Today I am compiling a list of the most overrated tourist attractions in the world. A lot of times we get this image of perfection from movies, TV, and books, but often times they don’t live up to our high expectations. Some tourist attractions leave you really disappointed while others truly blow you away. These are the attractions that left me disappointed along with a short explanation on what you should see and do instead. (Disclaimer: these are completely based on my personal experiences/preferences; everyone has different tastes and likes).
#1 The Mona Lisa (Paris, France)
Everyone who has been to the Louvre in Paris has mixed opinions. Over my five visits to Paris I went to the Louvre a few times and this opinion never changed. You wait in a massive line (unless you have the Paris Pass) and then follow the rushing crowds to see the iconic Mona Lisa or are just too overwhelmed with art to know what to do with yourself. The Mona Lisa is tiny (H: 77 cm; L: 53 cm) and they don’t let you get really that close to it, which is understandable. My other gripe with the Louvre is that every caption is in French, so to read about the painting you need to purchase an audio guide. Shouldn’t the Italian painters at least have their mother language there to describe their masterpieces? I don’t think everything should cater to be in English, but there should be some better alternatives.
I must admit, I enjoy art…but I can only spend so much time looking at it. In my opinion the Museum Orsay and Pompidou art galleries are a lot more interesting compared to the Louvre. So if you have to choose I would check out one of these as well, but please make sure to check out Saint Chappelle. This is one of the most beautiful interior churches and the 360-degree stained glass just blew me away. Paris can be overwhelming since there is so much to do and see, don’t try and rush it though. Enjoy and savior the beauty that is Paris.
#2 Mannequin Pis (Brussels, Belgium)
This little guy wasn’t that disappointing since it was free to see him taking a piss, literally. Don’t get your hopes up and instead of rushing over to find this little guy head to the Delirium bar, which has hundreds of beers on tap and is a great place to have a few drinks and get delirious.
#3 Hollywood Sign (Los Angeles, California)
I have seen the Hollywood Sign so many times in movies and just expected to see it from the streets near the Chinese Theater and the surrounding area. To see the actual sign you need to drive to a look out and even then it is still pretty far away. There are better places to go though. You can take a hike to get a lot closer and see a better view, which I would recommend.
#4 Astronomical Clock SHOW (Prague, Czech Republic)
The Astronomical clock is one of my favorite attractions in Prague. It is magnificent, but the show every hour is a big letdown. Hundreds of people line up every hour to watch these 600-year-old puppets perform a very short and disappointing show. This show would have been epic 600 years ago, but now we are just too spoiled. Stay for the show and see for yourself, or head to the top of the tower for a stunning view of the city.
#5 Canal Tour (Venice, Italy)
I have mixed feelings about this tour; it was expensive and short, but it is just one of those things you do in Venice. The first big letdown was the construction and advertisements in the canals. This was disappointing since I was expecting The Italian Job first action scene I guess. We grabbed some wine and hopped aboard the boat, the tour was over fairly quickly, and I think all of us were a bit unimpressed. Venice is a beautiful city, but that Euro could of gone to a lot better use. I don’t regret doing this since I am not sure what else we would have done during the short visit to Venice (probably drank more wine).
#6 London Eye (London, England)
This was the biggest waste of money ever. Trust me the view is not that great and getting a good photo with YOU in it is impossible with the glare/glass. Still go see the London Eye as it is a cool attraction, but I recommend avoiding the ride.
Instead of riding the London Eye go visit one of London’s FREE museums like my favorite The British Museum (famous things like the Original Rosetta Stone are here)
Although there is a few thousand of people who will disagree with me about the London Eye on Tripadvisior, if you really want to ride it then I would recommend going at night. I still can’t justify riding a glorified ferris wheel for $33.
What are you most disappointing attractions? Leave a comment below. Check out SwigMeetsWorld for more travel tips and stories!