I am fully aware I have seen but only a small slice of the world. But that isn’t going to stop me sharing my list of the most disappointing tourist attractions or destinations I have visited.
I must stress I am not necessarily saying these attractions or places are bad, but rather my expectations and the reality were a chasm apart. I left each of these feeling disappointed, hence their place on my list of disappointing tourist attractions.
1. The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
I actually think Copenhagen is a lovely city, I visited in winter and Tivoli Gardens is something that must be experienced at Christmas time. The Danes even have their own Christmas beer, Julebryg. Yet somehow, one of the most celebrated tourist attractions in the city is the Little Mermaid. I know there is a story sitting behind the statue, but my immediate thoughts upon seeing the Statue were very much along the lines of “is that really it?”.
This is one attraction on this list that is bad.
2. Mount Rushmore
It is hard not to appreciate the feat of carving Mount Rushmore, but in person it is actually quite dull. Not being American obviously takes away any patriotism associated with Mount Rushmore, but even then I cannot see it being anything other than quite dull. I also stayed for the ‘light show’. I say ‘light show’, in reality it was a lot of standing around waiting for somebody to turn on the lights.
Impressive but underwhelming at the same time, if that is possible.
3. Bondi Beach
I travelled around Australia for nearly three month in 2006, the world-famous Bondi Beach being one of the must see places we looked forward to visiting when we landed in Sydney.
Bondi Beach isn’t a bad beach, far from it. But is it just that, a decent beach. Given how iconic the beach is, I was expecting so much more. I was expecting to leave with the memories I have of the Whitsundays, or Fraser Island. It is possible my expectations were unrealistically high and Bondi could never meet them, but the disparity between the two is the reason it is on my list.
Just a pretty nice beach, perhaps I expected too much.
4. Cafe Central, Vienna
I wasn’t sure whether to include Cafe Central in this list.
I was told by more than one person that Cafe Central was the place to visit in Vienna, so much so that it was the first place my friend and I headed for. What I was not told was that we would be waiting around 20 minutes to get a seat in a cafe that I found to be quite unremarkable. Perhaps like Bondi Beach, my expectations were set too high but I only really remember Cafe Central for not really being memorable.
A passing visit maybe. Unremarkable.
The last and probably the most contentious entry on my list. It was spectacular at sunrise and sunset from our campsite, but up close I wasn’t won over. It probably didn’t help that it took a long time to get to Uluru and the surrounding area, a long time to get anywhere else after and the biblical plague of flies (I spent the entire time wearing a head net). Add to that I didn’t climb Uluru. Plenty of people were, but there were signs making it quite clear that it was discouraged for cultural reasons. I was unaware of this before visiting.
Disappointing doesn’t always mean bad, Uluru is a perfect example.