The Most Overrated Cities In The World, According To The Internet
We’ve all been there: you arrive at a destination only to find that it’s not as cool as people made it out to be. You were sick of hearing about how great that city is, so you booked a flight, and when you finally got there, you found yourself wondering why everyone was so excited about it in the first place. It’s like you’ve stumbled upon an alternate reality where everyone sees something you cannot see. It’s a tough feeling because you’ve just realized that you spent your hard-earned money on some disappointing travel destination just because everyone made you believe it was worth it.
There’s also this phenomenon that goes by the name of “Paris syndrome,” which is basically a strong sense of mortification some individuals, especially Japanese tourists, experience when visiting Paris for the first time and finding out the city has been overly romanticized. If you were wondering, yes, Paris is on the list. Désolé, Parisiens.
While you may not experience this syndrome’s symptoms — like hallucinations, delusional states, and tachycardia — the sense of dismay can still be a sharp and painful blow to the ego. It’s not just Paris, though. Social media over-glamorizes certain travel destinations by setting unrealistic expectations about some places in the world.
If it makes you feel better, you’re not the only one. Reddit has a whole thread dedicated to the topic, and some travel bloggers have been brutally honest about their experiences. We did our homework and found that some specific places are commonly considered authentic catfish tourist traps better off being skipped. If you’re also curious about the topic, we created a list ranking the most overrated cities according to a viral Reddit thread that, honestly said, blew our minds. Expect the ranking to change as you and other fellow Panda globetrotters upvote and downvote the submissions.
Keep in mind these are just popular opinions: the experience of travel is just too personal to cross off certain destinations from your bucket list just because of someone else’s point of view — we’re personally smitten with some of the cities we included here!
Las Vegas, USA
"I once ordered 4 drinks and my tab was $117. Then there’s the heat. And the noise. And the creepy men lingering, well, everywhere."
"Tennessee’s capital city has been cited among other overrated US cities. “Not even locals like being here anymore,” says a Redditor. “I literally despised every minute of the trip, just felt like an amusement park for drunk adults,” adds another user. People seem to complain about a lack of the authenticity Nashville once had, to the point where the city has earned the nickname “Nashvegas.”"
"There are FAR better places to visit in India. Most Indians who are from other parts of the country already know this but it baffles me that tourists almost always go there in my experience."
Atlantic City, USA
"Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Myrtle Beach, USA
"I’m not even saying that it has a good reputation, I’m just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
"Amsterdam is too busy in the summer, the fact that most tourists come to smoke weed and have s*x with hookers doesn’t help either. In the winter it’s much more pleasant, also surrounding cities like Delft and Utrecht are just as pleasant if you’re into sight seeing."
The USA Side Of The Niagara Falls
"The US side of Niagara Falls is crap. There are a ton of crappy-looking buildings and shitty tourist trap places it’s gross."
Los Angeles, USA
"It's dirty, crime-ridden, full of homeless, over crowded, ugly, and a pain to get around in."
"I love Ireland, and places like Killarney are incredible, but Dublin is just an average, the mediocre city where everything is overpriced."
Palm Springs, USA
"There’s literally nothing to do except maybe hit up some 4 star restaurants and golf. The golfing isn’t even in Palm Springs. So many celebrities come here as if it’s some luxury town, but it’s really not. Just a bunch of old retired people sipping alcohol and voting against every interesting thing that gets proposed."
Niagara Falls, Canada
"I grew up there. Major pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"It's beautiful but at every corner awaits a new way to get scammed."
"I'm Latin American, and for most of the people in this neck of the continent, Miami and the US are synonymous with one another. If someone tells you that they're traveling outside the country, 99% of the time they are traveling to Miami. Say that you live abroad like I do, and people will say that they'd love to live in Miami "as well". Latin Americans who travel to Miami do so for three reasons: to go to the beach, to go shopping for all the foreign products they can't get back home, and as a starting point for a trip to Disney World. Every year flocks of tourists from South America fly to Miami and all they do is go to the mall and to South Beach. And what's worse, they'll call the city paradise because it has all the "good things" about the United States without you needing to speak English. But there's nothing there. Sure, there are a couple of interesting places to visit--Vizcaya is a genuinely interesting place--but if you want to do anything that isn't hanging out at the mall or getting sunburnt, Miami is a void that slowly sucks out your will to live. Miami is a hell that has somehow fooled an entire continent into thinking that it's heaven."
