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Real People Share The Most Disappointing Cities They’ve Ever Visited

Monica December 18, 2023

Traveling to new, exotic, and unknown destinations is the spice of life. But when you travel to a new city, sometimes you fall in love with it and other times you simply despise the place. It’s unfortunate when you arrive in a new city and realize just how much you hate it. The best thing to do is leave and move on. There may be times you wished you did a little bit more research into a city, to have avoided a disappointing vacation.

That’s where this list comes in. We’ve curated a collection of the most disappointing cities people have ever traveled to. Next time you’re planning a vacation, you might want to avoid these places and avoid a worst-case scenario.

Reddit

San Jose, California, USA

Not only did this Reddit user dislike the city of San Jose in California, but they especially disliked one of the city’s main attractions, the Winchester Mystery House. The city is known for its horrible traffic and unreliable public transportation system. But the disappointment goes beyond that. In their own words, this Reddit user had believed the Winchester Mystery House was a crazy mansion similar to what Picasso would have made. But in reality, the number of windows on the floors and doors was overstated. The house was pretty much barren, with obvious damage from the earthquake. The so-called attraction shattered their childhood fantasies (via Reddit).

Reddit

Reykjavik, Iceland

Even though this Reddit user only spent 24 hours in Reykjavik, Iceland, it was long enough for them to deduct that they hated the city and the country at large. Apparently, for a country that has a title for being incredibly pristine and clean, this Reddit user found it to be covered in trash. The Blue Lagoon prices were absurd, and according to them, they felt every hot spring they hiked to was completely trashed. They found people’s clothes everywhere, rotting food, shattered glass bottles, and more. Even the tourists weren’t respecting the ‘no camping’ signs. It looks like the residents and tourists contributed to most of the city and country’s problems (via Reddit).

Reddit

Marseille, France

Many tourists flock to Marseille in France because of its supposed beauty, good food, and fun nightlife. But these users on Reddit have a different experience with this part of France, and they found it disappointing because the “water is cold, the sand is coarse, and the wind makes you feel like you are in a sandblaster.” The city itself also faces issues with crime and theft and can be considered a relatively unsafe destination (via Reddit).

Reddit

San Jose, Costa Rica

The bustling city of San Jose is a major starting point for tourists visiting Costa Rica. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fun city to visit. This Reddit user disliked San Jose and the entire country of Costa Rica and found it disappointing. It didn’t live up to the hype. They found it to be a one-dimensional place with inflated prices. Monteverde National Park was 25 dollars for only a few kilometers of paths. They felt everything in the country was geared towards fearful American families and didn’t find much culture or history. They’d rate it as the only country they ever felt bored in.

Other Reddit users agreed, and said, “San Jose is by a long shot the worst city I’ve ever been to and this was shortly after being in La Paz and Bogota. The food was awful too and very much overpriced. The impression I get is a lot of the influencers that made such a big thing out of Costa Rican tourism were quite wealthy.” If you’re planning your trip to Costa Rica, make sure you skip San Jose (via Reddit).

Reddit

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Reddit users found Dubrovnik, Croatia, to be disappointing. They found it to have too many tour agencies and souvenir shops, especially after having spent so much of their time in small towns and rural places in the country. Other people on the internet also agree that Dubrovnik was not a city they’d go back to. Some even said, “The people serving in this city are cold at best and outright rude, abusive at other times. I have not seen any smile from any of the people serving or selling anything. No Hi, No Hello. I have been to many big cities and much more crowded places like London, Paris, NYC, even Moscow. Never experienced such downright sorry group of people.” At least other parts of the country, like the nearby islands, are nicer to visit (via Reddit).

Reddit

Panama City, Panama

This Reddit user expected Panama City to be a replica of Miami, but instead found it to be a huge, hard-to-navigate city. Even though it’s home to the Panama Canal, it doesn’t mean it’s a place many people want to spend time in. They wrote, “Even the taxi drivers didn’t know where they were going and did not know where major tourist points and hotels were. The beach was off-limits from what I saw, and I wouldn’t have gone in even if other people were there.” Even though they were there for a stopover, they believed you could skip the city altogether, considering how disappointing it was to spend a few hours there. It’s more like a business city than anything else. Many others also find Panama City to be a huge disappointment. There are other cities in Central America to visit that offer more nature, less traffic, and a better experience (via Reddit).

Reddit

Plitvice National Park, Croatia

This National Park in northern Croatia attracts thousands of tourists every year. You might have even been one of those tourists. It’s Croatia’s largest national park, covering more than 30,000 hectares. It’s known for its spectacular array of flora, fauna, and waterfalls. But this Reddit user didn’t find the beauty in this national park.

