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The Most Overrated Attractions from Around the World

Posted on 25 May 2018


There are hundreds of attractions around the world, but it can be hard to decide where to start. Sites like Trip Advisor contain reviews from users who have visited the attractions, giving their opinion and rating on what they thought of them. We wanted to delve into this wealth of data for some of the top attractions from around the world to find out which were the most overrated, potentially saving tourists a lot of time, hassle, and money. 

To prepare our list, we selected some of the most discussed attractions on the Internet, we then set about comparing their average to terrible review ratings. Trip Advisor uses a five-star rating system, ranging from excellent (five stars) to terrible (one star). To work out their average review rating, we took the total number of reviews (including four and five stars) and calculated the percentage of users who have rated the attraction average (three stars) or below.

Our research found some interesting results, with a massive 57% of the Trip Advisor reviewers considering The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) from Denmark, the most overrated attraction in the world.

 

A few reviews about the Little Mermaid:

  • “It’s a tick box attraction...”

  • “It’s a nice little statue, but the crowds are terrible”

  • “Insanely crowded for nothing spectacular”

  • “Nothing special, only fame.“

  • “Don't know what the fuss is about”

 

 Taking 2nd and 3rd place were two of Britain’s best-known attractions, Stonehenge and Buckingham Palace, with 20% and 16% of reviewers rating them average or below.

Stonehenge’s reviews range from:

  • “Bunch of Large Ancient Stones”

  • “English Heritage left a sour taste”

  • “Overrated and crowded”

  • “Expensive for not a lot”

  •  “Very disappointed”

 Buckingham Palace reviewers where not impressed:

  • "No idea why tourists flock here!”

  • “Horrifically overcrowded - avoid the Changing of the Guard!”

  • “Amateur operation with staff that don't care”

  • “Probably one of the worst national monuments in Britain"

  • “Overpriced, underwhelming”

Outside of Europe, America’s most overrated attraction was Times Square with 15%, closely followed by China’s Forbidden Palace, and The Strip in Las Vegas, both with 12% of reviewers classing them as overrated.

 

The Most Overrated Attractions

 Attraction

Country

% Of Reviewers

The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue)

Denmark

57%

Stonehenge

England

20%

Buckingham Palace

England

16%

Times Square

US

15%

Forbidden City

China

12%

The Strip

US

12%

Universal Studios Hollywood

US

11%

Petronas Twin Towers

Malaysia

11%

Statue of Liberty

US

11%

Burj Khalifa

United Arab Emirates

10%

Tower of London

England

8%

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Thailand

8%

Charles Bridge

Czech Republic

8%

Eiffel Tower

France

7%

Corcovado Christ the Redeemer

Brazil

7%

Louvre Museum

France

7%

Hagia Sophia Museum

Turkey

7%

Notre Dame Cathedral

France

7%

British Museum

England

6%

Colosseum

Italy

6%

Acropolis

Greece

6%

Grand Central Terminal

New York, US

6%

Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine

Japan

6%

Sydney Opera House

Australia

6%

Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Spain

6%

 

On the opposite end of the scale, joint first place with a 97% reviewer satisfaction rating were Machu Picchu in Peru, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the UAE and the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood in Russia.

Reviews for the top attractions where less varied and much more positive:

 

Machu Picchu:

  •  “Reason number two to get to South America”

  •  “Wow- just wow”

  •  No words can describe the beauty of Machu Picchu!”

 

Sheikh Zayed Mosque:

  •  “A must see venue!!”

  •  “Most beautiful mosque in the world”

  • “It's really a wonder - must to see!”

 

 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood:

  • “Amazing roof shapes! Spectacular building”

  • “The symbol of Saint Petersburg"

  • "Awe-inspiring Russian church”

 

The Best Rated Attractions

 Attraction

Country

User Satisfaction Rating %

Machu Picchu

Peru

97%

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

United Arab Emirates

97%

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Russia

97%

Taj Mahal

 

India

96%

Petra

 

Jordan

96%

St. Peter's Basilica

Italy

96%

Angkor Wat

Cambodia

96%

The Great Wall

China

96%