"Albuquerque. It's like the bad east side of every city, but the ENTIRE city seems that way."
Clearwater Beach, USA
"Been built up so much there's hardly any beach left. Traffic is AWFUL, so plan 2-4 hours of your beach time just sitting in that. Sucks for locals biiiiig time."
"It's beautiful but unaffordable to live in. Also, it is quite dangerous especially in East Hastings in Vancouver. It's like a totally different world."
"The Atmosphere was toxic, the local fair was rather bland, nothing was showing at the local amphitheater, and it seems like everyone you visit is sleeping."
"Branson Missouri felt like if wish.com were a place."
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
"There’s nothing beautiful about the city anymore. It’s just a warzone now, people kill and can be killed for nothing, nobody respects the laws, and the state doesn’t have enough power to fight the dr*g lords, so they basically do what they want."
"Austin, Texas. Lived there in the ‘90s and it was pretty great. Now it’s an overcrowded, overpriced douchey mess."
Cabot Cove, USA
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world. Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
"Bali changed so much last 10 years. It used to be so beautiful and amazing… now it is full of “digital nomad” douchebags and overpriced food and crap. I remember when it was just a cool surf spot with cheap eats."
"Beijing. I arrived at the end of a trans- Mongolian rail trip seeing so many incredible places and I think it was just a huge anti-climax. Was intimidated by the level of armed security everywhere, had to fight off so many scammers, didn't enjoy being touched and laughed at when on the subway (I'm a very white European with curly hair). Overall just found it really challenging despite some amazing sights."
"Manila, traffic was horrible and it was so dirty, nice buildings but the entire experience was stressful."
"One could die from boredom if Montreal wasn’t nearby."
"Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. No offense to the folks that live there but I felt like everybody was angry, the traffic and parking were worse than Manhattan, and it had none of the redeeming qualities of NYC."
"Literally hell on earth."
"I know everyone loves Marrakesh, but I hated it. It would have been amazing before about 2000, but now it just feels like a Disneyland version of their culture to cater to western tourists. Ali baba costumes pretending to be desert nomads. half of their ‘ handmade goods’ are just cheap shit from china. and u can't walk 20 feet without being approached by scammers. like, literally every block. The entire city just feels like a facade to attract dumb tourist money. I get why ppl love it, but that was my take.
"So much so, that there's a syndrome named for when tourists find out what it is really like and lose the plot."
"I wasn't really visiting or expecting to go there, just passing through on an Amtrak ride. I awoke from a nap to the train just stopped in what looked like Raccoon City. Trash was everywhere, and most of the buildings looked abandoned. The sky was cloudy and literally green. Like, sickly yellow-green. And most eerily, I didn't see a single car driving on the street or anyone walking around outside on the barren sidewalks. All the stores and restaurants looked closed and empty. I was actually sort of gripped by fear for a second, in my post-nap haze. Just wanted the doors to shut and the train to pull out of there. Nobody was getting on the Amtrak in Trenton. I didn't even know if there was anybody in Trenton. As the train pulled away and we went through the center of the city, a rail bridge over the river caught my eye. A massive sign was plastered on the side that read "TRENTON MAKES, THE WORLD TAKES."
"Denver. Just a big, hot, expensive city out on the plains. All the cool mountain activities that people move to CO for are 2 hours of driving away unless you can afford to live in the western suburbs so nobody does nearly as much recreation as they would do living somewhere else. Traffic is worse than in Chicago to boot."
"Just kinda seemed like a boring banking/politics city."
"I couldn’t wait to go because I’m Greek. It’s filthy with polluted air and all of the famous ruins are right near city buildings, which are poorly constructed. The place feels like the very third world.
"I traveled to Winnipeg once. Said I was on vacation when asked if I was from here. The replies were mostly looking at me and asked "why would you vacation here."
"I don’t get how the only thing of interest in the second biggest city in the U.K., is a shopping center. It’s such a grim grey place that’s not interesting at all. Each other major UK city has its own unique qualities and landmarks that make it worth a visit. I’ve yet to see what that is in Birmingham."