People Are Sharing 25 Tourist Traps To Avoid When Traveling Around The World

Published 1 month ago

Embarking on a journey to explore new cities is a thrilling adventure, but not all destinations are created equal when it comes to tourist traps. In a recent online inquiry, travelers were asked to share their experiences and insights on which city stands out as the worst tourist trap.

The responses poured in, forming a valuable guide for fellow globetrotters seeking to avoid the pitfalls of overhyped destinations. Let’s take a closer look at the cities that have earned a reputation for being tourist traps and the reasons behind the cautionary tales shared by seasoned travelers.

More info: Sophieontrack.com | TravelDarkly.com

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#1

Image source: DaytonaDemon, Tarek Hagrass / Pexels

Cairo.

u/blizzard_of-oz:

Cairo native here can confirm. Every time I’m in downtown and see tourists I chuckle.

So what was it? Was it the camel dudes at the pyramids scamming you? Was it the pollution and dirty streets? Was it the stray animals being abused? Are you a woman that had the audacity to experience being a woman? Did a cop threaten to take you in for taking pics of places “you’re not allowed” to? Are you a gay bro that got caught having steamy sex with the closeted cab driver at the hotel? Did you clumsily tell the falafel guy that you’re Jewish?

Seriously though. People shouldn’t visit here unless they’re paying big bucks to a tourism agency, they know what they’re doing, and they have ties with the police. Cairo’s great if you pay enough to a good agency.

#2

Image source: Notatallevil, Matthew Paulson / Flickr

Clearwater Florida. Beaches that aren’t that great, dirty, dead downtown area and scientology took over the whole area.

#3

Image source: armt350, Mo Ismail / Pexels

Dubai. It shouldn’t exist past bedouin camps.

u/fellow_enthusiast:
Plastic city full of plastic people, built on a foundation of sand and oil.

#4

Image source: tubbis9001, Chris Gent

Nassau Bahamas. It’s the busiest cruise ship port in the world, and not for good reasons. It’s a cheap place to stop that can accommodate the largest cruise ships, it’s close to Florida, and fulfills the requirement of “at least one foreign stop” for US cruises to operate without following US labor laws.

I could forgive that if the port was actually nice. It’s not. Traffic sucks, public transit is bad, and the area immediately surrounding the port has some of the most aggressive vendors you’ll ever find.

It’s all for the convenience of the cruise companies and none for the customer.

#5

Image source: PNWvintageTreeHugger

Don’t get me wrong. I love Disneyland. But it’s nothing but a moneymaking giant.

When I was a kid, we were not well off at all. I was able to visit Disneyland twice with my family (ages 7 and 12).

I think many kids’ families are priced out of enjoying Disneyland nowadays.
It seems steep even for middle class.

#6

Image source: Evening_Rock5850, Branson Convention / Flickr

Branson, MO.

It’s Vegas but for people who post “I do not give Facebook consent to print off my computer files” a lot.

Tons of overpriced shows that have been the exact same show with the exact same people for decades. Along with terrible buffets and restaurants that sell microwaved food but with a gimmick. Far more Trump/MAGA stores than any one town should probably have and a vaguely religious theme to everything in ways that are usually pretty out of place. (Though ironically, the Sight and Sound Theatre, that puts on religious plays, is probably one of the best things on the strip. Going to a show about a religious theme or story is definitely a much better experience than going to a go kart track that tells you to say the Pledge of Allegiance and then pray before you get in the cars or whatever.)

Visited many times and in fact I intend to go again. There’s a great state park nearby and there’s definitely some charm. But yeah the shoehorned/shallow patriotic-religious themes as a quick cash grab to senior citizens who will eat it up and pay extra because of it is a fascinating and strange thing to experience.

#7

Image source: Mommy_loves_u, Cameron Rainey / Pexels

Post-pandemic Vegas. $30 cocktails in a plastic cup.

#8

Image source: dkktk, Jordiferrer

Pisa (Italy) – the one (pretty small) square with the famous tower is absolutely everything it has to offer, the rest is a fight through the 3:1 ratio of panhandler/peddler to tourist, with s****y cafés and a dirty town around. I really only drove through “by accident” and still wish i hadn’t.

#9

Image source: evecohenn, GoToVan / Flickr

The “original” Starbucks in Pike Place Market in Seattle. A) It’s not the original. B) It’s unbelievably crowded all day, every day.

#10

Image source: qtmcjingleshine, ChrisEdwardsCE

Any cruise port in the Caribbean.

u/rock-or-something:

This is why I hate cruises. You are given minimal time to really explore city you dock at.

You get off the boat and are immediately swarmed with people offering excursions.

Your time is spent doing one excursion, grabbing a bite, shopping, and back to the boat.

I went on a cruise with my family when I was in middle school, and felt so cool saying “I went to 3 different countries this summer” not mentioning that I was in each country for maybe 6-8 hours, learned nothing about the culture, and spent all of my time doing things with people who looked exactly like me and spoke the same language as me.

#11

Image source: Fearlessleader85, Alan Light

Waikiki in Honolulu. It’s not is own city, but it’s so much a tourist trap.

Nothing in there is “original”, traditional, or real, even though everything claims to be. Even the sand on the beach isn’t from there.

