Many of us have had our fair share of disappointment at overrated attractions on our travels; you know, that sinking feeling of “is this all there is to it”?
The places on this list most certainly gave me that feeling, and I wouldn’t go so far as telling you not to visit these places at all – as a matter of fact, do visit if you have the desire, but I would advise you to manage your expectations.
While they all have their own pull factors to get you interested to visit them, they also get far more credit than they probably deserve. Read on to see what I mean.
1. Little Mermaid – Copenhagen, Denmark
It’s really interesting how something so small – and not particularly impressive – could have gotten such a big rep. Images, such as the one above, certainly make it look much better than it is in real life.
While Copenhagen’s a lovely city, nobody should plan to visit with the purpose of seeing the Little Mermaid statue. The Little Mermaid isn’t located in a convenient part of the city, but that’s not really the main issue. As the name suggests, what eventually greets you is a tiny statue that, while beautiful, isn’t at all impressive.
2. Stonehenge – Amesbury, UK
It really pains me to admit that Stonehenge was a big disappointment. For years, the history buff in me would dream of visiting the fascinating and mysterious cluster of stones. And it was somewhat anti-climatic when my long-awaited trip there materialised.
No doubt, the structure and mysterious background stories are impressive, but it was certainly more exciting to read about it, rather than see it in person.
Maybe the weather (it was raining) played a part in the experience, and maybe it was also the fact that I had to travel for more than two hours to get there from London, and that the ambience at the site was a little lacking, given that it was located right next to the road.
3. The Great Pyramids – Cairo, Egypt
Check out that cool Sphinx, know what it’s looking at? Pizza Hut. No, I’m not even kidding.
The pyramids and the sphinx are incredible structures, but just being there and you’ll realise it’s both sad and disgusting how such a great historic site has become this large tourist sink hole.
4. Circus Maximus – Rome, Italy
At the site of what was once a Roman chariot racing arena stands a patch of empty land, comprising a dirt track flanked by grassy slopes. Nothing more.
That’s all there is to the site of the legendary Circus Maximus – maybe only worth a visit if you chance upon it while exploring Rome.
5. Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy
It’s unfortunate how the main attraction in Pisa is its leaning tower – the subject of some pretty lame shots by tourists. The Duomo di Pisa, or Cathedral of Pisa, and the baptistry next to the tower are much more beautiful and meaningful visits. And after all, the tower was initially built as the side show – a bell tower accompanying the Cathedral.
6. Mona Lisa – Paris, France
Though not far from being a bad painting, the Mona Lisa’s legendary status gives the impression of an imposing portrait. But it couldn’t be more different.
Let’s just say the hype granted to this Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece is inversely proportional to its size. The large crowd pushing and shoving just to get a view of the painting certainly doesn’t help.
7. Spanish Steps – Rome, Italy
As the name suggests, it’s just a flight of steps – albeit a very crowded one. Move along now.
Which disappointing travel attractions have you experienced? Share them with us and the readers in the comments below.