Some of the most popular tourist spots are pretty underwhelming and overrated when you get there. It’s a matter of opinion of course, but here are a few well-known hot spots that may not actually be so hot.
1. Times Square
Known worldwide primarily from movies and TV shows, Times Square is iconic, yet there’s really not much to do or see there. Everyone visiting New York feels the need to go there, but once they arrive, they find extremely dense crowds, garbage strewn about the streets, and sadly, a higher risk of criminals such as pickpockets.
You might still feel the need to check Times Square off your list and see it at least once, but we recommend keeping your visit there brief and moving on to other more deserving destinations like Central Park or the MET. There’s a lot more happening in the Big Apple than Times Square.
2. The Leaning Tower Of Pisa
Tourists flock to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, yet there’s very little fulfillment upon arriving there. Yes, it’s an interesting looking bell tower, but there are lots of bell towers around the world and the leaning effect can easily be recreated by simply tilting your head to the side.
Many tourists love getting a selfie with them “holding” the tower in their hand, but there are many other sights that rank higher on our list in Italy than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Venice Canals, Coliseum in Rome, or the Amalfi Coast are all more satisfactory than a crooked tower, in our humble opinion.
3. The Golden Gate Bridge
It’s one of the most popular suicide locations in the world, but for some reason, people find the Golden Gate Bridge romantic.
While it is a marvel of design, especially for the time when it was constructed, there’s still not much to do at the bridge besides snapping a couple of pictures, admire it for a few moments, and move on. That’s assuming you can see it on a day without all the fog that is typical in the area! (Actually, seeing the bridge emerge as the fog clears may be the best thing you can do here.)
Athens is a popular stop on Mediterranean cruises and many history buffs feel it’s a worthwhile destination, but really, there are only four buildings that you’ll care to see in Athens, and they’re all located on the Acropolis.
After you see the Parthenon, Old Temple of Athena, Erechtheum, and Theatre of Dionysus, you’ve pretty much exhausted the city’s must-sees.
It’s definitely worthy of a day trip on your travels, but it may not warrant more than a weekend.
If someone told you about a pile of rocks assembled in an eye-catching way, would you really feel a strong urge to travel hours to see it?
Ultimately, that’s what Stonehenge is. There’s little to do at Stonehenge besides look at some rocks, and although you might think you could get close and really inspect them, there are ropes that keep you from getting anywhere near the monument.
Although millions of people visit Stonehenge every year, it’s not really a must-see and you’ll likely be able to find better ways to spend your time while in the UK.
6. Loch Ness
The infamous Loch Ness monster has captured the imaginations and attention of millions of people for years, but there’s just one problem: the monster isn’t real, so you’re not going to actually see anything.
Loch Ness isn’t really a convenient trip for anyone since it’s a three-hour commute from Edinburgh, and once you get there, you’ll simply be overwhelmed with shops and attractions that are trying to profit off the myth that is the Loch Ness monster.
Unless you fancy yourself a monster hunter and are fascinated by the possibility of this Loch Ness creature, we recommend spending your time elsewhere in Scotland.
7. Las Vegas Strip
If you’re a gambler, Las Vegas can be your nirvana or your downfall, but if you’re not a gambler, you might not get that much out of the Las Vegas trip.
The “Strip” is decadent and brilliant, but it’s not exactly relaxing and any activities you’ll likely be interested in pursuing come with a lofty price tag.
It might be worth a weekend trip to catch a show, play some blackjack, and lounge by the pool, but many non-gambling travelers find that the Las Vegas Strip isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s important to asterisk our list with an important statement: we’re not saying you won’t enjoy any of these destinations. All we’re saying is that for many people, the idea doesn’t always match the reality. Traveling can be expensive, and we all want to see places that are really going to stand out in our memories for the rest of our lives. Sometimes that means avoiding the hype.