The 10 Most Overrated Cities in the World

Interest August 24, 2017 By Hugo

Traveling to a new city can be an exciting experience because most cities are rich with history and amenities. However, no matter what city you're in, travelling to a new place can present many strains- particularly if you're not impressed with the city.

Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

It's little surprise then that Internet users and journalists have compiled lists of the most overrated cities based on their sub-par experiences. Here are the 10 cities that cropped up most.

1. Bali 

While the popular Indonesian province of Bali isn't technically a city, it may as well be, such is the international kudos the island has.  After all, its clear blue waters, and pristine sands attract well over 3m tourists a year, with many coming from a variety of different countries. With that said, the island has built up an unwanted reputation for gang violence and terrorism in recent years, and thus various internet users are increasingly challenging the tropical paradise, it proclaims to be.

One person, when reviewing the place for Rough Guides, described the location in an unapologetically blunt manner, with part of the review reading, "terrible, expensive, polluted, full of hassle, terrible food, and then they even charge you to leave”.

2. Los Angeles

A place known for making dreams come true hasn't seemingly had the same effect on its tourists, many of whom complained about the seedy nature of the more central parts of a city rarely depicted in the movies.

Another criticism stemmed from one of its main attractions, The Hollywood Walk of Fame, with one journalist wondering why a floor with famous names and strewn with tourist's rubbish has such a respected reputation. 

3. Dublin

Often viewed in awe due to the many people who claim to be Irish without ever having visited the country in the first place, Dublin is often seen as a drinker's bastion and a city where everyone is incredibly approachable and charming, but much like pixies, that appears to be nothing but an age-old myth.

In fact, Lyndsay Lorraine, when asked by Rough Guides for her opinion on it, said, “Sorry but Dublin was crap. Everyone tells you to go to Temple Bar but it’s full of smelly old mans (sic) pubs!”

4. Milan

While Italy is perhaps more synonymous with its pristine coastline, mouthwatering food, and friendly locals, its cities aren't too shabby either, though it is rather unusual that its business district and major fashion capital, Milan, doesn't have the same kudos the likes of Rome and Florence enjoy.

One possible reason for this could be the lack of shops available, and unless you're planning on spending big in Prada's flagship store, there isn't much else to do aside from admiring the locals impeccable dress sense. 

5. Athens

Barring four whitewashed buildings that sit at the crest of a beautifully ornate hill, Suzy Strutner of the Huffington Post wasn't the least bit impressed with the ancient Greek capital, with the lifestyle editor writing, 'There are four buildings you knew of before you came here, and they’re all nestled on a magical, hilly oasis called the Acropolis. The streets beyond it are notoriously dirty and crowded.' 

Indeed, Strutner has a point, and while the traditional Greek houses nestled in the cobbled walkways of Plaka are a sight to behold, there isn't much else going for a city very much in ruins of an altogether different kind.

6. Miami

As the third most expensive city in America, you'd expect America's southernmost city to be awash with greatness, but unless seedy nightclubs and stifling humidity are your things, Strutner believes you'll be disappointed.

Instead, those seeking a better taste of Florida should witness the magical sunsets of Key West, or venture into the less famous city of Naples, where the likes of Bill Gates own homes overlooking the many picturesque and open-spaced beaches.

7. Bangkok

Much lauded for its overbearing pollution and plethora of overzealous locals eager to overcharge tourists the moment they step outside the airport, one of Asia's great metropolises certainly divides opinion.

However, even the most dismissive mostly admitted that the metropolises can take some getting used to, and the culture shock alone can be enough for many Westerners to adapt to. Chris Rushton, who contributed to Rough Guides' poll, admitted that while he didn't much like the city, he wasn't going to discount another visit. 'I have heard it takes a few visits to totally appreciate Bangkok,' he tweeted.

8. Paris

Paris is a city associated with many beautiful things, with love perhaps more synonymous with the city than any other, but pricey will likely be another word that comes to mind, and for many tourists, sky-high prices just aren't worth it in a place inundated with visitors.

Those not feeling the love of Pairs included Rough Guide's reviewer Tasha Preston, who believed Paris was little else than "boring and overrated."

9. London

To many, London is the Capital of the World and a city that has now usurped New York City for the coveted title, but many people can't stand the place, and instead of raging with joy over the many cultural and historical amenities, there are those who feel it is massively overpriced and full of people uninterested in conversing in the simplest of conversations.

What's more, with traffic jams and nightmarish public transport rush hours that perhaps only Tokyo can match, it is little wonder Suzy Strutner compares the Big Smoke to the American city Seattle with two cutting words: Frequently gloomy. 

10. Dubai

Dubai is a city that divides opinion. To some, its opulent celebration of garish skyscrapers and gold-plated sports cars highlights a city unashamed of its ambition.

However, others believe the gregarious display of rapid development is nothing more than a front to disguise and beguile tourists to the fact that the city-state is nothing more than a shallow wasteland of quasi beaches and desolate buildings spawned from the many illegal workers that arriviste developers routinely exploit.

It's not at all surprising then to know that a reviewer from Rough Guides wrote, "I’ll never quite understand why people pay to go there.” Alex Proud of the Telegraph went even further in his condemnation, characterizing Dubai as nothing more than 'sterile and morally destitute.'

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