‘Avoid at all costs’: Tourist site tells the harsh truth
They're the attractions we're told to see before we die but they turned into a massive disappointment.
A new ranking of 99 of the world's most iconic tourist attractions has determined which are worth seeing and which are a complete waste of time.
The people at the website stasher.com have gone through online reviews and considered factors like ease of access, safety and security, and social media engagement to rank the world's 99 most overrated attractions.
Outrageously, an Australian icon makes the list, although thankfully it's the only one: our very own Sydney Opera House.
It was ranked at 29 with an overall score of 6.91 out of a possible 10. The lower the number, the more overrated the attraction.
One of the sources stasher.com used to create its list was TripAdvisor, where a reviewer said the official tour of our most famous building was "terrible".
"It's not worth it," the reviewer said. "The will show you several short movies about the Opera House, better watch a documentary on BBC - it will have much more details.
"You are not allowed to take any (photos) inside also they will rush you through and advertise their shows."
Indoor photography on tours is banned for copyright reasons.
At least the Opera House didn't fare as poorly as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which claimed the unflattering title of most overrated tourist destination in the world with an overall score of 3.73.
On TripAdvisor a reviewer said it "should be at the bottom of your 'things to do' list in LA". "Honestly, it's not that great," they said. "It is just a strip or a sidewalk, none of the glitz & glamour that you hear about Hollywood.
"Plus, the place is over crowded with tourists, scammers, homeless, creeps & weirdos. The biggest let down is that we didn't feel safe at all. Not a single cop or security was in sight."
In second place was Peru's Machu Picchu, followed by Hong Kong's Ocean Park theme park, Hong Kong Disneyland and Everland theme park in Yongin, South Korea.
The Great Wall of China, Lotte World in Seoul, the Gold Museum in Bogota, Colombia, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and the Great Pyramids of Giza rounded out the top-10 most overrated sites.
Few of the world's most iconic spots were spared from the list: India's Taj Mahal was ranked in 88th spot, faring worse than Stonehenge (81), Niagara Falls (57), the Eiffel Tower (56), Japan's Mount Fuji (51), the National 9/11 Museum and Memorial (ouch - 37), Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro (33) and Angkor Wat in Cambodia (5).
The worst-ranked attractions for safety and security were the Gold Museum in Bogota - with a score of zero out of 10 - followed by the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, both in Bangkok.
The most difficult place to access was deemed to be Machu Picchu. Conversely, the easiest place to access was the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
Here are what disappointed tourists had to say on TripAdvisor about some of those famous spots.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland: "We were gutted at how commercialised and 'man-made' this nonsense was! It's essentially a man-made pool - as it has a flat concrete bottom … it pumps its hot water up with noisy engines … and you are forever walking on discarded plastic 'glasses' that litter the floor beneath the water, which is really unpleasant. In fact, I can think of no redeeming feature for this place: Iceland has much better things to do, places to go, and views to enjoy!"
National 9/11 Museum and Memorial, USA: "This 'museum' is a money making machine piggy backing from a tragedy. Really sad! Not sure who gets the money but we have been told it's not the victims' families."
Mount Fuji, Japan: "You spend most of your time on the bus than at the site. We stayed for 20 mins at the mountain, 1 hour for lunch, 1 hour for the lake. The remaining time on the bus for more than 7 hours. We expected more as Mount Fuji was supposed to be the highlight of our trip but the tour was disappointing."
Stonehenge, UK: "Horrid traffic around the area due to all of the rubberneckers. Massively overpriced to visit a bunch of stones in a field … it has been completely ruined by horrible commercialisation, not to mention the pollution caused by miles of traffic tailbacks. Avoid at all costs!"
Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain: "Not for young children. The boat round the moat for 6 euros? You be better buying something else for 6 euros. Very disappointing waste of time."