beyond popular with tourists in Brazil – and with photo opportunity space at a premium, there’s often plenty of pushing and shoving in hopes of snapping the perfect picture. 

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