It was one of the most disappointing places they ever traveled to. In their own words, they said it was a “perfectly pleasant watery national park, thronged to absolute jam-packed bursting with the world’s worst set of grabby, pushy, screaming, selfish visitors, where you are trapped on a boardwalk system which you end up shuffling along half the time desperately trying to get a space to see a waterfall, let alone photograph it, and the other half taking the urge to throw all the shufflers or suddenly-stopping-for-no-reason-people off into the water with a sudden explosion of your bruised elbows and pushing it down down down into the pit of your stomach before it can do any harm.” They suggest that if you’re there in peak season, skip the park completely, or arrive before the gates even open in the morning to avoid this monstrosity (via Reddit).

Reddit

Havana, Cuba

Considering Cuba has recently opened its doors to full tourism, you’d think it’s a great country to visit, offering insight into the past, akin to a time capsule. But when this Reddit user visited Havana, Cuba, they found it to be a very disappointing city with little to offer. They felt it was a run-down version of the French Quarter in New Orleans. They only ate bland food, were constantly panhandled, and drank mediocre mojitos despite all the hype. It also smelled like sewage and only saw beat-up cars, instead of the shiny, pristine ones we associate with Cuba. At the very least, they entertained themselves with cigars and rum to pass the time (via Reddit).

Reddit

Split, Croatia

It looks like Croatia is making its way to the bottom of many tourist’s lists. Another city in Croatia many people find disappointing is Split. This Reddit user expected nice beaches and a beautiful, historic city with fantastic architecture. But in reality, they felt the beaches were incredibly dirty and packed with too many people, despite it being May. They also felt there wasn’t much to do in Split other than Diocletian’s Palace. To take it even further, the area outside of the city felt grungy, unsafe, dirty, and full of unfriendly people. It doesn’t sound like a good time, at all. Even though other tourists may beg to differ, they decided it was a place they’d never go back to (via Reddit).

Reddit

Bangkok, Thailand

Even though Bangkok is known for its funky nightlife, delicious street food, and gorgeous temples, it doesn’t mean everyone falls in love with the city. People found Bangkok to be incredibly disappointing, so much so that it deterred them from traveling around the rest of Thailand. According to this Reddit user, Bangkok has horrendous traffic and too many people. They found a couple of other cities in Asia to be disappointing, including Siem Reap in Cambodia, where there were too many people, and Penang in Malaysia, where he was robbed. They believe Southeast Asia does not agree with them (via Reddit).

Reddit

Paris, France

The city of love didn’t make it onto some traveler’s radar. The Eiffel Tower and the abundance of cafes and croissants did nothing to persuade this Reddit user that Paris was all it’s made up to be. Unfortunately, they found the city disappointing and even said it was full of scamming gypsies trying to use the same scam tactics. They also found the city dirty, full of trash, and full of ugly graffiti. Maybe bringing your romantic partner to Paris is a thing of the past considering how much it seems it’s changed (via Reddit).

Reddit

Prague, Czech Republic

Known for cheap beer, nightlife, and beautiful architecture, Prague is typically high on everyone’s European tour list. But this Reddit user felt it was one of the most disappointing cities they’d been to. They felt the food was lacking in flavor and barely had a good meal in three days while they were there. Also, they felt they could see the entire city in 48 hours. If you’re planning a European vacation, maybe it’s best to skip out on Prague and instead head for a lesser-known city with more to do (via Reddit).

Reddit

Samara, Costa Rica

Unfortunately, this Reddit user had high expectations for Samara, Costa Rica. They thought it would be a wonderful beach paradise where they could relax, indulge in good food, drink cocktails, and enjoy the upbeat nightlife. But that’s not what happened. It was full of disappointing attractions, beaches, and food. There weren’t many activities for solo travelers, the nightlife was dead, and all they ended up doing was watching Netflix episodes on their laptop. They advise to never book trips using Groupon ever again (via Reddit).

Reddit

San Francisco, California

The Golden City may not live up to all the hype. Some people seem to thrive in San Francisco’s hilly streets and eccentric nightlife, while others find it incredibly disappointing. This Reddit user was ready to fall in love with San Francisco, but only found hatred for the place. They found it to be incredibly dirty, thought it smelled really bad, found the cost of living to be too high, and had an opposite reaction to what they initially thought would be love for the place. It’s safe to say that the city isn’t for everyone (via Reddit).

