World Travelers Share The Cities That Disappointed Them The Most

It’s been said that traveling changes the way you see and exist in the world, that it expands horizons and fosters a sense of connectivity.

It can also be absolutely miserable.

Reddit user 0_7_0 asked: 

“What city disappointed you the most when visiting?”

Growing up traveling, I remember my brother’s biggest disappointment was the discovery that lots of other countries didn’t have chicken nuggets or ketchup at their McDonalds—and that some didn’t even have McDonalds in the first place!

My big drama was always air-conditioning related.

That was pretty basic kid stuff, though.

None of us ever got shot, unlike this person.

Welcome To Rio!

“I got shot 5 minutes after arriving in Rio.”

“After a 7 hour road trip from Sao Paulo with 2 friends we nearly got carjacked at a gas station. Several shots were fired, but only one hit.”

“I just happened to be the thing it hit.”

“My Brazilian friend got me to a doc. I stayed there the whole night and drank pitu with him. He was a great guy and his stories are wild.”

– VerySpecialCognac

Sorry About Hollywood


“I am embarrassed for people who travel around the world to see it. What they imagine it to be vs reality. Sorry, it’s not what you expected 😑”

“You CAN have a good time in Hollywood, but do your research and check your expectations. Remember, the film industry is literally built to create an illusion.” 

– Mondo114

“We went there in July, just homeless people everywhere. Literal shit on the ground on almost every corner and in parking garages. People digging in trash cans tweaked out.”

“I was uncomfortable most of the time.”

“Only normal part of the walk of fame was in front of the theater and in that mall area, otherwise I was scared of what I might see.”

– DBelland1515

“I grew up in the LA suburbs and even I was disappointed with Hollywood when I visited it for the first time.”

“There are so many other cool places to visit in Southern California, just skip Hollywood.”

– ScienceMomCO

Casino Catastrophes

“Atlantic City.” 

“The Atlantic City casinos feel like they’re 30+ years older than those in Las Vegas (at least when I was there in 2013). I just expected them to be newer and nicer and cleaner.”

– User_492006

“This is a great answer. I was so disappointed by Atlantic City and my expectations weren’t even high.”

“It was just nasty there. The whole experience felt like biting into an apple only to realize it’s an onion.”

– [Reddit]

“Flew to Atlantic City for a convention and was excited to stay at Caesars, because the one in Vegas was really great back in the day.”

“The ceiling above the fountain in the main lobby was covered in mold. There were A-hole drunken wiseguys (literally) yelling and taunting people at the craps table.”

“I witnessed a pimp with his three employees leaving early in the morning when we were heading out for our flight.”

“Holy f*ck what a cesspool.”

– dr_freudenstein

Being The Attraction In Beijing


“I arrived at the end of a trans- Mongolian rail trip seeing so many incredible places and I think it was just a huge anticlimax.”

“Our whole group was intimidated by the level of armed security everywhere, we had to fight off so many scammers, and I didn’t enjoy being touched and laughed at when on the subway (I’m a very White European with curly hair).”

“Overall just found it really challenging despite some amazing sights.”

– Teapigs1984

“I’m Black. I stepped out of a train in Beijing with my brother and everybody was starting at us like we had just slapped their mums.”

“At least 10 people didn’t even ask and just started taking pictures of me. It was such a f*cking weird experience considering I was only 14.”

– thisis2022

“Got to Beijing and tried shopping for some groceries. The women at the stall started shouting.”

“My Chinese friend took me by my elbow and started dragging me away. When I asked her what was all that fuss about she said that they were screaming at her to get rid of me because they don’t sell to Black people.”

“Wtf. I was so surprised.”

“Those guys are extremely racist. Never gonna go back to that country again. I’ve been targeted by racists back home but never so openly and never in such a manner.”

– Muted-Sundae-8912

“Was traveling with 3 blonde and 2 red headed female college friends in Beijing.”

“People would push their kids at us to take a picture with us. I remember one kid crying but dad had to take a picture with us.”

“When seated, people would start touching our hair.”

– ParadePaard

I Believed The Rom-Coms

“Paris was so dirty, and I was not prepared for the disdain of the French towards a ‘stupid American.’ I believed the American Rom-Com movie version of Paris.”

– Idontknowthosewords

“Don’t forget smelly too.”

“And not just one strong smell so you can get acclimated to it either. Fresh bread, urine, perfume, body odour. Yuck.”

– BlueberryPiano

“I flew into Paris and the next day projectile vomited escargot and was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis. They taped my eyes shut and I kept waking up during the operation in agony, thinking I was blind.”

“The next time I visited Paris like 5 years later, I was locked in a small bathroom for 4+ hours. That city…”

– gallopingwalloper

“I agree 100%. I’ve been there numerous times and I feel like the city is overrated. It’s dirty, expensive, and the people are mega unfriendly.”

“Don’t get me wrong. I love France, but there are way better cities to visit.”

– Flaky_Sandwich9353

“I’ve been twice and the people were nicer than in most big cities. But the amount of dog sh*t everywhere was shocking and disgusting.”

– edgeplot

Anything To Do Besides Malls?

“Came here to say Dubai.”

“I decided to spend 10 days there while passing through. Had enough of it after 24 hours.”

“Too many f$#&!&# malls. No culture.”

– wric84

“Me too!”

“Dubai is a horrid place – fancy malls and hotels for the westerners, but the streets are full of the poor / slaves.”

“You really see what misery the whole place is built on.”

“I went there for work, I can’t imagine how people can go there for fun.”

– c19isdeadly

“Ah yes, I briefly lived in Dubai and felt like I never left the airport.”

“Giant shopping malls and soulless modern architecture full of people from around the world on a years-long layover.”

“I actually like good airports, but not sure I’d want to live in one.”

– icrbact

“Agreed, my expectations of Dubai were never high but the place is completely pointless.”

“It’s made for people with money to spend money; and even then I’d rather spend money in virtually any other city in the world.”

“I was there 3 days and that was too much.”

– BCS24


“While there I learned about how the whole city is built and run on some legalized slavery. I felt dirty after leaving.”

– BranigansLaw

So now that you know the places everyone else would skip if they had a chance to do it again, it’s your turn.

Hit us with your mic-drop moments in the comments.

Written by Erica Diaz

Have you ever read something where you just KNOW the writer talks with their hands, does the sound effects, and would bust out a little dance if it suited the story?

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She's a colorful storyteller whose sense of humor and fearless honesty make a big impact. Her rants might go for the emotional jugular, hit your funny bone, or shock you and your mama out of your fajas. Usually it's all three.

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