Some places you visit leave such a strong impact that you dream of someday returning, but some have the exact opposite effect. Not all vacations are good ones, and certain locations have left travelers with regrets.
These travelers share the most disappointing places they’ve been to but have no desire to visit again.
“The beaches were very dirty and I just felt like I was on a shipyard. They also have a problem with feral dogs—they were everywhere. It broke my heart to see the skin and bone dogs, some of which had clearly starved to death and were decaying in the streets. I seriously would NEVER go back.”
Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA
“I’ve been all over the world, but nothing is more overrated than Hollywood. It’s cool to see for a day or two—the walk of fame and the studios and all that.
“Overall though, it’s a dirty area with overpriced hotels and bars/restaurants surrounded by hundreds of super-aggressive homeless people.”
Manila, The Philippines
“I loved the other places I went to in the Philippines, but Manila was awful. The air quality, the traffic, the garbage, and the weird proliferation of air-conditioned shopping malls.
“Most of all, seeing the child poverty was heart-wrenching. A good wake-up call for a privileged Westerner, but not one I want again.”
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
“It’s easily the most soulless place I’ve ever visited. The main thing I remember about it is that the aquarium in the Dubai mall had a sign next to it saying that this was the world’s largest single piece of acrylic.
“All they cared about was making everything bigger and more expensive than anywhere else. They ripped off the Bellagio fountains and Luxor hotels from Vegas. I didn’t really come across anything cultural there—it’s all brand new and bland with tons of unfinished buildings.”
Daytona Beach, FL, USA
“My friends somehow convinced me to go a few years ago. Never again will I enter that city of my own free will.
“It looked like a diseased husk of its former tourist trap self; foreclosed and/or broken down buildings abound. There is literally nothing to do there, aside from going to the dilapidated beach and eating at Joe’s Crab Shack.”
The Country Of Belarus
“I’ve never felt so unwelcome while traveling. The police follow you everywhere; my passport was being checked constantly. I just felt like I was being watched where ever I went.”
Mataram Bus Station, Lombok, Indonesia
“It was the worst place I’ve ever been to. People tried to hustle us for money and take drinks I had purchased when I wasn’t looking. However, it was the only bad experience I had in Indonesia.
“Pro-tip: always fly between islands—that way, you save time. Bus operators will always try to screw you over for money, especially if you don’t know the local language.”
One person said, “Some areas were nice, but the rest of the city was a disaster, especially Giza. The people were obnoxious too.”
Another person wrote, “My family transited through Cairo and our luggage goy ‘lost.’ We were about to miss our flight and were getting worried until some other traveler told us to give the airport guys money. We gave them some Canadian cash and, just like that, they found our luggage. I doubt it was a coincidence.”
The Country Of Morocco
“This one’s tough because I really loved traveling around Morocco; I saw some amazing places and met some genuinely lovely people.
“However, in certain parts of Marrakesh, I felt very unsafe. If I wasn’t accompanied closely by a male companion, some men took my being alone as an invitation to touch me.”
Sentosa Beach, Singapore
“It’s all fancy and hyper-developed and connected to one of the largest malls on earth (Vivo Mall), but you get to the beach via monorail.
“I arrived to the little amount of sand that hasn’t been built up into stores to look out to the ocean and all I saw was oil tankers and factories spewing smoke on the horizon. It was like some sort of futuristic dystopia.”
“There is constant political tension in the country, so there were armed guards everywhere. The traffic is horrendous: it can take you four hours to drive less than a kilometer. I’d rather go to Liberia again during an Ebola outbreak.”
New Year’s Eve In Times Square, New York City, USA
“After months of looking forward to it, it was just four hours of standing in the cold next to strangers so you can see a little blip drop from ten blocks away.”
Mount Rushmore, SD, USA
“I expected the carved heads to be grand and spectacular but the monument is a lot smaller than I imagined. It’s still incredibly impressive for its detail, but a bit disappointing.”
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
“Most of the city is not safe for foreign (non-Portuguese speaking) tourists. Favelas (slums) are everywhere.
“I saw more crime in the few days I was there than my entire life here in the U.S. Locals will ride buses to the tourist areas to rob them in packs of ten.”
Pueblo, CO, USA
“It’s perpetually a Tuesday in 1988 there. Every day.”
I’ve never read a description of a location that was more poignant and scathing than this one. I kind of want to visit just to see what they mean.
“While there, I got robbed by the police, a street performer tried to rob me with his monkey, I got diarrhea from the food, and felt as if I was going to die the whole time.”
The Country Of Jamaica
“If you are going to spend the money to go to the Caribbean, do not waste it going to Jamaica. Yes, you can stay at a resort and have the time of your life, but you can do that on any of the islands.
“Go someplace nicer like Aruba/Cayman Islands/Saint Thomas.”
The British Overseas Territory Of Gibraltar
“It really is just a big rock. The hotel sucked and a car had washed up into the swimming pool despite a very clear sign that you weren’t supposed to throw your car off a cliff into the ocean. The food was disgusting and many others refused to eat it; those who did got sick. I also got peed on by a monkey.
“You can see everything Gibraltar has to offer in a few hours; I was stuck there for a week.”
Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39, San Francisco, CA, USA
“It’s a mall built in the 1970s specifically to attract tourists. Its unwarranted popularity is made more infuriating by its extremely close proximity to some of the most awesome neighborhoods in the country, which loads of people never see.”
“I’m a 6’4”, 225lbs male who knows martial arts and I’ve never felt so unsafe as in the middle of the day amongst Naples’ citizens.
“It’s a highly uneducated, illiterate city with an extremely low rate of emigration, one of the highest rates of petty theft, and the unfriendliest faces I’ve ever seen. No one walks alone, everyone is in wolf packs. It’s a filthy city—there’s literally trash piles on the street—with the looming presence of the mafia.”