Reddit

Shanghai, China

Shanghai dazzles some people, and for others, they can’t stand it. It’s a chaotic city in China that has some of the best food in the world, though that doesn’t make up for its chaos. This Reddit user found the city to be rather boring and didn’t think there was much to do. It had too much of a business-focused vibe, too. They preferred Beijing. And they’re not the only person to dislike Shanghai other Reddit users agree. They said, “There is a lot of crime, tons of poverty, no public services, a criminal government currently running the city as well as a country, extremely bad schools which force students into 18 hours a day of propaganda, bad healthcare/hospitals, too smelly, too much pollution, poor quality of life, bad public transit, too much tolls, bad job market, low job growth rate, high unemployment, low wages, too much taxes, too much traffic, and too many regulations.” Maybe it’s best to steer clear of the city (via Reddit).

Reddit

Cusco, Peru

Visiting Machu Picchu might be on your bucket list, but that doesn’t mean getting there is going to be a fun or exciting time. This Reddit user found Peru, specifically Cusco, to be one of the most disappointing cities in the world. They found the people rude because they couldn’t speak Spanish there was excessive capitalism, and felt every interaction was predatory. They much preferred the city of Lima because of its food (via Reddit).

Reddit

Amsterdam

Another bucket list destination for many European travelers is Amsterdam. This Reddit user had high expectations with Amsterdam’s cute flowers and geography but felt it was too cramped, full of horrible food, and bad-smelling canals. They wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Other Reddit users also found the city to be a place full of horrors. They hated it because the “Bikes have more rights than people, 50% of shops won’t accept credit cards, including major chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks… Amsterdam only accepts Maestro that only their country uses, stairs are death traps, going out of their way to be as narrow and curvy as possible. And if you buy a 24-hour transport card it becomes null and void if you don’t check out, of course, no one tells you that you have to do this, clearly a useless gimmick to scam tourists.” Maybe it’s better to visit other cities in the Netherlands like Rotterdam and Utrecht (via Reddit).

Reddit

Tulum/Cancun/Playa del Carmen, Mexico

It sounds like this Reddit user had a bad time in Mexico, period. They didn’t find just one disappointing city, but three, all in proximity to each other. They found it worse than they could have ever imagined. To put it in their own words, “Tulum is a cringe influencer land with one back-street of authenticity, Playa is just strange tacky tourist traps, and Cancun was an American resort town with more English than Spanish.” Unfortunately, it sounds like several places they never want to go back to, and by the sounds of it, not a place that anyone should ever visit (via Reddit).

Reddit

Manila, The Philippines

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, the Philippines has some of the most beautiful islands and volcanoes in the world. But the capital city of Manila is congested, full of traffic, and an incredibly disappointing city. There’s not much to do in regards to seeing the history, and people mainly go dancing, clubbing, and shopping, which are things you can technically do in any major city around the world. To be fair, no one has really raved about Manila. So if you do plan on going to The Philippines, it’s best to just fly into Manila and leave immediately (via Reddit).

Reddit

Chiang Mai, Thailand

It seems like people either love Chiang Mai or hate it. This northern Thai city is home to coffee, an old, crumbling, historical wall, and cheap street food. But is it all it’s made up to be? This Reddit user found it hugely disappointing and experienced only mediocre cheap food, grouchy people, and boring nightlife. They recommend travelers instead head to Hanoi in Vietnam if they want a true land of smiles. They’re not the only Reddit users to dislike this Thai city. Other people have said, “Chiang Mai is falling totally flat for me. I walked around all day yesterday and the whole city felt empty, almost soulless. Today I hiked up to Doi Suthep but it was a bit lackluster and other hiking doesn’t seem to be as accessible/clear as I had hoped (to be expected though with the burning season).” It’s best to spend a day or two in the city, and then explore the surrounding mountains for a better experience (via Reddit).

Reddit

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is notorious for their clubs that stay open throughout the weekend. You might have visited on a weekend trip and fallen in love with it, or you might have visited, only to find it’s a place you never want to go back to. Either way, this Reddit user found it to be a disappointing European city, once the honeymoon period wore off. They can’t stand the daily microaggressions from the locals, the self-centered and self-proclaimed Berliners, and a terrible winter. To them, it’s a dreadful place that they certainly could do without (via Reddit).

Reddit

Austin, Texas

Austin usually has a good reputation, but, this traveler, hated it. They found it disappointing and felt everyone was aggressive. Even though there were outdoor activities, the weather made it hard to enjoy anything outside. There were also too many bugs. It’s one of the most overrated cities, and they believe people didn’t want to sound uncool for hating it. At least they’re being honest with how they felt (via Reddit).