Everything is significantly more expensive and lower quality than just outside of it. Even things that are legitimately Hawaiian, like Poke aren’t done right there. The poke served in Waikiki is California style and generally just c**p.

There’s something to buy or spend money on at every turn. Shopping malls, little booths, street performers, memento shops, and a ABC stores (a convenience chain) literally everywhere. You can actually see several ABC stores at the same time from multiple places.

And it’s easy to get into and difficult to get out. There’s an actual moat. There’s 2 roads that funnel you into Waikiki, and if you don’t know where to go, the internal roads almost force you into a circle.

And the biggest thing with a tourist trap, it IS fun. If you get past the fact that you’re going to spend a bunch of money and everything is for show, it’s a fun place to visit.

And the last component: it works! The existence of Waikiki makes the level of tourism on O’ahu tolerable for the people who actually live there. Without Waikiki, they would be scattered all over the island and nowhere would be mostly local. But Waikiki sequestors the majority of them in one concentrated area allowing the majority of the islands inhabitants not have to deal with them.

#12

Image source: dagiantfox87, Mr.TinMD / Flickr

Sedona, AZ is the worst tourist trap I can think of. Followed closely by Tombstone. Really any historic place in AZ is a tourist trap.

u/im4ruckus2:

Wondered if Sedona would make the list. I live here and in the Spring and Fall 45 minute traffic jams and the trails are packed and visitors park everywhere. The Uptown strip has tee shirts and tourist gifts and expensive food. But the summer and winter are great with far fewer tourists and fabulous dark skies and cool evenings. Lovely place to retire and hike. Views are impressive!!

#13

Image source: youronlynora, Ninara / Flickr

Agra, India.

u/chazzy_cat:

Omg yes. I have enjoyed most of my travel in India but Agra was a dump. It’s the Taj Mahal and literally nothing else worth seeing. Unless you are into roaming packs of feral monkeys, piles of trash everywhere, and overly-aggressive souvenir merchants. I would recommend Rajasthan instead.

#14

Image source: My_Middle_Nut

Temple Bar – Dublin

Why are you paying €10 for a s****y pint when Ireland has some of, if not the best pubs in the world everywhere.

#15

Image source: scottcmu, Elizabeth Albert / Flickr

The biggest tourist trap I’ve ever been to is Salem, Mass. Just witch/Halloween stuff everywhere and very few actual historical things to see.

#16

Image source: bruisevwillis, Library of Congress

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the restaurants, resorts, and attractions. And those knickknack/swim suit places every block, there’s 3 different names of franchises but they’re identical and insanely overpriced. As a kid, it’s magical but as an adult, it’s so gimmicky.

#17

Nashville is literally one street. The rest is strip mall suburbia.

Image source: laketunnel1

#18

Image source: KlausMarduke, Channel3000 / Flickr

I’m surprised I’ve only seen one mention of Wisconsin Dells. If doing touristy nonsense is something you enjoy, this place is a banger. Pirate themed mini-golf, two massive water parks themed on the bible and greek mythology, respectively, gimmicky dining options like a “lumberjack breakfast” and food delivery by train system, more sweets and novelty shops than you can count, a hybrid boat/bus tour, a couple escape rooms, an acade/waterpark/movietheater/african safari themed hotel, a deer petting zoo/reserve, and a fantasy themed timed scavenger hunt.

#19

Image source: GreatWhiteBuffalo888, Daniel Mennerich / Flickr

As much as I love the pure camp and cheesiness that is Niagara Falls, the answer is Niagara Falls.

u/CLOWNXXCUDDLES:

Cousin of mine had their honeymoon there. They suggested making it a day trip instead of the entire focus of the trip.

#20

Image source: McQueenFan-68, Jim / Flickr

South of the Border in South Carolina is prime tourist trap.

u/FalseWeeknd:

It’s a glorified truck stop.

#21

Image source: neelyshelton, faungg’s photos / Flickr

Gatlinburg, TN. It’s Las Vegas for church people.

u/Jbeaves44:

Thank you! Overpriced sh***y bars, overpriced sh***y food, no room to stop and think how I wound up here because there literal waves of people shambling to and from Dick’s last Resort. And the f***ing souvenir shops!? Enough mall ninja swords to supply the Terracotta Army. Never again.

#22

Key West. We stopped there on a cruise and my friends joked about how many T-shirt shops we could walk into.

u/Sunbeam-Minx:

Hey if you’re 21 and want to drink your ass off and chase.. whatever, I guess it’s great. With a one year old in stroller, biggest vacation mistake I ever made!

Image source: Res1362429

#23

Deadwood, SD. Everything was generic. The food was trash, the nature was monetized, hardly any long trails.

Image source: El_Minadero

#24

Wisconsin Dells, I see a lot of people posting Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, I’ve been to both and would hands down take those two over the Dells. Its out of date and super expensive. The person at Mt Olympus checking me in even warned me my wallet was f****d. There is fun to be had but over priced and out dated.

Image source: ImNotSure93

#25

Image source: dingledongle80, Judy Baxter / Flickr

Pigeon Forge TN.

u/pingpongpsycho:

Pigeon Forge 50 years ago was nothing but a few pancake houses and the coolest campground with a little tubing river running through it. We camped there when I was young there. Great memories. Nothing like today.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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famous tourist places, places not to travel, reality behind tourist spots, tourist traps, worst tourist traps
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