Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

It's easy to be let down by somewhere you travel to.

Perhaps you've built up this place in your mind for months, maybe even years, as a place you would always love to visit. Maybe you saw it in a movie once, or had a friend or relative relate their experiences to you. The point is, you've spent a good deal of time hyping up the idea of one day stepping out of a plane, exiting a taxi, or emerging from a train into a place of wonder and brilliance.

Only to find it smells like pee and maybe everyone is a bit more rude than you were expecting.

Reddit user, 0_7_0, wanted to know where to avoid when they asked:

"What city disappointed you the most when visiting?"

Let's get the big obvious ones out of the way. The cities you knew were going to end up on this list, but it's still nice to see as a constant reminder that of course the most populous, "touristy" cities in the world are going to be the most filthy.

Not Even The Glittering Lights Can Brighten This Up

"Hollywood. And 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"

"Edit: you can have a good time in Hollywood, but do your research and check your expectations. Also, a lot of you seem to think I said the entirety of Los Angeles. LA definitely has plenty of problems, but if you truly think all of LA has nothing to offer, even for a visit, you've probably never step foot in a museum or tried foreign cuisine. The best concerts I've ever been to have all been in LA."


"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."


Gamble, Gamble, Gamble

"Atlantic City. It's waayyy dirtier and run down than I thought it'd be."


"NJ resident. Atlantic City is terrible outside the casinos. You have to stick to the casinos outside of the boardwalk (Borgata or Harrahs) if you want to have a more classy experience."

"There are some pretty old school amazing restaurants off the grid to venture out to though."


"So NYC itself was not disappointing, I loved the city but was very disappointed at the non existence of public restrooms."


"This is so accurate. I remember nipping into a Burger King where there was literally a bouncer enforcing that only customers could use the restrooms. The counter queue was so long that I knew I wouldn't make it if I had to make an order first. Somehow managed to convince the bouncer that I 100% would be buying something on my way out, and thankfully he believed me."


"As a New Yorker, many public restrooms were shuttered during the early 1970's due to a ton of drug use and illicit sex. Now they are closed because the homeless end up using them as an encampment. There are some - Bryant Park has one, as does Union Square. Protip. walk into a bar, act like you belong there, and use theirs."


Everything Does Feel A Little Bit Sticky

"I hated Las Vegas so very f-cking much. So dry, so trashy, so smokey, ugh."


"Everything is also so Damn expensive. Going anywhere Is a pain. But alcohol everywhere."


"The free and plentiful alcohol is there to deaden your perception of Vegas’ shortcomings. Gotta get those drinks, and tip your waitress to keep ‘em coming."


You wouldn't expect a small town in America to end up being disappointing, as it should be giving you exactly what you wanted. "Small town feel."

Turns out it feels a little more wrong than you might think.

Barrels Of Comfort

"Branson Missouri felt like if were a place"


"As a person who lives 30 minutes from Branson.. it’s cool for about 30 minutes and then it’s just a Cracker Barrell made into a town."


A Big City With Unique Big City Problems

"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. Was intimidated by the level of armed security everywhere, had to fight off so many scammers, 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."


"Not to mention sometimes pollution is so high that it can be challenging to be outdoors, also I noticed that cars tend to not stop with the red light so it can be hard to cross the street"


"Trenton, New Jersey."

"I wasn't really visiting or expecting to go there, just passing through on an Amtrak ride. I awoke from a nap to the train just stopped in what looked like Raccoon City. Trash everywhere, most of the buildings looked abandoned. The sky was cloudy and literally green. Like, sickly yellow-green. And most eerily, I didn't see a single car driving on the street or anyone walking around outside on the barren sidewalks. All the stores and restaurants looked closed and empty. I was actually sort of gripped by fear for a second, in my post-nap haze."

"Just wanted the doors to shut and the train to pull out of there. Nobody was getting on the Amtrak in Trenton. I didn't even know if there was anybody in Trenton. As the train pulled away and we went through the center of the city, a rail bridge over the river caught my eye. A massive sign was plastered on the side that read "TRENTON MAKES, THE WORLD TAKES."

"Surreal and overall grim experience."


And then there's these, locales and cities you should avoid if you're expecting to have a good time when traveling. Last thing you want is a bullet in your side and cheap knockoff souvenirs.

Yeah, That'll Do It

"Got shot 5minutes after arriving in Rio"

"Edit: After 7hour roadtrip from Sao Paulo with 2 friends nearly got carjacked at a gasstation. Several shots fired only one hit. My brazil friend got me to a „backdoor doc“ stayed there the whole night and drank pitu with him. Great guy and his storys are wild."


That "Authentic" Feel

"i know everyone loves Marrakesh, but i hated it"

"it would have been amazing before about 2000, but now it just feels like a disneyland version of their culture to cater to western tourists. ali baba costumes pretending to be desert nomads. half of their ‘hand made goods’ are just cheap sh-t from china. and u cant walk 20 feet without being aporoached by scammers. like, literally every block"

"the entire city just feels like a facade to attract dumb tourist money"

"i get why ppl love it, but that was my take"


Cigarettes Everywhere

"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."


"Every time I go to Paris I learn how to say, "I'm sorry I don't speak French, I am a stupid American," in French."

"Parisians love it."

"Without that phrase I'd have a miserable time in Paris."


"Don't forget smelly too. And not just one strong smell so you can get acclimated to it either. Fresh bread, urine, perfume, body odor. Yuck."


Be safe if you get to go wheels up in the near future. Also, be prepared to accept these places as they are. No one likes being let down, but if you lower your expectations and think of these places as real places instead of imaginary destinations, you might enjoy yourself a lot more.

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