Reddit

Naples, Sicily, Catania, Italy

This person disliked not one, but three cities in Italy. They basically disliked all of Southern Italy. They found these cities to be rundown, dirty, and full of old architecture ruined with graffiti. Unfortunately, they felt the people were mad all the time and unwelcoming. And it’s not an unpopular opinion, other people of Reddit also believe these cities, especially Catania, are dirty. They said, “But yet there’s overflowing trashcans, so much trash in the street you couldn’t avoid it, and a lot of places just smell awful.” It’s best to avoid this area of Italy and instead head for nicer towns (via Reddit).

Reddit

Kotor, Montenegro

While Kotor might be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, this Reddit user found it disappointing. They found Kotor and the entire country of Montenegro to be mega-touristy, have really bad food, and be overpriced. It had an overrun, busy coastline mostly covered in concrete, and believes there are certainly better places to visit in the country (via Reddit).

Reddit

Kyoto, Japan

This might be one of the most controversial cities on this list. At least this Reddit user was honest about why they found Kyoto disappointing. They found a lot of the old district and temples to be very touristy and generic. To top it all off, there was a bad metro system and limited high-quality food. At least they’re not the only ones who disliked Kyoto, other users of Reddit also said, “However, not only has Kyoto lacked historical buildings, she was filled with painfully dull concrete blocks.” Maybe it’s best to stick to Tokyo (via Reddit).

Reddit

Saigon, Vietnam

Cities in Vietnam are hectic and bustling, but that doesn’t mean they’re horrible. Unfortunately, Saigon is one of those disappointing cities that Reddit users couldn’t stand. This person in particular thought it was dusty, chaotic, noisy, and unwalkable. Crossing the street was a nightmare, thanks to the motorcyclists who speed up when you cross the street. At least they enjoyed delicious food and coffee (via Reddit).

Reddit

Dubai, UAE

Even though this Reddit user’s opinion of Duba is short and sweet, they nailed why they found it disappointing on the head. They said, “It’s like Trump Tower mated with an Applebees. And oppressive heat.” It seems like not many people want to spend time in this oasis in the desert (via Reddit).

Reddit

Tenerife, Spain

Even though there are plenty of cities to visit in Spain, Tenerife might not be one of them. Despite the beautiful hikes in the North, this Reddit user found it to have tons of tourists and a lack of culture. They only had bad food and run-down cities (via Reddit).

Reddit

Rome, Italy

Even though Rome has some of the most spectacular, historic buildings in the world, it doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s favorite. This Reddit user thought it was too crowded, full of tourist traps and scammers, and too much traffic. Not only that, but this other Reddit user and his girlfriend had a disappointing five days in Rome, despite their previous excitement for the city. They wrote, “The people were horrendously rude, constantly trying to drag you into restaurants only to treat you poorly once you’re in. They see you as moneybags and will try to scam you at any opportunity. You are constantly barraged with people aggressively trying to sell you rubbish and harassing you for money.” It sounds like people are constantly harassing you and trying to take your money (via Reddit).

Reddit

Bali, Indonesia

Many travelers flock to Bali for the surf, sand, and sea. But because it’s so popular, many people believe it’s overrated, including this Reddit user. They found it to have aggressive taxi drivers and to be an incredibly dirty place overall. They felt people looked at him as a walking ATM, and he was even followed by someone trying to sell him a souvenir (via Reddit).

Reddit

Florence, Italy

It seems like many tourists don’t like Italy overall. This Reddit user found the city of Florence too busy to be enjoyable, even though they went in the off-season in November. They also felt it was too crowded, and they had a difficult time walking around. The sidewalks were crumpled, and they paid an exorbitant amount for a dirty, cluttered Airbnb (via Reddit).

Reddit

Athens, Greece

You’d think the city of Athens, with its rich history, would be enjoyable. This Reddit user wanted to visit Athens for a while, but when they arrived, they realized just how disappointing it was. They found it to be dirty, polluted, crowded, and loud, with intense and cold people. The food was also bad. They felt a similar way in Florence, where they felt suffocated and couldn’t wait for the trip to end. It sounds like skipping Athens is a great option (via Reddit).

Reddit

Istanbul, Turkey

It’s probably a better idea to use Istanbul only as a city to fly into. This Reddit user was unfortunately stuck in Istanbul for two weeks. The streets were dirty, there were a lot of homeless people, too much traffic and smog, and trash everywhere. That’s not a place you’d want to spend two weeks. Overall, the city was unwelcoming and lacked fresh fruits and vegetables (via Reddit).

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