Traveling can be a wonderful experience. Getting to see historical places, ticking off bucket list spots, and marveling at the most notable wonders on Earth are all reasons people decide to travel. But what about all those popular sites people gush over? What, for instance, does the Louvre in Paris, France, have to offer that’s worth the trip? While there are many places to visit worldwide, there are also many overrated stops. This list is for all those times you visited a site everyone said was amazing, just to be overwhelmingly disappointed.
1. The Louvre
The Louvre in Paris, France, is truly a mix of modern and historical art. Millions of people flock here yearly to scope out world-renowned art, particularly that of DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. As several users have mentioned, “The crowds, the protective glass, and so on make it impossible to look at the painting and appreciate Leonardo’s genius. The quality of the tourist experience does not reflect the site’s quality.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, might be cool to visit if you’re into massive rock sculptures. Otherwise, take someone else’s advice to heart. “This is probably one of the most overrated attractions in the UK. It costs £14.90 to get inside this big park to see it, not to mention the 2-hour long drive from London. And if it’s a rainy day, as it is most of the time in the UK, you will regret your money and time.”
3. The Little Mermaid-Copenhagen
For such a small, meaningless statue, The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen pulls quite heavily in the tourism realm, much to the enjoyment of Danes, as one contributor remarked. “I’ve known people from Denmark who laugh themselves sick at the busload after busload of tourists who jump all over each other to take pictures of the statue of the Little Mermaid. The statue is ‘little,’ apart from which it has zero artistic or historical value. Yet they travel halfway around the world to see it.”
4. Balcony of Romeo and Juliet
While Shakespeare’s acclaimed Romeo and Juliet was fictitious, Italy is home to a balcony attributed to their love story. According to one respondent, it draws thousands of tourists every year. “Every year, every day, thousands of tourists flock to the city of Verona, in the northern part of Italy, to reach a balcony built in the 17th century out of bits of a Medieval sarcophagus. There is no such thing as a house of Juliet. Shakespeare made up the story, the two families, and everything he wrote in his famous romantic drama.”
5. Manneken Pis
In a small corner of the world sits a statue that is so well-known that a replica made it into the 1986 movie The Money Pit. However, more than one previous visitor to this statue remarked on their lackluster stop. “As you walk down an alley, it opens into a square with busloads of people gathering around a corner, watching a small statue of a kid relieving himself in a fountain. There was nothing special about this statue; it doesn’t evoke any artistic emotion.” That square is Grand Place or Grote Markt, where you can visit the Brussels Town Hall or the Brussels City Museum.
6. The Wailing Wall
In the city of Jerusalem, Israel, stands the Western Wall. In the West, we call it the Wailing Wall, and it is sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims who see it as significant in their respective religions. Historically, it is said to be the remaining section of the Temple Mount referred to in the Bible. For at least one traveler, however, the site was anything but inspiring. “I’m going to apologize in advance. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jerusalem, but the Western Wall is quite frankly just a wall and as such a highly overrated sight.”
For many visitors, taking a few days to explore Greece is on their bucket list, but if you’re planning a trip to the Greek islands, one experienced person suggests skipping Santorini. “There are 1,000 more Greek islands to discover. Why go to an obvious tourist trap?” For your time and money, it might be better to see Rhodes or Mykonos if you want a taste of Greek culture.
8. Las Ramblas
As streets go, Las Ramblas is the most well-known street in Barcelona, Spain. People can come together and mingle or go on a great walk. As a tourist stop, however, it wasn’t resonating with everyone. “I agree, it was a tad disappointing, as is the whole of Barcelona, but there is more to Catalunya.”
9. The Blarney Stone
If waiting in line to see a stone in a castle is your thing, by all means, spend some time in Cork, Ireland. But as one world watcher said, “It is just a rock in the ruins of an old castle, and you will wait a long time to see it. Visit anything else in Ireland; it’s a lovely country with many interesting old ruins that aren’t tourist traps.”
10. Madam Tussauds Wax Museum
For one world-weary trekker, Madam Tussauds in London was not worth the time or money required to see a bunch of wax sculptures. They said, “There are almost always lines of coaches waiting outside. Why? Once upon a time, before photography and film, it must have been fascinating to see waxwork images of the famous, but now? Go to the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square with great portraits of people from the 16th century and right up to date. It’s also free — which Madam Tussauds is not.”
11. Fred and Ginger
Architectural feats are always fun to visit when they first debut and can draw massive crowds. But for one visitor to Prague, in the Czech Republic, Fred and Ginger just weren’t doing it. “I spent 5-10 minutes figuring out how/why it is called a dancing building. There are way more curvy/sculptured buildings around the globe, and good ones too. One needs to visit Copenhagen or Stockholm to see those. But this one in Prague didn’t cut it for me.”
12. Checkpoint Charlie
Known as the most crucial crossing between East and West Germany when the Berlin Wall still existed, Checkpoint Charlie is quite famous among visitors to Germany. One interested party said to skip it, for good reason. “This and Bernauer Strasse is where the wall to end all walls went up and came down. In the meantime, many other walls went up (in barbed wire and solid concrete), and there are plans to build more.”
13. The Red Square
The Red Square in Moscow, Russia, is one of the most well-known in the world. Located in the eastern walls of the Kremlin, many a tourist has sought out this historically significant site. For one, however, it didn’t live up to their expectations. “On TV, it looks so huge. In reality, it is much smaller, and so is the famous domed church. All in all, very disappointing.”
14. Monte Carlo
While plenty of people love Monte Carlo in the French Riviera, it was apparent to one poster that overrated places are entirely subjective. “I’m sure some people would disagree, but Monte Carlo in Monaco is seriously overrated.”
15. The Anne Frank House
While Anne Frank is a well-known fixture in history, the home attributed to her is anything but for many a traveler. One shared their impression from a recent stop in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. “The house is okay but extremely over-hyped, and if I had known what was (how little) inside, I wouldn’t have bothered at all. It’s just an empty shell. There is no furniture, only photographs of the reconstruction of what it looked like. There are some exhibits of the diary and a few other photos, but that’s it. With the dozens of tourists swarming the rooms simultaneously, it lost its meaning. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you strongly connected to the story.”
Live and Let Live
Traveling is not for the faint of heart. Having your plans quickly dashed by disappointment must be difficult to rebound from. However, these places might be overrated, and they might be disappointing for some people. Where and how you plan a trip is entirely up to the individual. It’s part of what makes traveling so great: the risk and obvious adventure. Life is for the living, so go live.
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