These 15 Tourist Attractions Are Definitely NOT Overrated

While some tourist attractions end up being a let down, others live up to the hype. Here are 15 that fall in the latter category, as voted for by travel enthusiasts online.

Some tourist attractions don’t live up to the hype. You see them on social media and TV, and they look incredible.

But then you visit in real life and realize they’re horrendously overcrowded, tainted by kitschy souvenir stands, and nowhere near as impressive as they appear in photos.

Thankfully, other attractions are the opposite! As soon as you arrive, you understand why everyone raves about them. You don’t mind the queues and crowds because they’re so worth it. And you end up with treasured memories of things photos could never do justice to.

Of course, this will always be subjective. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, so just because Karen hated the Colosseum doesn’t mean you will, and vice versa. Sometimes, you have to decide for yourself.

Either way, in a recent Reddit thread, travel enthusiasts listed their picks of places that fall in the latter category. Read on to discover 15 tourist attractions they say are definitely NOT overrated.

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu is like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. An ancient and abandoned city on a mountaintop in the Andes, it’s a bucket list location in Peru that attracts over 1.5 million visitors annually.

As one Redditor put it: “I always tell people this: ‘You think there’s no way Machu Picchu lives up to the hype. And you’re right, it’s better.’”

2. The Smithsonian Museums, America

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Washington D.C.’s famous museum complex was one of the most upvoted suggestions on the thread. People raved about the variety of museum offerings, the amazing events held there, and the fact they’re free to visit.

As one person wrote: “It was insane going from the natural history museum, where everyone was pretty talkative and loud, then going to the holocaust museum where you could hear a pin drop. Both were incredible experiences.”

3. Mont-Saint-Michel, France

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Someone on Reddit described Mont-Saint-Michel as looking “like the home of a particularly prosperous wizard.” They’re not wrong. This magical abbey-topped island was a pilgrimage destination for almost 1000 years. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of France’s most iconic attractions.

Another Redditor said, “It’s a place I’d been dreaming about visiting since I was a little kid, and when I went as a college student, it surpassed my expectations. SO worth seeing and spending the day there!”

4. Terracotta Army, China

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The Terracotta Army is one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries ever made. Located 25 miles east of Xi’an, this immense collection of clay warriors and horses dates from the 3rd century BC. Thousands of them were buried in the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of China.

People on Reddit raved about it. One wrote: “I maintain that this is one of the few sites that is so good that even in those rush periods, it’s still worth it. I went during an October holiday and it was jammed to the gills and, don’t care, still amazing.”

5. The Alhambra, Spain

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This fortress and palace complex in Granada is one of Spain’s most impressive attractions. It was built by Moorish monarchs in the 13th and 14th centuries but swapped hands and received various additions and alterations in the centuries that followed.

Today, the Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its historical value, architecture, and ornate beauty. “The first time I saw one of the ceilings in the Alhambra palace, it was so absolutely amazing I had a hard time believing it was really there,” wrote one Redditor.

6. Arches National Park, America

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Arches National Park, other parks in Utah, and Utah itself all received high praise among Redditors. Of Arches, someone said it “seems like a different planet.” Someone else added, “Utah does not get talked about enough. It really is like a different world.” And a third person wrote: “Honestly, all the Utah national parks. They’re life-changing.”

7. The Duomo in Florence, Italy

Florence cathedral in Italy
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As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is an Italian city with a glut of medieval wonders. However, the Duomo (AKA Florence Cathedral) is a jewel in its mighty crown. Once the world’s largest church, this beautiful, ornate building with its famous dome dates from the early 15th century.

Somebody on Reddit said, “From a little way away, it doesn’t even look real. Like a painting on the horizon. Amazing sight to see.” Another said it “is one of the most gorgeous buildings [they’d] ever seen.”

8. Milford Sound, New Zealand

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Milford Sound is tucked away in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island in a region called Fiordland. This epic place rivals the fjords in Norway. Expect mighty waterfalls pouring from giant cliffs that drop into dark swirling waters.

The comments on Reddit say it all. After visiting by cruise ship, one person described it as “the most magical place [they’ve] ever seen.” Another just wrote, “Absolutely STUNNING,” and a third put, “Even in the rain, it’s just as spectacular.”

9. Banff National Park, Canada

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Adored by outdoor enthusiasts, Canada’s first national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of towering peaks, glacial lakes, and incredible wildlife. It’s the sort of place you’ve probably seen on computer screensavers a gazillion times!

One Redditor said, “Moraine Lake, despite being a tourist trap, is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to.” Somebody else wrote: “The drive between Jasper and Banff with all the scenic routes is INCREDIBLE!!”

10. The Louvre, France

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Paris is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, and the Louvre is at the very top of its long list of attractions. It’s officially the biggest museum on the planet and hosts tens of thousands of artworks, including Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa.

One Redditor wrote: “The Louvre in Paris has a well-deserved reputation. There is SO MUCH in there that nobody ever talks about. When I visited, I spent hours just looking at sculptures and barely even got to any of the paintings.”

11. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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Angkor Wat is a temple complex close to Siem Reap in Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, it’s the best-known (and arguably the most impressive) temple in the ancient city of Angkor, which for centuries was the center of the mighty Khmer Empire. Roughly four times bigger than Vatican City in Rome, Angkor Wat is considered the world’s largest religious monument.

Somebody on Reddit said, “All the ruins and ancient cities in Europe…kind of felt like a joke after having seen the huge Angkor temples.” Another person said visiting Angkor was “the most magical and worthwhile trip [they’ve] ever made as a tourist.”

12. The Grand Canyon, America

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The Grand Canyon is one of Earth’s most iconic natural landmarks. It’s a place of gargantuan proportions and a wonder of the world that attracts almost five million visitors every year.

One Redditor wrote: “We visited the Grand Canyon for the first time last month. There are no words to describe it, and pictures don’t come close to capturing its awesomeness.” Another said, “My jaw actually dropped when I saw it.”

13. The Colosseum, Italy

Colosseum on first day of 3 Days in Rome
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The Colosseum needs no introduction. An icon of ancient times, this 2,000-year-old amphitheater is Rome’s star attraction and a symbol of the city. It’s spectacularly busy, but if you like history, it will take your breath away.

One person wrote, “That place made my jaw drop to be there and just imagine what used to go down.” Another added, “I just found it so amazing to be walking in such an ancient place! To know you are walking where many walked so, so many years ago!”

14. La Sagrada Familia, Spain

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La Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s infamous unfinished church in Barcelona. Construction began in March 1882 and continues to this day. Despite being incomplete, it’s a symbol of the city that’s hailed as one of the most remarkable buildings on Earth. Inside and out, it is utterly unique.

One Redditor said, “The inside almost made me religious, and I’ve been an atheist for 30 years. The light through the windows cast on the pillars was the most beautiful man-made thing I’ve seen in my life.”

15. Yosemite National Park

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Located in eastern central California, Yosemite greets you with vast granite walls, waterfalls cascading from clifftops, valleys of godly proportions, and so much more. It’s another nature lover’s paradise that must be seen to be believed. Pictures don’t quite cut it.

One Redditor swooned, “I don’t believe in a higher being, but I get swayed a little when I see Yosemite Valley. Looks like it was handcrafted to perfection.” Another called it a “truly spectacular and magical place.”


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Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including and news sites across the US.