When planning an international trip, it’s easy to get swayed by glossy brochures and Instagram-worthy spots. But not all famous attractions live up to the hype.
According to a recent Stasher ranking, some of the world’s most renowned tourist destinations have been labeled as the “worst.” Surprised? Let’s see what makes these places stand out for the wrong reasons – and why they might still be worth a visit.
1. Hollywood Walk of Fame, Los Angeles, USA
Known for its star-studded sidewalks, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is often criticized for being overcrowded and less glamorous than expected. Yet, it remains a symbol of the film industry’s rich history. If you’re a movie buff, walking these streets can feel like a journey through cinema’s golden era.
2. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
The Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, is sometimes knocked for being overly touristy. However, its maze of shops offers an authentic glimpse into Turkish culture and craftsmanship. The key is to go beyond the tourist traps and explore the deeper alleys.
3. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Despite being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal faces criticism for overcrowding and pollution concerns. Nevertheless, its architectural beauty and historical significance are unparalleled. Visiting during off-peak hours can help avoid the throngs of tourists.
4. Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay, USA
Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay might not match up to other theme parks in terms of size or fame, but it’s a unique blend of thrilling rides and animal encounters. For families and thrill-seekers, it offers a day of fun away from the more crowded parks.
5. Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea
Lotte World, a major recreation complex in Seoul, can get packed and pricey. But for those who love theme parks, it’s a must-visit for its indoor and outdoor areas and a glimpse into South Korean pop culture.
6. Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
Victoria Harbour is sometimes dismissed for being just another city skyline. Yet, the Symphony of Lights show and the traditional junk boat rides provide a memorable experience, especially at night.
7. Ocean Park, Hong Kong
Ocean Park, overshadowed by Hong Kong Disneyland, is often seen as the lesser of two theme parks. However, it offers a mix of marine life exhibits and rides, making it an educational yet fun outing for families.
8. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan
This shrine, famous for its thousands of torii gates, is sometimes viewed as too repetitive and crowded. But it’s a spiritual and cultural icon, offering a serene hike with picturesque views for those who venture beyond the initial gates.
Japan Insides Pro Tip: Arrive at the first light of dawn to experience Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in a unique and serene way. Being open 24/7/365, you can go at any time. This early start not only lets you witness the shrine bathed in the soft morning light, but also ensures you avoid the mid-morning rush. The tranquil atmosphere at this hour provides a more personal and reflective experience as you walk through the iconic torii gates, often with fewer people around.
9. Great Wall of China, China
The Great Wall, one of the most iconic structures in the world, is criticized for being overly restored in some sections. However, visiting less touristy sections like Mutianyu or Jinshanling can provide a more authentic and less crowded experience.
10. Everland, Yongin, South Korea
Everland faces criticism for being a generic theme park. But its unique attractions, like a safari ride and seasonal festivals, offer a fun day out, particularly for families.
Sometimes, the most hyped destinations may not meet our lofty expectations, but they often have unique aspects that are worth experiencing. When visiting these so-called “worst” tourist attractions, the key is to manage expectations, look for hidden gems, and sometimes, just embrace the chaos. Who knows? You might just find a memorable experience where you least expect it.
Stasher ranking is based on mix of Google reviews, quality of local accommodation, distance from the nearest international airport, tourist safety and TikTok popularity.